Plans for a major overhaul of healthcare in London could make inequalities worse if they do not target those who currently miss out, says a groundbreaking assessment.
The London Health Commission has assessed the potential impact on health inequalities and vulnerable groups of NHS London's proposals for the future of healthcare in the capital.
The plans, based on the report by junior health minister Lord Darzi before he joined the government, include the creation of polyclinics and more specialist and community services. The commission's emerging findings suggest the plans are "likely to improve health outcomes".
But an interim report warns health inequalities could deepen if investment is not targeted at the most deprived communities.
The analysis is one of the first of its kind to be carried out on health plans. Groups most at risk include carers, those not currently registered with GPs, refugees and asylum seekers and those with disabilities.
Commission chair Jennette Arnold said the work highlighted that the proposals should be implemented in full. "A partial or piecemeal approach could widen health inequalities," she said.
London Health Commission co-ordinator Gail Findlay said the central message was that reducing inequalities must be "a top priority" as more detailed plans were drawn up.