The Citizen’s Advice Bureau is set to launch a pioneering service at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
For the first time, patients, relatives and staff at the hospital will be able to speak to an advisor from the CAB about benefits, social housing, debt, homelessness and other matters. The advisor will be on the mezzanine floor of the hospital’s new main reception.
Initially the service will be offered once a month from November 12 and Wednesday, December 10, and the CAB hopes to extend it to twice a month in 2015.
Tony Winter, from St Annes, a CAB Trustee and a governor on the hospital trust’s council of governors, said: “It will be open to everybody to ask any questions and receive advice. As well as dealing with day to day medical problems, GPs told us that patients often presented with serious social problems. I thought we could provide a similar outreach service at the hospital where there is a considerable footfall.”
A senior CAB advisor will be on the stand to offer practical help and to make appointments for further meetings, if necessary. People can also be ‘signposted’ to other agencies if they would like further help.
Tony worked as an aerospace director based at BAE in Warton for 30 years.
Ian Johnson, Chairman of the Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer an opportunity for our patients, visitors and staff to access the services of the CAB.”