Major DWP scheme to help those with long term illness and disabilities back into work extended – will you get help? | The Sun

MORE than 25,000 people with health conditions will receive new help to find work following a major funding boost.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is expanding the Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) programme.

The initiative is there to help adults who have a physical or mental health disability move into employment.

The extension of the IPSPC is aimed to close the employment gap for people with mental health problems, whose employment rates are between 25%-40% lower than for people without such conditions.

Participants who are out of work and on benefits including Universal Credit are referred to take part in the scheme by healthcare professionals such as GPs.

The scheme then ensures that any employment support and advice is integrated within their normal health treatment.

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IPSPC is an extension of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programme.

This is another example of supported employment targeting people with more severe health conditions in secondary care settings, such as hospitals.

The first phase of the IPSPC programme, launched in April 2023, provides on-the-job "place and train" employment support and advice to 12,700 people across South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West London, Norfolk, Cheshire West and Chester, and West Midlands, at a cost of £27.9 million.

The majority of participants have found that the service boosted their confidence, job search capability, and motivation to return to work, according to the DWP.

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But the IPSPC is now being expanded to support a further 12,900 people in Enfield, Essex, Newham, Nottingham, Slough and Surrey.

The expansion of the scheme has been enabled by an additional £31 million joint investment from the DWP and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

It is estimated the programme will help over 25,000 people secure or retain employment by March 2025 by offering them personalised employment support and advice integrated with their normal health treatment.

Tom Pursglove, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: "In our Health and Disability White Paper we highlighted the importance of employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions, so it is absolutely right to expand the proven successful model of supported employment further.

"I'm delighted that we're already seeing this approach boost participants’ employment prospects, wellbeing, self-confidence, and motivation to return to work."

Andrew Beardsall, associate director of primary care at NHS Bassetlaw Place, Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board, said: "The expansion of IPSPC is great for patients and for primary care professionals.

"GPs often report that in trying to deal with patients physical and mental health issues they are often only treating a small part of their patients’ overall problems, which cannot be tackled in isolation.

"IPSPC offers the chance to break the spiral between ill health, employment and quality of life. It is simply a good idea and warmly welcomed."

The IPSPC forms the first phase of the DWP's Universal Support employment programme, which was first announced in the Spring Budget.

The Universal Support scheme will eventually match participants with open market jobs and funding support and training.

The scheme will help 50,000 people with disabilities and other health conditions per year into sustained work from 2025.

The government will spend up to £4,000 per person to help them find appropriate work and put in place the support they need.

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Eligible people will eventually be able to opt into Universal Support to receive up to 12 months of support.

The aim is to help them to move quickly into suitable work and followed by wraparound support to help them to sustain that employment for the longer term. 

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