A new public health white paper Healthy lives, healthy people: our strategy for public health in England was published by the Department of Health on 30 November 2010.
The Campaign for Greener Healthcare (now the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare) has been praised for developing a five year plan “to improve the health of staff and patients through access to green spaces. It aims to plant one tree per employee –over a million trees-on NHS land. As well as green spaces, good air quality and reducing noise pollution are important issues for public health and wellbeing.”
Excerpts from the white paper:
3.35 – Local government and communities will have new resources, rights and powers to shape their local areas. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will support local areas with streamlined planning policy that aligns social, economic, environmental and health priorities into one place. Health considerations are an important part of planning policy and DCLG will consider how to take this forward in the new National Planning Policy Framework.
3.36 – Access to green spaces is associated with better mental and physical health across socioeconomic groups. DCLG is working with Defra to create a new designation to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities and providing practical guidance to support community groups in the ownership of public spaces. It is intended that, through this new designation, people will have improved access to land, enabling them to grow their own food.
3.37 – Defra will also lead a national campaign to increase tree-planting throughout England, particularly in areas where increased tree cover would help to improve residents’ quality of life and reduce the negative effects of deprivation, including health inequalities. The charity Campaign for Greener Healthcare has developed a five year project to improve the health of staff and patients through access to green spaces. It aims to plant one tree per employee –over a million trees-on NHS land. As well as green spaces, good air quality and reducing noise pollution are important issues for public health and wellbeing. Defra will publish information about local air quality and noise levels, empowering local government and communities to take action.