Sheffield City Region trial to support residents with long-term health conditions or disabilities

Published 1st November 2016 at 9:59am

Following a Government announcement on 31 October 2016, Sheffield City Region will be working with local partners to better understand how best to support people with health conditions and disabilities to return to or stay in work. Local Job Centre Plus and GP surgeries in Sheffield City Region will soon begin a trial which will offer innovative new support services to residents with long-term health conditions or disabilities.

Sheffield City Region has been selected, alongside the West Midlands, to design a pioneering trial from the Government’s Work and Health Innovation Fund. The trials will focus on mental health and musculoskeletal conditions, the two conditions most commonly reported by those out of work.

NHS England, the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be working with Sheffield City Region and the West Midlands Combined Authority to develop the trials that will test new ways of supporting people as they enter, re-enter and stay in work.

Sir Steve Houghton, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: “Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and LEP are focused on working in partnership to grow businesses and create better jobs and better lives for local people. We want to grow our economy in a way which is inclusive and responsible and we are working with many local partners to achieve our ambitious goals. This pioneering and innovative trial will see local employment and health services working more closely together to explore ways to help prevent long-term sickness and help people to return to work.”

Michael Macdonnell, NHS England’s Director of Strategy, said: “There are currently 4.8 million people of working age with a disability or long term condition who are out of work.  We know that the right work can be good for health and wellbeing and support people to live happier and healthier lives, but first we need to understand how best to support people with health conditions and disabilities to return to or stay in work. We are very pleased to be working with Sheffield City Region and the West Midlands Combined Authority to help build this evidence and share what works with other local systems.”

NHS England, along with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health (DH), are investing £70 million over the next four years to test different ways to support people with a disability or long term condition to get in and stay in work. Sheffield City Region and West Midlands Combined Authority will receive financial investment as well as access to expert support to progress the design of their trials over the coming months. The fund has been designed support promising local initiatives to drive integration across the health, care and employment systems. Following review in December, trials will be initiated in 2017 and run for 2-3 years, with interim results after the first year to enable spread of successful services to other areas.

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