The opening of the new Advice Centre at Ninewells Hospital now means that visitors, staff and patients can access information on a wide range issues including welfare and financial topics as well as support for carers and volunteering without having to leave the hospital.
The new advice facility, which can be found on the hospital’s main concourse area, has been made possible through NHS Tayside working in partnership with Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross Welfare Rights Services and third sector voluntary partners.
Partner organisations involved include Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau; Brooksbank Centre Money Advice Service; Tayside Carers’ Centres; Dundee Energy Efficiency Advice Project; Home Scotland; Shelter; and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Advice Centre is open daily Monday to Friday offering advice, advocacy and support on a wide range of topics including welfare benefits, money worries and debt, housing, food and fuel as well as support for carers and volunteering opportunities.
NHS Tayside’s Director of Public Health, Dr Drew Walker, said: “I would like to acknowledge the support of our partner organisations in helping to bring this new facility to Ninewells. Their combined expertise has been invaluable in setting up this service.
“It is well known that worrying about money and experiencing difficulties in paying household bills can have a serious detrimental effect on both physical health and mental wellbeing, and that being ill and unable to work can, in some cases, lead to financial hardship and other worries. Hospitals and other healthcare settings provide an ideal opportunity for advice services to help people access the right support at a time when they most need it.
“The Centre will also provide access to information and support for carers, signpost to volunteering opportunities across Tayside and will complement the existing Health Shop at Ninewells, which provides information on a variety of health topics.”
Mr Willie Sawers, deputy leader of Dundee City Council, said: “The opening of this new facility offering advice and assistance at Ninewells Hospital is a very welcome and much needed new development.
“It is a great example of partnership working between different advice agencies and will no doubt be of great value to patients, families and carers seeking help and assistance in times of ill health or crisis.”
This initiative is part of the action being taken by NHS Tayside to mitigate the health impact of welfare reform and address inequalities in health, a programme of work supported by the Scottish Government.