NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde patients are being helped out of poverty to the tune of £23 million over the last three years, thanks to the joint partnership work with money advice services.
NHS Acute Hospital referrals to money advice services have increased year on year and have risen by 74% since 2015-16 to more than 5,000 referrals last year. This has allowed patients to access financial gains such as tax credits and benefits totalling £9.4m last year, which is an average of £1,865 per patient.
Jane Beresford, from NHSGGC’s Employment and Health team said: “It’s difficult enough being ill and having to make more trips to hospital for appointments. But when you are struggling financially too, the burden can be much harder to face. Our partners who provide money advice services are highly experienced and often manage to access benefits that people have no idea they are entitled to.”
Advisors can support people with a range of financial issues and have in the last three years supported over 14,000 patients with debt management; budgeting, grants, help with fuel bills as well as access to benefits.
Jane Beresford added: “Individual financial situations are complex so we work with hospital staff who raise the issue of money with patients and refer them directly to money advice services.
“We are seeing people who have relatives in hospital or are patients themselves choosing between eating and heating, feeling under pressure paying bills, difficulty in affording travel to hospital and struggling with benefit forms.
“We recognise the impact money concerns can have on families and money advice services help identify how we can ease debt burdens or increase the income coming into the home. Our partnership with our money advice service providers and funders is greatly valued by both our patients and staff.”
NHSGGC money advice services are delivered in partnership with: Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity; Long Term Conditions and Macmillan Service; Money Matters; Renfrewshire Advice Works; West Dunbartonshire Money for You; East Dunbartonshire CAB and Inverclyde Advice First.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]