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Welfare Reform, Health and Employability Forum


  • To strengthen the links between the NHS, employability and welfare reform and support organisations, including financial inclusion services to tackle health inequalities.
  • Increase understanding of the role and actions within the NHS to promote employability, mitigate the impact of welfare reform and promote financial inclusion (including advocacy for inclusion of these actions as an integral aspect of the Health Promoting Health Service of the future).
  • Support Health and Social Care Partnerships to engage with and influence the employability, welfare and financial inclusion agenda nationally, and within Community Planning Partnerships locally to reduce Health Inequalities.

As such the Forum is designed to:

  • Encourage the leads to learn from each other, formally and informally, and from other areas. This includes exchanging information, good practice and ideas to shape practice.
  • Identify enablers, barriers and constraints for local partnerships (eg. local/national policy context, resourcing) and agree potential solutions and report back where none exist.
  • Focus on agreed core issues and challenges relating to this agenda.
    Encourage joint implementation/cross area collaboration where appropriate.
    Wherever possible develop core solutions or tools for local implementation (eg. e-learning modules).
  • Link with other related UK & Scottish strategies, such as Equally Well.
  • Feed in relevant information to national groups eg. National Delivery Group, Fuel Poverty Forum, Money Advice Outcomes Board and Scottish Government Welfare Reform Strategic Group.
  • Promote and oversee national events which help to disseminate information, learning and good practice across areas.
  • Provide opportunities for discussion and debate about national developments, strategy and activities including the outcome focused plan.


The forum is a partnership of NHS representatives from across Scotland who lead policy and strategic development programs on welfare reform, employability and financial inclusion

Ideally every NHS board should be linked to the Forum and representatives should:

  • Have a commitment to promote the contribution that the NHS makes to employability, welfare and financial inclusion, locally and nationally;
  • Feed in relevant information to local groups, eg. Community Planning Partnership and Health and Social Care Partnership.
  • Represent their NHS Board and facilitate a two way network of  communication between their Board and the Forum;
  • Have some decision making powers on behalf of their NHS Board in relation to employability, welfare and/or financial inclusion.

Update on role of national bodies on Forum

The role of DWP will include:

  • Maintaining effective communication links with the Forum to keep them informed on DWP health, welfare reform and employability initiatives:
  • Provide a conduit for members to raise any Scottish wide concerns on DWP policies:
  • Support members to further develop links into DWP employability support services.

The role of the Scottish Government, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Public Health Network representatives will include:

  • Sharing information on policy, strategy and legislation, as relevant to health, employability, welfare reform and financial inclusion:
  • Engage  in discussion and comment on new or emerging policy/strategy and their impact on health:
  • Facilitate engagement  on health, welfare reform, financial inclusion and employability both locally and nationally;
  • NHS Health Scotland will provide secretariat for the Forum.  This will include arranging at least 4 half day meetings per year which will include input from a key presenter to promote learning in addition to the standard business of the group.

A definition of employability:

The definition adopted by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives is "The combination of factors and processes which enable people to progress towards or get into employment, to stay in employment and to move on in the workplace."

A definition of financial inclusion:

Access for individuals to appropriate financial products and services.  This includes people having the skills, knowledge and understanding to make best use of those products and services.  Financial exclusion is often a symptom of poverty as well as a cause.