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HomeRenewablesBuilding Research EstablishmentFixing poor quality homes could save NHS over £1.5bn annually

Fixing poor quality homes could save NHS over £1.5bn annually

A new study indicates that improving dangerous housing conditions for older people in England could save the NHS and social care sector over £1.5 billion each year.

The research, conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better and the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), highlights the significant economic and health benefits of addressing poor housing.

The findings suggest that removing serious health and safety risks from homes occupied by those aged 55 and over could result in nearly £600 million in annual NHS savings.

Additionally, formal care costs for older individuals could be reduced by £1.1 billion annually by 2027.

The analysis also points to potential annual savings of £3.5 billion in unpaid care costs if the issue of poor-quality housing is resolved.

Previous research indicated that investing in home improvements could yield £19 billion in annual health benefits.

Older individuals, who live in about one-third of England’s non-decent homes, bear a disproportionate share of the NHS’s treatment costs for injuries or illnesses caused by poor housing conditions.

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) analysis estimates that repairing all Category 1 hazards in these homes would cost £4.6 billion, which would be recouped in under eight years through health savings.

Addressing specific issues like excess cold, responsible for up to 9,000 deaths annually in England and Wales, could save the NHS £325 million each year and repay repair costs within nine years.

Dr Nicola Brimblecombe, senior researcher at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre and lead of the LSE research project (CAPE), said: “Improving housing has the potential to improve people’s quality of life, reduce health and care inequalities, and save money for government as well as having wider benefits to the environment and society.

“Negative effects of poor housing for social care can be long-term – action to improve poor quality housing cannot come soon enough.”

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Fixing unsafe homes is a value-for-money solution that will not only help people to live healthier and longer lives but will also reduce pressures on health and social care.”

Energy Live News
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This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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