Pluss and Livewell South West are delighted to launch an innovative new programme in Plymouth that will help people with mental health and musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work.
‘Workfit’ will help 300 people who are in employment and at risk of losing their job. This will be people who feel they’re at risk of falling out of work or who have just begun a period of sickness absence.
Usually the first port of call for people at such a point in life is to visit their GP, who is understandably limited in time and resource to support their patients with wider wellbeing and employment needs.
Workfit will be part of the Wellbeing at Work programme and work with individuals and their GP’s, health professionals and employers to bring together clinical and employment expertise to offer an extensive package of support.
Each Workfit participant will have a one-to-one keyworker who’ll work gently alongside them to help understand their challenges and offer work-focused mentoring. This will also include employer mediation and help to identify adjustments to the job role or work environment.
We’ll also be empowering people to manage their health and wellbeing by offering specialist medical or clinical support, and help with weight and diet, smoking, fitness, sleep, anxiety, social and community activity, and so much more.
The idea is that after 16 weeks, individuals will be set on a new path that gives them a clear route back to work… and also the confidence to stay healthy, happy and well in work.
The support will be there for employers too! We’ll help them to develop return to work pathways, and to improve their overall approach to workplace health, sickness absence and disability.
Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss, said “Pluss and Livewell Southwest are both Community Interest Companies with a track record of working with individuals who have mental health and musculoskeletal needs and we are delighted to be involved in this initiative.”
Jan Potter, Head of Health Improvement at Livewell Southwest added “As the local provider of health improvement interventions we are really pleased to be working with Pluss to address people’s needs in a holistic way.”
Individuals can self-refer to Workfit. Referrals are also welcome from GP practices, employers, and third parties such as trade unions, community organisations or Health and Wellbeing Hubs. Workfit is available to people who are employed in Plymouth or registered with a Plymouth GP.
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Workfit is a pilot programme that will run initially for 12 months from January 2018. It is funded by the Work and Health Challenge Fund. The Work and Health Challenge Fund aims to test potential solutions which help people with disabilities and health conditions to remain in work.
Our project will be evaluated by SERIO at the University of Plymouth. They will help us measure and understand how early intervention helps individuals who are struggling inwork to positively manage their work and health.
Our findings will be presented back to the Work and Health Unit to bring about shared learning that will support future collaboration in this area.
The Work and Health Challenge Fund is part of a wider Innovation Fund managed by the Work and Health Unit, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health and Social Care.
Workfit is one of 19 initiatives across the UK selected to receive funding from the Work and Health Challenge Fund.