A report by the Personalised Care Institute is pushing for ‘personalised care’ as nurses report a significant increase in patient illness, caused by financial concerns.
A survey of 500 health and care professionals carried out by Censuswide, on behalf of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) has found that 57% of nurses believe that money problems have caused increased levels of health issues in the past 6 months.
Prevention is crucial, according to the report, which found that 3 in 4 nurses believe that discussing financial wellbeing with patients can prevent further health problems.
Sarah Murphy, Health and Social Care Lead at MaPS, said: ‘We’re seeing more and more evidence that suggests there’s no health without financial health and this is really concerning.
‘When someone’s struggling to keep up financially, the knock-on effects for their physical health can be severe. They may struggle to attend medical appointments or pay for prescriptions, while some can end up living in damp or otherwise unsuitable conditions, all of which can have long term consequences for their wellbeing. It can also affect their mental health, trapping people in a vicious cycle where money and health problems both continue to spiral.’
Despite this sharp rise in cost of living concerns causing health problems, 89% of nurses said they felt unequipped to discuss these issues with their patients. Some felt it was ‘not their place’ to do so, other’s feared they may ‘cause embarrassment’ and others worried that they didn’t have the ‘right answer.’
The Money Talk Toolkit, developed by the PIC and MaPS, aims to plug this gap and support nurses to provide ‘personalised care’ which stretches beyond medical circumstances. The toolkit offers training and resources, including conversation starters and advice on how best to signpost patients to the right support.
Emma Hyde, Clinical Director for the Personalised Care Institute, said: ‘Personalised care, which is core to the NHS’ modern approach to healthcare, encourages a holistic approach to supporting people and the ability to recognise the wider factors at play - like financial wellbeing - that can influence health outcomes. By doing this effectively, we empower patients with more choice and control over their health and wellbeing.
‘Health and care professionals are regularly found to be among the ‘most trusted’ members of our society and the NHS is our most trusted institution, so who better to sensitively raise the issue of financial wellbeing with patients in order to optimise health.’
To access the toolkit, click here.