Policy Win: NICE improves CO safety guidance

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has adopted a number of Policy Connect’s recommendations in its updated guidance on ‘Indoor air quality at home’.

Following a consultation between June and August, the newly published document includes a number of guidelines that will help healthcare professionals raise awareness of, and prevent, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

A notable improvement is the guidance’s recognition that unborn children, people living in poverty, and young children are vulnerable to poor indoor air quality, including CO poisoning. Including these groups will improve CO awareness amongst practitioners and aid them in providing preventative measures to high-risk households.

The updated guidance also provides more comprehensive information on CO’s poisoning’s risk factors, such as faulty fuel-burning appliances, which will enable housing inspectors to better identify hazardous homes. The document includes warnings against risky behaviours, such as using gas cookers for heating.

NICE also utilised Policy Connect’s recommendations on effectively enforcing these guidelines. For example, NICE is now encouraging Local Authorities to actively inform landlords of their obligations pertaining to heating, ventilation and safety. We are particularly glad to see NICE recognising how the threat of recriminatory eviction can prevent tenants from reporting unsafe and illegal housing, as this remains a key barrier to effective enforcement of rental standards.

Overall, this is an excellent start for CO safety in 2020 and we look forward to building on this progress in partnership with our Parliamentarians.


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