latest health care news

03.03.15

GPs to start ‘prescribing’ boilers for patients in cold homes

GPs across England begin prescribing boilers, insulation and double glazing to fuel-poor patients whose condition is exacerbated by living in a cold home.

Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Davey is set to announce £3m funding to pave the ground for a scheme to run across England at a conference in London today.

Cold weather is thought to cost the NHS around £1.5bn a year, exacerbating conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, heart and lung disease, kidney disease and mental health problems.

The £3m will be used to build systems to help doctors decide whether patients qualify for home improvements. The trial scheme will build on 73 small pilots currently running around the country, including a programme in Sunderland that has cut GP and outpatient visits by a third.

Davey told the Guardian he has the support of the health secretary and the health budget would contribute to the national expansion of the programme on completion of a successful trial.

“We want to liberate health spending to deal with the root causes of ill health, not deal with the symptoms,” said Davey. “I’ve met Jeremy Hunt to talk about it, we’ve had a group of officials working across Whitehall. This is quite exciting stuff.”

Official figures show about 9,300 people died prematurely during the 2012-13 winter due to cold homes.

Dr Tim Ballard, vice chair of the RCPG, said: “The Royal College of GPs welcomes this new fuel poverty strategy. It marks an important turning point in acting on what we have known for some time: that cold homes contribute to the most vulnerable people being unhealthy and can even be lethal for them.

“The new strategy provides a long-term framework in which the health sector has a vital role to play, in partnership with government. The new funding for health-related pilot projects is especially needed and will help build the case for more investment to cut the cost of warmth and help reduce the burden of cold homes on the health service.”

(Image source: Liberal Democrats)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

07/12/2019Mike Farrar, Swim England - Last Word

Mike Farrar Chairperson of Swim England Would you talk us through... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

17/02/2020Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership: Hope

Independent consultant and strategic advisor Dean Royles continues his series on The Unappreciated Qualities of Leadership. You can find links to his previous pieces here. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >