Community Energy Action, in collaboration with Canterbury District Health Board, last month published a report, Healthy Homes Investing in Outcomes, into the Canterbury Healthy Homes programme that ran between 2011 and 2014.
The programme’s aim was to keep vulnerable patients out of hospital by providing insulation, heating and advice to those who presented more than once in a year to Christchurch Hospital with health conditions relating to cold and damp. Young families were also targeted for the scheme via general practitioners.
The programme oversaw 1500 insulation installations and 450 heating appliances installed.
The report found that there was a 29% drop in hospital bed days in the year after insulation was put in, compared to the year prior among the 900 people referred to Community Energy Action from the hospital.
This meant 312 fewer people had a hospital stay – a cost saving of $945,000 for Canterbury District Health Board.
A control group of over 20,000 with no intervention showed no reduction in discharges or bed days over the same period.
[Source: Ministry of Health/Canterbury District Health Board]