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Fast-Track Cities London signs up to U=U international consensus statement to help end HIV stigma in the capital

Fast-Track Cities London joins the cities of Paris, Toronto and New Orleans, together with 100s of non-governmental organisations, to endorse the U=U (Undetectable = Untransmissible) global movement to help end the stigmaFast-Track Cities London signs up to U=U international consensus statement to help end HIV stigma in the capital around HIV.

We want Londoners to know the clear and simple message that a person on effective treatment, with undetectable levels of HIV virus in their blood, cannot pass on HIV.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Public Health for the London Borough of Southwark and Co-Chair of Fast-Track Cities London, says: “HIV stigma remains a persistent barrier to our efforts to end HIV transmission. Wherever HIV stigma exists in our relationships, it reduces the quality of care, limits social and psychological support, and negatively impacts health and wellbeing.

“Spreading the U=U message is an important way to help reduce the stigma experienced by people living with HIV. Many people who are HIV-positive now live long and healthy lives when regularly taking antiretroviral treatment, with zero risk of transmitting to others. However, discrimination against people living with HIV, often based on myths and outdated beliefs, are a day to day reality for too many and must be challenged. Fast-Track Cities London will be working with all partners and the HIV sector over the coming years to eradicate stigma and discrimination.”

Garry, Brough, HIV community representative Fast-Track Cities London says: “Having grown up with the fear of HIV and lived with the virus for nearly 30 years, it is both thrilling and astonishing to be aiming to achieve zero HIV-related stigma, transmissions and deaths in London. The commitment from all the key partners in the Fast-Track Cities Initiative is crucial to helping us discover and demonstrate exactly how to get to zero. We already have the means to reach our goal, but it is going to be challenging HIV-related stigma and changing outdated perceptions of HIV that will be the key. The U=U message is central to challenging those misperceptions.”​

Professor Jane Anderson, Consultant Physician at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Co-Chair of Fast-Track Cities London, said: “The Fast-Track Cities ambition for London is to work together to end new HIV infections, end HIV related stigma and discrimination, and ensure that people living with HIV live long and live well. London is making great strides towards ‘Getting to zero’ by 2030, however HIV remains an important problem in London, with the infection impacting on Londoners more than any other part of the UK. Furthermore, stigma towards people with HIV is one of the greatest challenges we need to overcome in London. We believe by working together with all our partners and Londoners we can make London the global leader in this area.”

London has already achieved 95-98-97 against the United Nation’s AIDS targets, cementing the capital as the world-leader in its response to the HIV epidemic. In London, 95 per cent of people living with HIV are diagnosed, 98 per cent of people diagnosed are receiving treatment and 97 per cent of people receiving treatment are virally suppressed.

Find out more about Fast-Track Cities in our frequently asked questions.


The Social Interest Group is changing how we work to improve the health of our staff and service users.

1) the 2019/20 service user and staff conference will be about how we achieve health and wellbeing of both our staff and service users
2) we are implementing a new way of working that improves and maintains the health and well being of our staff so they can deliver the best support to our service users
3) we are creating health and wellbeing programmes in our mental health, substance misuse and alcohol services to ensure people can recover and remain well
4) we aim to spread Penrose Roots to Recovery across our services ensuring people we work with have positive experiences working outside and reduce the social isolation they often feel


“Tasty, filling and affordable” is key to tackling London’s childhood obesity crisis

The Healthy High Streets Challenge finds that supporting local business to offer food options that are not just healthy but also cheap and tasty is the key to making London’s fast food outlets healthier for children and young people.

Healthy London Partnership (HLP) has been working with fast food shops, business owners, charities and young people to test new ideas for making high streets in Haringey, Lambeth and Southwark healthier.

The programme provides real-life examples that will inspire other London boroughs to explore innovative approaches to tackling childhood obesity.

Over one in five of London’s 4-5 year olds are overweight or obese. The high number of fast food outlets in London’s areas of deprivation has been linked with high levels of child obesity.

Healthy High Streets Challenge

The Healthy High Streets Challenge called on three London high streets to submit ideas to make choosing healthier food easier for local children and young people. The Challenge took place on West Green and High Road in Haringey; Walworth Road and East Street in Southwark; and Clapham Road and around Stockwell Tube station in Lambeth. These are all areas with high rates of childhood obesity, deprivation and a high density of unhealthy food outlets.

Launched in response to HLP’s Great Weight Debate – which aimed to raise awareness of London’s childhood obesity epidemic – the programme was developed and funded in partnership with Public Health England, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, Battersea Power Station Foundation, Haringey, Southwark and Lambeth Councils, Hyde Foundation, and Innovation Unit.

The Challenge asked businesses, fast food shops, entrepreneurs, communities and schools for ideas to make it easier for children and young people to choose healthier food on their local high streets. The best ideas in each location were offered £2,000 to trial their plans for nine weeks, along with expert support to explore how successful they could be.

The finalists included Tasters chicken shop on West Green Road in Haringey. Shahid Majeed, owner and manager of Tasters, developed a new, healthier menu for children. He trialled how to ‘nudge’ the after-school crowd into giving it a try over a 4-week period of trading. Early sales figures are extremely promising and he expects to see an even greater uptake of healthier options over time.

Shahid Majeed, owner and manager, Tasters, commented:
“Initially, I was looking for an alternative to fried chicken. I started grilling the chicken and it worked really well, so I took it home and my son loved it. So, slowly, we have introduced it to the customers, who have responded really well.”

The results

The Challenge provided invaluable insights into how to make healthier choices easier on London’s high streets. One of the most important outcomes is a reminder that people do not actively choose to eat ‘unhealthy’ food; they choose food that is cheap, filling and tasty; for many people that means no more than £2 for a meal. The programme also found that, for young people, making decisions about what they eat is not just about food choices but also about price and location. They want places where they can meet their friends, feel safe and welcome. This is an important factor for policy makers working to reduce childhood obesity to consider.

With many small food businesses struggling to stay afloat, the Challenge also highlighted the need to support small businesses to create healthier menus that meet their customer’s needs and make a profit at the same time. Small food business owners do care about their customers and want to provide healthy options but they need to do so without affecting their profits.

The results of the initiative are being shared with other local authorities, funders, policy makers and others working together to reduce childhood obesity in a new report. The report’s insights will be particularly useful for those engaging with businesses and local people around the challenge of creating healthier food environments and to those developing local solutions to broader health challenges.

Jemma Gilbert, Director of Transformation (Prevention) at Healthy London Partnership, said:
“We’ve learnt that Londoners really want a healthy food offer in the city. We know that retailers have the potential to provide that and provide it in a way that is good for business and good for profit, so we want to continue to engage retailers in finding the solutions to childhood obesity. This health challenge isn’t too big that London can’t solve it. We just need to galvanise everybody towards solving childhood obesity and making the city a healthy food environment.”

Jessica Attard, Programme Manager at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity said:
“Research shows that the high street environment can have a big influence on the diets of children and their families. We joined the Healthy High Streets project to be part of an innovative partnership and learn how best to involve high street businesses and others in helping to improve health in their local communities. We’ve learned a lot about what works for local businesses to be part of solutions. We’re using this learning to design longer-term activities to improve the healthiness of high streets in urban areas like our boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.”

Barbra Mazur, Director of the Battersea Power Station Foundation, added:
“We are delighted to partner with Healthy High Streets and support this initiative on tackling childhood obesity. We hope the findings from this report provide valuable insights that will benefit the local community in the long term, whether it is by running more similar hyper local educational programmes or ensuring healthier food options are made more readily available. It has been a great achievement for all those involved and we see lots of potential to expand this programme into other London boroughs.”

Download the Healthy High Streets report from our resources page here.

“Tasty, filling and affordable” is key to tackling London’s childhood obesity crisis


Testing new ideas to make our high streets healthier

Testing new ideas to make our high streets healthier

Londoners have identified too many cheap unhealthy food options as one of the top factors making it hard for children to lead healthy lives in the Capital. Here, HLP’s Dominic Jones reflects on the findings of the Healthy High Streets programme, which challenged three London high streets to try new ideas for making our high streets healthier.

Through the Great Weight Debate in 2016, Londoners shared their concerns about the food environment in the capital, including the abundance of fast food outlets and the difficulties and costs of finding healthy food.

Whilst the causes of childhood obesity are often due to numerous factors, the ready availability of calorie-dense food is recognised as a significant issue.

Foods from fast food outlets and restaurants tend to be more energy-dense than the equivalent foods prepared at home, and takeaways are of particular concern. Public Health England and others have highlighted that outlets selling fast food have clustered in areas of deprivation, and that the density of fast food and other unhealthy outlets is linked to high levels of child obesity. Whilst central London has seen growth in healthier food outlets and restaurants, this trend has not yet spread to greater London and in particular not to poorer areas.

Healthy High Streets was initiated by Healthy London Partnership, Public Health England and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, and developed in partnership with Battersea Power Station Foundation, Haringey, Southwark and Lambeth Councils, Hyde Foundation, and Innovation Unit.
The programme set out to find and test solutions to how we can make high street food healthier and started conversations with Londoners on how we can make healthier food choices easier for children and young people on the high street.

The best ideas in each of the three locations were given up to £2,000 to test their ideas out for nine weeks. They also received expert support to develop and promote their plans. Our award criteria were all focussed on potential for impact and change – we were looking for ideas with the most potential to make a difference, be possible, be long lasting, and to spread.

The winning ideas were:

Haringey Tasters chicken shop is a regular London chicken shop on West Green Road. They developed a new, healthier menu for children, and tested how best to promote this new menu to their customers.

Lambeth Oasis Play is a local youth charity in Stockwell that worked with young people to develop a healthier menu for young people in partnership with a local café (Leila’s Corner Café). The young people helped promote the new menu to their friends, and encouraged other local food businesses to make healthy options available.

Southwark We found 5 ideas from local entrepreneurs that all had potential, but weren’t quite ready to test. The judges were keen to support all 5 as a group to further develop their ideas, and so developed a 6 month support programme that combined direct support, group work, coaching, partnership brokering and specialist advice sessions.

Through the work of Healthy High Streets we developed a lot of insights that are relevant to those working to make healthy food choices more available on the high street. Firstly, change is possible; there is definitely appetite from young people for healthy food as long as it is tasty, filling, and affordably priced. The pilot in Tasters showed that with a small amount of effort, it was possible to shift almost half of the food bought by children to a healthier menu. However, it’s not all about the food – there is often a large social component that drives where and what young people eat.

Secondly, many small business owners who would like to offer healthy food options for their customers can find it challenging or complicated to do in practice. Our work in Lambeth showed that while businesses are keen to make healthy offers available, it is often hard to do so at a price point that works for both customer and business. Providing easy, cheap and simple ways for businesses to get involved is vital.

Finally, this work showed the power of relationships in encouraging and supporting businesses to engage with their customers on healthy food. This was evident in the relationship between the local authority and Tasters in Haringey, between the young people and local take-away restaurants in Lambeth, and between the local food entrepreneurs in Southwark. Good relationships provide the incentive to get involved, and the support to see the idea through!

You can read the full report here.


All Londoners have the right to a healthy mouth

Poor access to dental services has a significant impact on the lives of people experiencing homelessness. Poor oral health commonly causes pain and suffering; dental pain can have a negative impact on mental and physical health and in some cases can cause people to use alcohol or drugs to control their pain.

We have produced a poster in partnership with homeless charity Groundswell and Public Health England. 

Download the Healthy Mouths posters

To accompany the poster we also have guidance notes to:

  • help people who are homeless find information about local dentists and how access dental services
  • tell you how you can become an Oral Health Champion

Groundswell’s Healthy Mouths project aims to promote good oral health, help homeless people into dental services and create inspirational local ‘oral health champions’ because we believe that everyone has the right to a healthy mouth.

If you would like an A2 size poster with a gloss laminate finish, which means you can write on it with a dry wipe marker, please email lhhp@nhs.net with your full postal address.

Organisations may wish to print the poster themselves. High street print shops would be able to print A2 copies.

 


Healthy mouths project

Poor access to dental services has a significant impact on the lives of people experiencing homelessness. Poor oral health commonly causes pain and suffering; dental pain can have a negative impact on mental and physical health and in some cases can cause people to use alcohol or drugs to control their pain.

We have produced a poster in partnership with homeless charity Groundswell and Public Health England. 

Download the Healthy Mouths posters

To accompany the poster we also have guidance notes to:

  • help people who are homeless find information about local dentists and how access dental services
  • tell you how you can become an Oral Health Champion

Groundswell’s Healthy Mouths project aims to promote good oral health, help homeless people into dental services and create inspirational local ‘oral health champions’ because we believe that everyone has the right to a healthy mouth.

If you would like an A2 size poster with a gloss laminate finish, which means you can write on it with a dry wipe marker, please email info@groundswell.org.uk with your full postal address.

Organisations may wish to print the poster themselves. High street print shops would be able to print A2 copies.

 


Can you get fit and do good to improve the lives of Londoners who are homeless? YES, YOU CAN!

We teamed up with charities Groundswell and Good Gym to get more ‘My right to access healthcare’ cards into the hands of people who are homeless in London.

Can you get fit and do good to improve the lives of Londoners who are homeless? YES, YOU CAN!

The plastic cards are designed to be carried by adults who are homeless across London, including people who sleep rough, live in hostels, sleep on family and friend’s sofas, or who are chronically insecurely housed.

Good Gym, a charity that aims to do good while getting fit, ran 6.5km for us and Groundswell, crisscrossing through central London from the Strand, to Blackfriars, across to Waterloo and back. They gave cards to people they met along the route who looked to be sleeping rough and explained how they can use the cards to register and get treatment at a GP surgery.

Rachel Kearney, Good Gym’s run leader on the day, said:

“Keeping in mind the vulnerability of the people involved, we decided we would run along the river to get our legs working before slowing it down and splitting off into groups to hand out the cards in a gentle and approachable manner. It was very worthwhile, with each person we approached being incredibly thankful for our reach out.”

Since December 2016, 40,000 cards have been delivered to shelters, day centres, food banks, drop in centres and other organisations across London.

Our aim with the cards is improve health by changing users and providers behaviour, starting by making it easier for people who are homeless in London’s to access primary healthcare services. The average age of death for people who sleep rough on the streets is almost half that of the general population. They often have complex co-morbidities, are much less likely to be registered with a GP and much more likely to use A&E services.

The cards are plastic and credit-card sized and can be used to remind GP receptionists and other practice staff of the national patient registration guidance from NHS England. It carries the message that people do not need a fixed address or identification to register or access treatment at GP practices – where necessary, the practice may use the practice’s address to register the patient if they wish.

Flyers have also been produced with bigger letters and format for people with eye sight problems. Anyone is welcome to download and use our templates to spread the word about accessing healthcare.

An online training course for GP receptionists and practice managers in London is also available. It covers the specific issues faced by patients who are homeless; best practice in supporting and treating them; and service access rights and engagement.

Our great thanks go to Good Gym and Groundswell for their enthusiasm and support.

Read the run report on Good Gym’s website

Read the report we commissioned from Groundswell ‘More than a Statistic’

More about Good Gym

Good Gym’s central London group run leaves on Tuesday evenings at 5.30pm from Kings College London Strand campus, but there are other group run all across London and further afield across the country. Visit Good Gym’s website to find out more

More about Groundswell

Groundswell is a registered charity, which exists to enable people experiencing homelessness to take more control of their lives, have a greater influence on services and have a full role in our community. Visit Groundswell’s website to find our more


The Crawley Social Prescribing Project

People are living longer and as they get older, developing long term health conditions. Health can be affected by a wide range of factors including employment, housing, debt, social isolation and culture.

▶ Watch our short films about the Crawley Social Prescribing Pilot Project

Social prescribing gives the NHS and local authorities an opportunity to help people make use of existing community services, resources and facilities so they can manage or overcome some of these problems. 

In London, all five health and care partnerships have committed to using social prescribing services. The evidence shows that it helps people get the right help at the right place, and reduces unnecessary GP appointments and A&E attendances.

Healthy London Partnership recently visited Southgate Medical Group, one of three GP surgeries in Crawley currently taking part in a successful social prescribing pilot. We wanted to learn more about their local way of working in order to share this knowledge with other areas interested in social prescribing.

We spoke with staff at Southgate Medical Group about the ‘Prescription Plus – community connections for a healthier me’ service. They developed a menu of local services in partnership with the local voluntary and community sector and explained how the referral process works in practice, the key ingredients of the link worker role and what the benefits are for patients.

These films offer practical advice and guidance for CCGs, commissioners and anyone looking to learn more about how social prescribing could work in their communities.

The Crawley Social Prescribing Project

A sample of the entertainment on offer at Crawley’s popular The Posh Club.

Healthy London Partnership and the Greater London Authority are currently working with a range of partners including the Social Prescribing Network, NHS organisations, GP Practices, local authorities and third sector bodies across the capital to co-design a Social Prescribing Strategy for London. This will build on the good practice that is already established and growing across the capital. The Strategy is due to be launched in Autumn 2018.

For further information about our work please contact a member of the Proactive Care Team at hlp.proactivecare@nhs.net

▶ Watch our short films about the Crawley Social Prescribing Pilot Project here.