NHS plans estates with anti-trip pavements and fewer takeaways
Ten new housing developments designed to help Britons live longer by staving off obesity and dementia are being pioneered by the NHS.
The healthy areas will trial a range of different measures, for example some will ban takeaway outlets from opening near schools, while others are planning to install signs prompting the public to walk rather than drive.
Measures will also include pavements with special surfaces to prevent falls, and 1960s-themed cafes to help elderly people with dementia feel more at home.
The plans will be announced today by Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, and eventually 170,000 Britons will live in one of the ten estates.
The health chief is hoping they will become the blueprint for all new residential areas, with the aim of preventing ill-health across different generations.
Last year, NHS England invited local authorities, builders and health service clinical commissioning groups to submit proposals for healthy housing developments. They offered to provide any successful bids with public health and town planning expertise to help complete their plans.
Today in a speech at the Kings Fund think-tank in London, Mr Stevens will confirm that ten plans have been accepted.
He will discuss the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles – warning that only a fifth of children play outside compared to three-quarters of their parents when they were younger.
Mr Stevens will also point out that a lack of exercise contributes to one in six deaths, and costs the economy £7.4billion a year. Two-thirds of Britons are overweight or obese, making them far more likely to develop conditions such as strokes, dementia and heart disease.
He will describe the housing experiment as a ‘golden opportunity for the NHS to help promote health and keep people independent’, adding: ‘We want children to have places where they want to play with friends and can safely walk or cycle to school – rather than just exercising their fingers on video games.