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Former Olympic health centre hosts partnership launch

Photograph supplied by the Olympic Delivery Authority

by Hannah Murdoch

An iconic NHS Property Services building was chosen as the launch venue for a new partnership aimed at reducing health inequalities in East London.

The Guttmann Academic Partnership brings together experts from across the healthcare and academic sectors to support projects to improve the health of residents in Newham – London’s most deprived borough.

The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre

The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre

The launch event was held at the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre, which sits on the former Olympic Park, at the heart of Newham’s most vibrant regeneration area.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice for health and social care watchdog the Care Quality Commission, was guest speaker at the event. He told Partnership members: “There is nowhere with greater opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of local people than in Newham, because the health and care professionals in the borough really do care”.

The Partnership will work with voluntary organisations, schools, local doctors and other health and care professionals to carry out research and develop partnerships within the community, to better understand and improve people’s health in Newham.

It has already approved several applications to support projects, including initiatives to help the homeless and vulnerably housed, provide peer support for young people with diabetes, and promote ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Tony Griffiths, London Regional Director for NHS Property Services, said: “It is disappointing that in the 21st century there is still such inequality between the health of our city’s richest and poorest inhabitants , however there could be no better place than the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre from which to formally launch this inspiring partnership.

“It is well known that this building is part of the lasting health legacy for London of the 2012 Olympic Games. Its position at the heart of the capital’s most deprived borough is a real visual representation of the commitment in this area to pursue good health for all. I look forward to hearing about the Guttmann Academic Partnership’s future achievements.”