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Employment scheme supporting mental health patients relaunches

Individual Placement and Support Team

A scheme supporting people into employment after a period of poor mental health has relaunched in Worcestershire.

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service, provided by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust supports people who have experienced moderate to severe mental health conditions to access work placements.

Work Forward Placements is a specific programme run by the team and is an employment-based scheme specially designed for clients to undertake work experience that reintroduces them to the workplace. 

The IPS Team are on hand to support service users through their initial assessment, support gaining relevant and suitable employment, and once in their role continue to have regular meetings with the employer and service user to discuss how things are going and provide support, if needed.

They assist clients on their employment journey by networking with local employers to find vacancies and suitable roles, helping to write CVs and where appropriate, providing individualised benefits advice.

The team work with a number of local employers, to help service users find and retain employment.

Work Forward Placements are an opportunity for clients to build their confidence in the workplace, add to their skills, while still being able to access the support of the team. Most clients have then gone on to secure long-term employment.

Faye Evans, Administrator at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said, “I was long term unemployed for many years and faced many struggles with my mental health. I had very low expectations about getting a job, what I could do and whether I could maintain employment. However, with the support of the IPS team I was able to start a placement which helped my confidence grow considerably.

“After a number of months in this role, I was ready to apply for a full-time job. As the team had been instrumental in not only getting me back into work, but in helping me create a life where at last I could see a future for myself, I wanted to give something back to them. I’ve now been in post within the team for over 3 years, during which time I’ve also gained a qualification as a medical secretary. Looking back If I had not been supported to move into work through an IPS placement I don’t think I would be alive today.  My life has been transformed into one that is worth living.”

Paul Wilcox, South Worcestershire Employment Services Coordinator said, “Most people accessing the service in Worcestershire go on to secure permanent employment following a role like the Work Forward Scheme. For our team the focus is on sustainable employment, which can be the key to long-term recovery and increased self-esteem for the clients that we work with. We pride ourselves on high sustainment figures of clients remaining in employment and becoming self-sufficient” 

If you are a Worcestershire based employer and would like to know more about the IPS service, please contact or 01905 520 100 for Paul Wilcox (South Worcestershire) or 01527 488 440 for Carrie Cooling (North Worcestershire).

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