Social Welfare Legal Advice

Reducing health inequities in London by improving access to social welfare advice

“Why treat people and send them back to the conditions that make them sick?”

Sir Michael Marmot, 2017

In November 2023, the London Health Board members endorsed the principle that “free social, welfare and legal advice should be available to any Londoner who needs it” and to ensure that London’s ICSs have plans in place for such provision. London’s ICSs and partners are required to report back on progress to achieving this commitment at the London’s Health Board meeting in November 2024. 

We are supporting ICSs to do this with bespoke support and convening pan-London groups to build momentum and support the culture shifts required to embed social welfare legal advice within health care. This has been commissioned by the Greater London Authority, and the support offer was developed in partnership with ICSs.

For more information, please get in touch with and

Bromley By Bow Insights, in collaboration with TPHC, have published a new, independent report, funded by the Mayor of London, which focuses on the opportunities and need for greater collaboration between healthcare provision, social prescribing and social welfare legal advice to meet advice needs, particularly of the most vulnerable patients and families struggling on low income, those who suffer the greatest health inequalities.

The study focuses on the following areas:

  • the effects on people’s health of the issues supported by social welfare advice, such as lack of income, overcrowded and substandard housing etc and the health benefits of people accessing timely, professional advice in their communities
  • the growing need and demand for social welfare advice in London, particularly amongst those with the greatest levels of health inequalities and the current postcode lottery of supply of welfare advice in London
  • the opportunities for and challenges to strengthening access to advice allied to healthcare and social prescribing, what works and what needs to change, and how that change can be brought about
  • readily replicable examples of collaboration between healthcare, social prescribing and social welfare advice providers to improve access to social welfare legal advice
  • the opportunity presented by the development of Integrated Care Partnerships and Integrated Neighbourhoods to better co-ordinate approaches to increase access to advice provision in the Capital.

    Read the full report here