Agenda item

Work and Health

Verbal update by Terri Roche, Director of Public Health


Terri Roche, Director of Public Health, gave a verbal update on work and health.


In Marmot’s Fairer Society, Health Lives (2010) he talked a lot about the benefits of work to health and the importance of work to address health inequalities and the social gradient of inequalities.


This could be summarised as: work good, unemployment bad for physical and mental health but the quality of work matters getting people off benefits into low paid, insecure health challenging work was not a desirable option.


One of the roles of the Board going forward might be to look at the wider determinants of health one of which was work.  Good quality employment was key to addressing health inequalities.  Work and Health was included within the Rotherham Plan 2025 and was a vital part of building stronger communities.


The Sheffield City Region’s long term economic plan was for more jobs, more businesses, more highly skilled occupation and higher productivity.  As part of this there was funding for working health projects which included:-


SCR Employment Support Pilot

-          £8.7M DWP/European Social Fund

-          Aim – to provide early intervention for claimants at risk of long term unemployed

-          Key cohorts could include claimants with health conditions and disability, low skills, unstable housing, weak work history, lone parents

-          Work taking place in Rotherham as to how this project could work alongside the Troubled Families Programme in the first instance

-          Go live date expected September/October with a plan to see approximately 4,500 individuals over the 2.5 years of the programme = 736 Rotherham people

-          Voluntary scheme with the referral route to be confirmed but could be Job Centre Plus as well as self-referral, Local Authority, third sector and college referrals

-          Clients would be offered up to 18 months personalised support from an employment advisor

-          Consideration being given in Rotherham to building on the learning from Social Prescribing projects to support the more holistic approach


Work and Health Unit Employment Trial

-          £7M DWP and Department of Health

-          Only one of two in the country

-          Will introduce a new work health support service consisting of employment specialists working to individual placement support principles located within local health care settings e.g. GP practices, IAPT teams, MSK teams, community hubs

-          Referrals primarily from the health system and also self-referral

-          Voluntary participation and no implications for an individual’s entitlement to DWP benefits or benefit conditionality

-          There would be a Randomised Control Trial with 50% of referrals going onto the IPS trial and 50% being supported by existing mainstream employment and health support

-          Aim – to provide innovative and evidence-based form of voluntary health aligned employment support to individuals with mild to moderate mental health and/or musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions who were either unemployed and seeking work or were in work but struggling or off sick

-          12 months personalised support focussed on what individuals needed to help them find or stay in work

-          Improve links between work and health support by building better collaboration and connectivity for the work health system

-          Go live date expected November/December 2017 and end Spring 2019 – 7,500 in total across the SCR, 3,750 seen by new services with the remainder seen by existing services

-          Many issues still to be resolved


Local Integration Board

-          A Rotherham group must be set up to oversee the work of the programmes

-          SCR recommend setting up of a Local Integration Board (LIB) primarily for the Employment Support Pilot

-          The LIB should consist of representatives of health, DWP (Job Centre Plus), Citizens Advice Bureau, Local Authority (including Troubled Families) and other voluntary and community sector organisations

-          Aim – to receive cases from the Employers Advisors where they were encountering organisational barriers

-          Workshop held on 29th June in Rotherham to discuss how the LIB might work


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·           When the Work and Health Unit Employment Trial was discussed at the CCG some time ago, it was initially felt to be a good idea, however, subsequently when it became apparent there would be Randomised Control Trial the optimism amongst GPs had decreased.  Jackie Tufnell at the CCG had done some work on the proposal


·           Concerns regarding the ethical nature of the Randomised Control Trial


·           It was not known as yet who would be running the Randomised Control Trial


·           Need to understand the governance of the projects and links to what was already happening in Rotherham’s communities


·           Rotherham’s educational outcomes were considerably better than the other areas of South Yorkshire, therefore, putting the young people in a better position to access the opportunities


·           Concern that those people that, with a little intervention, would get the support they needed leaving those that needed harder intervention.  Hopefully this would be assisted with the linkage to the Troubled Families work


Resolved:-  (1)  That the update be noted.


(2)  That Terri Roche feedback the concerns raised regarding the Randomised Controlled Trial to the Sheffield City Region.

Action:-  Terri Roche