Online House Hunter: The UK’s health spots
THIS will be of little consolation to my niece currently suffering from tonsillitis, but Wokingham is the healthiest place to live in the United Kingdom. She lives in this Berkshire town of which Wikipedia declares “the local accent could be described as a blend of traditional London Cockney, influenced by aspects of West Country pronunciation”. Really?
My source for the claim that it is healthiest borough in the UK comes from the latest Halifax Quality of Life survey which tells that 95.5 per cent are in good health. And the town comes third in the overall quality of life rankings, just behind Hart and Elmbridge (though Wokingham has been number one in the past).
It is probably unlikely that anyone is going to move to Wokingham just for their health but moving to, or staying in, large cities with easy access to major hospitals is a priority for those in poor health or those worried about their health as they get older. Rural living has its benefits but regular two or three-hour round trips for even basic medical procedures can be tiresome. And in this age of ’super hospitals’, rural can mean even large towns.
Deciding where to live based on the proximity of a hospital or other health service is not an exact science but there is fortunately plenty of online information to help you. My old favourite, the Sustrans map will show at a glance the health facilities near to your intended home. And it will even show the public transport available to help you get there.
Choice is one of the buzz words in the NHS and if you’ve just moved home and are looking for dentists, GPS and the like then the NHS choices health servcies page is the place to start. Access to NHS hospitals and which is best for various treatments is through the NHS choice home page.
Finally, for those needing to survive in rural Britain you have a charity fighting your corner: The Institute of Rural Health. There are some other links below.
- Independent property search engine
- Independent property section
- Independent health section
- NHS Choices
- Department of Health
- NHS Scotland
- Action for Communities in Rural England
- Community Hospital Association
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