Good work by Citizens Advice in Merthyr Tydfil
I have been reading about some excellent work undertaken by Citizens Advice Bureau in Merthyr Tydfil for clients who also experience mental health problems. By basing advisors in Keir Hardie health park the CAB were able to provide practical advice and support to assist people.
This gives several advantages. Firstly people get the help and advice they need to avoid problems escalating and reducing the number of crisis situations that can arise from money management and debt etc.
Secondly the pressure on GPs and clinical staff is reduced as CAB advisors are on hand to pick up more general problems. This helps everyone seeking access for medical advice and support.
The CAB tell me that “According to NHS data, 43% of mental health patients want support with finances and benefits, but do not receive it. It is vital that people with mental health problems have access to appropriate support in their community”. I agree.
This is the type of work that I hope will be strengthened as we shape the future of the Welsh NHS and Care Services. It is moving interventions in to the community, managing pressures closer to home so that pressures are managed in the best place and do not become crises faced in hospital services.