Citizens Advice - Care Provider

Featured article - 28 November 2016
Claire Driffield, Health and Care Lead at National Citizens Advice

Head-shot of the author, Claire Driffield, Health and Care Lead at National Citizens Advice

This blog is based on a speech that Claire gave to SCIE staff...

“A care provider; really?” Well, yes. Across England and Wales Citizens Advice work with a wide range of health and care professionals to ensure people can access the support they need to lead independent, happy and healthy lives. Here’s some typical of the feedback we received for the work we do as a care provider:

“We were convinced that dad needed to move into a residential home. After mum died, he wasn’t managing. Citizens Advice did practical things like got him some button fasteners and switched his energy tariff which meant he could afford to have the heating on during the day. The attendance allowance pays for a taxi to the community centre once a week. One year on, he’s still living at home”. [Client]

Life is complicated

Every year, we help to solve around 27,000 social care advice issues and we see how these problems interconnect with other aspects of their lives. The problems people face are not always clinical or care related in the traditional sense.

Problems could include any or a combination of the following:

  • An elderly person living in a cold home because their energy tariff is high
  • Problems accessing the adaptations and aids needed to live comfortably at home
  • An isolated individual who doesn’t know where to start when it comes to accessing entitlements or services.

For the people we work with, these problems can come at a high personal cost to their health and wellbeing.

We help reduce demands on the health and care system

We prevent problems escalating into crises and can save both time and money for service users and the state. The average cost of a hospital bed is £400 per day, it can make a big difference when we unblock housing problems and the patient can finally return home.

Last winter there were 40,000 excess winter deaths, 30% of which were attributed to living in a cold home. We can help people reduce their energy bills so they can afford to warm their homes.

In 2014-15, we estimate Citizens Advice helped save the Department of Health £47 million by reducing the use of health services.

Don’t just take our word for it

Our clients tell us that we improve their mental wellbeing and physical health. 4 out of 5 clients feel less stressed, depressed or anxious after receiving our advice and 1 in 2 feel their physical health improves. 78% say they would not have resolved their problem without us.

Citizens Advice data:

78% of our clients say they would not have been able to resolve their problem without us. Four out of five clients feel less stressed, depressed or anxious. Nearly half feel their physical health has improved.

In Bolton we work with adult social care, the CCG and housing teams to identify and support individuals over 65 years at risk of developing long-term health and care needs. Across Liverpool we provide a specialist advice service for those experiencing poor mental health, linking together primary and acute provision. We deliver advice in nearly every GP surgery in Derbyshire and in London we provide a bespoke service for young children and families at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Talk to us

Health and Care Professionals do not have the time or expertise to conduct a detailed investigation into debt, rocketing bills or support a claim for welfare entitlements. We do. By working together, we can provide a more holistic service and help people live healthier, happier and more independent lives.

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