Home Energy Scotland Partnering To Support Health & Wellbeing

This winter has been a particularly difficult one for many families with energy costs on the rise and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Recognising that living in a warm home is very much linked to good physical and mental health, Home Energy Scotland has been out in the community during covid restrictions to help support the health and wellbeing of householders struggling to heat their homes.

By working with partners to identify new opportunities and to reinvigorate previous efforts we found new ways to reach more people. Engaging with the NHS across Scotland and developing new opportunities with MP and MSP offices and other outreach agencies has helped us adapt our delivery throughout the pandemic.

Read on for details of our partnership program in action. If you’re interested in working with us, we’d love to hear from you – just drop us an email.

Engaging with NHS staff

With the strain of the pandemic being felt heavily by our partners at the NHS, our partnership team in Strathclyde and central Scotland reached out to their contacts at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to offer support.

Working in partnership with NHS staff we leveraged internal NHS communication channels including team briefings, their intranet and payslips to reach over 50,000 staff members to offer our support services. This effort will help NHS staff to access our services directly when needed, and support an awareness and understanding of the help available from Home Energy Scotland to aid their patients who are struggling with their energy bills.

Supporting young families

The team at Strathclyde and central Scotland also worked with the NHS Family Nurse Partnership, a group focussed on improving outcomes and reducing inequalities for children and young parents (those under 19), who have their own tenancy or are still living in the family home.

We designed training that would enable staff to identify patients who are struggling with energy costs and to easily refer them through our partner portal for assistance. Staff information sessions focussed on the topics of fuel poverty and energy usage, and we included a refresher on our partner referral portal. Boosting awareness of fuel poverty and an understanding of how people can qualify for funded schemes across organisations will help more households get the help they need.

Vaccination clinic outreach

Home Energy Scotland South East again partnered with NHS Lothian and NHS Fife to support patients attending flu vaccination clinics who may be at risk of fuel poverty. This outreach builds on work from previous years where advisors participated in flu clinics and covid-drive through vaccination clinics.

Our advisors talked to patients and gave them advice on how they could make simple changes to their energy use which would help save money on their bills. They also arranged to follow up with any patients they believed might be eligible for further support such as free energy efficiency improvements through the Scottish Government funded Warmer Homes Scotland programme. Through these clinics we are supporting over 1,100 patients.

Tuning in to patients

Recently our Highlands and Islands team worked with Inverness Hospital Radio, a broadcasting service providing entertainment and promoting healthy lifestyle messaging for hospital patients in the area. Last year they celebrated their 50th anniversary and took the service online to reach a greater number of patients across the Highlands.

We promoted health benefits of a warm and dry home to their listeners and warned of the risks to health associated with moisture build-up and mould in the home. Letting them know that being in control of the heating system, keeping the heat in and tackling condensation and damp, is key to making a home warmer and more comfortable. We want to ensure that people, particularly those who are struggling, are aware of these issues, but also that help including access to funding is available through our advisors.

New referral pathways

Home Energy Scotland South East has been working with MP and MSP offices to offer their help and encourage caseworkers to get signed up to the Home Energy Scotland Portal which is a secure way to pass on householders’ contact details to access help. Now, constituents who engage with their local representative, are quickly and easily referred to the range of services we provide, whether they are worried about fuel bills or are interested in finding out more about heat decarbonisation and heat pump technology.

Martyn Day, MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk was so impressed by the work of Home Energy Scotland that he published an Early Day Motion in Westminster endorsing our work – Home Energy Scotland – Early Day Motions – UK Parliament.

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