Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for developing healthy places and communities - supporting local delivery and service providers, Healthy New Towns case studies, and priorities following COVID-19

Morning, Thursday, 12th November 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine next steps for developing healthy places for people to live in England.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials due to attend from MHCLG; DHSC; the Cabinet Office; DfE; BEIS; Defra; the NAO and the Welsh Government.

The discussion at a glance:

  • improving health and wellbeing through the built environment - latest thinking
  • Healthy New Towns - case studies from programme demonstrator sites
  • planning and designing healthy places - key issues including:
    • accessibility
    • developing standards and adapting existing building
    • supporting those in lower quality housing during COVID-19
  • creating healthy local food environments - engaging with communities and households and supporting affected businesses
  • supporting local delivery and local providers involved with creating and maintaining health places
  • reacting to changing use patterns and need during COVID-19 - and next steps for policy

The context at a glance:

The discussion takes place as the Government seeks to ensure the health and safety of communities, with:

  • Planning for the future  - the recently published white paper which sets out the government’s ambitions for England’s planning system and creating healthy communities and places
  • a sustained policy drive - aimed at improving the linkages between the built environment and health
  • COVID-19 - new priorities prompted by the impact of the pandemic across communities, and what has been learned from the way public spaces, communities and infrastructure have had to adapt
  • Green social prescribing pilots open for applications - part of a £4m scheme aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing in areas most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Areas for discussion:

  • planning:
    • promotion - the way forward for embedding health in planning, design and improving the quality of homes
    • implementation - the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the provision of funding, support and guidance that will be needed
    • learning - examining the healthy new towns demonstrator projects and what can be taken forward from these projects both in terms of partnership working and improving public health
    • the future - what next for planning powers and their use - looking at distribution and siting of fast food outlets, developing healthy high streets more widely, and HFSS product advertising 
  • strategy - the delivery of more healthy communities:
    • local health and wellbeing needs - identification, and developing innovative local approaches including planning and design to support strategies
    • partnerships - growing the relationships between business, research centres, investors, and local government and communities
    • development - priorities for effectively promoting and incentivising health and wellbeing, and how developers respond to changes in consumer aspirations for housing and development
    • community-based public health - taking a whole system approach and ways of scaling up good practice for a healthy local environment
  • learning from COVID-19 - latest thinking on how to build on positive developments in place-based health that have emerged amidst the tragic consequences of the pandemic:
    • track and trace - how methodologies and technology being developed can be used to maintain health within the community
    • maintaining improvements - in air quality and general health associated with improved air and noise quality achieved as a result of the lockdown
    • active travel - encouraging cycling into work and supporting wider active travel modes - with the Transport Secretary’s recent announcement of a £2bn package for cycling and walking
    • public transport - improving accessibility to and ensuring procedures are in place for those using public transport to do so safely
    • working from home - how the recent trend might translate to more flexible working as a norm, and what it could mean for healthier homes, offices and high streets going forward
    • green spaces - meeting growth in demand prompted by the lockdown and increasing their effectiveness in supporting exercise and healthy habits in the future

The policy background:

  • Putting Health into Place - from NHS England, looking at opportunities and learning from NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme
  • Raising accessibility standards for new homes - current MHCLG consultation considering focussing on how ensure suitable homes for older and disabled people
  • Planning for the future - the recently published government white paper on the future of England’s planning system, with a focus on promoting developments that will enhance the environment, health, and character of local areas
  • The National Planning Policy Framework - including a focus on planning policies and decisions to promote healthy and inclusive places
  • COVID-19:
    • a range of actions, including rapid alerts and local responses, managed reopening of public places
    • COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities - MHCLG advice on rights and responsibilities in housing for tenants, landlords and local authorities
  • The NHS Long Term Plan - with commitments to develop a Healthy New Towns Quality Standard incentivising health and wellbeing promotion
  • The Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s green paper - including updating buildings to prevent ill-health, as well as steps for improving air quality
  • Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On - with its focus on:
    • reducing levels of deprivation, and the variation experienced around the country, and tackling unhealthy high streets
    • improving air and housing quality
    • encouraging active travel and transport accessibility
  • The Health of the Nation: A Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives - the parliamentary report on how to meet the Government’s ambition of five extra years of healthy life

The agenda:

  • Improving health and wellbeing through the built environment
  • Case studies from the Healthy New Towns programme demonstrator sites:
    • Supporting partnership working across sectors
    • Prevention and improving public health
    • Promoting healthy communities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Planning and designing healthy places - accessibility, developing standards, adapting existing building, and supporting those in lower quality housing during COVID-19
  • Approaches to creating healthy local food environments, supporting affected businesses, and engaging with communities and households
  • Supporting local delivery and local providers - funding, identifying at risk groups and those with underlying conditions, and integrating services across housing, health and care
  • The future for developing healthy places, reacting to changing use patterns and need during COVID-19, and next steps for policy

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from MHCLG; the Department of Health and Social Care; the Cabinet Office; the Department for Education; BEIS; Defra; the National Audit Office and the Welsh Government.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of public policy, healthcare organisations and professionals, nutritionists, local authorities and community bodies, housing and other infrastructure providers along with their advisors and partners, planners, retail and marketing representatives, stakeholders in the food sector and the education system, academics and commentators, patient and parents representatives, charities and advocacy groups, together with reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Professor Sir Malcolm Grant

Chancellor, University of York and former Chair, NHS England

Keynote Speakers

Michelle Dawson

Managing Director, Community Services Company, Radian

Rachel Toms

Programme Manager, Housing and Health, Public Health England

Claire Pritchard

Chair, London Food Board and Chief Executive Officer, Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency

Councillor Heather Scott

Leader, Darlington Borough Council

Professor Sir Malcolm Grant

Chancellor, University of York and former Chair, NHS England

Councillor Susan Brown

Leader, Oxford City Council


Rt Hon the Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

former Shadow Spokesperson on Health and Social Care


Elli Thomas

Lead Programme Manager, Design Council

Roger Geffen

Policy Director, Cycling UK

Richard Mazuch

Director, Design, Research and Innovation, IBI Group

Ellen Halstead

Director of Strategy, Thamesmead Regeneration Programme, Peabody

Julia Thrift

Director, Healthier Place-making, Town and Country Planning Association

Sue Adams

Chief Executive, Care and Repair England

James Roach

Programme Director, Integrated Care, NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Caroline Culshaw

Head of Healthy Environment, Natural Environment Research Council

Councillor Asher Craig

Deputy Mayor, Communities, Equalities and Public Health, Bristol City Council

Dr Nichola Stefanou

Director, Clinical Practice, Home Group