Employers and staff in the Sheffield City Region are taking part in a leading trial to help people get a job, or hold one down, despite a physical or mental health issue.
Every year around 20% of working age adults experience a mental health condition, and 15million days of work a year are lost due to stress, anxiety and depression. Bad backs, shoulders and necks have similar impacts, and one-third of people with common physical health problems also experience mental health issues.
Now a revolutionary type of help – one of only two such projects in the UK – is being tested in the City Region. ‘Working Win’ creates a new service which takes a personalised and intensive approach to support, co-ordinating the resources and knowledge of the employers and the health, employment and benefits agencies.
The Working Win web resources also aim to make it easier to discover all the employment and skills support available from different providers across the Sheffield City Region.
And businesses providing employment and skills support in any of the nine SCR local authorities who would like to work on the trial should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Working Win trial has been launched by the City Region together with NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Department for Work and Pensions. It will test out how effective holistic support is for people who could stay in work, or get a job, if they just had the right sort of support for physical or mental problems.
It includes working with a health care team, help finding a job, and support once in employment. It also provides help such as talking to employers about needs in the workplace for those in work but struggling to manage their health condition.
Any adult registered with a GP in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw can take part in the Working Win trial, which is randomised in order to assess the impact of the new service.
Participants are randomly put into two research groups: one will receive the new service and the other will be given information about existing services in their area. The process starts with an individual having a chat with a GP who will help arrange a meeting with the team running the trial. Then the individual can decide if they want to take part – Working Win is completely voluntary. (Other ways of registering to take part are detailed on www.workingwin.com.)
Once signed up, a job specialist works closely with the participant, employers and a health team to create a plan, and meets them regularly to review progress. This support runs for 12 months and does not affect benefits.
Working Win will also help businesses in Sheffield City Region hire the right people for their jobs, and to keep their staff fit and healthy at work.