Date lodged: 28 February 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it encourages key agencies in training frontline staff to identify challenges that could impact on health and wellbeing, including signs of fuel poverty or the risk of fuel poverty, and to make appropriate referrals to specialist support services.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 14 March 2017
We recognise the importance of frontline workers in communities, who can readily identify householders who would benefit from help. Home Energy Scotland, funded by Scottish Government, currently undertakes outreach work, providing free training to local partners and raising awareness of the service available. This outreach will increase the provision of advice and support in our communities and enhance the partnership approach to delivering support where it’s needed most.
Home Energy Scotland has also put in place a referral portal that gives our partner organisations a quick and easy way to refer clients and customers to support, including funding to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Training has been put in place to support the range of organisations that have already signed up to use this new tool – including NHS Boards and energy suppliers.
In addition to this, we launched ‘HES Homecare’, delivered by Home Energy Scotland, on 8 March 2017. The service is being piloted in two rural areas and will join up with local services to give targeted and specific in-home support to people who are in the greatest need – helping them to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.