Do you need help with the cost of living?
The costs of things like food, power and heating means many people are feeling stressed about money at the moment. This can also affect their mental and physical health. If this sounds like you, try not to worry, because there is support out there. To make it easier to find what you need we’ve put together a list of organisations that can help with:
- Managing money
- Heating and housing
- Healthcare costs
- Looking after your mental health
If you need information about more support or want to discuss your own personal situation, please contact our free, friendly and confidential Information & Signposting service by:
We are also launching our latest report with Healthwatch Solihull, which shows that local people have been struggling to afford the cost of prescriptions and travel to medical appointments. The report ‘How has the cost-of-living crisis affected the health and wellbeing of people in Birmingham and Solihull?’ examined the experiences of over 300 local residents between December 2022 and June 2023, and revealed that:
- A far higher proportion of people, than in a national poll, were avoiding the associated costs of NHS treatment and appointments.
- For those people on disability benefits, a higher proportion than found nationally were avoiding taking up prescriptions, avoiding booking appointments due to the associated costs, avoiding the cost of dental treatment or paying for over-the-counter medications.
- A third of respondents were using Warm Spaces or anticipating doing so.
In response to the findings, Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull are working with NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (NHS BSOL) to raise awareness of how vulnerable people and those on benefits or low incomes can get financial support with healthcare costs by checking their eligibility on the NHS website, which also has more detailed information on the Healthcare Travel Costs (HTCS) support scheme and who can get free prescriptions.
In addition to letting people know about the financial help already available, Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull are also pressing health and social care services to provide greater support for patients and families during the cost of living crisis.