NHS tackling poverty

Glasgow City Council, the NHS and the Wheatley Group have renewed their partnership approach to financial inclusion in 2015-18.  All are providing funding to allow direct referrals from their services into money advice services.  This work is similar to other partnerships within other local authority areas.

As part of this, the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been tracking NHS referrals to money advice services since 2011.  It is estimated NHSGGC staff have referred over 32,000 people to Money Advice Services with £37 million financial gain.   The Scottish Government has a national welfare reform plan for NHS services and NHSGGC is one of the leading Health Boards in terms of responding to and preventing poverty.  Key within this is emphasising to NHS staff that making a direct referral to money advice services can make a huge difference to families in relation to realising unclaimed welfare benefits and crisis grants, appealing sanctions and better budgeting, which results in reducing the stress caused by money worries that can impact on physical and mental health.

There is recognition that many staff have money worries themselves and NHSGGC has in place a number of actions to address this issue.  With the heavy impacts of the recession and welfare reform, the NHS is in an ideal position to respond to poverty issues and alert patients and staff to wider sources of support.  NHSGGC awareness campaigns have included DLA to PIP changes and Universal credit roll out.

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