Elderly to receive 'MoT' grants to improve homes in bid to save NHS money

Posted on Mar 24 2018 - 7:59pm by admin

Cold housing can lead to chronic conditions, like lung and heart diseases and poor mental health, as well as heart attacks, strokes and falls.

As part of the NHS’s Integrated Care System, residents who qualify will be offered stair lifts, boilers, insulation, heating and grants.

Among the local authorities in England taking part in the scheme – which sees the NHS share budgets and resources with councils – is Wycombe District in Buckinghamshire.

Medics and social care providers refer patients for stair lifts or central heating as part of their “Healthy Homes on Prescription” project.

Pensioners or people with a long-term chronic health condition can apply for grants of up to £5,000 without means testing to help prevent hospital admissions and GP visits.

A King’s Fund and National Housing Federation report put the NHS cost of poor housing at £1.4billion a year.

It states that reducing excess cold in homes would save the NHS around £848million a year and reducing all falls in the home could save it £435million.

Three-quarters of deaths related to falls are at home.

Simple home modifications such as installing handrails, outside lighting and slip-resistant surfaces resulted in a 39 per cent drop in injuries and a 26 per cent cut in medical treatment.

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said: “Well-designed homes that are warm and hazard-free reduce the risk of accidents and falls as well as major cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalisations.

“That is why the NHS is working with our council, voluntary sector and housing colleagues who can make a huge difference to the lives of millions of our fellow citizens.”

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, at the Local Government Association, said: “Councils are determined to show benefits of cost-effective prevention work.”

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