Work has been ongoing in Warwickshire for a number of years to reduce the risk that cold weather poses to health, including causing health complications for people with heart and lung conditions, as well as having a negative impact on mental wellbeing. Every year, detailed planning takes place prior to the winter to put in place measures to minimise the impact of cold weather on the population and on health and social care services. Part of this involves communicating information to frontline health and social care services to ensure they are protecting their most vulnerable patients or service users, and that key messages are being conveyed to the public. Campaign work towards keeping people warm and well includes short term interventions, such as ensuring eligible persons receive their flu jabs, and long term interventions, such as financial support and guidance around insulating houses and switching energy suppliers. Similar types of preparation also take place for hot weather.
Fuel poverty is an important public health problem, with 10.9% (25,271) of households in Warwickshire having a higher than average energy bill, which would leave them below the official poverty line. In small areas in Rugby, Warwick district and Nuneaton and Bedworth, over 25% of households are in this position . Understanding where these problems lie, helps us target interventions to support those most in need. The Public Health Intelligence Team, with the Coventry Insight Team, have produced a presentation which highlights the national and local issues related to fuel poverty in Coventry and Warwickshire. The presentation was given at the Coventry and Warwickshire Fuel Poverty conference on September 22nd 2015 and can be viewed here. An epidemiological briefing note has also been put together which shows local maps of the most fuel poor areas in Warwickshire. To view the epidemiological briefing note, click here. As part of the Warm & Well contract in Warwickshire, Act on Energy have been commissioned as the single point of contact for energy advice and support. Their advice line number is: 0800 988 2881. For more information on energy how to save money on energy bills please visit: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/blog/energy-advice-6-need-know-tips-help-you-save-money.