The Oxfordshire Mind Benefits for Better Mental Health (BBMH) has been cited as a model of good practice in the ‘The Health Justice Landscape in England & Wales Social – welfare legal services in health settings’ report by UCL Centre for Access to Justice.
Oxfordshire Mind has a history going back around 30 years of providing benefits and money advice to the people who use our services. The Benefits for Better Mental Health service is part of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and has developed over the last decade, working in partnership with mental health services across Oxfordshire to provide benefits advice for patients. The assistance includes advice, information and tribunal representation, as well as form-filling and letterwriting. Advice is provided in healthcare settings that include adult mental health teams, a crisis day hospital and inpatient mental health wards at two acute hospitals. Referrals are received from all locations, as well from GPs and through word of mouth. Advisers are experienced in mental health problems, as well as the particular benefits support needs of people with mental health issues. Ongoing assistance is provided to patients to ensure continued support
The research was commissioned by The Legal Education Foundation as a first stage in scoping the feasibility and potential value of establishing a national health justice strategy. The report provides a mapping study which is the most comprehensive mapping of social welfare legal services in healthcare settings in England and Wales to date, this will be an invaluable resource for the further development of the field and future policy discussions.
The full report can be read here.