Warm & Safe Wiltshire recognised as outstanding example of good practice
12 October 2021
Warm & Safe Wiltshire, our innovative partnership tackling cold homes and fuel poverty, has been recognised as an outstanding example of good practice in the influential policy report “Addressing the National Syndemic”. The report, a collaboration between PPP (Public Policy Projects) and the UCL Institute of Health Equity, aims to generate knowledge exchange about place-based actions to reduce health inequalities. It launched at the conservative party conference in October 2021.
Warm & Safe Wiltshire is a ground breaking partnership between CSE, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service helping people live in healthier, safer homes and reducing preventable excess winter death rates. Project caseworkers act as a single point of contact offering a varied support service to people needing help with energy bills and keeping their home warm.
Since 2015 to Sept 2021 we’ve supported over 7,000 households across Wiltshire and the Swindon council area.
CSE’s Paul Winney said; “Our Warm & Safe Wiltshire service is needed now, more than ever when many people are turning their heating on as we approach winter and millions across the UK are experiencing high energy bills as energy prices continue to rise.
“It’s amazing our work has been recognised as an example of best practice, we hope more local authorities will be inspired to learn more about partnership approaches to tackling fuel poverty in their areas. Historically, we’d struggled to engage the health service, however this project and our work with Wiltshire Council and wider partners has changed all of that. Many health professionals across the area now understand the link between health and cold homes.”
The Addressing the National Syndemic case study (see page 28) highlights the impact of partnership working to increase service uptake. The Warm & Safe Wiltshire project team connected energy advice experts with a large network across numerous teams within the local authority and other service providers. This meant more referrals for support and increased impact.
The team achieved this through engaging busy health sector workers, presenting a clear offer with benefits both for patients and the heath sector and improving understanding about the health impacts of cold homes exacerbates existing conditions.
The project has caseworkers embedded at the two main hospitals in Wiltshire helping support patients returning home, ensuring their home is warm and safe. The caseworkers also support health care staff with training to spot the signs of fuel poverty and the project has a Covid Recovery Fund providing heating improvements for vulnerable households and employing two trainees who are local young people in Wiltshire affected by the loss of opportunities due to Covid-19, supporting them with future employment skills.