Example referral pathways

There are a number of established financial inclusion referral pathways throughout Scotland. Here you can find information and examples on pathways between money and welfare services and

  • maternity and health visiting services
  • GP services
  • acute care services. 

Within maternity and health visiting services

The Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and the Scottish Health Promotion Managers Group (SHPMG) are supporting NHS Boards and their partners to develop financial inclusion referral pathways between money and welfare services and maternity and health visiting services.

An example of this approach is Healthier, Wealthier Children (HWC), the pathway used within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) since 2010. 

The original approach was formally evaluated and reported on in 2012. You can read the report on the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) site.

Following on from the original approach, with support and leadership from the NHSGGC public health team, these pathways continued to develop and integrate through Community Health and Care Partnerships (CH(C)Ps) and now Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs).

A follow up evaluation was completed in 2014. You can read the report on the GCPH site.

All NHSGGC maternity and community health service practitioners are expected to enquire about money matters with all pregnant women and families as part of their routine health assessments. Money and welfare advice is then provided in accordance with the pathway arrangements in each HSCP. 

From implementation to date (June 2018) the HWC approach has allowed money and welfare advisers to release total financial gains of £19.6 million for the 19,900 patients referred to them. 

Within GP services

The Scottish Government is funding the Welfare Advice Service Facilitator (WASF), hosted by the improvement service, to support the development of money and welfare advice and health partnerships within healthcare settings. This is in place in around 50 practices in Scotland and is often referred to as embedded advice.

Advice is provided by a money and welfare advice worker within the practice. They typically have one or more session within the practice each week. 

Return on investment figures for this service show that for every £1 invested there is over £13 financial gain. In addition a recent Forecast Social Return on Investment concluded that every £1 invested generated around £39 of health, social and economic benefits.

You can find information on embedding money and welfare advice within GP services on the Improvement Service site.

Within acute care services

An example of embedding money and welfare advice within acute care services is the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow's money and debt advice service.

On admission or as a day patient, a nurse will ask the parent or carer if they have any money worries. They will make a direct referral to the money and debt advice service and an advice worker, based at the hospital, will meet the patient or carer to assess their situation and provide support.

During 2017/18, 361 families used the service for the first time and this has generated £2.4 million. This was on average a financial gain of £6,700 per family.