Warm Homes trial cuts GP visits by 60%
Elmhurst welcomes a new study that clearly links warmer homes to improving people’s health. A trial has taken place in Sunderland allowing family doctors to ‘prescribe’ double glazing, boilers and insulation to people living in cold and damp homes, which has in turn produced savings for the NHS.
The findings for the families that took part in the trial are that over the past 18 months there was; a 60% reduction in the number of GP appointments required; A&E attendances reduced by 30% and emergency admissions to A&E by 25%.
Gentoo Group (a North East Housing Firm) who helped run the trial with the Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CGC), have also ran similar trials with Nottingham City Homes and Bangor University.
Gentoo Group’s Paul Burns, who has been overseeing the research projects, said: “The findings to date for both Gentoo’s boiler on prescription and warm homes for health research projects demonstrate that improving resilience to fuel poverty can deliver positive benefits to the people involved and measurable reductions in demand to all areas of the National Health Service.”
Tim Ballard, vice-chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The link between energy efficiency measures that improve the quality of homes or buildings and the health impacts such measures generate is a new field of investigation but a growing body of evidence supports the claims that energy efficiency measures have positive impacts on the health of some of the most vulnerable of our patients.”
As leading advocates of energy efficiency in people homes, Elmhurst welcomes the connection between people health and the efficiency of their home. The vital angle of health savings just gives further reasons to push the agenda for warmer and more efficient homes, eradicating fuel poverty and giving the UK population, the 21st Century housing stock we all deserve.
Stuart Fairlie – Head of Technical
For more information: http://buildpositive.net/2016/03/15/warm-homes-trial-cuts-gp-visits-by-60/