Training opportunities – Fuel Poverty and Health

Each month, the Collaborative will be highlighting workforce development opportunities on key population health themes as part of our workforce development programme.

This month we look at fuel poverty and health.

In England, the ‘Low Income Low Energy Efficiency’ (LILEE) definition of fuel poverty, defines a household as fuel poor if they are on a low income and face high costs of keeping adequately warm and other basic energy services. Fuel poverty is driven by three main factors: household income, the current cost of energy and the energy efficiency of the home.

It is widely reported that the UK is in a cost-of-living crisis. Fuel costs and the cost of heating a home have increased significantly and are set to rise again in October 2022. Economic inflation is driving an increase in the cost of household items including food. Therefore, two of the above three factors for fuel poverty will be in place in the winter of 2022/23 and it is fair to assume that the health conditions and responses associated with fuel poverty and cold homes will increase in prevalence in Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) in winter 2022/23.

For planning purposes, it is assumed that an average winter weather season will happen. If the coming winter is worse than usual, then the third factor in fuel poverty, the energy efficiency of the home, is likely to be an additional element contributing to an increase in cold related health conditions.  Finally, given that a social gradient in fuel poverty exists; those on lower household incomes are more likely to be at risk of fuel poverty, contributing to social and health inequalities.

Below are some relevant learning opportunities to support population health improvement.

This e-learning module has been developed to help people whose health is affected by living in a cold home.

When doing a home visit, you may notice that someone’s living environment is cold which is a serious health risk. This is an opportunity to signpost or refer the person to an organisation that can help address this housing issue.

The respiratory diseases toolkit aligns to the NHS long term plan and provides learners with a comprehensive list of online resources to support workforce upskilling, training and development. This toolkit is a digital version of the multi-professional respiratory training guide that offers consistent, credible and helpful resources relating to the prevention and management of respiratory conditions.

In this session, case studies are used to enable us to identify environmental and lifestyle risk factors and management options for individual patients and their wider communities.

Other learning that may be relevant:

(Fuel Poverty discussion is at 8:49mins.) Poverty affects a significant number of older people in the UK and the underlying causes are complex in this group.

NEA resources (*please note funding eligibility criteria applies to all):

*Available to non-commercial organisations based in England and Wales. Learners must be frontline staff or volunteers that regularly encounter and have the opportunity to provide advice to those in or at risk of fuel poverty – i.e. those on a low income / in a vulnerable situation and who are struggling to manage their household bills. Organisational licences available for large staff workforces

If you would like more information, please contact Steve Peters, Programme Manager for Cheshire and Merseyside Population Health Workforce Development via