‘Spend more NHS money in south of Redbridge’, urge councillors

Spend on health should be unequally divided across the borough according to councillors and community leaders after a report revealed gaps in the health of residents in the north and south of Redbridge.

Deputy director of public health in Redbridge Gladys Xavier said there were “ward inequalities” which needed to be addressed, following the publication of an NHS Redbridge report two weeks ago.

These include men in Clayhall, in the north of the borough, expected to live 10 years and seven months longer than those in Loxford ward, in the south. Clayhall women are expected to live seven years and six months longer than Loxford women.

League of British Muslims chairman Bashir Chaudhry said: “It’s not a rosy picture and it needs both money and education to help the situation.”

Cllr Balvinder Saund, chairman of the Sikh Women’s Alliance UK, said: “There are a lot of cultures at work, and a lot of Sikh men tend to hide their illnesses until it’s too late.

“What is needed is better education and more money put into south Redbridge’s problems.”

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Keith Prince, and Loxford ward Cllr Filly Maravala backed up their concerns.

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Cllr Maravala said: “The money should be divided unequally. Why put more and more money into areas where everything is fine and people are enjoying 10 years’ extra life than Loxford constituents?”

Cllr Prince said: “It’s a big concern. But as well as extra money, other things need to be invested into the area, such as improving education and understanding.”

The budget is allocated according to the findings of the annual health report, and the NHS reforms mean responsibility for public health will move closer towards the council, which will have more input into decisions tackling health inequalities.

An NHS Outer North East London spokesman said: “One of our roles is to identify those areas where ward level inequalities exist which need to be addressed and we highlight these in our public health report.”