Strong interest in IPS employment support for drug and alcohol teams in Aotearoa
May 17, 2021
There was a high level of interest in our recent Work Counts webinar about the UK experience of IPS employment support in alcohol and drug services.
Paul Anders and Dr Rob Robertson from the individual placement and support (IPS) employment support research trial in England’s alcohol and drug services shared their experiences.
About the UK trial
Public Health England’s trial of IPS employment support in drug and alcohol teams is the largest research study in the world investigating the delivery of IPS employment support in addiction services.
Paul Anders and Dr Rob Robertson shared the policy context to the trial, insights into the practical challenges of implementation and solutions with proven success.
Possibilities for Aotearoa New Zealand
“Seeing the successful scale-up of IPS employment support in the UK shows just what is possible with strategic, health-led expansion,” Work Counts strategic policy advisor Dr Helen Lockett said.
“England is now sitting at near full coverage, from what was previously widespread awareness and interest, and small pockets of good practice.
“This is an amazing development. We want full coverage in Aotearoa New Zealand too – we are only at around 25 per cent coverage now.”
Download the map of IPS employment support integrated with secondary mental health and addiction services, below.
IPS employment support in drug and alcohol teams found to be effective
IPS employment support in drug and alcohol teams was found to be effective, despite the trial running through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rob said they had overcome the challenges of integrating employment support in clinical teams by winning over champions, sharing people’s success stories and being consistent and concise with the messaging on what IPS employment support is.
The experiences of the UK also highlighted the importance of implementation support to achieving good integration and effective outcomes.
“I think there is a big future for IPS in England and the UK. We certainly hope that it involves community alcohol and drug treatment,” Paul said.
Read the UK Health Security Agency’s blog post on the IPS-AD trial: ‘Supporting people from substance misuse treatment into employment’ (27 March 2019).
Marsden, J., Anders, P., Clark, H. et al. Protocol for a multi-centre, definitive randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support for employment support among people with alcohol and drug dependence. Trials 21, 167 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-4099-4
Work Counts (2021). IPS employment support integrated with secondary mental health and addiction services (map).