CPFT team marks first year of helping patients back to work

People affected by mental health issues get support to return to employment

CPFT team marks first year of helping patients back to work
27 October 2020

A service at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust that supports those with mental health conditions to get back into the workplace is marking its first anniversary.

Since it was formed, the Individual Placement and Support Service (IPS) has helped more than 100 people. Already, the service has helped 35 people return to paid employment.

IPS was set up at the end of October 2019 as a two-year pilot scheme in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and is part of a national programme. It is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is receiving support from the Trust’s adult mental health teams.

Service lead Ellie Freeman said: “We are delighted with the progress we have made over the last year.

“One in four people are affected by mental health issues during their lifetime, and many of those people can continue in their usual job roles.

“But for others, who become unemployed because of their condition or who have lost their job which then adds to their mental health concerns, it can be a really difficult time.

“Having a job, being around other people, having structure and routine, and feeling valued is a vital part of people’s recovery.

“We’re only a small team but in our first 12 months we have worked with people from all kinds of backgrounds, and it’s been a privilege to help them find work with a wide range of employers.”

Employment specialists from the Individual Placement and Support Service, which is confidential, work with clients to find out what kind of work they would like, and help them with everything from writing CVs and applications to helping them to prepare for interviews. 

Clients are under no obligation to reveal their medical history with their prospective employers. However, if they wish to disclose that history, their employment specialist will discuss with them the best way to approach this. The team continue to support people after they begin their new role by working with both the employer and the employee.

Kevin, who lives in Cambridgeshire and has been helped by the service, said: “The team was great. I have had long-term mental health issues but I was really keen to get back to work.

“They spoke to me and helped identify what kind of job I wanted, and they helped me with my CV and my applications.

“I was really pleased to be offered a new job – it was good for my confidence, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to disclose my medical history with my new employer. I spoke to my employment specialist and it was good to hear that I didn’t have to.

“I would recommend the service to anyone. Work is really therapeutic and gives me a sense of purpose.”

People can find out more about the Individual Placement and Support Service via their care co-ordinator or key worker and further details are on the Trust website here.

Companies in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough that want to find out more about working with the IPS service can contact IPSReferrals@cpft.nhs.uk.

The services also offers advice to employers around mental health conditions and helps them to identify what reasonable adjustments may be required to support an employee in their new role.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health and community physical health services. With 4,000 staff, the Trust also provides learning disability, social care, and children community healthcare services. It is also renowned for its research work.

Pictured above, before social distancing measures were introduced, are CPFT's Individual Placement and Support Service team from left to right: Emma Rayner, Ellie Freeman, Mark Hodge, Declan Lynch, James Ayres, and Sharon Payne 


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Interim Deputy Head of Communications
T 01223 219467

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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