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Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Services

  • Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is part of the Employment and Reablement Pathway. The service is open to those currently receiving the Trust’s secondary mental health services and is by referral from their main mental health worker. A specialist mental health employment worker supports the individual to identify suitable vacancies, make approaches to employers and help with all stages of the application process. Within-work support is then offered.

  • Service Manager Lead: Paul Wilcox
  • Address: County wide,
  • Service hours: Monday to Friday 9 - 5

About the service

The most important thing for IPS is whether a person would like to work again. IPS does not need to wait for a person to "recover", but sees the chance to work as part of the recovery process. Even people who still feel quite unwell are able to succeed with IPS and they feel better! IPS is a proven way of helping people, who have had mental ill health, back to work. It is not a magic wand, but over 50% of people on IPS are successful in finding paid employment (around double the number helped through traditional schemes).

IPS is internationally recognised as the most effective method of supporting people with mental health difficulties gain/ re-gain and sustain employment through following the 8 key principles of IPS:

  1. Competitive employment is the primary goal
  2. Everyone who wants to work is eligible for employment support
  3. We help you look for work which suits your preferences and strengths
  4. We start job search and contact with employers quickly - within four weeks
  5. Employment specialists are based within clinical teams, and work with the team to support people to find paid employment
  6. Our support is ongoing and arranged to suit both the employee and employer
  7. We provide benefits advice as part of your return to work
  8. We build relationships with employers to access the ‘hidden’ labour market

IPS involves an allocated employment worker helping a client towards competitive employment, and maintaining that support once employed to the stage where support is no longer needed. Employment Support Workers are based within clinical team to re-enforce employment as being part of an individual’s journey, as opposed to the end of it. Employment workers work collaboratively with clients and their individual support networks and resources to ensure all support needs are met.  

The success and working practices of IPS in Worcestershire is assessed by external peer reviews every 3 years, accredited by The Centre for Mental Health. In the team’s last review the service was awarded an Exemplary rating (which is the highest award possible) for the 3rd successive time, with the service achieving its highest ever scor, 118 from 125 marks.

Employment workers engage employers to offer roles specifically for our highly motivated clients and the Trust has developed an initiative to provide opportunities for clients in mental health services through The Work Forward Placements. This is where roles are specially designed for clients to undertake work experience placement, which if successful will progress to a part-time paid role on a fixed term basis. Following the completion of a WFP the majority of clients have progressed to mainstream roles both within and outside the Trust.

As mental illness does not discriminate, neither does our service, working with a wide range of clients from a wide range of backgrounds. The only consistent theme is that all clients want to get back to work! The service is currently supporting clients in CARS, EI and other specialist mental health services. IPS is available in all areas of the County via employment workers based within these teams. Individuals are able to self-refer via their named mental health professional.