Who: Barts Health NHS Trust and Tower Hamlets
What: Energy and Air Quality
Where: East London

The challenge

London has the highest fuel poverty rates in the UK and the borough of Tower Hamlets is one of the worst affected areas, with large numbers of people suffering from health issues and over 330 winter deaths associated with cold homes.  The borough is also challenged by high air pollution levels. 

How we helped

Domestic gas boilers typically account for 7% of overall air pollution emissions in London so the programme aimed to reduce air pollution by encouraging the vulnerable to lessen their use of boilers without compromising their thermal comfort.

Global Action Plan engaged 157 community-based health professionals to act as trusted messengers who could credibly combine domestic energy use and air quality messaging.  As part of their normal home visits they gave residents a Warm and Well advisory pack which contained information on six no-cost heat saving behaviours that could be carried out around the home.

The trusted health messenger was an innovative new approach, not previously tested in this context and it worked. As one Tower Hamlet resident explained,

It's good advice and I trust those sources!


    • 36% of respondents pledged to change their behaviours
    • Health messengers proved to be 33% more effective in getting patients to engage
    • An estimated 36.5 tonnes of CO2e saved annually from actions now being carried out

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