Reducing health inequities in London by improving access to social welfare advice

“Why treat people and send them back to the conditions that make them sick?”

Michael Marmot, 2017

Bromley by Bow Insights have published a new, independent report, funded by the Mayor of London, which focuses on the opportunities and need for greater collaboration between healthcare provision, social prescribing and social welfare legal advice to meet advice needs, particularly of the most vulnerable patients and families struggling on low income, those who suffer the greatest health inequalities.

The study focuses on the following areas:

  • the effects on people’s health of the issues supported by social welfare advice, such as lack of income, overcrowded and substandard housing etc and the health benefits of people accessing timely, professional advice in their communities
  • the growing need and demand for social welfare advice in London, particularly amongst those with the greatest levels of health inequalities and the current postcode lottery of supply of welfare advice in London
  • the opportunities for and challenges to strengthening access to advice allied to healthcare and social prescribing, what works and what needs to change, and how that change can be brought about
  • readily replicable examples of collaboration between healthcare, social prescribing and social welfare advice providers to improve access to social welfare legal advice
  • the opportunity presented by the development of Integrated Care Partnerships and Integrated Neighbourhoods to better co-ordinate approaches to increase access to advice provision in the Capital.

This independent study was grant funded by the Mayor of London and has informed the London Health Board’s Cost of Living Task and Finish Group, which in turn, has informed the London Health Board’s own recommendations to ICSs on the cost-of-living crisis.

The full report and subsidiary documents, listed below:

  • Report: Reducing health inequities in London by improving access to social welfare advice through greater collaboration between the healthcare, local authority and advice sectors
  • Making the case for why Integrated Care Systems should include the provision of social welfare advice
  • Recommendations for how Integrated Care Systems, Places and Neighbourhoods can increase access to social welfare advice, particularly for the most deprived communities
  • Good practice, replicable, case studies from London
  • Poster/infographic – to be added shortly

Webinar recording

Reducing health inequities in London by improving access to social welfare advice through greater collaboration between the healthcare, local authority and advice sectors

This webinar was on Wednesday 29th November, 3:00-4:30pm

The webinar aimed to:

  • Share the findings and recommendations from the report
  • Showcase examples of replicable, cost effective approaches from across London
  • Consider how the study’s recommendations might be implemented across London’s five ICSs, 32 boroughs and 200 Primary Care Networks

The webinar speakers and panel included:

  • Richard Douglas, Chair for NHS South East London Integrated Care Board
  • Matt Creamer, GLA health inequalities team
  • Hilary Ross, Director of System Strategy, Development and Innovation
  • James Sandbach, Citizens Advice, London
  • Harriet Plows, Citizens Advice, Wandsworth
  • Maura Farrelly, the report’s lead author