A charity has made fuel poverty recommendations to the government and called for an increase in public health funding.
National Energy Action (NEA) said previous fuel poverty guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) needs to be put into action to fight fuel poverty in the UK.
NICE’s aims include reducing preventable winter deaths, helping vulnerable people stay healthy and reducing pressure on health and social care services. NICE also identified the risk of being disconnected from gas and electricity needs to be reduced and the energy efficiency of homes must improve.
The NEA said local authorities’ health and wellbeing boards need to be more accountable and work as part of a national system to achieve these goals.
It added the boards need to thoroughly plan for winter scenarios, provide single health and housing points of contact and organise processes to identify vulnerable hospital patients.
It suggests responsibility lies with the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS to consider how these boards can move from a co-ordination role to a place where they can directly deliver high quality and cost effective health and housing services.
The NEA says Public Health England should find and promote examples where fuel poverty is being tackled so the same techniques can be used elsewhere.
ELN has contacted BEIS, Public Health England and the Department of Health for a statement.