A Chance to Change Scotland: Chance 2 Change Expert Reference Group with Lived Experience - report

This report accompanies the report of the Primary Care Health Inequalities Short Life Working Group (SLWG). It provides lived experience perspectives on health inequalities and inequity, and on how primary care can address these. C2C worked alongside the SLWG as an expert reference group.

2. Structural Inequality/'Picking on the Wee Man' – Chance 2 Change Group Discussion

People believe that structural inequality exists because of Covid when in fact it has always existed.

In deprived areas where there is considerable poverty and related issues around education, mental health, and addiction – some people do not have the knowledge and others have been trodden down so often by the system that they do not have the power that enables them to stand up and fight for services. This allows the Government and other authorities to continually pick on the wee man.

The pot of money allocated for funding, in real terms, is continually decreasing so resource and the ability to run quality services is increasingly difficult.

This leads to services becoming selfish, focussing on their own needs, which is more divisive as the best outcomes, are achieved through collaboration, and sharing resources. For instance, C2C runs on so little money we rely on other services to provide free facilitation and support and we do the same. If you remove funding from one service, you end up with a watered down product that affects a range of services and reduces positive outcomes for an entire area.

There is a shared responsibility on both the government to provide resource but also on services to create an environment that makes proper use of this.

Furthermore, the Government needs to identify and promote/develop good services as well as ensure those from the most deprived areas are given the same opportunities and support as the rest of society. This is clear from the current situation facing C2C.

We have a range of group members who by committing to the C2C model have made outstanding positive changes to their lives. However, come March this year (2021) there is no further funding available as it stands. Far more needs to be done by the Government and local councils to ensure services are provided with the resource necessary to continue as this isn't just about services going under but about the devastating affect it will have on people's lives which in turn will impact an already overwhelmed NHS.

Under Covid-19 guidance, C2C is categorised as an essential service. C2C is always on the brink of having no further funding which will result in this 'essential' service potentially ceasing to exist. As a peer led group the members are fully aware of the financial situation we face and the irony of being an essential service that could be lost.

Group members have voiced some of the following thoughts and feelings:

An overwhelming sense of sadness.
Some said that it was 'crap' and they felt angry.
One member said, "It's the only reason I get out of bed".

Sadly and most worryingly, another member said that the group is the only thing that keeps suicidal thoughts away and they are terrified about these coming back.

We understand that the Scottish Government has to work within certain constraints but it is our hope that the voices/concerns of the C2C group members will be heard and respected and where relevant actioned.


Email: katrina.cowie@gov.scot

Back to top