‘Damp and mould can have a serious impact on a person’s health’ says College Chair
Publication date: 10 January 2024
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, featured in The Guardian today commenting on the health risks of damp and mould exposure. Professor Hawthorne said:
"Having significant damp and mould in a home can have a serious impact on a person’s health – especially if that person has an existing condition such as asthma or is in a high-risk group for respiratory infection. Aside from respiratory problems and potential damage to the immune system, living in inadequate housing conditions can take a pronounced psychological toll, causing considerable stress and affecting one’s mental health.
“When conditions like damp and mould arise, it's vital that whoever is responsible for the home takes measures to address the issues as soon as possible, to avoid the risk of a serious health impact on whoever is living there.
“More widely, a College survey found that 73% of GPs have seen an increase in patient presentations with conditions linked to the cost-of-living crisis and that patients are increasingly asking for support with non-medical interventions, such as access to council services and financial advice. As energy and food bills remain high, it’s a real concern among GPs that our patients won’t be able to maintain a healthy standard of living and we’ll continue to see significant numbers of presentations of preventable conditions linked to a patient’s environment.”
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Notes to editors
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.