Heating on prescription trial suggests fewer NHS visits
By Colletta Smith & Elaine Doran
A trial which paid the heating bills of some NHS patients last winter indicated they visited their GP less often.
There was also "emerging evidence" that they needed fewer prescriptions and access to out of hours services.
Trial participant James Smith said being warm brought "massive relief" from his lung disease.
Sheffield Hallam University said it was too soon to say if a wider scheme would benefit health and save the NHS money.
The BP-funded, independently run scheme in England and Scotland has now ended.
A spokesperson for the UK government welcomed the findings of the experiment and said it would "continue to keep options under review to further help vulnerable households".
Scotland's energy minister Gillian Martin said the trial findings would inform energy support programmes.
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In 2021, the typical household paid 1,138 a year for gas and electricity but prices rose sharply after Russia invaded Ukraine.