NHS England has announced that it will be working with ten housing developments to rethink and redesign how health and care services can be delivered.
Over 76,000 news homes will be built across the ten towns, providing accommodation for approximately 170,000 residents.
Plans for the new towns will incorporate potential solutions to today’s health and care challenges, including obesity, dementia and community cohesion. The team behind the Healthy New Homes programme will comprise clinicians, designers and technology experts who will test how primary care can be worked into communities using modern technology and living environments.
Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said: “The much-needed push to kick start affordable housing across England creates a golden opportunity for the NHS to help promote health and keep people independent. As these new neighbourhoods and towns are built, we’ll kick ourselves if in ten years’ time we look back having missed the opportunity to ‘design out’ the obesogenic environment, and ‘design in’ health and wellbeing.
“We want children to have places where they want to play with friends and can safely walk or cycle to school – rather than just exercising their fingers on video games. We want to see neighbourhoods and adaptable home designs that make it easier for older people to continue to live independently wherever possible. And we want new ways of providing new types of digitally-enabled local health services that share physical infrastructure and staff with schools and community groups.”
The programme addresses the NHS’s commitment made in its Five Year Forward View to improve population health and integrate health and care services as new communities are built.
NHS England received 114 applications from local authorities, housing associations, NHS organisations and housing developers to take part in the programme. Following a rigorous selection process, the first ten sites to be included in the programme have been selected:
- Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire – 3,350 new homes on a former army barracks. A new care campus will co-locate ‘care-ready homes’ specially designed to be adaptable to the needs of people with long term conditions with a nurse-led treatment centre, pharmacy and integrated care hub.
- Cranbrook, Devon – 8,000 new residential units. Data suggests that Cranbrook has three times the national average of 0-4 year olds and will look at how prevention and healthy lifestyles can be taught in schools from a young age.
- Darlington – 2,500 residential units across three linked sites in the Eastern Growth Zone. Darlington is developing a ‘virtual care home’ offer where a group of homes with shared facilities are configured to link directly into a digital care hub, avoiding institutionalisation in nursing homes.
- Barking Riverside – 10,800 residential units on London’s largest brownfield site.
- Whyndyke Farm in Fylde, Lancashire – 1,400 residential units.
- Halton Lea, Runcorn – 800 residential units.
- Bicester, Oxon – 393 houses in the Elmsbrook project, part of 1300 new homes planned.
- Northstowe, Cambridgeshire – 10,000 homes on former military land.
- Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent – up to 15,000 new homes in the first garden city for 100 years.
- Barton Park, Oxford – 885 residential units.