Living in cold, damp and mouldy homes leads to poor health, such as chest conditions in children and mental health problems in adolescents. The rising cost of energy, coupled with wages not increasing in line with inflation, is likely to further widen social inequalities in child health. With families unlikely to be able to afford to heat their homes, health problems for CYP may worsen.

We will examine the impact of preventative policy interventions (e.g. targeted support for energy bills), and if they help to improve health and well-being, and in turn reduce winter pressures on the NHS. Using our existing UK social and health data on CYP and families, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we will digitally mimic the household environments of CYP to create an environment in which we can simulate interventions, and thus predict how effective they are at improving health conditions, reducing inequalities, and in turn reducing NHS service pressures.

Young people’s experiences and feedback helped us form this research plan, and we will continue to work with young people and other people in the community, as well as policy experts, to help make sure our research answers real-world questions about health, living conditions, and how to reduce winter pressures on the NHS.