Making Individual Placement and Support work

10 October 2017

An evaluation of implementation and sustainability

David Gilbert and Rachel Papworth

For many people using mental health services, having a job is an important part of recovery; yet few get the opportunity to look for paid work with the right support.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a highly effective approach to supporting people with severe mental health problems into work. This report is an independent evaluation of the Making IPS Work programme. Across six sites where IPS was being expanded, InHealth Associates interviewed stakeholders to explore the critical success factors for implementing and sustaining IPS services.

Through their evaluation, InHealth Associates found that these IPS services had many benefits, not only in helping people to get jobs but also in building clients’ confidence and, as a result, improving staff morale. They identified a number of organisational factors which can help with the adoption of IPS, such as a recovery-focused culture and good relationships with other employment services.

However, there were also clear challenges in implementing a new service, such as significant change management, the need to build strong cross-sector relationships with other services, and (in some places) a lack of clarity over role boundaries.

In light of the Five Year Forward View’s pledge to double the number of people accessing IPS, the findings of this report will provide invaluable learning about the process of implementing IPS in mental health services during a crucial time in history.

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