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Halton to be trailblazer for new towns programme

‘Healthy New Towns’ programme Credit: NHS England

Halton Lea, in Runcorn has today been announced as one of ten areas across the country that NHS England will support as part of its ‘Healthy New Towns’ programme.

‘Healthy New Towns’ aims to help shape the way areas develop, so as to test creative solutions for the health and care challenges of the 21st century, including obesity, dementia and community cohesion.

NHS England is bringing together renowned clinicians, designers and technology experts to reimagine how healthcare can be delivered in these places, to showcase what’s possible by joining up design of the built environment with modern health and care services, and to deploy new models of technology-enabled primary care.

The initiative in Halton is being driven by Halton Borough Council and NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, with support from local GP’s, Bridgewater Community NHS Foundation Trust, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Mental Health), Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation (Acute Hospital), Halton and St Helens Voluntary and Community Action, Co-Production Group, Runcorn Shopping Centre, Homes and Communities Agency, developers, Manchester University Architecture School and NHS Innovation Agency.

The model, will use a ‘One Halton’ approach to care that puts people in control of their lives and responsibility for their own health, ensuring they know who to go to if they do need support and making sure that the system works for them, not against them.

Halton Lea, Runcorn was chosen as it has great potential as a thriving community hub, with new opportunities for social and community activities, healthy retail provision and integrated housing, health and social care provision. At the centre is the development of 800 new living spaces around Halton Lea, including new developments at Castle View House, East Lane House and Grosvenor House.

Halton’s bid was chosen from the 114 application made to NHS England.

Talking about the successful bid, Chief Executive David Parr said:

“Our vision is to make Halton Lea a connected, Healthy New Town – connected by its people; connected by its aspirations; connected by its environment; connected by technology and connected by place.

“With the support provided by NHS England, through this programme, we hope to attract and retain talented and gifted people to the area by creating the right housing and environmental offer; generating a physical environment conducive to encouraging active lifestyles - merging existing developments with an exciting innovative new build environment and prioritising the Health and Wellbeing of everyone in the community.”

– David Parr

Dr Cliff Richards, Chair of NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group added:

"This is an exciting opportunity to rethink the impact of the built environment on our health and well-being. How healthy could we be if the buildings in which we live and work, supported by our local amenities and green spaces all cohesively added positively to our health.

"This creates the possibility of building a community with a changed focus, allowing good health to be part of the fabric of everyone's life."

– Dr Cliff Richards