Letter: Cold comfort

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Why does Frank Dobson's White Paper, Our Healthier Nation, ignore the recommendations of his own independent inquiry into health inequalities, chaired by Sir Donald Acheson? The Acheson report recommended in three places that home insulation was needed to reduce health inequalities caused by fuel poverty. Mr Dobson's White Paper concedes that the health of more than 2.5 million households (4 million people) is endangered by fuel poverty (people living in cold homes which leak heat because they are poorly insulated) and that up to 50,000 people per year die because of this problem.

At the election Labour pledged "policies across Whitehall departments to improve the nation's health". Yet Our Healthier Nation provides for no role for health authorities in tackling what is admitted to be a severe problem.

HAYLEY TRUEMAN

London SE6

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