• Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bristol
  • North Somerset
  • South Gloucestershire
  • Swindon
  • Wiltshire

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a specialist employment service operating across the AWP patch.

The service is well established in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES), Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW, )and has expanded in 2021 to include Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG).

People with mental health problems often want to be working but don't know how to go about it or need support to make it happen.

IPS employs dedicated Employment Specialists who will work alongside Recovery and Early Intervention teams to support clients in finding and staying in work.

IPS takes an evidence-based approach always using client-centred - employment as an active intervention to assist individual recovery.

Employment specialists can support clients by helping:

  • To overcome setbacks and worries at work
  • With career progression
  • Get the right information about benefits to avoid the risks and anxieties of becoming worse off in work where possible
  • Make contact with employers and offer support when meeting with them, if needed
  • Provide ongoing in-work support to ensure sustained employment.

The eight principles of IPS

IPS has been shown to be more effective the more closely it follows these eight principles:

  • It aims to get people into competitive employment
  • It is open to all those who want to work
  • It tries to find jobs consistent with people's preferences
  • It works quickly
  • It brings employment specialists into clinical teams
  • Employment specialists develop relationships with employers based upon a person's work preferences
  • It provides time unlimited, individualised support for the person and their employer
  • Benefits counselling is included.

The evidence

There is now overwhelming international evidence that 'place then train' models are much more effective than traditional approaches such as vocational training and sheltered work in successfully getting people into work.

The EQOLISE project compared IPS with other vocational / rehabilitation services in six European countries. It concluded that:

  • IPS clients were twice as likely to gain employment (55% v. 28%) and worked for significantly longer
  • the total costs for IPS were generally lower than standard services over first six months
  • clients who had worked for at least a month in the previous five years had better outcomes
  • individuals who gained employment had reduced hospitalisation rates.

New to IPS

The IPS Service delivered in Partnership by Richmond Fellowship has expanded to four teams each team is managed by an IPS Team Manager and five employment specialists for the Recovery teams and the Primary care that will expand soon.  The teams are working closely with our staff across BNSSG to deliver the most diverse offer of support to clients.

The IPS Service is now offering support for clients in the Primary Care Sector which begin providing a service from January 2024

Getting referred to the IPS Primary Care Service

You can access our service if you are aged 18 or over, motivated to get a paid job and willing to start actively job searching. You can self-refer or be referred from the following services: 

  • AWP Community Mental Health Team
  • AWP Early Intervention Service
  • GP
  • Social Care Service
  • Voluntary Sector Organisation
  • Self-refer using the QR code on the IPS Primary Care leaflet

IPS & MINT pilot

IPS & The Mental Health and wellbeing Integrated Network Team  (MINT) are working in Partnership to support people in the Primary Care Sector in North Somerset who have an identifiable need in either obtaining Employment or Sustaining Employment 

IPS is currently working with two MINT Teams in North Somerset to develop the pilot

IPS & CAMHS Service

IPS & CAMHS services working in Partnership to support young people into educational opportunities from the age of 16-25 years  

IPS cannot work with

  • Individuals who only have physical health conditions.
  • Individuals who only want to look at voluntary work.