Families are looking ahead to a grim winter as experts predict the cap on energy bills will hit close to Â£3,600 per year from October – before rising again in April next year.
Surging prices mean people will have to choose between skipping meals to heat their homes or living in poor conditions, the National Health Service(NHS) Confederation said in a letter to ministers.
This will inevitably lead to more people falling ill and seeing their health deteriorate.
The body, which represents NHS leaders across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, also warned rising rates of poverty will lead to increased hospital admissions as well as a huge increase in demand on other parts of the NHS, placing front-line services and staff under “intolerable pressure”.
“If people cannot afford to heat their homes sufficiently and if they cannot afford nutritious food, then their health will quickly deteriorate,” the health chiefs wrote.
“This will increase the already high number of annual deaths associated with cold homes – estimated at around 10,000 a year.