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NHS England invites healthy partner applications from developers

Words: Laura Edgar
Pedestrianised high street / iStock-538874530

NHS England has called on housing developers and associations to submit applications to help improve the health of the nation through by joining a national network.

It wants developers to spread ideas for healthy living that have come from its Healthy New Towns programme, such as urban assault courses and dementia-friendly streets.

Applications would see developers and housing associations join a national network that is aiming to improve health across England by working in partnership with local NHS hospitals, community nurses and family doctors, as well as local authorities, to prioritise healthy living in new housing developments, beyond current practice.

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, housebuilders 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.”

The Healthy New Towns programme was launched in March 2016. Working with 10 housing developments, the NHS, supported by Public Health England, aims to shape the way the sites will develop and therefore test “creative solutions” for the health and care challenges of the 21st century, such as obesity, dementia and community cohesion.

A design competition for the Halton site saw bids submitted from across the world, including India, Japan and the USA.

As the government tries to deliver one million homes by 2020, NHS England said there is “huge” potential for the Healthy New Towns programme to reach beyond the 10 allocated sites. NHS England thinks joining forces with house developers will help to ensure that their expertise and lessons learnt from the Healthy New Towns Programme can be combined to benefit new housing developments across England.

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 at 5pm.

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