Healthy Places, Settings and Communities

Good health starts with the environment in which we live, learn, work and play. Improving these places and communities will enable more people to live healthier lives for longer and reduce the unfair gap between the most and least healthy.

A strong, growing economy in Hampshire will provide the quantity and quality of employment opportunities for the local population. This is important as many health outcomes for us, and those we care for, improve incrementally as incomes rise. However, to achieve increased productivity and growth, we need to invest in healthy places and people, so that everyone can participate.

Similarly, strong social relationships or, conversely, stressful living conditions, can impact on our mental and physical health. Good urban design, planning, transport and volunteering opportunities can help to encourage a more active lifestyle, increase positive social interactions and improve health.

As a local government organisation Hampshire County Council is well placed to work with similar organisations to influence and address these environmental, economic and social drivers for health.

Our Areas of Focus

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Our Ambitions

A good transport system is essential for good health and by bringing our skills together for the best outcomes we will:

  • Increase capacity and capability to incorporate public health approaches:
    • into the work of Centre for Active Travel Excellence
    • to support travel planning and community participatory approaches
  • deliver the shared health, environment, economy and transport agenda, focusing on improving air quality
  • encourage inactive people to become more active using evidence-based behaviour change approaches
  • share the council’s vision for active travel with our health partners so they can play their role in supporting this.

Our changing climate has implications for our health, impacting everything from the air we breathe to the quality and availability of our food and water. Many of the impacts to health are avoidable and actions to mitigate impact often have other benefits for health and for the environment. To help achieve this we will support Hampshire’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.

Planning for health means creating spaces and places that encourage healthier choices.  Hampshire enjoys a unique natural environment of blue and green spaces, and we will:

  • support spatial planning to understand and develop the best way to improve people’s health, including using this to design healthier schools
  • implement Air Quality guidance and Supplementary Planning Documents with Hampshire’s Districts and Boroughs
  • take the lead with health colleagues to address how planning and place can improve health, using a ‘whole system approach’ 

Where we learn, work and play can support us to be healthy, so we will:

  • deliver a staff wellbeing programme which addresses those issues which are most important for the health of our workforce and local population.
  • use school surveys to:
    • understand the needs of children, young people and staff
    • help us understand what staff need to feel knowledgeable, confident, skilled and able to support their students, and deliver Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) including Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)

Anchor institutions, due to their size and reach, can influence the health and wellbeing of local communities. We will:

  • promote the role Hampshire County Council can play as an anchor institution to improve health through:
    • setting an example as a good employer, widening access to employment and developing our staff to fulfil their potential
    • procurement and commissioning policies and practices
    • how our buildings and capital are used
    • how we develop, protect and care for the environment
  • work with Districts, Boroughs and other local organisations to strengthen social networks within communities, to improve residents’ health.
  • incorporate a public health approach within Community Safety programmes.

Having a safe, settled home is a fundamental building block of our health and wellbeing, whether we own our home or live in social rented or private rented accommodation. The condition and nature of homes, including factors such as stability, space, tenure and cost, can have a big impact on our lives, influencing our physical and mental wellbeing and health. We will:

  • Build on our work with partners to develop a system-wide approach to Healthy Homes

Within Hampshire, a healthy place means:

  • more people are walking and cycling, more often, contributing to lower rates of obesity and other health conditions
  • the health impacts of road transport and other emissions are reduced so that everyone can live, work and play in cleaner air
  • new housing developments are built so that residents can easily choose to walk, cycle and socialise
  • places are developed so that people can live independently and actively, improving the health and wellbeing of all now, and in the future
  • local communities, where people live, learn, work and socialise, will be recognised as places which enhance and sustain healthy lifestyles
  • everyone will be able to develop and use their own knowledge, skills, and resources to improve their health and independence
  • working with partners of the Health and Wellbeing Board, more organisations will act as an anchor institution, influencing good health for all within their local communities
  • anchor organisations will have well-developed mental wellbeing approaches to support their employees
  • local communities, passionate and knowledgeable about local health challenges and opportunities, will be encouraged and enabled to take part in decisions that shape their lives
  • More people are living in safe, stable and healthy homes