Benefits of co-locating welfare advice in primary care


People experiencing mental ill health may find it harder to access advice and support for social issues, and worsening economic hardship impacts upon patients’ health and GP time pressures.

Co-locating welfare advice services in primary healthcare settings has been one approach to increasing income among socially deprived groups. 

We provided the first evidence-based data on the benefits of co-locating welfare advice services in GP settings, demonstrating significant improvements in patient mental health and well-being, reaching those most in need and supporting healthcare staff. The research found:

  • People who received welfare advice gained on average £15 per capita for every £1 spent by commissioners – averaging £2,689 per person.
  • Patients had up to 91% greater reductions over time in common mental disorder, improved mental well-being and 58% greater reduction in financial strain.
  • Nearly half of advice recipients would not have sought advice or would have turned to their GP had the service not been there.
  • Co-located services reduce pressure on GPs and practice staff and increase their capacity to support patients.

Project details: The mental health, economic and societal benefits of co-locating welfare advice in primary care


Co-locating welfare Impact Card

The evidence generated directly led to co-located services being retained in primary care and new services being established in a mental health-based settings.

The Ministry of Justice Strategy on legal support (Feb 2019) recommends exploring new ways of delivering legal support including embedding legal advice in other services, such as primary care.

Download and share the impacts of co-located welfare advice in GP surgeries

Contact: Professor Rosalind Raine

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