Advice on Prescription service to continue for next five years

24 Feb 2016

NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded South Liverpool Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) a new five-year contract for the Advice on Prescription service.

The CAB will continue to work from GP practices across the city, offering expert financial advice and contributing to the prevention of mental ill health and recovery from mental illness.

The CCG plans to invest over £2.5 million in Advice on Prescription (AoP) over the next five years as part of its mental health strategy.

The Advice on Prescription service was launched in April 2014 by NHS Liverpool CCG in partnership with South Liverpool CAB, under an initial two-year contract. The project enables all Liverpool GP’s to refer patients for assistance from CAB advisors on a range of issues including: housing, homelessness, job loss, complex debt issues and benefits advice. Advice on Prescription was developed after GP’s reported a rise in patients presenting with problems that had a practical rather than medical cause, reflecting the strong link between social and economic hardship and poor health.

Dr Nadim Fazlani is a local GP, Clinical lead for Mental Health and Chair at NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), he said, “We are delighted to continue to have the Advice on Prescription service available to the residents of Liverpool.

“The service is providing timely access to advice and support for some of the city’s most vulnerable and socially excluded people. In turn, this intervention is having a positive impact on their health and wellbeing by reducing hardship, debt levels, social isolation and hospital admissions.

“A key part of Healthy Liverpool, our vision for health and care in the city, is the idea of care being patient-centred. It’s important that we treat people as individuals and value mental health just as much a physical health; Advice on Prescription helps people deal with circumstances that make them more likely to suffer from mental ill health and can, in turn, help to improve their overall health and wellbeing.”

Evaluation has highlighted that 80% of all people referred to the scheme suffer from a long-term health condition, 40% live alone, and 75% have an annual income of less than £12,000.

Over the last two years the CAB team have dealt with over 13,000 referrals, and increased income for local people by a total of £12 million. This income is raised through accessing tax credits and housing benefit, helping with prescription charges, unclaimed wages and other health-related benefits.

Caryn Matthews, Chief Executive, South Liverpool CAB, said “The Advice on Prescription service is an additional treatment option for local doctors.  It helps patients who are vulnerable and struggling to make ends meet.  Significantly, we are incredibly pleased that we have helped some of our most vulnerable local people manage almost £2 million worth of debt.

“The news that we will be continuing to deliver the Advice on Prescription service for the next five years means that we can build on the work that has already been done and continue to contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of thousands of Liverpool people.

“We are proud to be delivering this exciting health initiative in local communities and look forward to working with service users and GPs to further develop the service.”

2 Comment(s) for Advice on Prescription service to continue for next five years

  • By Communications Team on 4/13/2016 11:43:32 AM

    Hello Andy, Thanks for getting in touch. You will find information regarding the cost of Advice on Prescription in our governing body papers dated 9 June 2015, page 91. You will also find rationale behind the scheme within the Liverpool Primary Mental Health Care Strategy for Adults 2013-2016, which can be found on this website; About us > Publications. Andy Kerr ( leads on Advice on Prescription and will be able to answer any questions you may have, if you’d still like to speak with Nadim Fazlani he can be contacted via his personal assistant, Paula Jones: Many Thanks, Chloe Crilly Communications Team.

  • By Andy Parkinson on 3/10/2016 5:54:35 PM

    Hi, I recently authored a report on the role of advice services in health outcomes for the Low Commission and the Advice Services Alliance and referenced the Advice on Prescription service. I'm undertaking some related work looking to help a CAB to put together a business case to their CCG to secure invest for a similar service. I'm keen to speak with either Dr Nadim Fazlani or someone else involved in the service to learn more about what outcomes/cost savings have been projected/included within the new recommissioned service contract with South Liverpool CAB. I'd be grateful if you could direct me to the most appropriate person, Best wishes Andy Parkinson

Your comments

Comments are moderated in line with our social media code of conduct before they are published. Please be aware that, if published, your comments will appear on this page.

NHS Choices logo

Be better informed about your right to choice in the NHS

Enter your postcode below to find nearby services