Edinburgh approves prescription boilers scheme
Edinburgh Council has approved a ‘boiler on prescription’ scheme to improve residents’ health and reduce emergency NHS admissions.
The pilot seeks to build on a similar scheme in Sunderland in 2014 by Gentoo Group and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group.
Preliminary figures at the end of Gentoo’s trial found that the number of outpatient appointments made by benefactors of the scheme fell by 33 per cent, the number of GP appointments dropped by 28 per cent, and fuel bills fell by £30 a month on average.
Working in collaboration with NHS Lothian, the council hopes the scheme would reduce emergency admissions by identifying patients with health problems across all tenures, whose health would be improved by undertaking improvements to the fabric of their homes, including new heating systems and insulation.
The initial phase of the feasibility study into the pilot project would seek to work together with a local GP practice to identify patients who would be at high risk of emergency admissions and would benefit from the installation of a new heating system and other energy efficiency measures.
Over the last five years, over £40 million of investment has been made in council homes to improve energy efficiency and heating systems. A further £46m is planned to be invested to improve tenants homes further over the next five years. Over this period, around 5,100 council tenants will receive new heating systems.
The pilot scheme is scheduled to begin in three to four months, after the council’s Health, Social Care and Housing Committee approved the proposal.
Gentoo is also considering expanding its ‘boiler on prescription’ project to Glasgow, where it has a subsidiary, West of Scotland Housing Association.
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