How healthy is your town?

Healthy Access provides the data you need

The good news is that in general we all have a better chance of living into a healthy, active old age. However, whether we do or not is dependent on multiple factors, only some of which are within our own control. Of course we can make positive lifestyle choices about diet and exercise, but where we live and the services and facilities that are available there play just as significant a part in our overall well-being.

With a probable future health crisis looming, a new web site has been launched which will help to identify just how healthy a place your town is.

The Healthy Access Campaign web site,, has been developed by the well-established and successful, which was launched in 2013 with the aim of providing a fast booking service to certified and rated NHS and private dentists. Healthy Access is a natural extension of this, offering a web site that is simple to use and based on a range of scored factors that are proven to relate to health through quality of life.

The factors include ratings for GPs, hospitals and dentists, plus access to green spaces, cycling and walking facilities. These produce a combined score and both the individual ratings and the combined score can be downloaded as a badge by the user to be displayed on a web site.

The site is easy to use. Location statistics can be chosen by typing a town name into a text predictive search box or by hovering the cursor over a colour-coded regional map. You can just as easily check out the highest and lowest scores of an activity by selecting from a drop down menu.

Choosing the "Cycling" option reveals that the best rated places in England offering opportunities for cycling are the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge, whereas the London boroughs of Southwark, Camden and Westminster top the list for walking opportunities. Westminster, however, is amongst the lowest scoring places rated for ease of access to a GP.

In all, the data revealed by the site are valuable and thought-provoking. It's provided by a number of knowledgeable specialist partners such as Natural England and the Department of Health and is regularly updated by Healthy Access.

Clearly, the information available on the Healthy Access web site is of value to individuals with an interest in maintaining and improving their own healthy lifestyles. Moreover, it gives users the chance to comment about their own services, as well as influence local decision makers and providers.

The clearly presented and unambiguous research and statistics on Healthy Access will give you all that is required to find out just how healthy your town is - and to ensure that it maintains or improves on that status. Just visit the site and type in your town name. It's as simple as that.

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