Helping mental health service users back into work in Milton Keynes

Friday, 7th June, 2019

Mental health service users in Milton Keynes will be helped back into the workplace from this summer thanks to a joint initiative involving Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL, who provide mental health and community services in Milton Keynes) and the ICS.

Three Individual Placement and Support (IPS) workers will be based at two clinics in Milton Keynes to help clients of the community mental health teams gain and keep paid employment.

Their role will be to work with employers based on people’s preferences to find paid employment and to offer in work support. They will develop partnerships with local services as well as local job centres. They will also seek to change many service users’ low expectations of finding paid employment

Milton Keynes will be supported by CNWL’s IPS team in London, which has over 14 years’ experience of successfully delivering IPS service.

Jane Taylor, CNWL Community Mental Health Service Manager, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us and we’re pleased we will be able to offer it.

“It will bring a specific depth of knowledge and support to our service users in the community, which up until now they have not had access to.

“The IPS employment model is internationally recognised as the most effective way to support people with mental health problems and/or addictions to gain and keep paid employment.

“A lot of our service users, particularly younger ones, would love to get back into work with support and this is what we will be able to offer them.”

As part of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, NHS England has committed to doubling access to IPS services nationally by 2020/21, enabling about 20,000 people who experience a severe mental illness (SMI) to find and retain employment.

CNWL successfully bid for funding from the BLMK (Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes) ICS to make sure that the IPS model was expanded across the region. They will be working closely with their colleagues in Luton to recruit and train the new staff through a jointly run assessment centre and training package.