What makes us well?

Determinants of health

It has long been understood that our health is determined by more than just what we eat and how often we see the doctor. Other factors, including those that impact our mental wellbeing, contribute to our overall health. Access to employment and education, the opportunity to improve ourselves and progress in our chosen career, are important in creating a sense of wellbeing and prosperity. Combine that with the benefits of good housing and environment, being physically active and socially connected, and it’s clear that where we live goes a long way to influencing our health.

Healthy New Town Programme

A national vision

In 2016 NHS England announced Cranbrook as one of ten demonstrator sites across England for its Healthy New Towns Programme. The initiative, supported by Public Health England, aims to develop and test new ways of working that would ensure health and wellbeing are at the heart of new communities.

By bringing together professionals in health, housing and planning, working collaboratively the programme is producing guidance and principles for future building developments nationally. The Cranbrook Healthy New Town is helping to design-in health & wellbeing to the built environment, develop new models of care and embed a whole community approach.

The sharing of what is learnt through the programme is paramount and being one of ten sites adds great value to the national vision. NHS England have distilled the learning from the demonstrator sites into 10 key principles which can be read here.

NHS England has now published its national guidance document Putting Health into Place – published as four documents below – and is designed to target a range of audiences and stages of the development process:

PHIP Executive Summary

Plan Assess Involve

Design Deliver Manage

Develop and Design Healthcare Services

This booklet shares some of the important background work that the Cranbrook Healthy New Town Programme has been working on to create the conditions for Cranbrook’s journey towards being a happy and healthy place.

Benefits for Cranbrook

HNT locally

As the first free standing town to be built in Devon since the middle ages, with more than 3 times the national average of 0-4 year olds and a very young population, Cranbrook presents an amazing opportunity for innovative ways of working together with residents to positively promote health and wellbeing. This will help to create the best conditions for people to thrive in all areas of life.

The HNT programme here has focussed specifically on ways to prevent ill health, and to enable people to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Designing-in where and how people and transport connect, and making play and leisure accessible for example, are some of the ways we can prevent obesity and frailty, reduce isolation and support positive mental health. 

Cranbrook HNT Team

The Healthy New Town Team was established in Cranbrook in December 2017 under Public Health at Devon County Council. Building on the foundations laid by East Devon District Council, and governed by an Executive Group chaired by Dr Virginia Pearson, the team have an ambitious plan to deliver various initiatives that will impact on the health and wellbeing of this growing community.

Collectively they bring a wealth of experience from public, private and volunteer sectors. Les Netherton, Programme Director, is a business specialist and has worked in local government for over 34 years. His background is in environmental health and radioactive waste safety, as well as private business. Louise Cole, Programme Manager, has previously worked in Community Development roles both nationally and internationally with a focus on children and families, and those with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities. Danielle Hamilton, Programme Administrator, comes from a communications and events background, and is also a local resident and school governor in Cranbrook.