You might have woken up like me to hear that:
Nearly half of all children in England are not reaching what teachers say is a good level of development by the age of five.
Which comes from data produced today by the London Health Observatory and the Marmot Review Team, which is a little wider than the headline. They also look at average life expectancy, the percentage of young people not in education, employment and training, and how many people are in receipt of means tested benefits too.
They break this down to local authority level and as you’ll see in the slides I’ve produced below Lewisham’s challenge in tackling health inequalities is substantial.
Just to note, the inequality within Lewisham (as measured by the indicators around inequality in life expectancy, inequality in disability-free life expectancy, and inequality in percentage in receipt of means-tested benefits) seems to be less of an issue than it is regionally or nationally.
The question will be whether the Public Health Service when it emerges in a few years time will be able to make progress on tackling these issues.
They will certainly find that some of the levers that have been there in the past may have disappeared. For example, the Education Bill that is currently going through Parliament removes the duty of schools to cooperate with the local authority; leaving up to schools to decide whether or not to do so.
Similarly, the impact of reducing the levels of funding for services that support the most vulnerable will without doubt make it difficult to have a positive effect on these figures.