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Dealing with financial stress? We’re here to help

Many of us struggle with money worries at some time or another and sometimes it can feel overwhelming, affecting your health and wellbeing, your sleep, and your physical and mental health.

When it feels like this, knowing where to go for help or having someone you can talk to can make a huge difference.

There are very good money advice services available, but you need to know where to find them.

Now, as part of NHSGGC’s commitment to the health of our workforce, support is to be made available to help staff easily access information about money worries or financial concerns such as debt.

Colleagues in Human Resources, Occupational Health and Support and Information Services already provide advice on a wide range of personal and confidential issues.

Under the new scheme, they will also be trained to support and signpost staff to services that can help with benefits, budgeting and debt-related issues.

Their role will not involve giving financial advice but they will be trained in asking sensitively about money worries and will be able to make rapid referrals to reputable advice services so that you can quickly get the help you need.

Jane Beresford, health improvement lead, financial inclusion and vocational rehabilitation, explained: “Although NHS staff have protective policies and good pay and conditions, unfortunately this does not make them immune to financial worries.

“Depending on family circumstances and life events, many staff will experience financial difficulty from time to time.

“This was borne out earlier this year by our Employee Wellbeing Survey when a significant proportion of staff responding to the survey reported struggling with money worries.

“While we know that there are groups of staff who are vulnerable to financial stress, for example people affected by disability, caring responsibilities, family job loss, mental ill health and more serious financial hardship, money worries can affect anyone.

“The support will therefore be available to anyone who requires it.”

NHSGGC works in partnership with local money advice services and they are based in local communities. A money advice service can offer:

  • Help with budgeting
  • Help with completion of benefit forms – have you checked if you are entitled to anything?
  • Help with managing of debt
  • Help with high gas and electricity tariffs and fuel arrears.

All of these services are confidential and quality assured and do not charge for their services. Information on local services in your area can be found at infodir.nhsggc.org.uk

In addition the Money Advice Service has really useful budgeting tools online that are free to use. These can be accessed by going to www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budgetplanner

NHS Choices also has a tool which helps you self assess the impact of money worries. Go to: www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/money-worries.aspx

The new service will be launched in January 2018.