Barton Healthy New Town logo

Barton Healthy New Town (BHNT) is one of ten sites chosen as part of NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme.

The programme aims to create innovative and sustainable ways for new developments to improve health and wellbeing in communities.

Barton Healthy New Town was showcased at the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities Conference in October 2018.

The overall aim of the project is: All Barton residents (Barton and Barton Park) have an equal opportunity to achieve good physical and mental health outcomes. 

NHS England funded the project from 2016 until March 2019. The Barton Healthy New Town Delivery Group are continuing to meet to sustain and embed the work from the programme within existing and new communities in Barton.

The Barton project involves three different work areas:

  • built environment
  • new models of care
  • community activation

You can also watch our video series to find out more about the programme and its impact on residents. We have four videos available to watch, covering different aspects of the programme:

Barton Healthy New Town project model diagram

Built environment

In terms of Barton's built environment, we looked at ways in which investments could improve access to services, support, and preventative interventions. This has included:

  • commissioning a health and wellbeing research project between 2016 and 2017 - this provided an up-to-date level of baseline data about health and wellbeing in Barton
  • enhancing health opportunities by producing a health-enabling masterplan for Barton Park
  • major refurbishment of the Neighbourhood Centre, and expanding the GP surgery to cater to the increasing population
  • development of a way-finding project, which includes three new dementia-friendly trails, linking existing Barton with the new development

The project has had a permanent impact on planning policy, with the City Council including a policy within the draft Oxford Local Plan 2036 stipulating that ‘for development proposals of more than 9 dwellings or 1000m2  the Council will require a health impact assessment to be submitted to include details of implementation and monitoring’.

New models of care

Throughout the project, we have also looked at new ways of working with healthcare professionals to improve health outcomes in Barton. This has included:

  • developing a proactive population health management model with Hedena Health and The Manor Surgeries - this involves contacting patients with long term conditions, and promoting the specific benefits of attending community-based activities
  • supporting, enhancing and extending social prescribing into a second surgery
  • producing an asset map of current service provision to identify gaps
  • trialling a new ‘Team Around the Patient’ model for high-users of healthcare and public services

Community activation

We have also focused on encouraging innovation and collaboration within the existing community. Taking a community asset-based approach has been vital in getting the widest possible range of people involved, and in encouraging community ownership of the programme. This has included:

  • funding a range of community-led activities through a Barton-specific grants programme - projects funded include an Appointment Buddies scheme, a breakfast club for children and young people, and the installation of a Community Cupboard to improve Food Bank provision
  • delivering training sessions to local professionals and community leaders on topics such as mental health awareness, food poverty, and Identification and Brief Advice for smokers and alcohol users
  • continual community engagement around services and facilities developed through the project


The team for Barton Healthy New Town combines practitioners from the City Council, Grosvenor (partners in the joint venture delivering Barton Park), Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Oxfordshire County Council Public Health, Hedena Health and The Manor Surgery. The project has also had input from Councillors, community groups and Barton residents. You can watch our Impact on residents video to hear how the residents involved in the project have been affected.

The structure below was in place during the NHS England funded period of the project and is now being reviewed and updated by the Delivery group team.

Barton Healthy New Town partners diagram

Barton Healthy New Town Grant Programme

Through the NHS England Healthy New Towns programme, Oxford City Council and its partners awarded a total of £30,000 to various projects. These projects have helped us to learn more about health inequalities in Barton and how best to tackle these issues. 

The grants programme is now closed, but you can download a list of grants awarded in September 2016.

More information

Download our Barton Health New Town project documents.

Download our Investing in Barton exhibition boards.

Contact the Communities Team - Barton

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