THE chief medical officer for England visited Oxfordshire to tour different health programmes taking place.

Professor Chris Whitty joined representatives from Oxfordshire County Council, Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, community groups, A2Dominion housing association and developer, Grosvenor, on a tour of projects across Oxford and Bicester that form part of the wider healthy place shaping programme.

The day included visits to Grosvenor’s Barton Park development including Barton Park School and Barton Sports Pavilion, in addition to Barton Community Centre, the Elmsbrook development in Bicester and Kingsmeadow.

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Councillor Liz Leffman, deader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “I am delighted to have been able to welcome Professor Whitty to the county to showcase our health place shaping work.

“Tackling inequalities and creating healthy communities is a top priority here in Oxfordshire, so it is great to have our work recognised by the Chief Medical Officer.”

Councillor Phil Chapman, Cherwell District Council’s portfolio holder for healthy communities, added: “Healthy place shaping is an approach which combines community activation, different models of care, and a built environment which promotes healthy life choices.

“The work that’s been done on this in Bicester for a number of years is leading the way in creating better outcomes for our residents, and we’ve since adopted it across the district.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been able to showcase this important work to the chief medical officer.”

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Councillor Louise Upton, Oxford City Council cabinet member for health and transport, said: “Barton Healthy New Town aims to create an innovative and sustainable way to improve health and wellbeing and was showcased at the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities Conference in 2018.

“The overall aim of is to give all residents equal opportunities to achieve good physical and mental health outcomes.

“As well as creating a built environment that has health and exercise designed in, we’ve got new ways of working with healthcare professionals, and we’re supporting the community to get more active in its own wellbeing.

“Grant funding has provided things like a breakfast club for children and young people and a Community Cupboard to improve food access, and there has been more targeted healthcare support for people with long-term conditions and high users of healthcare.”

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Dan Leveson, executive director for Oxfordshire at the NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, added: “Professor Whitty’s visit was an opportunity to showcase how we can improve people’s health and wellbeing through close working across health and care, schools, businesses, volunteers, housing developers and academics.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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