Improvement Service website header

Welfare Advice and Health Partnerships - Useful Resources

Social Return on Investment Analysis on the Co-location of Advice Workers with Consensual Access to Medical Records

A Social Return on Investment analysis carried out by the Improvement Service, in partnership with NHS Lothian, Dundee City Council and Granton Information Centre, found that every £1 invested in the co-location of advice workers in medical practices would generate around £39 in social and economic benefits.


The benefits listed below – among others - were identified, measured and valued by talking directly to the people most affected:


  • Service users said that they experienced improved health and wellbeing, felt less stigmatised, and had better and earlier access to services
  • Medical practice staff are able to make better use of their time and to focus on medical interventions
  • Medical practices are able to deliver more cost-effective services
  • Advisors state that they have improved productivity and the number of appeals and on-going work is reduced
  • Funders were able to target resources at priority groups.

Download the report


The Deep End Advice Worker Project: Embedding an Advice Worker in General Practice Settings

Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) produced a report on the processes underpinning the Deep End Advice Worker project, including an assessment of its impact. The project developed and tested approaches to delivering advice services (e.g. financial and debt advice, housing advice and social security support) in two general practices in north east Glasgow. The main focus of the Deep End Advice Worker project was to improve social and economic outcomes for people. It also sought to reduce the time medical staff spent on non-clinical issues.


The report explicitly examines the importance of practitioner knowledge and professional relationships in collaborative service delivery projects. Recommendations are made regarding approaches to delivering future work of this nature.

Download the report


Advice in practice: Understanding the effects of integrating advice in primary care settings

A report by Citizens Advice and the Royal College of General Practitioners evaluating the impact of integrated advice services in general practice. The report focusses on services provided by Citizens Advice Bureau in Liverpool and Derbyshire evaluating the impact on patients, practice staff and advice service providers. Key findings include:


  • 75% of GPs said there was a positive effect on patients health and wellbeing
  • 72% of GPs said there was a positive effect on the overall care for patients
  • 61% of GPs said it had a positive effect on their ability to focus on and treat  patients’ clinical issues
  • 61% of GPs said there were positive effects on the number of repeat visits about  the same non-clinical issue
  • 53% of GPs said there was a positive effect on the amount of time they spend on  non-clinical issues in consultations.
  • Advice services that are integrated within general practice are the most effective way of delivering advice to patient populations

Download the report


Evaluation of the impact on GP surgeries of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau Health Outreach service

An evaluation report by NHS Sefton on the impact on integrated advice services in general practice. The Citizens Advice Bureau Health Outreach Service provides advice surgeries in nine practices in the Sefton area. Data was gathered from 148 patients from six practices on use of health services six months before and six months after first appointment with the CAB service. These showed statistically significant reductions in the number of GP appointments and prescriptions for hypnotics/anxiolytics.

Download the report


Exposing the impact of advice services on health and inequalities

This study by the National Institute of for Health Research measures the impact that advice services have on improving recipients’ health and reducing health inequalities.

 The project used realist evaluation to find out how, why, for whom, and in what circumstances Citizens Advice Gateshead (CAG) advice services were effective in improving health. The data shows a very significant increase in wellbeing and significant decrease in stress as a result of contact with CAG. Interviews with staff and clients show how CAG contributed to this positive outcome.

Download the report


Low Commission Report

This report shows how the right welfare advice in the right place produces real benefits for patient health especially where advice services work directly with the NHS and care providers and presents clear evidence that early and effective advice provision reduces demand on the NHS. The report is an evidence review undertaken through a joint project between the Low Commission and the Advice Services Alliance. It outlines key findings from 140 research studies in the field and gives an overview of 58 integrated health and welfare advice services; the key finding is that welfare advice provided in health context results in better individual health and well-being and lower demand for health services. The report compiles the mounting evidence of both the adverse health impact of social welfare law problems and the beneficial health impact of receiving good advice and makes recommendations to relevant health bodies and stakeholders.

Download the report


UCL Faculty of Laws – Health Justice Partnerships in Social Prescribing

A background paper outlining the development of Health Justice Partnerships in various countries. The paper summarises various approaches and reasons for developing HJPs in Australia, North America and the UK and reviews the impact these have on health services, patients and advice agencies.

Download the paper


Embedding Welfare Rights Advisors in General Practice

A poster and companion postcard infographic resource summarising the findings of the Social Return on Investment evaluation conducted by the Improvement Service.


Integrating/Embedding Welfare Rights Advice in General Practice - Key facts

A fact sheet outlining the key elements required to develop Welfare Advice and Health Partnerships in General Practice.

Download the fact sheet


Podcast - Welfare Advisors in Health and Social Care Services (

A roundtable discussion on the embedding of welfare advisers in health and social care services, as an effective response to the impact of welfare reform.


The discussion involved Kate Burton, Public Health Practitioner at Scottish Public Health Network; Roddy Samson, Welfare Advice Service Facilitator at the Improvement Service; and Karen Carrick, Project Manager at the Improvement Service. They discuss what a welfare adviser is, and detail the embedded model - its effectiveness, challenges and plans for it going forward.

Listen to the podcast


Roddy Samson

Tel. 07841 572919

Email Roddy


Karen Carrick

Tel. 01506 283566

Email Karen Carrick


phone icon
Our address
COSLA logo SOLACE logo

© Improvement Service, 2018. All Rights Reserved