Recent changes to the welfare benefits system are the biggest for 60 years and are having a profound impact on the people of Scotland and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
The changes come at the same time as the UK economy is experiencing low economic growth, rising unemployment and increasing levels of personal debt. The combination is likely to widen the health inequality gap, increase poverty and have a negative impact on the local economy. Click here to see reference document
Welfare reform affects both people who are unemployed and people in work. Over 50% of people who are considered to be living in poverty are in work and often claim benefits such as working tax credit.
The Scottish Government has recently published the consultation document A New Future for Social Security for Scotland to seek views on the devolved powers over disability benefits and some other elements of the social security system.
Welfare Reform and the NHS
Health practitioners are already reporting increased demand for services as a consequence of financial worries. There is also likely to be -
- an increase in diseases relating to poverty
- increased demand for mental health and primary care services
- a negative impact on carers
- an impact on NHSGGC staff who are on low wages, work part-time or who have a family member affected.
The following documents provide more detailed information on the welfare reform changes and what NHSGGC are doing to try to lessen the impact on patients.
GPs at the Deep End
Pulling In Different Directions? - the impact of economic recovery and changes tp social security on health and health inequalities in Scotland
ScotPHN Impact of Welfare Reform on Health (Literature search indertaken by NHS Highland in preparation for Parliamentary Finance Committee in June 2012 and interim guidance for NHS boards on mitigating impact)