The appalling statistics on excess winter deaths in England and Wales (Last winter’s NHS crisis worst since 1976, with 50,000 excess winter deaths – ONS, 1 December) demonstrate the extreme hardship so many people face living in our dreadful, leaky homes during cold weather. For every death, probably five people had emergency admissions to hospital and 27 had additional visits to their GPs. The cost to the health service is enormous. If you could afford to keep warm, the effect of influenza would not be so serious.