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GPs should identify patients who live in cold homes, says NICE

GPs should take steps to identify patients who live in cold homes, put this information in their records and ‘take action where necessary’, NICE has said.

NICE has proposed that GPs and other health or social care professionals should provide patients  – including those from vulnerable groups and their informal carers – with information about the potential problems associated with living in a cold home,.

The draft guidance is aimed at reducing preventable, excess winter death rates and pressure on health and social care services, and to tackle ‘fuel poverty’ and the risk of being disconnected from gas and electricity supplies.

Professor Mike Kelly, director of NICE’s Centre for Public Health, said: ‘Services to ensure people are warm enough at home already exist, but they are patchy across the country, and this lack of consistency makes it very difficult for professionals to know what support is available locally and how to get help for those who need it.’

‘This draft guideline covers people who are vulnerable to the cold, including those over 65, people with respiratory conditions such as children with asthma, and people with cardiovascular conditions.’

The draft guidance also recommends that health and wellbeing boards commission a ‘referral and co-ordination service’ to help vulnerable people in cold homes.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Finally, some common sense from NICE.

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  • and next, we should also check their cupboards are full of healthy and nutritious unprocessed foods...perhaps also organise a good meal out?!
    We know all know ills are being medicalised, mostly inappropriately, which is creating a society so dependent on 'healthcare' services, they are paralysed to engage common sense and apply self care measures!

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  • How do you implement this. I had £135 credit from British Gas, it was not credited to my account no matter how much I tired.

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  • I don't normally post anonymously, but my point is about my neighbours.
    I live in Blagdon, in a country lane of 200-400 year old stone built houses, full of elderly owner occupiers who have lived there most of their lives, sometimes generations in the same house. Most have no central heating, but may light fires, electric or fuel, during the winter. I'm only guessing but most eat well, either from their own gardens, or the local farm shop.
    One thing I've noticed since living here for over 20yrs now, very few of them even visit the doctor, or indeed, have anything wrong that would warrant a visit to the doctor. They don't seem to catch colds, spend all their time outside, and even if I offer a lift to the local shop, they would rather walk, and after all that seem to be the healthiest bunch of neighbours you could ever wish to meet.
    Could the same be said of those overly hot, double glazed, stuffed up roofs and walls, and sit and do nothing, old people's homes? I think not.

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  • NICE HAS GONE .........MAD! Is there no limit to this idiocy of what is expected for GPs to do?? How about the relatives of these people taking some responsibility for their loved ones?

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