Fuel Poverty

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons am ar 5 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The Government’s 2021 fuel poverty strategy recognised that warm homes can help to reduce health inequalities and pressure on the NHS. That is a key reason why we are delivering a package of cost support worth £3,700 per household on average from 2022 to 2025 and investing heavily in fuel efficiency.

Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

The recent Institute of Health Equity Marmot report highlighted the negative effects of living in cold and uninsulated homes, including respiratory and circulatory diseases and hampered lung and brain development in children. Last year, the Energy Systems Catapult and a number of NHS providers ran a trial of warm homes prescriptions, with NHS practitioners identifying vulnerable patients and supporting them with their energy needs. I think that the Secretary of State has accepted the link between cold homes and health outcomes. If that is the case, are the Government considering expanding this approach, or looking for alternative ways in which the health system and fuel poverty prevention can go hand in hand?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

The hon. Gentleman is right to say that a number of local warm homes prescription schemes have offered additional support to help people with health vulnerabilities to stay warm and well. Such schemes are excellent examples of local collaboration between the NHS, local government and other partners—tailored, of course, to the local needs of their areas—and I would be interested to see whether other parts of the NHS choose to take up these sorts of ideas in the future.