20 Million Reasons to Ask About Money Worries
- challenging poverty in Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Over the last 7 years, NHSGGC’s Healthier Wealthier Children initiative has resulted in an incredible £20 million gain for families.
By routinely asking about money and debt worries, our Children & Families staff have been able to make a huge difference to our patients’ financial circumstances. Referrals to money advice services have resulted in increased income from unclaimed social security benefits, better debt management and charitable grants. Families have also reported a major reduction in associated stress.
Now, with the introduction of new legislation, more NHSGGC staff are being asked to make sure their patients have the same opportunity to get help with money worries.
“The 2018 Child Poverty Act in Scotland makes it a legal requirement for staff to routinely ask about money and debt worries and refer to advice services, “explained Dr Noreen Shields of the Equality & Human Rights Team. “In a challenging economic environment, NHSGGC staff are in a great position to help patients who are both in and out of work, as often those in work on low income do not know that they are entitled to certain social security benefits. With £13 billion in social security benefits going unclaimed in the UK each year, this is a huge opportunity to make a real difference for our patients.”
Many NHSGGC services are already routinely asking patients about money worries, resulting in around 16,000 referrals each year.
“In Scotland, there is a new social security agency covering a whole range of benefits and across the UK, Universal credit is rolling out,” said Noreen. “Given the range of welfare changes taking place and the rising costs of fuel and food it’s even more important for us to make sure we are ensuring our patients are getting the help and advice they need.”
Staff guidance on money worries is available here.