Our letter to Health and Well Being Boards in response to the NICE Excess Winter Deaths and Illnesses Guidelines Report
Every year around 25,000 people die in England due to cold homes and the Department of Health has estimated that there is the equivalent of seven unplanned hospital admissions for each death.
We are writing to you because on 4th March the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued its first national guideline on “Excess winter deaths and morbidity and the health risks associated with cold homes”. The guideline seeks to utilise your enormous strength as a Health & Wellbeing Board in bringing together partners across public health, primary care, social care, housing and social services.
In particular the guideline recommends that:
• you establish a single point of contact health and housing referral service in each area; and
• you place an expectation on frontline professionals across housing, health, social care and the voluntary sectors to refer those at risk from cold homes to this service
We are writing to you on behalf of the thousands of households who depend on our campaign for a warm and well lit home to ask that you review the guideline with a view to adopting the above recommendations locally.
We have been asked by our supporting group of Parliamentarians to compile a table of responses from Health and Wellbeing Boards to these guidelines. We will publish this table in June 2015 and so we would be very grateful if you could respond to us before 1st May with an update on your progress in implementing these guidelines (we will give positive recognition to any Board that has included the guidelines as part of the agenda for a board meeting in 2015).
A number of our member local authorities and their partners have already successfully implemented such programmes and we are very happy to introduce you to them if that would be of assistance.
We look forward to hearing from you again soon.
Hugh Goulbourne, Chair
National Right to Fuel Campaign