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Heating costs in the UK: heating on prescription

Status: 12/24/2022 11:45 am

If you don’t feel cold, you’ll get sick less often. But many cannot afford heat in these expensive times. Great Britain now has a cash injection on prescription. This is a pilot project.

Sven Lohmann, ART Studio London

Life is not so easy for them. Mark Bending is in a wheelchair. He has multiple sclerosis and his wife, Cheryl, takes care of him around the clock. At least two retirees have one less thing to worry about this winter: It’s nice and warm at home.

Sven Lohmann
ART Studio London

Mark in particular does a great job. “It’s a difference. I’m very happy. To be honest, I was close to tears at times. I was hurt because it was so cold,” she says.

Cash injection for heat

They can only heat the house to 14 degrees. It was like poison, but Mark and Cheryl were just that. But now they’re getting the doctor-prescribed heat. He wrote a prescription, and since then, according to Cheryl, they’ve both had a cash injection to heat up. “The health service has contacted the energy supplier. Now most of our consumption is not automatically billed.”

Prescribed heating is a pilot project in Gloucestershire, central England. Patients who don’t overheat because of a lack of money, but who get sick more often, can expect a prescription. For general practitioner Hein Le Roux, the goal is to reduce the number of sick people. “Getting sick is very expensive. Some patients also have to go to the hospital. Our healthcare system is already at its limit. Now we help people not to get sick. We recommend help to keep them warm and avoid them ending up in the hospital,” explains the doctor.

Higher temperatures, fewer treatments

La Roux can always publish recipes for the winter months. The money comes from a special fund from the British government. So far, the program has proven itself, La Roux says. He has very little to deal with. “We’re seeing a big difference. Patients aren’t getting sick like they used to. Not like they were in previous years.”

In other societies, heat is an inoculation. East Suffolk councilor Richard Kerry believes money can be saved. Britain’s tax-funded health system spends more than a billion pounds on cold-related illnesses. Paying a portion of the heating costs is cheaper for Councilman Kerry than potential treatment costs later. “We’re investing money so people don’t have to go to the hospital. It’s reducing the high costs for the health system. So we’re investing to save money in the long run.”

Cheryl and her husband Mark, from Gloucestershire, haven’t been sick this winter. For the first time in years. Heat says that Cheryl is better than any medicine.