Summary of report contentAs a result of significant numbers of people in Penge seeking help from the Living Well project offering a food bank, drop in lunches and a community garden, Healthwatch launched research focussing on the health needs of those at risk economically or identified as vulnerable in Bromley and Lewisham during early 2016. The study was conducted by Healthwatch’s Community Engagement Officer who visited 5 food banks across the two boroughs. Attendees were interviewed as were the community providers of food banks. Key findings included that those suffering from financial hardship were more likely to suffer from lower standards of physical health and mental wellbeing, that zero hours contracts and unsecure employment often left people without sufficient resources to support themselves and their families. Additionally lack of communication between services meant people were prone to falling through gaps, especially with benefit processing. GP registration was restricted due to the lack of a permanent address also. Recommendations included: increased promotion of community support services and food banks, further support and advocacy for those suffering financial hardship, additional council support for those struggling to live independently, increased awareness of the consequences of zero hours contracts, enabling basic health reviews for those not registered with a GP, promotion of 111 as a free route to health care, improved awareness among clinicians regarding the difficulty for many in accessing services. Responses from providers and commissioners were largely positive.
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Banking on a meal - food bank engagement, Lewisham
Date of publication
Thursday, 1 September, 2016
Date evidence capture began
Monday, 1 February, 2016
Type of report
Food and nutrition
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
Visit to provider
Primary care services
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report
Number of people who shared their views
Other population characteristics
People with limited family or social networks
Does the information include public's views?
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views?
Does the information include staff's views?
Does the information include other people's views?
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views?
Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report?
Does the information contain a response from a provider?
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report?
Is there evidence of impact external to the report?