Funding was received from the Scottish Government Health and Welfare Reform Development Fund to run a pilot in the Western Isles to increase front-line staff understanding of welfare reform and health inequalities and to develop their role in mitigating against the negative impact of poverty on health outcomes.
The project aims to challenge stigma and increase awareness and knowledge of poverty issues and welfare reform amongst front-line staff. Additionally the pilot wanted to introduce routine enquiry by health staff about money worries to help them identify individuals experiencing financial hardship or crisis and to facilitate their onward referral for specialist money and welfare advice, through the introduction of a Universal Referral Form.
A central point for referrals was established within the local authorities Revenues & Benefits Team and once a referral is received, it is reviewed, prioritised and then forwarded on to the most appropriate specialist service(s) to provide the assistance required.
Along with the training and the Referral Form, a ‘Survival Guide and Myths vs Truths’ bookmark (pictured above) were also produced to help with signposting to relevant agencies and help tackle the myths relating to welfare reform and poverty.
For further information on behalf of the Western Isles Poverty Action Group, please contact Mary Maclean, Fas Fallain Manager, tel. (01851) 704704 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org