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Meet the team: Halton Healthy New Town #HHNT


  • Gemma Ingham, Commercial Development Manager
  • Carl Mackie, Halton Healthy New Town Programme Manager

Overview – Halton Healthy New Town (HHNT)

In response to the Five Year Forward View to improve local health and integrate health and social care, we are building a connected Healthy New Town – connected by its people; connected by its aspirations; connected by its environment; connected by technology and connected by place. The development at Halton Lea, Runcorn, has the potential to regenerate the area into a thriving community hub, with new opportunities for social and community activities, healthy retail provision and integrated housing, health and social care provision.

Our ‘One Halton’ model of care and support is focused on enhancing services in the community and ensuring easy access to those services. We are focusing on developing a health and wellbeing ecosystem, with people at the heart of it, and an infrastructure that supports wellbeing and health.


The Challenge

To support the HHNT ethos with connected technology and be accessible and responsive to the local population.


The Proposal

Connective messaging uses technology that the majority of the population own – a mobile phone.  The project would work in collaboration with local organisations (Health, Social Care, Community, Voluntary) to connect with their target audience via text messages to their mobile phones.  The service would be strictly ‘opt in’ and ‘opt out’ so the audience will not be contacted without permission. 

 Examples of previous organisations/groups that have used connective messaging:

  •          Drug and alcohol treatment agency
  •          Community allotment
  •          Regeneration Charity
  •          Community Mental Health Network
  •          Carers for people with dementia

Examples of messages that can be sent are:

  •          Reminders of local events
  •          Alerts for temporary employment opportunities
  •          Sharing meeting dates for support groups
  •          Health and wellbeing tips and support
  •          Signposting for local services and opportunities


Using a relatively simple and cost effective way of connecting health and social care with the local population will support the HHNT ethos and vision.  The proposal has a low investment cost for our local population – mobile text messaging is a commonplace activity requiring no specialist equipment, outside of a basic mobile telephone. The project will aim to streamline data collection to inform the ongoing development of the service i.e. what areas are successfully building a community through the use of mobile messaging.  Also, what cohorts of people are being missed by traditional communications and how can the messaging be adapted to be more inclusive.  With the ongoing development of HHNT the connective messaging has the potential to encompass all of the available providers and residents to build a cohesive and connected hub.

How you can contribute

  • Comments welcome - Any initial pros / cons you think we could consider?
  • Lessons learned - Have you participated in or seen this type of mobile messaging before?
  • Evidence - Are you aware of large scale success stories and tangible outcomes?
  • Personal experience - would you or have you benefitted from a similar service?

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