Challenge Poverty Week 7-13 Oct 2019
It’s a stark reality that almost a quarter of children in Scotland are living in poverty and this is likely to increase. Low incomes and high living costs mean that many people are being left to choose between things like heating their home and or putting food on the table.
Challenge Poverty Week is highlighting this growing problem and how we can work together to solve it.
“As health professionals, we are in a unique position to recognise the effect of poverty and provide the right support,” said Linda De Caestecker, Director of Public Health. “For example, health workers have the potential to act early in a child’s life and often see families at their most vulnerable. We therefore have a key role to play not just in terms of addressing our patients’ health issues but in making sure those patients are referred to money and welfare advice services.”
NHSGGC’s Healthier Wealthier Children project has demonstrated the huge impact of these types of referrals. Over the past 7 years, over 16,000 referrals to money advice services from our staff has resulted in more than £20 million pounds going back into the pockets of local families. Many people are now receiving financial support they didn’t know they were entitled to and assistance with food and fuel poverty. Debts have been written off and sanctions successfully appealed.
“Our actions can help to reduce child poverty,” said Linda. “And as a trusted organisation that reaches so many people it’s vital that we continue to do whatever we can to tackle child poverty.”
Asking our patients about money worries should be part of our routine enquiries. During Challenge Poverty Week view and share the short film, ‘Money Worries – In Sickness and in Health’. The film encourages us to consider how money worries contribute to poor health and suggest a framework to address them.