The Healthier Wealthier Children (HWC) project continues to provide evidence of financial gain, debt reduction and reduced stress for NHS patients.
Since its launch in 2010, this NHS led child poverty initiative has resulted in over £52 million pounds going back into the pockets of local families with over 32,000 referrals to money advice services from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff.
The initiative has meant that many people are now receiving welfare benefits they were unaware they were entitled to. Debts have been written off and sanctions appealed successfully. Families have had access to grants and assistance with dealing with food and fuel poverty.
All NHSGGC midwives, health visitors, family nurses and specialist children’s service are now asking about money and debt worries routinely and referring to money advice services as part of day to day care.
The project has now been mainstreamed across all NHSGGC areas:
- maintaining Children & Families referral pathways to money advice services
- awareness sessions on money worries, child poverty and welfare reform for NHS staff
- monitoring outcomes of the Healthier Wealthier Children approach
- mainstreaming group work programmes
In addition, from October 2021 there is a national roll-out of primary care money advice for areas of highest deprivation. Some patients with children will access this service. NHSGGC has five Health & Social Care Partnerships involved: East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
The Healthier Wealthier Children model is cited as a requirement of Scotland’s Child Poverty action plan and similar models have been developed in London as as far afield as Sweden and Australia.