We recently welcomed a team from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper writing about the work of the Royal Hospital for Children’s (RHC) Money Advice Service.
The American newspaper is carrying out a year-long exploration of the effects of concentrated child poverty in Pittsburgh and wanted to learn more about Scotland's efforts to eradicate child poverty.
A reporter, photographer and illustrator all joined members of NHSGGC’s Financial Inclusion team to learn about the work at the RHC. Staff have played a key role in addressing ensuring patients and their families are referred to money advice services where appropriate.
They also interviewed service users and heard from one parent about the major impact the team had on her family and how their support allowed her to concentrate fully on her daughter while in hospital.
In the last financial year, there were 472 referrals to the RHC’s Financial Inclusion service. This resulted in total gains of £3,331,499.27 or an average gain of £7,058.26 per referral.
Jane Beresford, Health Improvement lead, said: “The team from Pittsburgh are carrying out a very welcome assignment and we valued the opportunity to share our work with them.
“They were impressed at the extent of the support we can give families in what can be a very stressful time and just how much of a positive impact we can make to their lives while they focus on their family.
“One of the biggest challenges for the health service, as a whole, is to improve the health of people suffering the effects of disadvantage due to poverty.
“Socio-economic inequality has a unique impact on our population and we’re determined to continue tackling it in order to improve the health of people across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“As health professionals, we are in a unique position to recognise the effect of poverty and provide the right support.
“Financial inclusion is key to improving the health of our population. NHSGGC plays a vital role in supporting patients avoid any major financial crisis, and the resulting negative effects on health, through early intervention on financial issues.
“These types of referrals, and accompanying support, can have a huge impact on families. Many people are now receiving financial support they didn’t know they were entitled to and assistance with food and fuel poverty.
“Our actions can help to reduce child poverty and as a trusted organisation that reaches so many people it’s vital that we continue to make progress in tackling child poverty.
“The articles are due to be published next month and I’m confident that our work can inspire others to tackle child poverty.”
For further details on the service, please contact the hospital on 0141 201 0000.