Public Health news: Social Determinants of Health

Healthy homes and fuel poverty are the focus of our social determinants article in this edition.

September 2022

Social Determinants of Health

'The conditions in which we are born, live, work and age are influential on health and wellbeing. These factors are often known as the social determinants of health and many experts agree that they are more important than health care services in keeping us healthy.

The Building Research Establishment says the annual cost to the NHS of poor quality and hazardous housing is £1.4 billion.

  • The most common housing hazards are falls on stairs
  • The most expensive housing hazard for the NHS is excess cold
  • Falls and excess cold are particularly dangerous for older people, who live in nearly half of all non-decent homes

There is a lot of local support available in South Tyneside. For example, Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service provide safe and well checks for households. There is also advice on debt, help to change to your energy supplier and advice on making small changes to your home to make it more energy efficient, such as energy saving light bulbs, as well as larger repairs such as new boilers and insulation.

If you are struggling to keep your house warm and safe, help is available from money & debt advice and cost of living support.

Alternatively, help is also available by calling:-

  • Welfare Support on 0191 424 6040.
  • Citizens Advice on 0344 4994 715
  • Age Concern South Tyneside on 0191 456 6903
  • CMA Connect (Place of Welcome+) on 07555 406416
  • Green Doctor 07587 136525

Some funding is available from the council to pilot a Healthy Homes project in two specific wards of the borough - Simonside & Rekendyke and Biddick & All Saints. We'll start the work by asking residents what a healthy home means to them, what support they've received if their home feels cold and what more could be done. This will make sure we use the money in the way local people really need it.

The next stage will be to work with a number of households in these wards who are particularly at risk because of where they live, their age, underlying medical conditions and/or lifestyle. Improvements will be made to the house and/or the finances of that household and the impact of this will be measured. If the pilot is successful, further funding may be available to use in other parts of the borough.