There are a small number of things which will make a big difference to our population’s health and reduce inequalities by preventing the onset of ill-health.

For many diseases, including most of the long-term conditions that take up a lot of time and care in the NHS, there are a small number of behaviours and issues that actually lead to those diseases developing. In south east London, these are high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, alcohol and common mental health conditions.

We call these the ‘Vital 5’, or the five leading causes of poor health in our communities.

Identifying, recording, and sharing the Vital 5 data between all health partners and our patients, and acting on the results across our population, would substantially improve our population’s health and help the whole NHS and social care system.

We are fortunate in south east London that a considerable body of work has already been carried out around ‘The Vital 5’. The Coalition will build on this work and develop an implementation plan to support healthy behaviours within the population, starting with a focus on hypertension or high blood pressure.

You can find out more about this and our approach to prevention in the video below.

A good example of some prevention work can be seen in this video on childhood obesity work in Lambeth.

Recent achievements

At our recent Population Health Conference we showcased some fantastic real-world examples of Vital 5 work happening our communities, including:

Further information

You can hear more about the Vital 5 in this overview video and about how primary care professionals are looking at prevention in their approach in this video:

We are also developing what the ‘Vital metrics’ should be for children and young people in our communities. You can find out more about this work.

South East London Resources

You can access resources for each of the ‘Vital 5’ in the drop-down menu below.

Blood pressure

SEL pharmacies as of August 2022 providing the NHS Community Pharmacy Blood Pressure check service:

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