Health and Wellbeing Alliance launch guidance on tackling the cost of living crisis
- VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance
- Health inequalities
- Communication and administration
The resource, which was jointly developed by voluntary sector organisations with extensive reach into diverse communities who experience health inequalities, discusses how the ongoing cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on health and wellbeing, with particularly acute challenges being faced by those who already experience health inequalities.
The resource brings together insights from the VCSE sector in a unique way, whilst amplifying the voices that we aren’t hearing as much. This includes transgender people, people whose babies require at home medical devices, and those living in pain because their surgeries have been cancelled.
The piece also outlines how the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector has been providing vital services to support those most affected, but how the sector in itself is not immune to the effects of the crisis. Namely the sector is seeing an increase in demand, combined with an increase in running costs.
Additionally, the document identifies six key actions health and care policy makers, commissioners and provider organisations can take to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s health and wellbeing. These are as follows:
- Understand the scale and nature of the cost of living crisis on people using health and care.
- Adapt and reconfigure services to better suit the needs of people impacted by the cost of living crisis.
- Ensure advice, support and treatment given to people takes into account their financial situation.
- Ensure staff using health and care services know what support is available to people impacted by the cost of living crisis.
- Work with the voluntary sector to stand-up support systems and networks established during the pandemic.
- Track and urgently take action to mitigate the long term impacts of the cost of living crisis.
Sarah Sweeney, Interim Chief Executive of National Voices says:
Poverty and health are closely linked. People living in poverty are more likely to be living in poor health, and the opposite is also true; lack of support for people living with ill health and disability can make people poor. This new resource from the Health and Wellbeing Alliance sets out key actions to help to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s health and wellbeing, whilst bringing together key insights from across the VCSE in a unique way. We stand ready to help in this crisis.
The report is part of a wider body of work by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, whose mission it is to enable policy, commissioning and provider organisations to design services and support based on the needs of people and communities who face disadvantage and exclusion.
In 2022-2023, voluntary and community sector organisations from the HW Alliance have partnered up with policy leads from across the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency to deliver 54 projects which aim to reduce health inequalities. The full list of projects can be accessed here:
National Voices and NAVCA act as joint co-ordinators of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, which is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency.