Improving health and employment outcomes through joint working

Bevan S |   | Public Policy Institute for Wales | Feb 2018

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This report analyses how economic inactivity, which remains high in Wales despite currently low unemployment levels, can be addressed. The report explores how employers, health services and employment services in Wales can work together more effectively to produce better health and work outcomes.

Evidence suggests that the most effective support for people with chronic health conditions trying to stay in work, or return to work, is provided through joined-up interventions that combine a variety of support and guidance alongside clinical or rehabilitation provision. This report, authored by IES head of HR research development, Stephen Bevan, therefore suggests that only by improving working between the providers of such provision and the individuals concerned, can further progress be made.

Drawing on IES' expertise and experience of evaluating major government programmes, such as the Work Programme and the Fit for Work Service, the report brings together the evidence on cross-institutional and multi-agency working arrangements which have a track record of success and from which transferable, scalable lessons can be learned and adapted. The findings reflect on various areas, including:

  • the benefits of early-intervention;

  • the need for a range of referral pathways, with GPs as a key entry point;

  • and the need for the theory of change (what the joint intervention is trying to do and how) to be co-produced with all partners to ensure 'buy in'.