Making every contact count
Making every contact count is about using the vast human resources across NHS, local authorities, voluntary and community sectors to give Londoners consistent, simple messages and signposting them to services that help improve their health and wellbeing. It has enormous potential to add value to the millions of interactions that happen in London every day between our combined workforce and the public. Our vision is for Londoners to be more informed, motivated and empowered to maintain and improve their overall health and wellbeing, through the increased capabilities and support of carers, professionals and the communities and places where they live, work, study and play.
London has substantial health and wellbeing inequalities with a significant burden of preventable illness. These inequalities are determined by health choices and things outside an individual’s control that directly impact on our health, life expectancy and health behaviours and choices. We need to urgently address this situation by supporting Londoners in making healthier choices and addressing the wider determinants of health that can impact them.
- There are still 1.2 million smokers in London with 8,400 deaths and 51,000 hospital admissions a year attributable to smoking. 67 children take up smoking each day in London.
- More than half of the entire adult population in London is overweight or clinically obese – some 3.8 million people.
- Physical inactivity and poor nutrition are fuelling the rise in diabetes, metabolic cancers, dementia, hypertension, coronary heart disease and their corresponding health costs.
- One in every five Londoners will have a mental health problem in their lifetime. One in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
- Binge and high-risk drinking is now concentrated in particular areas of London that also have the highest alcohol related admissions to hospital.
Making every contact count is central to the NHS Five Year Forward View, Health Education England Mandate, Local Government Association priorities and the NHS Standard Contract. All London sustainability and transformation plans identify it as a priority.
We are working with Public Health England, London Councils, Academy of Public Health, the Association of Directors of Public Health for London and the Greater London Authority. Four key areas will form the ‘Health Promoting Places and Making Every Contact Count Programme’:
- Creating a social movement for ‘Health Promoting Places’ and ‘Making Every Contact Count ‘across London
- Sharing learning and supporting innovation
- Developing and enhancing tools to support implementation
- Supporting evaluation and building the evidence for impact