Lynne Miller, Vocational
Services Manager
Increasing access to paid
employment opportunities for
service users in a large Mental
Health and Addictions Trust
INTRODUCTION:
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Introduction to CNWL
Why create a User Employment Programme
Why include work placements
How does it work / what are the challenges
Keys to success/lessons learnt
Results to date
Feedback from service users
Conclusions
Introduction to CNWL:
• One of the larges NHS Foundation Trusts in London.
• 5 mental health boroughs – Westminster, Brent,
Kensington and Chelsea, Harrow and Hillingdon.
• 7 Addictions boroughs – Westminster, K&C,
Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent, Hillingdon,
Hounslow and Ealing.
• Community Services in Hillingdon and Camden.
• Vocational Services Manager, 4 Vocational Team
leaders, 14 Employment Specialists.
Why create a User Employment
Programme:
• Employment opportunities for service users – an
important priority for CNWL.
• UEP one component of our employment strategy.
• NHS is a large employer and offers a range of
opportunities
• Set an example
• Feedback from service users – a confidence boost
Policy Framework – UK:
• No Health Without Mental Health – Cross
government mental health strategy 2011 – access to
employment results in better health outcomes.
• New Horizons Report (DH September 2009)
• Realising Ambitions, Better Employment Support for
people with a MH Condition (DWP 2009).
• Social Exclusion Report 2004, Social Exclusion Unit,
Office of the Deputy Primeminister.
CNWL User Employment Programme:
• Encourages service users to apply for existing posts in
CNWL.
• Supported employment model.
• Offers time limited work experience placements in
the Trust for up to 4 months (with active job search).
• Offers post placement support.
• Between Mar 2004 and Sept 2004 197 people
accessed the programme, 172 people accessed
placements, 81 paid outcomes, and 35 education,
17 volunteering outcomes.
Why are placements important:
• Can provide on the job training, references
and a graded return to work.
• Job taster, foot in the door, fills gaps in CV.
• Added value to the organisation.
• Sets good example.
Establishing the programme:
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Getting people on board at all levels
Working with HR and Occupational Health
Positive statement on job adverts/recruitment packs
Employment Charter
Employment Specialists in place to create support.
Challenges:
• Fear around what can go wrong
• Finding and creating the right opportunities –
real work
• Creating the right support
• Ensuring that any issues are addressed
promptly
• Ensuring that people don’t get ‘stuck’ in
placements
• Managing demand
Keys to success:
• Start small and demonstrate success
• Partnership with HR and Occupational Health
• Proactive management of placements with SMART
objective – placement needs to reflect the clear career
goal.
• Active job search and internal networking/job
development
Feedback from service users who have
done placements:
“The placement made me feel more confident, I was
down and negative”
“I was out of work for 10 years, and needed to re-train,
the service really helped me do that and believe in
myself again.”
“Felt like a real job not just a placement”
“The placement has been a huge success and has had a
positive impact on my mental health, job prospects
and quality of life.”
Lessons learnt:
• Essential to have a Co-ordinator to drive the
programme.
• Monitoring of the over-all number of staff with
mental health problems who gain employment in the
organisation.
• Mechanisms in place to support Career
development.
• Extending the programme to other organisations
• Build in service user feedback
• Extending to partner organisations
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