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Josh Bairstow

4:00 pm 7:00 pm

Current show

Josh Bairstow

4:00 pm 7:00 pm

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Individual Placement and Support (IPS) in NHS Service, win Community Partnership of the Year at the ERSA Awards

Written by on 10/12/2022

The IPS in NHS Service team is a partnership between Blackpool Council’s Positive Steps into Work Service and Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust (LSCFT) who integrate Employment Specialists from the Council, into the Trust’s mental health teams.

The team recently won Community Partnership of the Year at the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Awards. The awards recognise the hard work, innovation and unstinting determination to help people – many among the most disadvantaged in the country – into worthwhile employment.

The IPS service was launched during the pandemic, in September 2020. The Employment Specialists support individuals aged from 16 to 69, to help get them into work, while they are managing and living with severe mental illness, which could include conditions such as schizophrenia, personality disorder or psychosis.

The model of employment support on offer is unique as the IPS teams are co-located with the mental health teams, so they become part of a wider service. The team are striving for a culture change so that clinical staff think about employment for patients much earlier than normal resulting in employment becoming part of the treatment journey, as opposed to the destination.

The award was accepted by Mairi Fraser, Manager of the IPS Service at Blackpool Council, and Vicki Sherrington the Early Intervention Service Manager at LSCFT.

Mairi said: “I’m very proud, of the entire team. We formed our partnership with the Trust to benefit the employment prospects of people struggling with mental health impacts. It’s evolved so successfully. We implicitly trust the clinical staff and integrate services to provide positive outcomes.”

In addition to the team’s award, Darren Jones, Team Manager at Blackpool Council’s Positive Steps into Work Service, was also awarded Highly Commended for Frontline Manager of the Year.