Healthy planning audit: South West Public Health/South Gloucestershire District Council

Project details

Duration: October 2010 – February 2011

Sponsor: Government Office for the South West

Project leader for WHO CC: Sarah Burgess

Project summary

This project involves the development of a methodology which will facilitate an audit of local authorities to establish the level of individual understanding about health and the degree to which health is considered and prioritised in processes and decisions.


Greater consideration of health in the planning process is crucial to tackling a range of public health issues, including sustainability, obesity, mental health and injury prevention. It is therefore essential that health is central to the planning process in order to facilitate truly healthy and sustainable communities. This project builds on a wider area of work that the WHO Collaborating Centre has been undertaking, providing support and training development and opportunities for public health professionals to engage with planning professionals.


The purpose of this project is to develop and pilot a methodology that can be used to get a better understanding of how health and well-being are integrated into planning and planning processes within a local authority and to establish to what degree individual local authority officers and members understand health issues and use existing guidance to help shape their judgment and decisions. Through undertaking this process opportunities to deliver better health either via improving individual knowledge or skills or via organisational processes and policies will be identified.

The audit will be undertaken in a single day, with interviews conducted with individuals across different departments and at all levels (including members). A report to senior management will then identify opportunities to deliver better health outcomes.