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John Hill receiving his Winter Warmth pack from members of Ipswich Hospital's complex discharge team, Laura Bloomfield (right) and Rebecca Tester.
Patients given winter warmth packs as cold snap bites
02 March 2018


As the cold snap continues to bite, elderly Ipswich Hospital patients have been warmly receiving hats, scarves and hot water bottles ahead of returning home.

They were delivered their Winter Warmth packs, courtesy of Suffolk’s Warm Homes Healthy People (WHHP), which also include gloves, packets of soup and a thermometer – in a bid to reduce fuel poverty and pressure on hospital services.

More people in the UK die from living in cold homes than those that suffer alcohol or drug-related deaths or are killed in road traffic accidents.

Councillor Richard Kerry, Cabinet Member for Housing for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Council said: “The goal of the project is to keep householders warmer and, in doing so, reduce excess winter deaths, hospital admissions, re-admissions and delayed discharge.

“We have 35 bags to give to patients being discharged who require extra support, and we will be delivering them to wards across the hospital. We are delighted to be working with Ipswich Hospital to offer practical assistance to help keep patients warmer in this cold weather.”

The packs were funded by the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action’s Warm and Safe at Home Fund and also include a special plug-in-the-wall torch provided free by UK Power Networks which, which automatically powers on during a power cut.

Shirley Loveday, partnership coordinator for UK Power Networks, said: “We distributed more than 3,000 emergency kits last year, which includes the power cut torches, to customers who are eligible for our Priority Services Register in London, East Anglia and the South East.

“We look to support those who would need extra help in a power cut and work with Suffolk Coastal and District Council to ensure people are coming out of hospital with the best support available.”

Warm Homes Healthy People aims to offer assistance to any Suffolk resident who is struggling to keep warm but especially those who have a health condition likely to be made worse by living in a cold home. To find out if you may be eligible for assistance call local rate 03456 037686.

Peter Smith, a Director at NEA said: “In light of the recent extreme weather, it is no exaggeration that the support provide by Warm Homes Healthy People could be life-saving.

“We hope they continue to work with the health sector in order to meet the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance relating to excess winter deaths and morbidity and go on tackling the health risks associated with cold homes.”

UK Power Networks run a Priority Services Register for customers who need extra help from them during a power cut, such as the elderly or those with medical equipment powered by electricity at home. During a power cut they can contact customers on their register, offer regular updates and extra help.

To join the register call 0800 169 9970. For updates during a power cut ring 0800 3163 105, text the word POWER and your postcode to 80876, tweet us or check the power cut map on our website from your phone or tablet.