The Mayor of London could take three percent of the money allocated to councils for public health in the capital.

The figure proposed by the mayor’s office and local authorities would be topsliced from the as yet unknown allocation to fund a “pan-London public health resource”.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has suggested around 4 per cent of the NHS’s budget has been spent on public health in the past. If that percentage was applied to London’s £16.7bn forecast PCT spend for this financial year, London’s 33 councils might expect to receive ring-fenced public health funding of around £670m. Of that, the mayor’s 3 per cent slice would be around £20m.

It is not clear what duties the “pan-London public health resource”, referred to in NHS Hammersmith and Fulham board documents, would have.

A London Councils document published last year said Mr Lansley had asked the working group to come back with proposals for public health in the capital by the end of 2010 but a spokesman said discussions were ongoing.

A spokesman for the mayor said a London health improvement board would “strengthen alignment between both tiers of government around the common objective of improving the health of Londoners and reducing health inequalities”.