New resources to improve health through the home

21 Oct 2015 01:05 PM

Public Health England (PHE) launch new health and housing resources.

A series of new health and housing resources were launched yesterday (21 October, 2015) at a PHE and King’s Fund event ‘Bringing together housing and public health to enable better health and wellbeing’.

The resources, commissioned by PHE and developed by national partners, aim to better equip professionals in environmental health, housing, public health and social care to work together locally to reduce the impact of poor housing and homelessness on physical and mental health and wellbeing, and the impact on health care and social care services.

The resources include:

  1. A health and housing resource developed by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). Based on an extensive literature review, and with input from expert environmental health practitioners, the resource provides evidence, case studies and guidance to enhance local understanding of the relationship between the home environment and health.
  2. suite of training resources, a study on the impact of the Housing Workforce on Health Outcomes, and case studies - developed by Sitra, the national membership organisation for housing with health, care and support - to enable housing providers to further develop their staff to become part of the wider public health workforce. Resources will equip staff to begin conversations with their customers about their health on topics such as smoking and harmful drinking, dementia, mental health and wellbeing.
  3. Standards and supporting guidance to develop the housing sector’s capability in generating evidence of ‘what works’ in improving health outcomes. Led by HACT, a housing solutions agency, a public consultation on the standards is launched yesterday, with the final standards published later this year.

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE said:

Interventions to improve the home or housing circumstances can be effective in preventing and reducing demand for health care and social care.

To be successful we need everyone to think ‘home and health’. Collaboration between local professionals - from environmental health and housing to allied health, public health and social care - is central to integrate housing as a means to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

PHE recognises how vital this joint working is and will continue to work with partners to address the problems. We hope these resources will demonstrate the breadth of opportunities open to us.