ELFT’s Bedfordshire and Luton Employment Service, which uses the IPS (Individual Placement and Support) model, supports people who are open to adult community mental health teams, including people seeing a psychiatrist as an outpatient.
The team help any service users who want to work full or part-time by offering one-to-one support including help with CVs, support with interviews and contacting potential employers.
The service has now received a ‘good’ rating after being assessed by IPS Grow.
IPS Grow provides quality assurance for IPS services, helping them understand what they do well and where to continue improving, using a fidelity review system.
When the results were shared last month (July 2022), the team were rated as the top fidelity performer in the east of England.
The average fidelity score from reviews completed in 2021-2022 was 91, with the Bedfordshire and Luton teams collectively scoring 107.5.
Good practice identified by the reviewers included the integration of the IPS Employment Specialists with their clinical teams, partnership working with the DWP and service user outcomes.
The review took place over four days and involved interviews with clinical staff across Luton, Central Bedfordshire, Bedford and the Early Intervention Service (EIS). Interviews also took place with service users, IPS staff, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and with ELFT Chief Operating Officer Edwin Ndlovu.
Edwin told the reviewers: “I think the one thing I’d like to really recognise is how the team have come through over the past two years.
“Other Trusts/providers have slowed down or put employment on pause but this team didn’t, and they shone in the height of difficulties the pandemic threw at them and all of us. and they have continued delivering to such a high standard.”
He added: “Their passion, creativeness and can-do attitude has shone through, and I am immensely proud of them"
Alison Fuller, Bedfordshire and Luton IPS Employment Service Manager, said the service being awarded ‘good fidelity’ on its first external review was a significant achievement.
“I am immensely proud of the whole team for their hard work, commitment and passion for supporting service users in achieving their employment goals,” she said.