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NICE: Improving service access for vulnerable groups


22 January 2014

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People who find health and social care hard to access could benefit from new commissioning released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 
The briefing for local authorities aims to improve services for people living in an isolated area, who are asylum seeker, who don’t have English as a first language or are carers. 

People who find health and social care hard to access could benefit from new commissioning released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 
The briefing for local authorities aims to improve services for people living in an isolated area, who are asylum seeker, who don’t have English as a first language or are carers. 
It costs around £5.5 billion each year to treat illness and disease due to health inequalities. NICE believes making it easier for people to use health and social care services could address issues before they become more serious. 
Examples of recommendations highlighted in the new briefing include:
 – Considering the population characteristics of people who are not routinely accessing services and assess local need. 
 – Planning and delivering accessible local services. 
 – Partnership working and involving local communities. 
 – Targeting interventions for those with complex need.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE, said there are many reasons that people may feel unable to use services. 
These range from logistical reasons – such as where the service is located, or its opening times, to population characteristics, including being homeless or living in a rural area. 
Professor Kelly said: “This briefing will help local authorities across the country provide services which address scenarios like this, by catering for the needs of all people in their community, to improve health and wellbeing, save money and reduce health inequalities.”
The Public Health Briefing is available to view on the NICE website

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