This guideline covers reducing the health risks (including preventable deaths) associated with living in a cold home. It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people vulnerable to the cold. Improving the temperature in homes, by improving energy efficiency, may also help reduce unnecessary fuel consumption.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- developing a strategy for people living in cold homes
- identifying people at risk from cold homes
- training practitioners to help people with cold homes
- raising awareness of how to keep warm at home
- ensuring buildings meet required standards
Who is it for?
- Commissioners and managers
- Health, social care and voluntary sector practitioners
- Housing and energy suppliers
- People who may have health problems related to living in a cold home, their families and carers
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called excess winter deaths and morbidity and the health risks associated with cold homes.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.