Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care

It is fantastic to be working with Damien on a radical manifesto that has many pledges to improve the lives of our residents in Lewisham.

My Cabinet Portfolio of Health and Adult Social Care includes responsibility for

  • Adult social care, including care home and at-home provision and quality assurance
  • Health and social care integration
  • Adult safeguarding
  • Joint commissioning
  • Mental health
  • Public health
  • Supporting people
  • Older people, including representation, active citizenship, combating isolation, housing, technology, aids and adaptions

I was privileged to serve with Sir Steve Bullock and worked hard to make a difference with my Cabinet Portfolio of Health, Wellbeing and Older People which included responsibility for

  • NHS integration
  • adult social care and health including supporting people
  • adult education
  • libraries
  • culture including the Broadway Theatre and arts
  • leisure services and sports development
  • ageing well
  • intergenerational links

I am a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board as well as being the Champion for Heritage.

UNISON Ethical Care Charter

Delivering on Lewisham's Manifesto Pledge

In February Lewisham Council agreed to sign up for the Ethical Care Charter developed by Unison. The Charter outlines a list of suggestions to Councils for improving home care services for users, and providing a better work environment for home care employees. Since then, I’ve overseen a report aimed at understanding all the implications and challenges of adopting the Charter, and recommending the best plan for Lewisham to do so. That report was approved by the Mayor and Cabinet on the 20 September 2018.

I believe that adopting the Ethical Care Charter is an extremely important undertaking for us. Without these provisions, home care workers aren’t guaranteed compensation for travel costs and they may be rushed getting from one client to the next, so they are unable to provide as much care and attention as they would like to.

The London Living Wage, currently £10.75 per hour, is the only wage calculation that takes into account the actual cost of living based on goods and services. It is higher than the national living wage £8.21 per hour and applies to all adults instead of just those over 21 or 25 years old. Calculations for the London Living Wage also recognize the higher cost of living in London compared to other areas of the UK, while other standard rates do not. Following the London Living Wage is part of the Ethical Care Charter because paying employees what they actually need for them and their families to survive is a necessary part of improving home care.

Unfair treatment for workers has a negative effect on services, meaning that clients who use home care services aren’t provided with the level of support, respect, and dignity that they deserve. These individuals are in a vulnerable position. It is our responsibility as a Council to make sure that they are treated well and given the utmost quality of care.

Ageing Well

Help for older people

Our Be Active programme is part of our work on keeping residents fit and healthy. It includes our scheme for free swims and gym for the Over 60's.

We are very proud of our five Leisure Centres in the borough of Lewisham. Over the past few years we have

  • opened Glass Mill - our new leisure centre in the heart of Lewisham
  • opened Forest Hill Pools - which included refurbishing the old building at the front and building a new centre for the pools.gym, studio, community room and cafe
  • upgraded and refurbished Wavelengths
  • refurbished the gym at Downham Health and Leisure Centre
  • made improvements to the Bridge Leisure Centre in lower Sydenham.

We encourage our Healthy Walks programme and we now have four outdoor gyms.

We promote walking football and a range of activities to encourage health and well being.

ALL - Adult Learning Lewisham

I was pleased to attend the adult education open day to see the range of courses available for the academic year starting in September. There are now a number of 10 week courses for each term so that learners can get a taste of a new area.