LLANELLI Assembly Member, Lee Waters, has secured a commitment from the Welsh Government to extend its Warm Homes Nest Scheme.
The Scheme – trialled in Bridgend, Merthyr, RCT, Gwynedd, Ynys Mon, Conwy and Denbighshire last year – effectively allows GPs and other professionals to prescribe a warm home as treatment for patients whose health is affected by the cold. This could include repairing or replacing old or broken boilers, or insulating and draught-proofing homes.
Lee Waters said: “In areas where this scheme has been trialled, there is clear evidence that it contributed to a saving of hospital bed days and to less patients needed to access their GP surgeries.
In light of this evidence, I asked the Welsh Government to expand the scheme for the benefit of people living in the Llanelli area.”
In a letter to the AM, Rebecca Evans, Minister for Housing and Regeneration, said that the Welsh Government had been monitoring the scheme and reported that the results have been very positive.
The Minister wrote: “Building on the success of the pilot scheme, we have decided that eligibility for free home energy improvement measures will be extended under the new Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme.”
Due to be rolled out in April 2018, the new scheme will cover the whole of Wales and will include low income households where occupants suffer with a number of health conditions.
Lee Waters said: “With GP services being stretched to the limit in Llanelli, it is vitally important that we look at all schemes that work to reduce the demand on our health and care system.
I am pleased that the Welsh Government have agreed to widen this scheme as it will not only reduce the burden on the NHS but it will also dramatically improve the quality of people’s lives.”
Currently, Care and Repair Carmarthenshire runs an Affordable Warmth Casework service. For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org