Concerns have been raised over the welfare of households across the county after a new report revealed there were 710 excess winter deaths in Derbyshire in 2016/17- partly caused by people living in cold homes.
Statistics for winter 2017/18 also show a significant rise in the number of excess winter deaths across the region with 4,200 recorded in the East Midlands.
Nationally, there has been an increase of 45 oer cent, the highest since 1975- which indicates the full figures for Derbyshire could be considerably higher when they are verified next year.
An important contributing factor to these deaths is the high number of people living in homes they can’t afford to adequately heat, particularly in rural parts of the country where properties tend to be older, poorly insulated and therefore harder to keep warm.
Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, said: “The latest government statistics reveal the hidden crisis facing Derbyshire and it is deeply concerning that even in this day and age, the number of winter deaths continues to rise.
“Many of us take keeping our houses warm for granted but for a large number of households it is a constant source of anxiety.”
OFTEC is sharing a free guide with advice on keeping the house warm, applying for heating benefits, finding a local heating technician and essential phone numbers. To access it, visit: www.oftec.org.uk