Prevention in health and social care: healthy places

HoC report cover

This House of Commons Committee report makes a number of recommendations to government on preventative measures that can contribute to healthy placemaking, including in relation to housing conditions, developing healthier homes,  health promotion and integrated care, town planning and tacking wider health inequalities in the built environment.

It recognises that "places where people live—homes, communities and neighbourhoods—affect their health and wellbeing substantially. Place, health inequalities and the likelihood of developing preventable health conditions are inextricably linked. People from less well-off groups, and those who live in less well-off neighbourhoods, have a much higher likelihood of developing life-limiting health conditions and associated comorbidities, and of dying prematurely from the effects of those conditions."

Drawing on a range of evidence presented to its Inquiry, the Committee makes a number of important recommendations. They include:

  • We recommend the Government proceeds without delay in the consultation necessary to update the Decent Homes Standard for the social rented sector and in implementing a Decent Homes Standard for the private rented sector.
  • We recommend the Government consult on both the content of existing design and space standards as they relate to health, and on the implications of making such standards mandatory for new dwellings - both for developments requiring standard planning consent, and for both householder and change of use PDR developments.
  • We recommend DHSC work with NHS England and existing networks and providers to develop a national strategy for social prescribing.

The report also highlights the importance of planning for 'health neighbourhoods' as well as the impact of poor quality and unhealthy homes such as homes that cannot be adapted for disabled people or older residents.