Employment Schemes: Chronic Illnesses and Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 23 October 2023.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the initial Universal Support programme assessment comprises.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The first phase of delivery of Universal Support are the Pioneer services. These are being delivered through two routes:

- Up to 25,000 new places available across England and Wales on Work and Health Programme (WHP) Pioneer. This support offers a ‘place and train’ approach on a voluntary basis for economically inactive disabled people and those from disadvantaged groups. It is delivered through extensions to the Work and Health programme contracts. WHP Pioneer looks to support these groups into work at the earliest opportunity after an initial work assessment and provide wraparound in work support from a personal advisor.

- Expansion of Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) into 42 upper tier local authority areas in England. IPSPC is a voluntary evidence-based Supported Employment programme (place, train and maintain) with referrals from primary health care professionals and community health care. IPSPC is integrated with an individual’s normal health treatment, encouraging recognition of employment as an important driver of an individual’s health and wellbeing. IPSPC provides tailored support to help disabled people out of work and those needing support with their health issues to find and keep sustainable work.

When a participant is referred to these services their initial engagement will be person centred, with the aim of securing a good match with a suitable job and not just any job.

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