The following advice has been issued by the East Sussex Fuel Poverty Co-ordinator at Hastings, Louise Trenchard.
1. Warm Home Check Service (https://warmeastsussex.org.uk/) or at any Citizen’s Advice office or Calling the Citizens Advice ADVICELINE on 03444 111444.
The Warm Home Check service offers advice to anyone who struggles to afford to keep warm at home. It also provides eligible vulnerable households with a holistic home assessment. This can include:
- advice on how best to keep their home warm/reduce energy costs
- advice on financial support available to help with heating costs
- minor home improvement measures such as improving pipe insulation, draught-proofing, boiler service.
- An emergency temporary heating scheme is also available.
Subject to funding being available, the service can also coordinate and source funding for the installation of heating & insulation measures available through schemes such as the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO).
For the home visit element of this free service you need to:
Own your own property or rent it privately (in East Sussex) and have the owner’s permission to do the work.
– be on a low income and be either diagnosed with a long term condition or living with a diagnosed disability
– be receiving one of the following benefits: Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Pension Guarantee Credit and/or Pension Savings Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
* There are some income thresholds depending on the size of household.
2. Cold Weather Ready
The clocks have gone back and winter is, indeed, coming. The Cold weather health watch begins on November 1 and runs until March 31. In order to prevent avoidable harm to health, it is important to alert people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately. Now is the time to register and encourage others to register for Cold Alerts so that you know if we have a cold snap in store – https://www.coldalert.info/Registration.aspx
3. Flu Jabs
Eligible people should claim their free flu jab as soon as possible
“Flu is potentially a very serious illness, and the flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and help ease pressures on your local NHS. Last year, around 1 in 4 of those eligible in East Sussex did not claim their free flu jab. This year, residents should be vaccinated as they will be better protected from flu than ever before. We hope this improved vaccine will help ease pressures on local health services by leading to fewer avoidable GP appointments, fewer people needing hospital care and fewer deaths from flu.”
Those who could get seriously ill if they get flu and risk avoidable hospital admission can claim a free flu jab, including:
- All children aged two to ten (but not eleven years or older) on 31 August 2019, this covers nurseries, Reception through school years 1-6
Those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups :
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those in long-stay residential care homes
- Close contacts of immunocompromised people.
It is best that people identified at risk of complications claim their free flu vaccine through their GP, and from their local high street pharmacist.
I hope you all have a healthy winter this year – please take care