We're tackling major health challenges affecting people living in urban, diverse and deprived areas
Like much of London, Lambeth and Southwark are vibrant places to live and work and they’re changing all the time. They are densely populated (twice the average in the capital), and have similarly diverse populations – a rich and complex social and ethnic mix, including large black and LGBT communities. Over 100 different languages are spoken here. And like in many London boroughs, there are areas of affluence and poverty living side by side.
“The context for health within Lambeth and Southwark is incredibly important. People are often struggling to make ends meet. Their health and wellbeing isn’t prioritised in their life. It's much more of a priority to think about being able to pick the kids up from school and to be able to pay the bills at the end of the month.”
Dr Jonty Heaversedge, Chair of NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group
Great health work is taking place locally. We have some of the best health and care professionals in the country working in our hospitals and communities, and we’ve seen big improvements over the last 50 years. Life expectancy has increased, while child mortality and teenage pregnancy have declined.
However, despite positive changes, there are still important areas of deep deprivation and ill health. Some of our local people are not only not catching up – they are worse off: one in four people in Lambeth live in poverty and over a third in Southwark live in the most deprived pockets in England.
There are some big health issues in our boroughs:
High levels of smoking and drinking, despite recent reductions
Levels of severe mental health illness are among the highest in England
High rates of sexually transmitted infections
More children are obese by the time they start secondary school than in other London boroughs and England as a whole
A high number of deaths from coronary heart disease
Over 5,800 local people live with three or more long-term conditions, often with very poor quality of life and at significant cost to the NHS
Sources: Public Health England, WHO, ONS, Lambeth and Southwark Expert Reference Group of the Local Care Networks
Lambeth and Southwark have a lot in common with other inner-city areas, not just in London but around the UK and internationally. We believe we have a unique chance to collaborate with and learn from others who share our interests, and do something different together. We want our work to be led by evidence and to offer new insights.