North West London NHS clinical commissioning groups support Cycle Superhighways

nwl-ccgs-logoThe eight NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Northwest London have sent a joint response to TfL’s Cycle Superhighway consultation. These eight groups, arranged in two collaborations, deliver primary care for one quarter of London’s population. The Chief Officers of the two collaborations are Daniel Elkeles and Rob Larkman. Their letter to TfL highlights the many health benefits of the cycle superhighways as proposed.

On behalf of North West London’s eight Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), we are proud of our role in the life of London and in helping to provide an excellent level of healthcare to our population. At its heart, our National Health Service is an increasingly integrated system which is bound together by the principles and values reflected in the NHS Constitution. This includes our wider commitment to working jointly with local authorities and an extensive range of other public, private and third sector organisations at national and local levels to provide and deliver improvements in health and well-being. The proposed cycle superhighways embody this message and provide a welcome opportunity to promote further ways in which to address a number of growing public health issues, as well as safety risks.

Our clinically-led organisations deliver primary care to a residential population of over 2 million Londoners, with up to 16 million people estimated to be working across the entire region for which we are responsible as health commissioners. We are greatly encouraged by the serious opportunities that investment in safer cycling will bring to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities extended across the wider London family. We recognise that millions of Londoners and their loved ones travel across the city on a daily basis, and the varied health and socio-economic implications that transport choices can hold for an individual’s life. We believe that making cycling easier and safer through segregated lanes will reduce the near-misses, casualties and fatalities that London’s family currently endures each year, with deaths from cycling in London in the past year having reached double figures, including four HGV-related fatalities.

We are also supportive of initiatives that will help to tackle London’s obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity costs the capital £7.1 million a year and could reach almost £111 million each year if today’s children remain obese into adulthood. The proposed cycle superhighways will make active travel a safer and viable option for more people and serve to make cycling in London more inclusive than ever before. We anticipate that investment in London’s cycle networks will furthermore set a positive precedent for elsewhere in the UK, and we believe that the shared commitment of our public services to forward-looking strategies will yield a positive legacy for our national life.

As both healthcare providers and commissioners, we greatly value the healthy lifestyle options available to our patients and to their friends and families. As employers, we value employee satisfaction, health and freedom. For these reasons, we proudly endorse the plans outlined by TfL to create segregated cycle routes through the heart of London. These plans are beneficial for our organisations and health partners, for London’s status as a dynamic and global city, and for all Londoners whether they cycle or not; because of the message this sends about what London holds dear, the lives it will improve, and the lives it will save.

We support the plans and trust they will be delivered as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Elkeles
Chief Officer, CWHHE Collaboration

Rob Larkman
Chief Officer, BHH Federation