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Health and wellbeing in Newham

We are responsible for promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of people who live in Newham. We took over this duty from the NHS in 2013.​​​​

Public health in Newham

Now that public health is part of the council, we have opportunities to work with other areas of the council that impact health, such as housing, transport and the environment.
We have a range of public health functions, but by law we are responsible for:
  • helping to protect people from the dangers of infectious diseases and environmental threats
  • organising and paying for sexual health services
  • providing specialist public health advice to primary care services such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) and community health professionals
  • organising and paying for height and weight checks for primary school children
  • providing a wide range of health promotion services.

How we plan your health services

We work with health and social care partners to look at the health needs of our residents. We gather information to create a number of reports that help us to plan health services and tackle inequalities in the borough.

These reports can help you to understand the health of your community.

Annual public health report

Every council's Director of Public Health has a statutory responsibility to produce an annual report. 

Our 2016/17 annual report (PDF) focuses on women and health in Newham. It highlights the valuable contributions women make to their own health and some of the challenges they face that are harmful to their health.

The 2015/16 annual report (PDF) focused on bowel cancer and the innovative work to improve the uptake of screening tests in the borough.

Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

We work with the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group to prepare the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
The document pulls together information about local health and social care needs to help us plan future services.

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) is a legal document developed by Newham’s Health and Wellbeing Board to assess the needs of the Newham population for pharmaceutical services.
The PNA highlights how pharmaceutical services are currently provided in Newham and makes recommendations about how to address gaps and health needs.

Alcohol delivery plan

The Alcohol Delivery Plan 2017/20​ sets out the priority areas we will address as we respond to the challenges caused by alcohol and its connected issues. The delivery plan sets out our clear local priorities, identified in partnership with stakeholders from health, enforcement, adult social care, the National Probation Service, the Community Rehabilitation Company, the police and the voluntary sector.

Newham ward health profiles

We use health profiles to bring together information about the health of the population of Newham.
The profiles use graphs and diagrams to show a range of health-related data in each ward, including:
  • deaths from major diseases such as heart disease and stroke
  • levels of childhood obesity
  • low birth weight
  • unemployment
  • child poverty
  • emergency admission to hospital.
By breaking the data down into wards, we are able to compare health in areas across the borough as well as England as a whole.

National health profiles

Data about the health of the borough is published by Public Health England (PHE):

Health services in your area

You can use the NHS Choices website to find out your nearest health services. Simply search using your post code or town.

You can find your nearest:

Get more information about some of the specific health-related services that we commission in Newham.


​​​Well Newham

What is Well Newham?

Well Newham is a shared programme across council, NHS, and voluntary sector partners aiming to ensure that every Newham resident is supported around the determinants of their health and wellbeing.

Well Newham will be a Newham specific brand. 

This programme is based on social prescribing which is when health professionals refer patients to non clinical support services in the local community to help their health and well being where appropriate. 

People's health can be affected by a variety of social, economic and environmental factors and social prescribing helps to address people's issues so that they can take more control of their own health.

We want Well Newham to convey an all encompassing approach to our approach to social prescribing, and we want residents to associate Well Newham with the following sentiments and statements:
  • Day to day support and interventions for them which are:
  • High quality
  • Low cost
  • Local 
  • Accessible, acceptable and engaging
  • “It’s for me and contacts in my social networks”
  • “It can sort out my issues and things that are worrying me”
  • “It empowers me to be preventative in my approach to my health, and I can even get involved in volunteering”

Communicating Well Newham to our residents

Our libraries and community centres offer a fantastic range of Well Newham activities from chair based exercise to early years activities. To help GP surgery staff and other partners refer patients/residents to these activities we have for the first time created quarterly community neighbourhood activity schedules. 

Here are the community neigbourhood activity schedules: 

Community Health Champions

Community Health Champions are volunteers who want to make a positive  difference to the health and wellbeing of Newham residents.

We got off to a flying start with our first wave of Climate Now Air Quality Champions. 

The rationale for Well Newham

Mounting evidence highlights the value of non-clinical support for many people who may present with clinical and social care needs across the life course from young people to older adults. 

There is an increasing investment in social prescribing approaches through the new Primary Care Networks (PCNs) which provide an opportunity to build on existing work locally including provision through adult social care, the 150 club and Community Neighbourhoods teams.  

The new developments present a significant opportunity to take a system and programme approach across Newham to raise quality and reach, and ensure we are maximising our residents’ benefit from this work.  

This will include:
  • Communications - Building a brand identity and communications approach for the programme which builds a shared language among professionals and makes this work meaningful for residents, helping them to access support
  • Health Champions - Developing an approach around peer involvement through champions type approaches focussing both on generic health champions and condition or issue specific - e.g. Air Quality, Young People, Mental Health, Diabetes, TB, digital inclusion
  • Workforce development – Focusing on both frontline and people in social prescribing/navigator roles to ensure this kind of support increasingly reaches optimally across the borough and avoids duplication with an emphasis on:
  • Developing a listening and strength-based approach with our residents’ and ensuring that frontline workers in health and social scare are routinely supporting patients and residents to access avenues of social support
  • Building a systematic approach to developing the link workers/navigator roles in the borough to ensure quality, avoid duplication and (over time) develop specialisms e.g. (young people, dementia, learning disabilities)
  • Evaluation - An approach to monitoring reach and impact of Well Newham across Newham so we learn and can improve over time.
Over time this partnership approach may support developments in different ways such as:
  • Possible system capacity assessment and development of gap provisions
  • System and service quality assurance and quality improvement 
  • Opportunities for external funding 
  • Work to support missing, hidden voices and populations 
The programme will be co-produced with our residents and partners.

The Well Newham approach will aim to be shared across the council, with key NHS partners such as our Primary Care Networks, ELFT and Newham Hospital, and the community and voluntary sector.  

Initial conversations with partners including the CCG, the Newham Health Collaborative (GP Federation) and a number of clinical leads from primary care networks have been supportive.


Mounting evidence highlights the value of non-clinical support for many people who may present with clinical and social care needs. 

This evidence has been recognised by key national and regional drivers such as the NHS long term plan and Mayor of London’s Health Inequalities Strategy which have prioritised the development of social prescribing.  This is also reflected in Newham’s Corporate Plan.

These developments provide a significant opportunity to build on a number of existing Newham initiatives that are already delivering forms of social prescribing. 

These include:
  • The social care link workers currently helping isolated Newham residents into avenues of social support
  • The 150 club linking in residents at risk of diabetes with physical activity sessions run by 20 different community organisations, alongside lifestyle assessment and motivational support.
  • National programmes to reduce diabetes with information 
  • The work of the Community Neighbourhoods teams, including Get Active, Get Healthy, alongside a range of other support across the borough
  • A number of ‘navigator’ schemes supporting patients receiving secondary care to navigate services
  • VCSE programmes and initiatives delivering arts, legal, lifestyle and language interventions 
  • LBN schemes supporting people with financial help 
In addition the formation of 10 PCNs in Newham, the arrival of social prescribing with NHS Link workers provides significant new investment and focus for this work.

There is also a major focus on population health within East London Foundation Trust, and significant planned changes in community mental health provision in the borough  – including the potential of new mental health community connectors - which is geared to these kinds of approaches.

A good social prescribing offer is a whole system which shifts culture over time and it relies on:
  • Frontline professionals looking beyond the presented symptoms and thinking beyond clinical or statutory solutions, encouraging patients and residents to make use of avenues of social support.  
  • Over time it should support a culture change where people self-refer to these kinds of support
  • Robust link models which are proportionate to different patients’ and resident’s needs, from good quality information through to dedicated link workers with good local knowledge and relational skills to work with those with greater needs
  • A range of support around the different needs people have, and access to peer and informal models of support  

Model of a social prescribing system

There are major opportunities with the new developments and system energy around social prescribing and social support.  

However there are risks that we develop a fragmented model where there is duplication, variation in quality, poor recognition of the offer from residents and little understanding of the reach and impact we are having.

Well Newham will help alleviate these risks and present a clear approach for both residents and health and community professionals.

Well Newham governance 

Governance of the programme will sit under the prevention stream of the Newham Wellbeing Partnership and ultimately the Health and Wellbeing Board.  

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