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‘Independent Nurse provides accessible clinical and professional guidance, and timely news, insight and analysis for all nurses working in primary care in the UK. Our monthly magazine and website give readers essential, up-to-date information to help them provide the best possible care for their patients. ’

EDITORIAL Telephone 020 7501 6785 Email in@markallengroup.com Editor Mike Shallcross Deputy editor Alex Turnbull ADVERTISING Enquiries 020 7501 6380 Recruitment 020 7501 6727 Fax 020 7501 2325 Publisher Colin Williams Commercial manager Frankie Bramble Production manager Kyri Apostolou Production assistant Jamie Hodgskin Circulation manager Chris Jones Managing director Anthony Kerr Chief executive officer Ben Allen To request your own free copy of Independent Nurse, go to http://registrations.markallengroup.com CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT circulation@findlay.co.uk, 01322 221144 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Aston Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Granta Medical Practices, RCGP Nurse Champion Dr Gabrielle Tracy McClelland Senior Lecturer, Research and Knowledge Transfer & Health Team Lead-Nursing, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford Dr Crystal Oldman CBE Chief Executive, The Queen’s Nursing Institute Ian Peate OBE Director of Studies, Head of School, Gibraltar Health Authority Jane Scullion Consultant Respiratory Nurse, University Hospitals of Leicester Linda Nazarko Nurse Consultant, West London Mental Health Trust Gavin Wollacott Nurse Practitioner, Dartmouth Medical Practice, Devon Julie Roye Specialist Nurse Practitioner, Oakview Family Practice, Kent Simon Browes Nurse consultant in primary and urgent care, Nottingham Dr Nita Muir Head of School of Nursing and Allied Health, University of Chichester

EDITORIAL

What the fuel crisis means for the NHS N

As I write this, the new Government has pledged to cap price rises, from the threatened £4,000 to £2,500 – still a hike of 25% or so on present levels. A step back from the abyss, but the issues will persist.

ew Health Secretary Therese Coffey has set out her priorities for the NHS as ABCD – ambulance, backlogs, care, and doctors and dentists. No-one should knock her ambition. But as waiting times for routine treatment hit a record high of 6.84 million people, she’ll have a job just getting through the Bs.

“Cold houses kill. In a regular winter they account for a fifth of all excess deaths”

And yet the biggest issue in the health of the nation is an F. The UK’s fuel crisis which has threatened to put most families into fuel poverty.

It matters for the NHS because cold houses kill. In a regular year they account for a fifth of all excess winter deaths, and the health conditions caused by cold and damp cost the NHS £13 billion a year, according to the charity National Energy Action. This is without factoring in their effect on children developing asthma, and the effects on dexterity in older patients, with the subsequent costs to social care of falls and the like.

So it was pleasing to see former health minister Lord Bethell, not a man known for radical thinking saying there was now ‘an opportunity to make clear the link between fuel poverty and health… If people can’t heat their homes, the costs for NHS will skyrocket, with a long tail of consequential illness.’

Will his plea reach the new majordomo of Richmond House? Well restoring the old 1940s link between Health Secretary and housing might help. It is difficult to see a downside to invest in say insulation now, to avoid a more costly acute health intervention down the line. Let’s see the vision.

Mike Shallcross, editor, Independent Nurse

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© MA Healthcare Ltd, 2022. All rights reserved. No part of Independent Nurse may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the Publisher. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Independent Nurse. Advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. ISSN 1747-9800 Printed by Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2YA

31,848 January – December 2021

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Resources The essential training, guidance, events and tool kits for primary care nurses 30

September 2022 | Independent Nurse | 3

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