The link between living in cold and damp properties and adverse health is accepted by practitioners and researchers in housing, energy and health. However, interventions to address poor housing are usually undertaken by workers in the housing, environmental or energy sectors who may have had no prior relationships with the household.
A range of health and social care professionals come into contact with vulnerable households through services such as community nursing, social workers and physiotherapists and often develop relationships of trust. This is potentially a huge untapped resource in terms of detecting those in substandard housing at high risk of fuel poverty and poor health and raising awareness of practical steps to reduce their vulnerability.
Key research Question
The research aimed to develop a new resource so that it could be used to train health professionals to recognise fuel poverty and signpost households to sources of support.
Summary of activity
The training package was informed by consultations with frontline health workers and ongoing feedback and evaluation from participants. It covered a number of themes, including the condition of housing in Scotland, the financial and health costs of poor housing and sources of further information and support.