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9 February 2000

HEALTH VISITORS URGED TO LOBBY MPS ON WARM HOMES BILL

The country's 10,000 health visitors were urged today (Wednesday, 9 February) to write to their MPs in support of the Warm Homes Bill designed to cut the death toll amongst older people during the winter.

The Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association (CPHVA) is supporting the campaign to introduce energy efficiency measures in a bid to slash the winter death rate which claims 30,000 more lives than in the summer.

Director of the CPHVA, Jackie Carnell said: "Community practitioners and health visitors witness the very worst effects of fuel poverty. Homes which cannot be kept warm because of lack of insulation and adequate heating inflict terrible physical and mental suffering, particularly amongst the elderly."

The CPHVA, which also represents school nurses, and district and practice nurses, is urging its 17,500 members to write to their local MP, asking them to attend the Second Reading of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Bill in the House of Commons on 10 March.

Ms Carnell said: "This is practical action that CPHVA members can take to make a real difference to improve the quality of life of millions of disadvantaged and often vulnerable people."

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

For further information, please contact:

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 mobile 0468 69 39 40

The campaign is being run by a steering group of 11 organisations and the CPHVA is a supporter of the group. The Warm Homes Bill would lead to a programme to end fuel poverty through a programme to radically improve the energy efficiency of the housing of those in fuel poverty. Measures including insulation and central heating would provide over seven million households with the means to keep warm. It would mean taking action to prevent illness and premature death, and improve the quality of life of millions of disadvantaged and often vulnerable UK citizens.

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents more than 17,500 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern

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