Open Forum Events are pleased to add to their portfolio of bespoke public sector conferences by hosting Housing and Health: Working in Partnership. This conference will explore the relationship between housing provision and the health and wellbeing of residents living within the community.
A fundamental shift in demographics, resulting in an increased aged population, along with more people living with long term conditions has created unprecedented demands on the nation’s health and social care systems. To alleviate some of the pressures all avenues need to be explored and resources exploited to support and promote better health. The state of housing and local spaces can impact enormously on individual’s health and that of the local community. Understanding the links between how housing can impact adversely on health and conversely initiatives that can improve circumstances is a key feature of the conference agenda.
Poor housing has a significant detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. Although the relationship is complex and the exact impacts difficult to assess, there is strong evidence of an association with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Housing related hazards increase the possibilities of accidents, resulting in avoidable injury. It has been calculated that the cost of poor housing to the NHS is £1.4bn per year.
The Housing and Health: Working in Partnership conference will bring together key authorities, from both the housing and public health arenas, that are interested in influencing policy and implementing strategy to improve health through better housing. Through an agenda of expert speakers, sharing the very latest thinking, delegates will gain a greater understanding of the impacts of housing on health and how these issues can be addressed. There will be the opportunity to gain insight, through a number of case studies, into initiatives that are being employed to improve living conditions to support better health and wellbeing.
The environment in which we live can influence our health. Substandard housing and poor living conditions can significantly impact on health and wellbeing in a negative way.
In October 2016 Shelter published results against a new standard in housing. The standard assesses property against 39 criteria to ascertain whether the home is acceptable to secure the residents’ wellbeing. Shelter found that one in ten fall short of the standard with 73% of those that failed being in London. A fifth of the properties failed due to poor conditions such as cold, damp, pests and safety hazards.
It is well accepted that inadequate housing is a contributory factor to increased risk of developing preventable diseases including; respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health issues. Over a quarter of adults living in poor conditions report having fair, bad or very bad health, whilst children are twice as likely to also have fair, bad or very bad health as compared to children living in better conditions. The association between health and bad housing is most acutely apparent amongst the elderly population. Pensioners who live in poor housing are a third more likely to have fair, bad or very bad health as compared to rest of the population.
Poor design, inferior construction and inadequate maintenance create housing related hazards and impacts adversely on safety. This increases the risk of accidents and injury and can ultimately require NHS treatment and social care intervention. In some European countries accidents that happen in the home account for more deaths than road collisions.
The urban environment plays a role in health across the whole of the local community. Noise and air pollution, a lack of green spaces and recreational facilities, plus limited mobility and transport options can exasperate the situation and contribute further to health inequalities.
A briefing from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has calculated that the annual cost of poor housing to the NHS is at least £1.4bn. This is a significant increase and represents more than double the previous estimate of £600m in 2010 and suggests that the impact of poor housing on health is on a par with smoking. The indication is that the risks of falls and cold homes have the greatest impact on NHS costs, however, the report signifies that making cost-effective improvements to the homes of more vulnerable people will deliver considerable public health gains and budget savings.
The Care Act 2014 lays out the need for greater cooperation and integration between agencies who are responsible for providing for those in need of care and support. It places emphasis on improved collaboration between health and social care services to deliver outcome centred support to meet individual needs. To encourage improved coordination across health and housing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been established between government and its agencies such as; NHS England, Public Health England, the Homes and Community Agency, plus partners from the housing sector including trade and professional bodies. The MoU sets out a ‘shared commitment to joint action across government, health, social care and housing’ and will ‘promote the housing sector’s contribution to health’.
As part of the NHS 5 Year Forward View (5YFV) to improve population health, NHS England has turned its attention to ambitious plans to improve health through the built environment. Recognising that 200,00 new homes need to be built each year in England, the 5YFV made a commitment to improve public health with greater integration between services as part of the shaping new places process. The Healthy New Towns programme aims to factor in health and wellbeing into the design and build of new homes and communities. Ten schemes have been identified to create ‘healthy new towns’ involving more than 76,000 homes and 170,000 residents.
At the Housing and Health: Working in Partnership conference we will discuss how these initiatives and others are developing to create a closer, more effective working relationship between housing services and the health and social care system.
With no national ‘homes for health’ strategy and a multitude of interests in, and influences on, housing, enabling everyone to live in the right home for their health and wellbeing is a significant challenge. One that, if not addressed, will limit health care and social care ambitions to deliver ‘care closer to home’, and ambitions for economic growth. Gill will explore what’s needed to enable homes in which to ‘start, live and age well’ as a means to improve health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support joint action on improving health through the home was signed in 2015 by representatives of the housing sector along with key health and social care bodies to support integration between housing, health and care services. The MoU sets out a shared commitment to joint action to deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes for residents and tenants. More recently the ‘Health and Housing’ quick guide has been published with practical examples as to how agencies can work together.
Better Housing, Better Health is a pilot health and housing referral scheme provided by the National Energy Foundation in partnership with 11 local authorities across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The scheme aims to contribute towards the local implementation of the NICE guidelines on the health risks associated with cold homes (NG6) and reduce pressure on health services by making homes warmer and healthier places to live.
PHASE is a research and architecture consultancy based at the Manchester School of Architecture. We work collaboratively to understand and create healthier places. Our multi-disciplinary research engages with both institutions and communities to co-design and deliver healthier neigbourhoods, cities and regions. This presentation will discuss our work alongside Southway Housing Trust (a community based housing provider and social enterprise) to develop an Age Friendly Neighbourhoods research and delivery model. We will show how our resident-led partnerships are combating social isolation and health inequalities through a range of environmental and social interventions. This approach is now active in five neighbourhoods across Manchester.
The Health Begins at Home research project began in 2013 to test the effectiveness of two types of interventions in improving the health and wellbeing of tenants aged over 50.
Housing organisations can have a significant role to play in improving and promoting healthy communities. This presentation will provide case studies and outline the approach taken by New Charter Housing Trust.
In a bid to put health at the heart of new neighbourhoods and towns across the country, 10 housing developments have been selected to be part of the NHS backed ‘healthy new towns’ initiative. Covering 76,000 homes and 170,000 residents, the design of these new spaces will seek to address healthcare issues such as obesity and dementia, provide new approaches to health care delivery and create environments which allow people to make easier healthy lifestyles choices. Halton has been selected as one of the 10 Heathy New Town sites and presents is the journey so far, the successes and the challenges in adopting the healthy place approaches.
People with mental health problems are more likely to live in degraded housing which can escalate their symptoms and cause a deterioration in their condition. They are twice as likely to feel unhappy with their housing and four time likely to say it negatively affects their health. Poor housing situations are often given as the reason for admission or readmission to inpatient care. Providing the right support and housing solutions can change people’s lives.
A case study on supporting hospital discharge processes.
Money invested for improving poor housing among minority ethnic households could have a significant impact in improving health and reducing the financial burden on the NHS.
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Construction of The Bridgewater Hall commenced on 22 March 1993, but the idea of a new concert hall for Manchester dates back to the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage. The Free Trade Hall was home to the city’s famous Hallé orchestra and also hosted rock and pop concerts. However, despite holding great public affection, the 1850s Free Trade Hall was ill-equipped to respond to the rising standards of service and acoustic excellence demanded by performers and audiences.