Westminster Health Forum

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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

November 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


***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 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

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:


  • 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
    • the new lockdown with unlimited exercise permitted, and what is being learned from the way public spaces, communities and infrastructure have been used and 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
  • 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

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 Cities & Local Growth Unit; the Department for Education; BEIS; Defra; the National Audit Office and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from Access Community Trust; AHR Architects; Barton Willmore; BECG; Blackpool Council; Brio Leisure CIC; C3 Collaborating for Health; Canal & River Trust; Design Council; Dunhill Medical Trust; Earth Trust; Ebbsfleet Development Corporation; Grosvenor; Hertfordshire County Council; HOK; King's College London; Lancaster University; Maidstone Borough Council; NIHR, NETSCC; Orbit Housing Association; Poverty Alleviation Scholarships Foundation; Preston City Council; Radian; Sedgemoor District Council; settle; South Cambridgeshire District Council; South Gloucestershire Council; St Ives EcoAction; Tendring District Council; The Fire Fighters Charity; University of West London; University of West London; Warwickshire County Council; Wealden District Council; West Midlands Fire Service; Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Woking Borough Council.


A press pass has been reserved by a representative from the HSJ.


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



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles