Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health, Sarah Newton visited Kings Cross Health & Community Care Centre in Dundee to meet with staff delivering the Health & Work Support Initiative.
The Health & Work Support initiative is a two year trial of a new access channel which sees health and work services in Dundee and Fife being aligned together. Health & Work Support encompasses the former services of Working Health Services and Fit for Work and is being delivered by Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership.
Health & Work Support provides health support for people who are in work and dealing with health issues, are off work sick or are unemployed up to six months. The initiative acts as a single point of contact for individuals who are finding that a health issue or disability is making work difficult for them.
It also aims to provide a more streamlined route through the local networks of health and work support available. This early intervention support service is also available to employers, healthcare professionals and Jobcentre Plus.
Mrs Newton was keen to come and meet with some of the team and hear firsthand how the service is working following its first few weeks in action.
Mrs Newton was welcomed to Kings Cross Health & Community Care Centre by Dr Drew Walker, NHS Tayside Director of Public Health and Executive Director Lead for Welfare Reform, Senga Cree, Lead Health & Work Support, Scottish Government and Wendy Third, Local Lead Health & Work Support, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership.
During her visit, the Minister met the Health & Work Support Team and discussed the challenges they have faced getting the service up and running and also met with partner agency staff from the Department of Work & Pensions Universal Credit.
Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health, Sarah Newton said, “It’s been great to see the excellent work of the team here firsthand, supporting disabled people to get in, and stay in, fulfilling employment.
“Organisations like Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership are leading the way and play a key part in helping us get one million more disabled people into work by 2027.”
Wendy Third, said, “I am delighted that the Health & Work Support initiative is developing and that the Minister was able to meet with staff delivering the pilot.
“It is still early days for this pilot but the team is working together in partnership with agencies to ensure its success. Linking in health will provide an important additional benefit for people who will be accessing the Health & Work Support Service.”
The Minister was presented with NHS Tayside’s Director of Public Health Annual Report 2017/18 – Welfare Reform by Dr Walker which includes a section on Health & Work Support.
The Health & Work Support Pilot was launched in Dundee and Fife on 26 June by the Scottish Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn. The pilot is funded by the UK Government Work and Health Unit and the Scottish Government.