To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with (a) local authorities, (b) health and social care commissioners, (c) Directors of Public Health and (d) community and voluntary sectors to tackle the potential effect of cold homes on covid-19 in winter 2020-21.
In preparation for winter 2020-21, Public Health England (PHE) reviewed the Cold Weather Plan for England (CWP) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unchanged this year but PHE has published supplementary materials outlining the intersection of COVID-19 and cold weather risks. The Plan includes recommended actions for all stakeholders including the National Health Service, local authorities, health and social care commissioners, Directors of Public Health and the voluntary and community sector, to help prevent the major avoidable effects on health during periods of cold weather in England. These should continue to be followed with some additional considerations to mitigate concurrent COVID-19 risks. The CWP and supplementary materials are available at the following link:
To raise awareness of the resources, on 11 November PHE published a Health Matters Blog post on cold weather and COVID-19 alongside a stakeholder webinar. The Health Matters Blog is available at the following link:
These resources were disseminated to stakeholders via Resilience Direct, the Winter Resilience Network, the Cabinet Office Communities Prepared Group and through PHE regions. Additional engagement included Directors of Public Health and Directors of Adult Social Services.