Prevent illness and premature deaths by tackling cold homes says NICE

New national quality standards for health service published

4 March 2016

Hospital managers and social care providers should make sure people are going back to a warm enough home when they are discharged. And GPs and other health professionals should make sure that people with health problems associated with a cold home are receiving tailored help from a local single-point-of-contact expert service.

These are two of six new quality standards for the NHS and others laid down by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and published today (4 March 2016).

The publication comes one year after NICE published guidance on preventing illness and premature deaths by tackling cold homes, together with a substantial review of the evidence to justify action.

CSE’s Chief Executive Simon Roberts was an expert advisor to NICE on tackling cold homes and a member of the committee which drew up the quality standards. “The new quality standards establish clear actions for the health service to ensure vulnerable people get the help they need to keep safely warm at home. Under-heated, cold homes are a major cause of ill-health and contribute significantly to winter pressures on the NHS, he said.

Simon added that, In its 2015 guidance, NICE stated that the health service should be far more involved in solving this problem. These new standards set out even more clearly how that can be done and how impact and effectiveness can be measured.

NICE describes its quality standards as “a concise set of prioritised statements designed to drive measurable improvements in the three dimensions of quality – patient safety, patient experience and clinical effectiveness – for a particular area of health or care.”

CSE will use these standards in our continuing work with the health service in BristolWiltshire and Somerset to put the NICE guidance into practice and deliver more integrated services to prevent illness by tackling cold homes.

The new quality standards can be downloaded from here.

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