Guidance

Flooding and health: national study

A study to help Public Health England (PHE) understand the impact of flooding on health and wellbeing.

Aims

The study consists of a questionnaire sent once a year to people living in certain areas affected by flooding in the winters of 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015.

The study will help PHE to:

  • understand how communities were affected by the storms and floods
  • know what the effects are on people’s health and daily living
  • determine how long the impact on health lasts

The results from the study will help us plan for the impact on people of future severe weather events, so we can help communities recover more quickly.

The study team

PHE, an executive agency of the Department of Health (DH), is co-ordinating the study.

The flooding study team includes university researchers from:

Groups of people who have been contacted

PHE wants to hear back from those who have been contacted and were affected in any way by the flooding, as well as people who were not affected. This will allow us to build up an accurate picture of factors that protect and affect health.

Even if you were not affected by the storms and floods, if you have received a questionnaire, we would still like your help.

Participants

The study team has contacted residents in flood affected areas from 6 local authority areas of England:

  • Gloucestershire
  • Wiltshire
  • Somerset
  • Kent
  • Surrey
  • Cumbria

Other local authorities areas may be included in the future.

If you have received a letter, then everyone in your household aged 18 or over is eligible to complete our questionnaire, and we would like to hear from all of you. Your ongoing participation in the study is essential to help us understand how long the impact of flooding on health lasts.

Guidance for participants

If you have received a letter, we request that you complete the questionnaire (either online or on paper) and return it to us. Completing the questionnaire takes about 20 minutes. If possible, please complete the questionnaire in one sitting.

Additional copies of questionnaires if there’s more than one adult in your household

To request an additional questionnaire or to access the questionnaire online, please contact the flooding study team by:

If you don’t understand one of the questions

The study team will be happy to explain any particular question and give advice on the best way to answer it.

Please phone the study team on 0345 504 8668 (select option 2).

If you’ve agreed to take part

The study team would like to contact you again once a year for up to 10 years to repeat some of our questions, so that we can track the long-term effects of severe weather on people’s health.

In the future, we might contact you to invite you to participate in other related future studies but participation is entirely voluntary.

If you do not want to take part in the study, you do not need to do anything.

What happens over the 10-year study period

One of the main reasons for the study is to see how the health of participants changes over time.

The questionnaire will ask you health questions each year, however your answers may vary depending on your recent experience. Some health questions may only be asked in the first year.

As the study develops we may add or change some questions, depending on the findings of the study up to that point.

What you should do if you’ve received a reminder postcard but not a questionnaire

To receive a questionnaire or complete the study online, please contact the flooding study team by:

What you should do if you’ve completed and returned your flooding questionnaire but you still got a reminder

Let us know and we will check our database to see if we’ve received your questionnaire.

Please contact us by:

Confidentiality: how your information and data will be used

Your information will be identified only with a unique ID number. Only the team conducting the study is allowed access to any information that might identify you.

We will not tell your GP, insurance company or anyone else about any of the information that you provide.

If you want to leave the study

Please us know by:

We will remove you from the database and you will not be contacted again. You can choose to leave the study at any time.

If you don’t want to answer the questionnaire

Please ignore the letter and do not return the questionnaire, we will not send further questionnaires to people who have not responded in the first year.

If you do not want to answer further questionnaires

If, after the first year, you decide you no longer wish to participate, please contact the study team by:

We will remove you from the database and you will not be contacted again.

Finding out about the results

We will produce a report on our results that will be shared with the main government organisations with responsibility in this area, including the DH and the Environment Agency.

A copy of the report will be posted on GOV.UK. You may also request a summary of the main findings. We also hope to publish our results in a medical journal.

Publications

The English National Study for Flooding and Health: first year report

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

The English National Study for Flooding and Health: groups infographic

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

The English National Study for Flooding and Health: likelihood infographic

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publications@phe.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Further information

You can get more information about flooding from:

PHE’s flooding: health guidance and advice document collection

National Flood Forum

Published 1 March 2015
Last updated 2 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Added documents about the first year report.
  2. First published.