The NHS is saving half a million pounds annually as result of measures taken by Labour Councillor Baggy Shanker to improve housing standards across the city.
A main priority for the Labour-run City Council is improving the living standards of tenants within Derby’s private sector.
What’s being done?
The Housing Standards Team work hard to respond to complaints about unhealthy and dangerous living conditions. The team takes proactive measures through the inspection and investigation of properties belonging to known ‘rogue’ landlords. Alongside this, they also licence and regulate owners of larger houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) ensuring that these properties are suitable for occupation. The team, led by Labour Councillor Baggy Shanker, works closely with local landlords offering training courses, seminars and producing newsletters. The City Council operates a property accreditation scheme for landlords who wish to be recognised for letting quality accommodation. Over the course of 2015-16, the Housing Standards Team received and actively responded to, 400 complaints from private tenants who were concerned about the conditions of their home.
What is the positive impact from this on the NHS?
The formation of the NHS, under a labour government, revolutionised health care in Britain and is the biggest domestic achievement of any administration. It is therefore important that councils do everything they can to protect and support the NHS. Labour led Derby City council has supported the NHS through the excellent performance by the Housing Standards Team, which has improved housing standards across Derby City. The subsequent rise in standards has reduced pressure on GP’s and the NHS as there have been fewer ‘at home’ injuries and ill-health caused by inadequate living conditions. A cost benefit evaluation of the team’s work throughout 2015-16 estimates that it has produced annual savings of nearly half a million pounds to the NHS, and one million pounds to wider society. This equates to a total of £12.25 million and £26 million respectively, over the next 25 years.
Councillor Baggy Shanker, the Labour Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said: “Everyone has the right to live in a safe and healthy home and the work by our Housing Standards team ensures that this is the case for residents in Derby. The help we provide to improve living standards in turn improves resident’s health and reduces pressure on the NHS.”