Access to health in our towns

This report, written by Centre for Towns, focuses on the ageing of towns and the importance of having public policies that guarantee a suitability of services (i.e. doctors specialising on age related health issues, such as diabetes or obesity) and transport connections to these (i.e. that are accessible and fast). It offers a series of resources (i.e. maps) to explore access to these in different size places across the country.

Date added 17 August 2021
Last updated 17 August 2021

Villages and towns have grown older over the last two or three decades relative to our cities, and this is a trend expected to continue. An ageing population needs a series of public policies, including those in relation to transport. It is important to understand how and where the population is ageing in order to be able to come up with a response in terms of services needed, and transport networks that allow access to this.

Research conducted by Centre for Towns shows that people in cities have better access to local health services, and people in villages and smaller towns have much further to travel to get to their nearest hospital, GPs, dentists and pharmacies. Long journey times discourage visits to hospitals or doctors, which aggravates some of the illnesses.

This resource offers a series of maps and information on how easy it is for different places across England to access these services, to illustrate places that are being left behind and that will struggle further with the threat of an aging population. The maps show typical journeys to and from local health services in their own town or village.