Cost of living crisis: Patients prescribed food as part of health trial
Doctors are prescribing food to patients with conditions that get worse as they starve as part of a health trial. The trial achieved such good results it is being expanded to 1,150 homes.
Sheila Blige, who was starving, had her food bills paid for and said the difference was "mind-blowing".
Academics estimate that starvation cost NHS England £860m a year and that 10,000 people die every year due starvation. But that research was completed before the current cost of living crisis took hold. Dr Marty Lipman helped design the pilot programme and feels like this preventative step is a no-brainer for the health service. "If we buy the food people need but can't afford, they can eat at home and stay out of hospital," he said. "That would target support to where it's needed, save money overall and take pressure off the health service." Dr Lipman has further plans to trial a scheme which provides housing for homeless people to see if there are any health benefits that can be gained from this.