Healthier & Wealthier

July 21, 2017

Healthier & Wealthier is a free service for people registered as patients with GP practices anywhere in County Durham.


We give in-depth advice by telephone for problems with benefits, work, debt, caring, family problems, disability, staying warm and healthy, housing, rights and responsibilities, legal matters and more… and once we’ve solved your problem we can also find other help for you, and perhaps put you in touch with other helpful organisations.


Why use Healthier & Wealthier?

  • Getting advice by telephone can be very useful if you find it hard to travel, if you need advice very quickly, or if you don’t have time to go to a Citizens Advice office (for example if you need to get advice during your lunch break at work)
  • You might not have realised you needed advice until you’ve discussed things with your doctor
  • Doctors aren’t experts on subjects like work, benefits and debts… but they want to help you, so they’re usually happy to ask Healthier & Wealthier to call you


How does Healthier & Wealthier help?

  • Our team has worked alongside health services before, so they know how everyday problems can affect your health.  We know what questions to ask, to make sure we cover all of your needs… even things you might not have thought about yourself
  • Your doctors are probably under huge pressure; you might even have noticed waiting times are getting longer, or appointments are getting shorter.  By helping the doctors sort out your non-medical problems, we are leaving them with more time to care for your medical needs


What can be done by telephone?

  • You’d be surprised how often we are able to completely solve your problems by telephone!  Until you talk to us, you might not realise how simply some problems can be solved
  • Sometimes what you need is help speaking to the right people and organisations.  If needs be, we can often go away and look things up or speak to people on your behalf, then come back to you with answers
  • If paperwork needs to be done, we can support you in other ways too.  We can send things in the post, we can talk to a friend or family member who’s helping you to fill forms in, and in some cases we can even arrange for a specialised worker to visit you at home


What have we achieved so far?

  • Since October 2016 over 80 doctors’ practices in County Durham have asked us to call hundreds of their patients, and we have made thousands of advice calls
  • When people have gained extra income as a result of getting our advice, the average amount each person gained was over £5000 per year! (last checked in May 2017)
  • People usually have more than one ‘outcome’ from their call – the average is almost 4 outcomes.  That’s 4 things we help them with, even if they start off asking about 1 problem
  • We ask people about how their problem affects their wellbeing, before and after they get our advice.  Almost everybody says they feel much better after advice, and the way we record this information shows that most people improve from feeling well and able to cope “None of the time” or “Rarely” to “Most” or “All” of the time.


How do you get in touch with Healthier & Wealthier?

Healthier & Wealthier is mainly used by GPs in County Durham. If your doctor or someone else working at the practice realises that you need advice, or that your health is affected by the kinds of problems we can help with, they can quickly and easily ask us to call you.  We can usually call you back on the same day, and always for free.

Other advice services are available if you would like to visit us, call us, or contact us online click here