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GPs refer patients for new boilers and home improvement grants

GPs can refer patients with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions for a grant to make home energy efficiency improvements under a scheme in the south of England.

Practices and other health professionals in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire have been asked to try to identify patients most at risk, assess if they are eligible and then make referrals so that patients receive energy advice and/or grants for home improvements.

The National Energy Foundation (NEF) is working with a number of local authorities - including NHS Oxfordshire CCG and NHS Buckinghamshire CCG - across the region to provide home energy checks and grants of up to £2,500 for energy-efficiency improvements where someone’s health is being adversely affected by living in a cold or damp home.

The funding for the scheme, including the grants, is being provided by the British Gas Energy Trust.

The project kicked off in January and runs for the entire 2016 calendar year

NEF project manager Alexandra Steeland told Pulse that so far about 75% of referrals made so far have come from GPs, which have been prompted by patient comments about damp or cold living conditions or the GP asking patients about their home if they have recurring respiratory illnesses, for example.

She added: ‘The money could be used for boilers, insulation, damp work or for smaller projects like heating controls, draught-proofing, ventilation, or putting in LED lights.’

Ms Steeland says she hopes to extend the project if further funding is secured.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested in December 2014 that GPs could prescribe lunch clubs and damp treatment to their patients as part of a more ‘holistic’ approach to commissioning.

Please note, this article was changed at 17:30 on 2 March 2016 to say Buckinghamshire, not Bedfordshire

Readers' comments (15)

  • Has anyone heared of SOCIAL SERVICES??!!

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  • Is it April first yet?

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  • and what has this to do with the price of fish?

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  • Anonymous | Sessional/Locum GP24 Feb 2016 4:41pm

    Has anyone heared of SOCIAL SERVICES??!!

    Yes, but they are about to be disbanded because of austerity measures. GPs will be taking over!

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  • shame on the GP's who have colluded with this GANFYD nonsense. There must have been at least 3 of them (or maybe one bloke made 3 referrals) as they made 75% of the referrals; Perhaps his brother-in-law is a plumber?
    I was asked this week to write a letter to the council to demand a dishwasher for a family who think the council tax should pay for their dishes to be washed. Don't join in with this stuff. Domestic appliances are not my job

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  • Does no one in charge see the obvious inflation in eligibility criteria that will occur such that no one will be allowed to apply for these schemes unless they have a go letter!

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  • to my NHS employer

    Please put this in the contract and price of the extra work will be at BMA rates. time permits, In the business they call it a DES or a LES or what ever next.

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  • This Bedfordshire GP wont be participating in such nonsense.

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  • Just when you think you have heard it all,someone,somewhere proves you wrong.

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  • What is wrong with this idea? If it helps prevent a person with a long-term condition needing treatment surely it's a good thing for both the person and the practice.

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