Blog


There’s more to integrating housing and health than building new homes

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Mar 29th 2017

Last year the FILT saved the NHS at least £2.4 million through house improvements for older and vulnerable people at risk of fuel poverty. We distributed grants worth £637,000 through our Warm at Home programme to 3,600 people in England, helping them stay safe warm and well in their own home.

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Dementia-friendly housing charter

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Mar 27th 2017

Alzheimer's Society's new Dementia-friendly Housing Charter is aimed at the full range of housing sector professionals across all tenures, ranging from planners and architects to landlords and developers, housing managers and handypersons.

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Trustmark and Chartered Trading Standards Institute join forces to improve consumer confidence

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Mar 24th 2017

The Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) and TrustMark have partnered to deliver joint services that offer greater levels of consumer protection and confidence across the many trades delivering services in and around the home.

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Foundations workplan review - Paul's blog

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Mar 20th 2017

This time last year I decided that we would publish our workplan for the year. The idea was to be much more transparent – tell you what we were planning to do so that you could get involved with some of our projects, or vice versa if we had a mutual interest.

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Five reasons why you should care about housing and health – Sam Haskell (DH)

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Mar 3rd 2017

Day in, day out staff working in the NHS will see the interconnection between housing and health, and recognise its importance. Here are five reasons why they are right to be interested.

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Let's get digital - Paul's blog

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Feb 16th 2017

I like technology and I like free stuff. So free technology, what’s not to like! Over the last couple of years there’s been a real explosion in Software as a Service (SaaS) for business. These are websites that offer online tools you can use in a web browser, and increasingly through mobile apps. We’re using several of these systems at Foundations HQ that you might also find useful.

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Fix our broken housing, not just the market!

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Feb 13th 2017

Our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust is calling on the Government and corporate Britain to dig deeper and fix the country’s broken housing as part of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day (17 February).

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Help us raise funds for research on older people’s views on adapted homes

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Feb 6th 2017

We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes. We hope insight drawn from this work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.

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New chair for our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust

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Jan 25th 2017

Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), a charity that helps vulnerable Britons to stay warm, safe and well in their own homes, has elected Manchester entrepreneur and campaigner Sara McKee as chair.

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Foundations' plans for 2017

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Jan 23rd 2017

Our director Paul Smith sets out some of the exciting projects we will be workingHappy New Year to everyone involved in repairs, improvements and adaptations. I’m currently preparing our workplan for next year so wanted to share with you some of things we’re planning for 2017.

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Supported housing funding opportunity

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Jan 6th 2017

The government’s supported housing proposals provide an opportunity for the housing sector to become an integral part of health and care provision, says our director Paul Smith.

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LGA published Housing Commission final report

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Jan 4th 2017

The final commission report sets out recommendations for how local and national government can work together to build more homes, and to build homes that meet the diverse needs of people, partners and places.

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An irreplaceable service - Paul's blog

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Dec 2nd 2016

I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise to hear that the evaluation of the Warm at Home programme found that a warm home is much better for your health than a cold home. But, there are some interesting findings that should help home improvement agencies to demonstrate their value to local commissioners.

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Warm at Home programme has helped thousands of householders stay in their own home ‘warm, safe and well’

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Nov 28th 2016

A £637k programme managed by our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust has helped 3,600 people stay in their own home warm, safe and well over a 12 month period.

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Tracking the care journey holds the key to a better life

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Nov 25th 2016

Hospitals are again facing record levels of delays in discharging patients. Figures from NHS England show that during September 2016 there were nearly 200,000 days of delays – a 33% increase from September 2015.

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The role of home adaptations in improving later life - we need your reports

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Nov 8th 2016

A new review from Centre for Ageing Better aims to provide evidence on the most effective home adaptations to inform the decisions of health care professionals such as occupational therapists, those that pay for adaptations, and those that design and sell adaptations.

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Getting through the front door

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Oct 24th 2016

Foundations has been the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies since 2000. In that time we’ve seen a significant shift in how these services have been delivered.

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Cold weather plan for England

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Oct 21st 2016

Despite the warming effects of climate change, cold weather remains the biggest cause of weather related mortality in England. The Cold Weather Plan for England aims to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.

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FILT partnership helps more people to live healthier, more independent lives

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Oct 5th 2016

A partnership project offering practical and emotional support to people over the age of 50 in St Helens is celebrating its first anniversary.

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Housing and technology fund

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Sep 28th 2016

The Department of Health has announced a new ‘Housing and Technology Fund’. Local authorities, working with their local partners, can apply for funds from a capital pot of up to £25 million for housing and technology to help drive sustainable housing solutions for people with learning disability in their area.

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Our charity FILT is looking for new trustees to join the board

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Sep 27th 2016

Our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is a growing and innovative national charity that raises funds to help older adults and disabled people be warm, safe and well in their own homes.

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Helping older people stay independent - Paul's blog

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Sep 26th 2016

Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) have been around for over 30 years and help people across all tenures to keep their home safe, warm and secure.

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Helping people with dementia stay living at home

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Sep 22nd 2016

Most people say they would want to live at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia. And that’s mostly what happens. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community, often with additional support from family, friends and professional carers.

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What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? - Paul's blog

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Sep 15th 2016

What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? My dictionary says ‘advertise or promote’ which is probably what you thought too? But is that it?

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The DFG circle

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Sep 7th 2016

Not long to go now before we hit the road for the DFG Champions Roadshows. It’s proving to be our most popular event for years and it will be great to discuss how we can all make the most of the extra funding available.

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Report highlights role for Disabled Facilities Grants in linking up housing, health and social care

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Aug 8th 2016

The often confusing myriad of home support services that help vulnerable people live more independently via the Disabled Facilities Grant should be combined to create a one-stop shop, according to a new report from Foundations.

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Paul's blog

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Jul 22nd 2016

Well, it’s been quite a week. The annual HIA and handyperson awards are always a special day in the calendar, but to attend my first as Director of Foundations was a real privilege.

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English Housing Survey - Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15

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Jul 21st 2016

The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

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Working to keep people out of care homes – Paul's blog

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Jul 15th 2016

The comprehensive spending review last year announced a significant increase in funding for Disabled Facilities Grants. But with it came the expectation that the extra DFGs investment would “prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20”.

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National housing awards celebrate efforts to promote independent living

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Jul 14th 2016

This year’s winners of the national Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards have been announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords.

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Foundations launches marketing programme tailored for the HIA sector

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Jun 29th 2016

We have teamed up with the multi-award winning author of Watertight Marketing, Bryony Thomas, to bring you a 12 month online course that will help you master the essentials of marketing and improve your commercial results.

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Prevention and the Disabled Facilities Grant - Paul's blog

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Jun 23rd 2016

When the extra funding for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) was announced in last year’s comprehensive spending review there was a caveat that the investment ‘is expected to prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20’.

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Happy retirement to Sylvia McAllister

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Jun 17th 2016

Sylvia McAllister is retiring as a Caseworker from Lancaster City Council Home Improvement Agency.

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Missing link

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Jun 14th 2016

Housing adaptations can help old patients move from expensive hospital beds to the comfort of their own home, says Paul Smith - Foundations' director.

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Foundations on the advisory panel for the BATH-OUT trial

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May 26th 2016

We are pleased to be on the advisory panel of an exciting research looking at the links between adaptations and the health and well-being of older people through an investigation of the effects of installing bathing adaptations.

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Taking the strain off unpaid carers

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May 20th 2016

The recent State of Caring 2016 report from Carers UK was a stark reminder of the impending crisis England faces. The charity warned how a ‘perfect storm of squeezed public services and financial pressures is pushing carers to the brink’ with more than half expecting their quality of life to get worse this year.

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Lincolnshire HIA celebrate ten years' service to the local community

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May 17th 2016

Lincolnshire HIA recently marked their 10th anniversary with a day and evening of celebration, including an afternoon reception and dinner with staff awards.

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Better understanding of home adaptations can help improve later life

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May 17th 2016

Adaptations to people’s homes can have numerous benefits – enabling people to manage activities of daily living, to remain mobile and active, reducing falls, and consequently reducing the costs of health and care.

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How would you spend £250,000 on health and care?

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May 12th 2016

Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) operate across most of England. Their role is to work with people to help them to make adaptations or repairs to their homes so they can continue to live there in safety, warmth and comfort.

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Good health begins at home

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May 4th 2016

You don’t need to be a medical professional, carer or social worker to know that badly maintained or inappropriate domestic environments can have a long term, detrimental impact on the mental and physical health of the occupants.

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9 hours in the future - Part 1

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May 3rd 2016

When I took on my role with Foundations last summer I realised that there would be a fair amount of travel involved. What I never imagined was being invited out to Australia to give the keynote address at their Home Modifications Conference.

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Trustmark drums home the importance of home safety

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Apr 29th 2016

As part of an ongoing drive to support the development of home safety in the UK, TrustMark has partnered with the Chief Fire Officers home safety scheme, to promote the assessment and registration of safety features found in both private and rented homes.

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Taking a more balanced approach

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Apr 5th 2016

Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists have responded to a recent report from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) focused on the benefits of the disabled facilities grant (DFG) programme.

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Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders

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Mar 22nd 2016

A campaign to protect Welsh householders from rogue traders and incompetent operators launches this week as the Welsh Government joins force with Trustmark to promote its consumer protection service.

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The bridge between housing and health - Paul's blog

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Mar 21st 2016

It’s been a busy few months. The announcement that Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding would more than double was a very welcome surprise. It was preceded by our well received report into residential care savings and led into the very successful DFG summit that we held with the College of Occupational Therapists just before Christmas.

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Fast-tracking home adaptations - Paul's blog

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Mar 9th 2016

I really like Dragons’ Den, BBC2’s search for budding entrepreneurs. Particularly the way a pitch attempts to give a monetary value to an idea, often based on a rudimentary analysis of the target market. The recent ResPublica report on the ‘crisis in residential care’ seems to take a similar approach, suggesting that all delayed discharges from hospital could be resolved by investing millions of pounds into the residential care market.

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Off the radar

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Mar 3rd 2016

To coincide with their 30th anniversary, Care & Repair England have published a report which sets out the national picture with regard to the scale of poor housing conditions amongst older people, the resulting impact on the health and wellbeing of an ageing population, and the concentration of poor housing in the owner occupied sector.

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‘Adaptations already cut social care costs – here’s how to increase their impact’

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Feb 25th 2016

It is good news that the Disabled Facilities Grant is getting more money but we can make better use of it, argues Doug Stem, DFG Transformation Lead at Foundations.

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DFG Summit report

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Feb 10th 2016

In December 2015, Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists held a DFG summit that brought together Occupational Therapists, HIA managers, Grant Officers, Government officers and leading policy people to discuss good practice in the delivery of the DFG.

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Our charity FILT receives funding from npower for caseworker in flood hit areas

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Feb 8th 2016

In the aftermath of December’s floods, FILT and Homelife Carlisle will be ensuring help is available for vulnerable households. Thanks to funding from npower, a worker will be on hand to help people find their way through the difficulties of returning home.

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Social value - Paul's blog

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Feb 1st 2016

Everyone knows that HIAs do great things. People tell me all the time about great things that a local HIA has done for them or someone they know. These anecdotes make excellent case studies, but how much impact do they really make on the rest of society? How do you measure the benefit of changing a lightbulb, fitting a grabrail, installing a stairlift or repairing a boiler?

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Key principles for improving urgent care for older people

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Jan 28th 2016

An independent commission has called for a fundamental change to the way care for older people is designed and delivered, so that care is tailored around individuals rather than institutions.

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Funding for vital equipment in the home

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Jan 14th 2016

Adaptations in the home – whether it’s a ramp, stair lift or level access shower – play a huge role in helping vulnerable people to live in their own properties. For people with limited means, the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) has been the main way to fund this vital equipment and over the last quarter of a century thousands of people, mostly over the age of 65, have received support.

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Three year funding deal for Warrington Home Improvement Agency

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Jan 11th 2016

The deal, worth more than half a million pounds, will help WHiA to continue providing vital services, such as home aids and adaptations that help people remain in their own homes rather than hospitals and care homes.

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Our latest research reveals impact of adapted homes on independent living

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Dec 11th 2015

An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care.

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Measuring the benefits of home adaptations

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Dec 10th 2015

It’s now 25 years since the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) was introduced by the Government to fund adaptations that enable people to continue to live in their own homes. Since then it has had a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of lives, with around £1.4bn being spent across England in the last five years.

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NICE guideline on transition between hospital and community or care home

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Dec 3rd 2015

NICE – the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence - issued new guidance on hospital discharge for older people and people with a disability.

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HIAs can help prevent excess winter deaths

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Dec 3rd 2015

Official figures for England and Wales show an increase in the number of winter deaths, an estimated 43,190 excess winter deaths occurred in 2014/15 - the highest number since 1999/00.

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