When I met Andrew Lansley, for one of our regular meetings, it was great to be told we were to get some cash to deal with the cold weather.
A bid for government cash to help keep people safe and warm in their own home this winter has won more than £200,000 to ensure vulnerable people are helped and supported.
Cambridgeshire County Council pulled together the bid for funding from the Department of Health’s £20 million ‘Warm Homes, Healthy People’ fund on behalf of partners in Cambridgeshire including the voluntary sector, district councils and Public Health.
Locally the £207,000 will be used to reduce death and illness caused by cold housing by augmenting local services and commissioning flexible, responsive services. These will quickly identify those at risk and in need, establish rapid referral systems and increase the range and level of practical support such as benefits advice, shopping services and emergency heating repairs for people who are vulnerable to the health effects of cold weather.
In addition, in periods of predicted severe weather this funding will allow us to work with the voluntary sector and communities to ensure that vulnerable people are contacted to check they are safe and well, and risks to their health are minimised by support from voluntary and local authority agencies.
Cambridgeshire County Council is making the money available immediately and will be reimbursed when the Government funding allocation is received.
Agencies across Cambridgeshire are already working together to help people in the county stay safe, warm and well when the winter weather hits.
Under the guidance of the new Health and Wellbeing Board, health services, road safety experts and care support services are sharing information, expertise and support to ensure that a comprehensive range of services is available to vulnerable residents, when they need it most.
The local NHS will be working with District Councils and voluntary sector agencies such as Age UK to provide advice on how to keep warm and well over winter, as well as encouraging vulnerable people to take up flu vaccinations, and avoid slips and trips.