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Warm Homes and the Health
Context – Partnerships and
Strategies
Mervyn Kohler
Special Adviser, Age UK
16 July 2013
A growing engagement from DH and
PHE
Public Health Outcomes
Framework:
• Indicators of the
incidence of fuel
poverty in 20...
Warm Homes Healthy People
Fund
Two years (2011/12 and 2012/13) – a
prize pot of £20m to be bid for
• Upper tier LAs leadin...
WHHP – a remarkable success
Feedback from participating Age UKs
• Raised awareness of the health risks of cold
• Enabled m...
Specific activities
• Electric blanket testing (and free replacements)
• Proactive phone calls during periods of extreme c...
“A highlight of the WHHP funding
criteria is the demand for co-operation
across the voluntary sector.
There is a danger th...
WHHP – the downside
 A ‘one-off’ offer
 The bidding arrived very late to plan
for the winter
 The plans submitted perfo...
Joint Health and Wellbeing
Strategies
• An analysis of the 122 Strategies (of
the potential 150) available in March
2013
•...
60 acknowledged the influence of fuel
poverty in their local community
25 made fuel poverty a priority
32 acknowledged excess winter deaths
as an issue
7 aimed to make excess winter deaths
a priority
51 (42%) mentioned neither fuel
poverty nor excess winter deaths
5 prioritised both fuel poverty and
excess winter deaths. What were
they doing?
• Bespoke programmes to offer housing advi...
What were they doing? (continued)
• Working with energy supply companies (and
companies offering insulation packages)
• Em...
Collective Switching
Collective switching schemes provide local
residents power to act as a collective
force, tapping into...
Fuel Poverty: a Framework for
Future Action (July 2013)
• ‘work in progress’
• A rehearsal of current programmes in
hand
•...
The proposals
• A new definition of fuel poverty
• New targets
• New timeframes
• A new fuel poverty strategy
The blindingly obvious
Green Deal and ECO is the flagship to deliver
improved energy efficiency in homes
• Local involveme...
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Warm Homes and the Health Context – Partnerships and Strategies

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Mervyn Kohler, Age UK

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Warm Homes and the Health Context – Partnerships and Strategies

  1. 1. Warm Homes and the Health Context – Partnerships and Strategies Mervyn Kohler Special Adviser, Age UK 16 July 2013
  2. 2. A growing engagement from DH and PHE Public Health Outcomes Framework: • Indicators of the incidence of fuel poverty in 2010 (Domain 1.17) • Excess Winter Deaths (Domain 4.15) The Chief Medical Officer’s annual report (2011) noted that if a sufficient level of warmth in the home is not maintained, there is a risk to health, which would have a negative effect on hospital admissions
  3. 3. Warm Homes Healthy People Fund Two years (2011/12 and 2012/13) – a prize pot of £20m to be bid for • Upper tier LAs leading the bid • Must show involvement and collaboration with the Voluntary and Community Sector
  4. 4. WHHP – a remarkable success Feedback from participating Age UKs • Raised awareness of the health risks of cold • Enabled more home energy and safety assessments • Supported the provision of energy saving measures • Expanded the distribution of winter packs • Provided more benefits advice and assistance
  5. 5. Specific activities • Electric blanket testing (and free replacements) • Proactive phone calls during periods of extreme cold • Printing and distribution of localised information booklets • Free carbon monoxide detectors • Emergency shopping service • Stock of emergency food parcels for prolonged periods of cold weather • Cold weather alarms to warn when living temperatures fall below 21 degrees
  6. 6. “A highlight of the WHHP funding criteria is the demand for co-operation across the voluntary sector. There is a danger that if funding ceased and was not available next winter, these bonds would break as there would be no more need for co- operation. Competition over limited, local resources would become the norm.”
  7. 7. WHHP – the downside  A ‘one-off’ offer  The bidding arrived very late to plan for the winter  The plans submitted perforce built on work already in hand, and there was no time to innovate
  8. 8. Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies • An analysis of the 122 Strategies (of the potential 150) available in March 2013 • Made an empirical assessment of the weight given to fuel poverty and the problems of living in cold homes
  9. 9. 60 acknowledged the influence of fuel poverty in their local community 25 made fuel poverty a priority
  10. 10. 32 acknowledged excess winter deaths as an issue 7 aimed to make excess winter deaths a priority
  11. 11. 51 (42%) mentioned neither fuel poverty nor excess winter deaths
  12. 12. 5 prioritised both fuel poverty and excess winter deaths. What were they doing? • Bespoke programmes to offer housing advice • Promoting the development of new housing suitable for older people • Access to energy advice • Help with fuel debt – debt advice services • Helplines
  13. 13. What were they doing? (continued) • Working with energy supply companies (and companies offering insulation packages) • Emergency help: repairs, emergency heaters, electric blankets, warm clothes • Solihull – Home Energy Efficiency and Affordable Warmth Strategy 2009, addressed to social and private landlords, consumers and developers
  14. 14. Collective Switching Collective switching schemes provide local residents power to act as a collective force, tapping into community spirit while helping to reduce fuel poverty. 25 local authorities have set up or are in the process of developing such schemes, but many do not reach numbers of vulnerable people due to lack of internet access which is often needed to sign up.
  15. 15. Fuel Poverty: a Framework for Future Action (July 2013) • ‘work in progress’ • A rehearsal of current programmes in hand • Strong recognition of fuel poverty and cold homes as a serious health issue • For the future:  Data sharing  Local advocacy
  16. 16. The proposals • A new definition of fuel poverty • New targets • New timeframes • A new fuel poverty strategy
  17. 17. The blindingly obvious Green Deal and ECO is the flagship to deliver improved energy efficiency in homes • Local involvement is the key to improving homes, but the Green Deal and ECO are market-led • Local involvement works – see WHHP • Leadership from Health and Wellbeing Boards is essential

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