Wales' outgoing chief medical officer urges healthy homes

Double glazed window in house The research will look at whether home improvements such as double glazing and insulation affect health

Related Stories

Data on hospital admissions, prescriptions and visits to GPs will be used to see what difference home improvements make to people's health.

A study will compare the health of council and housing association tenants in Carmarthenshire before and after their homes are upgraded.

The research was highlighted by Wales' outgoing chief medical officer in the week he publishes his annual report.

Dr Tony Jewell wants a "healthy homes" strategy, with smoking a priority.

Anonymous data will be compared with social housing residents in other parts of Wales to analyse how home improvements affect health.

A Carmarthenshire council project will bring homes up to a national quality standard by fitting better locks and lighting, kitchens, bathrooms, installing downstairs toilets, double glazing, insulation and making sure garden paths are in good condition.

Asthmatic children

The NHS will work with researchers at Cardiff and Swansea universities to see what difference it makes to the health of residents.

Start Quote

Dr Tony Jewell

I believe tackling smoking in the home needs to be a priority as part of this”

End Quote Tony Jewell Chief medical officer

The Welsh government cited a similar trial in Wrexham in 2004, involving about 200 asthmatic children.

It found better ventilation and heating at home improved children's health and quality of life, leading to them taking less time of school.

The chief medic said that having promoted good health in schools, at work and public places, it was now time for the Welsh government to focus on homes.

Dr Jewell, who will visit Carmarthenshire on Monday, said the population aged over 85 will double by 2035, having an impact on the treatment they require from the NHS and the support they need to continue to live at home.

He said: "Many factors can affect our health at home: poverty, second-hand smoke, fuel poverty and energy efficiency, damp, food hygiene, the threat of crime, such as domestic abuse or a burglary, or even the fear of crime.

"The Welsh government is taking action on all of these issues. I would like to see them brought together in a single healthy homes strategy, to co-ordinate action for the most vulnerable people in Wales.

"I believe tackling smoking in the home needs to be a priority as part of this."

Dr Jewell will publish his final annual report on Tuesday. He is due to step down over the summer.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.