Almost 2,000 people have now signed up to a groundbreaking research trial, which tests employment support for those with mental and physical illnesses.

One of only two such schemes in the UK, the Working Win health-led employment trial was launched in May 2018. It aims to assess the best type of support for people who are out of work, or struggling in their current job, due to low-level physical or mental health conditions.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “It’s great to see the Working Win trial helping people across South Yorkshire get into, and stay in, jobs that are right for them.

“When I was elected, I promised to work hard to achieve prosperity for all of the Sheffield City Region’s communities.  I’m therefore especially proud that our region is leading the way, as one of just two areas in the UK to be trialling this new personalised employment support.”

As a randomised control trial, Working Win aims to test whether a new type of employment support is more effective than other services which are already available. To measure this, half the people who are eligible for the trial are given the new type of support, called IPS (Individual Placement and Support), whilst the other half are provided with information about existing services.

The trial so far has seen employment successes from both groups but the overall results won’t be known until at least October 2020 when all participants have had a full 12 months in either the treatment or support arm of the trial.

Niall O’Reilly, Head of Work and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing Authority (SYHA), the organisation delivering the service on behalf of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Working Win provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to trial new ways of improving employment outcomes for people with physical or mental health conditions.

“Being out of work or suffering from work-related stress can have a range of negative impacts, making it more likely that we’ll report ill health and worsening recovery from conditions like heart disease.

“Good work for people who want it is a health outcome. We encourage people in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to refer themselves to the trial or speak to their local health professionals to find out more about the support available.”

The trial is funded by the Government’s Work and Health Unit and is being delivered in partnership with local NHS partners and South Yorkshire Housing Association. Sheffield City Region is one of two sites running the research, with the other trial now live in the West Midlands.

Anyone who is struggling to find work or with a current job due to low level physical or mental health problems, aged over 18 years and registered with a GP in Bassetlaw or South Yorkshire can sign-up for the trial.