Excess winter deaths, fuel poverty and flu

Recommendations

  • All organisations should:
    • understand the synergy between their work programmes to address excess winter deaths, both directly and through the wider determinants of health
    • appreciate that preparation for the winter months is a year-round exercise and that early planning will increase the success of time-limited interventions such as flu vaccination
    • recognise the coexistence of vulnerable people on several existing client lists
  • The Warm Homes Healthy People officer should review the recommendations of the NICE guidance and the DH Health Inequalities National Support Team guidance and consider how they might be applied locally to improve integrated working and target interventions to those most at risk.
  • The WHHP officer should also consider whether an evidence review of case studies of innovative methods for addressing excess winter mortality, with support from Public Health, would be useful.  Its usefulness would be guided by the availability of funding for the implementation of any effective interventions identified.
  • Frontline workers in general practices and Central Bedfordshire Council should apply the principle of Making Every Contact Count to the issues of fuel poverty and flu vaccination with all their vulnerable clients.  Moreover, people receiving their flu vaccination should be prompted to consider whether they qualify for the help with fuel poverty and signposted appropriately, and vice versa.
  • Central Bedfordshire Council should establish the current state of progress against the HECA plan and devise a rescue plan for any interventions which are behind time or for which funding has been lost.
  • NHS England Hertfordshire and South Midlands area team and the locality teams and general practices of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group should work with Public Health to perform an in-depth health equity audit of flu vaccination uptake and implement best practice recommendations to increase coverage in the 2014/15 season.
  • Bedfordshire CCG and Central Bedfordshire Council should work with secondary care providers to encourage referrals into fuel poverty services, for example through A&E, Care of the Elderly wards and the Discharge Planning teams.
  • Public health should provide specialist advice and support to the Warm Homes Healthy People officer to evaluate the impact of these activities on proxy indicators of excess winter mortality.

Last updated Friday, 22nd April 2016