The DWP has announced a scheme to help over 25,000 people with health problems secure or retain employment by March 2025.

The Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) initiative is for adults who have a physical or mental health disability

It hopes to offer them personalised employment support and advice integrated with their normal health treatment.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, confirmed the expansion of the programme.

Recognising employment as an important driver of health and wellbeing, participants are referred to the service by healthcare professionals such as GPs and practice nurses, and employment support and advice are integrated with their normal health treatment.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP said: "We know that work has a positive impact on people’s health and well-being and this pioneering programme will help thousands more people reap the benefits of fulfilling employment with the right help.

“This is a significant milestone in our commitment to invest in employment support for people with health conditions.

"Through the reforms, we set out earlier this year, we will continue to provide even more inclusive employment opportunities across the country as part of our efforts to unlock people’s potential and grow the economy.”

The first phase of the IPSPC programme, launched in April 2023, provides on-the-job “place and train” employment support and advice to 12,700 people across South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, West London, Norfolk, Cheshire West and Chester, and West Midlands, at a cost of £27.9 million.

They are now expanding IPSPC to support up to a further 12,900 people in Enfield, Essex, Newham, Nottingham, Slough and Surrey who are set to benefit from an additional £31 million joint investment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

This is part of the first phase of the DWP’s Universal Support employment programme, announced in the Spring Budget.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Tom Pursglove MP said: “In our Health and Disability White Paper we highlighted the importance of employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions, so it is absolutely right to expand the proven successful model of supported employment further.

Echo: The DWP confirmed the allocation of funds on June 11th (Getty)The DWP confirmed the allocation of funds on June 11th (Getty) (Image: Getty)

“I’m delighted that we’re already seeing this approach boost participants’ employment prospects, well-being, self-confidence, and motivation to return to work.

“What we learn from supporting people through IPSPC will pave the way to Universal Support, which, when fully rolled out will offer people personalised support to help them flourish in work.”

Health Minister, Maria Caulfield, added: "This expanded funding is a vital part of our drive to support disabled people and those with health conditions who deserve to live independently.

"This also includes our £573 million annual Disabled Facilities Grant, which funds housing modifications such as grab rails and ramps to improve independent living at home.

“We are also inviting views on how the government can better diagnose and support those with major health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases or mental ill-health, which will inform our Major Conditions Strategy later this year.”