CLAHRC evidence influences decisions on front-line services

New knowledge generated by our research impacts commissioning and funding decisions on welfare advice

Our work to investigate the impact of locating welfare advisers in GP surgeries is bearing fruit as the new knowledge and evidence we have generated is influencing commissioning decisions for these services across London and beyond.

We know that a significant amount of General Practitioners workload is generated by patients approaching them with non-clinical issues such as debt, housing and immigration.


While these concerns undoubtedly impact health and wellbeing, doctors are not necessarily the best professionals to assist. Haringey Council trialled a scheme to locate welfare advice, and welfare advisers in GP surgeries to deal with these issues. 

We evaluated the impact of this advice (provided by Citizen’s Advice Bureau staff) on both GP workloads and on the health, wellbeing and use of services by the patients affected.

Our evidence has been used to support the following decisions –

Haringey: our evidence was used to support retention of all except one primary care co-located welfare advice service in and to provide an additional more intensive service at a mental health hospital (St Ann’s Hospital);

Camden: although the CCG decided to cease funding for GP outreach two GP practices have used the study findings to support ongoing funding for services at their practices (including an application for Big Lottery funding)

Deryshire; Citizens Advice services in Derbyshire have requested study findings to support a business case for ongoing funding of GP outreach in the region

Sussex: our study has been used as a basis to develop an evaluation framework in Sussex


Read our evidence 



Read more about the study: 

Does locating welfare advice in GP surgeries improve health and reduce strain on the NHS?

Our work is award winning

CLAHRC researchers enjoyed success at the recent Public Health England Annual Conference in Warwick.

They were among the authors of an award winning poster representing our partnership work with Islington Council.

We are working with the borough as it seeks to link NHS data with its own datasets to build a clearer picture of  local population needs and better target services and interventions.

Linking these sources of data can build a picture of how social determinants of health – the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age – might impact on residents’ wellbeing and use of health services. Examples would include how housing conditions impact on hospital admissions or how serious childhood illnesses could affect school attendance and attainment.

The poster was presented by Laura Scott, Principal Data Specialist at Islington Council and highlights how 90 data sources within the council are being joined up, already proving valuable in understanding local risk factors for ill health and improving access to services.

Islington insights population register: linking council data to understand local population needs for a fairer, healthier society

Laura Scott, Helen McDonald, Mahnaz Shaukat, Lawrence Vandervoort, Logan Robertson, Jessica Sheringham, Sarah Dougan

Over 1500 participants visited the PHE annual conference representing a wide range of organisations working to improve the health of the public. 

The CLAHRC’s Dr Jessica Sheringham (Senior Research Associate) was an author of the poster chosen from over 350 submitted – the award was presented at the conference dinner.

The project is funded by the Health Foundationas part of its Advancing Applied Analytics programme, aimed at improving analytical capability in support of health and care services.

Read more about this work via the link below

Linking health and local government data at household level to understand social determinants of health