Boost for benefit advice is launched

THOUSANDS more people are getting much-needed advice on money, benefits, employment and relationships at their GP surgery thanks to a successful partnership between Derbyshire GPs and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Recession-hit times prompted 16,697 people to seek Citizens Advice from their doctor’s surgery at weekly clinics held in 2011 and 2012, compared to 11,641 in the same period two years ago. The number of problems dealt with also increased from 18,589 to 29,673.

The figures are being released by North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) during Rural Health Week, which runs from Sunday to September 29, to remind people of the benefits of the service – which can be vital for people living in remote Derbyshire communities.

Research conducted by the University of Sheffield highlights that patients registered at a Derbyshire GP surgery delivering a CAB service are seeing increased health and well-being benefits – with fewer patients using the service suffering from depression.

In the High Peak, weekly CAB clinics are run from Sett Valley Medical Centre, Stewart Medical Centre, Thornbrook Surgery, Buxton Medical Practice, Elmwood Medical Centre, Tideswell Surgery, Goyt Valley Medical Practice, Evelyn Medical Centre, Hayfield Surgery and Hartington Surgery.

Dr Ben Milton, chair of North Derbyshire CCG, said: “Stress and anxiety can lead to many serious health problems, so during Rural Health Week we’re urging anyone with financial and relationship worries to drop into their local GP surgery and see if a Citizens Advice Bureau clinic can help them resolve burdensome debt, housing and financial issues.”