NHS England has called on the country’s top housing developers to help spread new ideas for healthy living that have come from its Healthy New Towns programme, such as urban assault courses and dementia friendly streets, and put healthy living at the heart of a national network of future home building.
As the country sets about expanding the number of affordable houses being built, NHS England is now inviting applications for housing developers and associations to join a national network that will help improve the health of the nation by:
- Working in partnership with local NHS hospitals, community nurses and family doctors as well as local authorities and voluntary sector to prioritise healthy living schemes in new housing developments, above and beyond current practice.
- Testing new ideas, such as fitness adventure trails and tech enabled homes to help elderly residents.
Ebbsfleet Garden City was was designated a Healthy New Town by NHS England, in partnership with Public Health England, to explore new and innovative ways to tackle the biggest health and care challenges of the 21st century, such as obesity, dementia and social isolation.
You can read about our project here
There are 10 sites taking part in the scheme, covering 60,000 new homes. Ideas so far include safe play areas for children, ‘one-stop’ health hubs and Ebbsfleet’s digitally monitored fitness programmes to get everyone exercising.
But with the Government targeting one million new homes, there is huge potential for the Healthy New Towns programme to reach far beyond the existing sites.
This is why NHS England now wants to join forces with major housing developers to ensure their expertise and the lessons learned from the Healthy New Towns programme can be combined to benefit every new housing development in the country.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes at NHS England, said: “The Healthy New Towns programme has proved more popular than anyone could have predicted, uniting the NHS, house builders and local councils behind the goal of making us healthier and happier as a nation.
“Currently the demand to be part of the programme is outstripping supply so as the NHS turns 70, we are launching a new network of partners to ensure the great work done so far can have an even greater impact across the country and for years to come.”
Lee Bishop, Director of Major Developments at Taylor Wimpey, says: “Through the NHS Healthy New Town Programme, we have worked collaboratively with a range of organisations to improve the designs of our public spaces, wayfinding, homes, town centre and work places. Community engagement is being delivered to get more people active, improve social cohesion and address a range of public health issues.
“It is only through further collaboration between developers and health experts that we will be able to continue to improve place making and provide long term solutions to many of the public health issues we face today and in the future.”
Housing developers and housing associations interested in creating healthier places can download the prospectus and application form from the Healthy New Towns website. Applications close on 28 February 2018, 5pm.