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South Yorkshire awarded £3.5m to support people to stay and progress in work


Published 15 May 2024 at 3:16pm

South Yorkshire has been awarded more than £3.5m to become one of 15 pilot areas across England to deliver a new work and health service. 

The region was selected by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to deliver the WorkWell partnership (WorkWell), as part of the Government’s Back to Work Plan. 

WorkWell will build on the successes of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s flagship programme, Working Win, that has supported over 6,500 people with a disability or physical and or mental health condition to either start, stay, or succeed in employment since 2018. 

Each pilot area will help to deliver the new work and health service. The service will offer a tailored early-intervention work and health support and assessment service, and a single, joined-up gateway to other support services. 

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard, who also chairs the region’s Integrated Care Partnership, said: “The poor health that scars our region doesn’t just hold back our economy, it stops people from making the most of their talents, and enjoying the lives they deserve. That’s why I’m determined to make South Yorkshire the healthiest region in the country, so everyone has the opportunity to stay near and go far. 

And now in support of that ambition, we’re able to build on our hugely successful Working Win programme with £3.5 million to develop WorkWell. That funding is both recognition of our ambition and our success to date, but most importantly it will genuinely help transform the lives of people across South Yorkshire.”

One of the main focusses of the Integrated Care Partnership Board in South Yorkshire is the relationship between employment and improving population health. 

WorkWell will offer low-intensity holistic support to people in work who are struggling due to a health condition or disability, to overcome health related barriers to employment. 

The WorkWell Partnership will enable a wide range of local organisations to connect individuals to the support they need. Partners across work and health, such as GPs, Primary Care services, Job Centre Plus, Local Authorities, Employers and the Voluntary Community Sector will be able to make referrals into this service later this year.

Gavin Boyle, NHS South Yorkshire Chief Executive, said: “We know that good work and good health are strongly linked, with each affecting the other. That’s why I’m delighted that South Yorkshire has been chosen to show how we can support some of our most vulnerable to find and stay in work. One of our four core purposes of an Integrated Care System is to support the NHS in driving broader economic and social development, and helping people into jobs and stay in them is key to this.”

The scheme will see partners such as the South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (SYICB), the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), the four Local Authorities and Job Centre Plus working together to create an integrated work and health system with support services that meet the needs of the region’s residents and employers. 

Christine Joy, Chief People Officer, said: “Through the pilot we’ll be looking to support those who are in work and have a health condition or disability who are either struggling with sickness absence or are at risk of falling out of work. In addition, through the pilot we want to support those who are currently out of work who have a health condition or disability who require a small amount of support to return to work.

"Clearly there are people who have significant health conditions or disabilities for whom this pilot won’t support, and we’ll be continuing to provide support to those groups through existing programmes and initiatives.”

Partners across South Yorkshire are already working hard to support people into work and this investment will only boost this. 

Anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria for support for the pilot, but still want support to start or stay in employment can visit the National Careers Service and Skills for Life website or SYMCA’s Working Win programme.


Last Updated: 15/05/2024

Published In: Skills and Employment, Featured