The NHS Alliance has issued a response to NICE’s public health draft guideline on
Excess winter deaths and morbidity and the health risks associated with cold homes.
Key points raised in the submission include:
- The impact of cold homes on people’s health and mortality is now proven and it is refreshing to see such an important matter being addressed by the NHS in such a comprehensive way. We are particularly pleased that the guidance emphasises treatment of the causes of ill health and mortality ie, how to make the cold housing warmer, rather than focus on the medical symptoms.
- We note that the guidance doesn’t make any reference to damp homes. We are interested as to why this is since there is also evidence that respiratory illnesses in particular are caused or exacerbated by damp homes. We suggest consideration is also given to this matter.
- The guidance could propose that local bodies use data to identify those most at risk of ill health or death from a cold home and make proactive efforts to remedy the problem. GP-held data on patient health and local authority held housing stock condition data are two key sources.
You can read the full submission here.
Merron Simpson, NHS Alliance health and housing lead said: “This new NICE guidance is a huge sign that NHS is taking the issue of cold homes seriously. We look forward to seeing its implementation on a wider scale through local health, housing and local authority partners working effectively together in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and excess mortality”.
Notes to editors
You can read NICE’s original document here.
NHS Alliance is the leading independent voice for providers of health and social care outside hospital. It is the only not-for-profit membership organisation to bring together frontline clinicians and organisations of all kinds in our communities – from general practice, community pharmacy to providers of housing and emergency services.
For more information visit www.nhsalliance.org
For further information, please contact Rebecca Riffel:
t: 020 8675 4779 or 24 / 7 media line: 07725 555030