In September 2015, NHS England and Public Health England launched an ambitious new initiative to put health at the heart of new neighbourhoods and towns across the country. They were looking for partners to:
- develop at scale new and more effective ways of shaping new towns, neighbourhoods and strong communities that promote health and wellbeing, prevent illness and keep people independent; and
- show what is possible when we radically rethink how health and care services could be delivered. This will support the New Models of Care programme (outlined in the NHS 5 Year Forward View) by adding to the learning about how health and care services could be integrated to provide better outcomes at the same or lower cost.
On 1 March 2016, Simon Stevens, NHS England's CEO, announced that of the 114 bids received, ten sites have been given the go ahead to create 'healthy new towns'. They include:
- Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire - 3,350 homes on a former army barracks, including "care-ready homes" adapted for people with long-term conditions
- Darlington - 2,500 homes across three linked sites in the town's "eastern growth zone", including a "virtual care home"
- Cranbrook, Devon - 8,000 homes, with healthy lifestyles taught in schools from a young age. Cranbrook is already thought to have three times the national average of under-fives
- Ebbsfleet Garden City, Kent - up to 15,000 homes in the first garden city for 100 years
- Barking Riverside - 10,800 homes on London's largest brownfield site
- Bicester, Oxfordshire - 393 houses in the Elmsbrook project, part of 13,000 planned homes
- Northstowe, Cambridgeshire - 10,000 homes on former military land
- Whyndyke Farm in Fylde, Lancashire - 1,400 homes
- Barton Park, Oxford - 885 homes
- Halton Lea, Runcorn - 800 homes
Jeremy Porteus, Housing LIN Director said:
"We look forward to working with the team at NHS England and local partners to share the learning from the sites through our Health Exchange and regional leadership sets".