Lincolnshire mental health centre exceeds target for helping patients find work

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Staff at a Lincolnshire health trust have exceeded their target for a government pilot to help people with mental health problems into paid jobs.

Over the past year and a half, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Wellbeing Through Work team has helped 72 people into work.

The team at the trust’s Centre of Excellence volunteered to join the Department of Health funded pilot project by the Centre for Mental Health last year, to help people with severe mental health conditions into 60 paid employment opportunities within 18 months.

They used the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach to help service users into jobs that are right for them.

The project ended in July with the team managing to exceed their target by finding 72 placements for people who accessed the service.

The IPS approach was specifically designed following extensive international research, to support unemployed people with mental health issues into sustained employment.

LPFT employment specialist, Sheila Imbriano, who covers the Grantham and Sleaford area said: “Helping people into employment has many rewards. Seeing them overcome their anxieties, grow in confidence and find a new source of hope is really inspiring.”

The team has also reported other valuable service improvements including; increased engagement with local employers; stronger partnerships with employment support organisations; increased referrals and improved care pathways and staff development.

They were also awarded the Centre of Excellence status by the Centre for Mental Health in February this year for their use of the IPS approach in Lincolnshire.

Employment specialist for Lincoln and Gainsborough, Abbie Staples said watching a client’s journey, from start to finish, was one of the most rewarding aspects.

“IPS clearly works, as demonstrated by our fantastic job results,” she said.

“I am really looking forward to the next stage of our journey in the Wellbeing Through Work team.”

One service user who received support from the team said he was looking for a job for about a year before finding suitable work.

He added: “I enjoy the challenges of work and the extra money I get in wages.

“Previously I didn’t have many friends – one of the best things about work is always having someone to talk to.”

Anyone wishing to find out more information about the IPS approach and the role of LPFT’s Wellbeing Through Work service should contact the team on 01522 518500.

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