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Better Housing Better Health – support for vulnerable residents in fuel poverty

Date: Tuesday, 20th Dec 2022 | Category: General

Better Housing Better Health(BHBH) is Oxfordshire’s single point of contact for health and housing referrals to help vulnerable people who live in cold homes.

To check if someone might be at risk of a cold or difficult to heat home use this checklist.

The BHBH service can

  • Source grants for insulation and heating improvement (eligibility criteria applies)
  • Advise on managing energy effectively in the home and in some cases help understand problem energy bills.
  • Help to ensure all due benefits are being claimed.
  • Register patients on priority services registers (for energy supply and distribution companies).
  • Make onward referrals to services that address common barriers to tackling cold homes.
  • Advise on options for short‑term emergency support in times of crisis e.g emergency fuel vouchers.
  • Subject to availability, provide basic energy saving/heating items, eg electric blankets, slow cookers, draught proofing.
  • Provide training or briefings on the service, fuel poverty and the impacts of cold homes.

All resident in Oxfordshire can get a telephone “warm and well assessment” and some patients will be eligible for a home visit to help address more complex needs and issues.

Telephone support from energy advisors is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm at the point of calling.  Home visits can usually be booked within 2 weeks of a telephone assessment.

Referrals and self-referrals are accepted, via telephone (0800 107 0044), email, NHS email and via an online referral form.

Referrals from a professional can support a resident’s eligibility for certain longer-term interventions, such as grants for heating or insulation and prioritise a home visit.

The BHBH team can provide tailored, virtual training in cold homes, fuel poverty and their local offer.

Oxfordshire County Council, the District and City Councils and the BOB ICB have funded this service, which is contract manged by Oxfordshire County Council.

Looking for help around energy bills or problems with a cold or unsafe home?  Check out Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) to find out more.  Watch this 1-minute explainer video

Please also see the attached posters and housing conditions referral pathway info:

Better Housing Better Health A4 poster_Artwork

Better Housing Better Health A6 card

Housing conditions referral pathway for health practitioners