Centre for Mental Health today welcomed the Government’s new plans to support people with disabilities and long-term health conditions who want to be in paid work, and help for employers to create workplaces which support the wellbeing of their staff.

Improving Lives: The future of work, health and disability, is the Government’s strategy to help people to engage voluntarily with supported employment. It includes increased investment in mental health Access to Work, trialling personal budgets for tailored support solutions and increasing access to Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services.

IPS is the best-evidenced form of supported employment and NHS England will be funding new services to double the current number of IPS places available in England for people using specialist mental health services. Alongside it, the Government will fund ‘IPS Grow’, a project to develop the necessary workforce and resources.

We support the vision to increase personalised employment support for people whose mental health is a barrier to work.

IPS Grow is an expert team from six organisations which will support the expansion and long-term sustainability of Individual Placement and Support. It will develop guidance, resources and a new workforce of IPS Employment Specialists, trained to provide a high quality effective employment service for another 10,000 people over the next three years. This project brings together the support of DWP with the most successful providers of IPS, using their experience to support the roll out of IPS to new areas.

IPS Grow was formed earlier this year following pilot work by Centre for Mental Health and Social Finance which together have established nine new IPS services. It comprises IPS experts from the Joint Health and Work Unit, Centre for Mental Health, Social Finance, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, South London and St George’s NHS Trust, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation trust and Southdown.

Centre for Mental Health director of programmes Jan Hutchinson said: “We are very glad to see that the Government is acting to meet the employment needs of adults and young people with mental health problems and we support the vision to increase personalised employment support for people whose mental health is a barrier to work. Centre for Mental Health and our partner organisations are delighted to see the commitment to fund ‘IPS Grow’.”

The Centre is proud that our work over the last decade in demonstrating the value of IPS has led to this exciting announcement

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive at Centre for Mental Health, said: “IPS gives people genuine hope and the best chance of finding work. The Centre is proud that our work over the last decade in demonstrating the value of IPS has led to this exciting announcement”.

“We hope that every locality will consider how they can seize this unique opportunity to help people with mental health problems achieve their employment goals.

“It is also vital that in improving employment support for people with mental health problems the Government takes urgent action to change the way the whole system works: from the flawed Work Capability Assessment to the harmful use of conditionality and benefit sanctions. And the Government must ensure that the roll-out of Universal Credit does not leave people with mental health problems in financial difficulty when they are at their most vulnerable.”

It is also vital that...the Government takes urgent action to change the way the whole system works: from the flawed Work Capability Assessment to the harmful use of conditionality and benefit sanctions. 

 


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