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Paramedics say people are getting ill because their homes are so cold

PUBLISHED

Ambulance crews say they are treating a growing number of patients who are falling ill because they are unable to afford to heat their homes.

The soaring cost of gas and electricity has forced many people to switch off their heating in the winter months.

Scottish Ambulance Service crews say they are seeing people who are unwell because their homes are so cold or they cannot afford to eat properly.

Charities have warned many people are dealing with a "toxic cocktail" of increasing energy bills, growing inflation and higher interest rates this winter.

Glasgow ambulance workers Tanya Hoffman and Will Green say that most weeks they see patients who are facing the stark choice between eating and heating.

They have been in homes which feel ice cold, where the patients are clearly struggling to cope.

"It is sad to see people are living like that," said Tanya.

"There's been quite a few patients I have been out to who can't afford to buy food. They have to choose one or other, heating or food.

"So they'll sit quietly at home and it's usually a relative or a friend who will phone for them as they don't want to bother anybody.

"They're sitting there [and] you can't get a temperature off them because they're so cold.

"So you take them into hospital because they are not managing. You know if you leave that person at home they are probably going to die through the fact they are so cold."

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Source: BBC News, 24 January 2023

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