Our advisers support staff and patients of the Royal Free London with an array of issues, primarily around benefits and housing support.
Our welfare benefit advisors support patients with:
- Listening and empathising with people’s individual situations – to establish how they can help them with the practical aspects of life.
- Finances– assessing individual benefit entitlement; helping with applications; when decisions may need to be questioned; helping people with the process of mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
- Housing issues – advocating on behalf of patients to local authorities; helping to secure appropriate housing for people; often supporting people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness (and in many cases preventing that from happening)
- Debt issues – referring people into specialised charities and organisations to get the support they need
- Connecting GP and mental health services with support patients, where people need that extra support.
We support patients with a wide range of long term health issues including kidney failure, HIV, chronic pain – to name but a few; often there are aligning mental health issues.
These medical conditions can be life changing for the individual and their families. For them, the help we provide is a lifeline, accessing much needed support that they would not get elsewhere.
In a recent survey 90% of patients said they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the support they had received from the support hub; 75% said they felt the support hub help had improved their general wellbeing, 75% felt it had reduced their stress about finances; 64% even felt it had improved their physical health compared to beforehand.
“I have no idea where I would be now if it wasn’t for the hub. I’m living and able to live because of my advisers support”
James, RFH patient
The Welfare Benefits Advice service has also been a valuable resource for staff at the hospital.
“The hub is an invaluable service. I come across at least one patient a week who needs benefit or housing support who I refer. It allows me to spend time doing other things. I don’t have the time or expertise to be able to give advice.”
Jane, clinical nurse specialist, Royal Free Hospital
How to access this support
Currently referrals into the WBA service are made directly from Royal Free London staff.
Please talk to your medical consultant or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to ask them to refer to the Support hub welfare benefit service for support, using the below details.
Information about the management of your case
Find out more about our terms of engagement, or you can download a copy of this document here.
For further information or with any questions please email us or call us on 020 7794 0500 ext 39963.