MP slams government cuts

WENTWORTH and Dearne MP John Healey has criticised the government for cutting help for older people to keep warm and well.

He spoke at a consultation in Rotherham bringing together over 100 experts from universities, health bodies, councils, housing organisations and charities from around the country.

The Keeping Warm in Later Life project, led by Sheffield Hallam University and NHS Rotherham, is looking at how older people’s health can be improved by tackling fuel poverty and making homes warmer.

The Shadow Health Secretary criticised the government for cutting schemes like Warm Front, which gives grants to help older people and low-income families make their homes more energy efficient.

Almost 3000 households in the Wentworth and Dearne constituency have received help worth over £3.6m through Warm Front.

After the event, he said: “It costs the NHS over £850m a year to treat winter-related disease due to cold private housing.

“Every £1 spent on providing housing support for vulnerable people can save nearly £2 in reduced costs of health services, crime and residential care.

“So these short-term, budget-driven cuts will have longer-term consequences for many people’s health and welfare, and lead to greater cost in other parts of the system, especially the NHS.”