Medics Warn That Cost Of Living Is Impacting On Health

Health professionals have warned that the rise in the cost of living is having a negative impact on the health of the most vulnerable people. The BBC reports that some people are not collecting their prescription medication, and are cutting back on food. The problems are also affecting health care workers, many of whom are paid low wages.

Dr Janet Bliss works at a doctor’s surgery in one of the most deprived areas of Liverpool. She told the BBC that the chronic stress caused by poverty leads to both mental and physical health problems. She says the recent price rises are making a bad situation worse.

Dr Bliss said: “It’s definitely noticeable that we are getting increased patients on the list who are calling up – no food in the house is a common thing, not able to pay the bills, people facing eviction, people actually acknowledging that they’re going to lose their homes.”

She added: “We’re seeing people limiting the amount of meals they will eat in a week, consciously planning to miss meals. We’re seeing people deciding to not to collect medications, not to pay for prescription items.”

The situation is even worse for patients who need to pay for electricity and water to run medical equipment at home, such as dialysis machines and breathing apparatus. Some kidney disease patients have given up running vital lifesaving equipment at home, and now rely on making time consuming trips to hospital for treatment instead.

Royal College of Physicians president Dr Andrew Goddard told the BBC that in some cases, patients had been limiting their oxygen supplies at home. He said: “Respiratory disease disproportionately affects those least able to afford to improve their social circumstances. It seems likely the cost-of-living crisis will widen this disparity further.”

The problem is not just affecting patients, but also healthcare workers themselves. The Guardian recently reported that low paid care workers and community workers have been calling in sick because they cannot afford to fill their car with petrol, which they rely on to travel between clients.

Christina McAnea, general secretary of the public services union Unison, said: “Pay restraint is completely inappropriate when we are talking about people in local government. About 50% of workers in local government earn less than £25,000 a year.”

She added: “If you’re a care worker, if you do a job out in the community and you have to go and visit people, and it’s costing you £100 to fill up: not possible.”

The concern is that with no end to spiralling costs in sight, and with wages not keeping up with the cost of living, then people will start to leave the caring professions for good.

This will be a double whammy for people who are trying to live in their own homes rather than go into residential care homes, and rely on the support of care staff for help with the tasks of everyday living, such as cooking, washing and dressing.


If you are interested in finding out more information about showers for elderly and disabled call us on 01491 411041 or visit our website.

Absolute Mobility

Need some help choosing your new easy access bathroom?
Call 0800 2922 110 and speak to a friendly adviser

Request A Brochure

Complete your address details and we’ll post a brochure to you

Try Before You Buy

Visit our Henley showroom or let us bring our products to you

Free Home Assessment

Request a home assessment and product suitability survey

General Enquiry

For any other enquiry, please use our contact form