Warning poor housing costs Welsh NHS £95m every year

Credit: PA

Poor quality housing costs the NHS in Wales more than £95m per year in treatment costs, a new report has warned.

18% of homes in Wales pose an unacceptable risk to health, and poor housing costs Welsh society over £1bn a year.

The report by Public Health Wales, Community Housing Cymru, and the Building Research Establishment said poor housing is associated with poor physical and mental health.

It said improving the heating, thermal efficiency and ventilation of homes is key as well as adapting homes and providing services to reduce falls for older and disabled people.


fewer hospital admissions for circulation and lung conditions if homes were upgraded.

Public Health Wales said there is a ''real human cost'' to poor housing and conditions.

Wales has the oldest housing stock in the UK, and proportionately the highest treatment costs associated with poor housing. There is a real human cost to poor housing too, with people living in the least energy efficient homes being a fifth more likely to die during winter than householders in the warmest properties. However, this means that there are real opportunities for us in Wales to make significant improvements to health and well-being by taking priority action in the housing sector.

Louise Woodfine, Public Health Wales

The report looked at the impact of housing quality, unsuitable homes, and homelessness on health and well-being in Wales.