IPS funding - wave 1 now open for applications

NHS England has launched a new transformation fund for Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services. It aims to support the expansion of IPS services so that more people who experience serious mental illness (SMI) can find and retain employment. This investment is part of NHS England’s objective to double access to IPS by 2020/21 as outlined in the implementation plan for the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health

Rates of employment are lower for people with mental health problems than for any other group of health conditions. IPS is an evidence-based approach to providing employment support for people experiencing serious mental health problems, shown to be twice as effective as vocational rehabilitation, and associated with reduced utilisation of other services, including use of inpatient admissions. 

It is intended to award funding in two targeted waves: 

  • Commencing 2018/19: Wave 1: Expansion at pace within an STP area that already have high performing IPS services; 
  • Commencing 2019/20: Wave 2: Increasing provision in STP areas that do not have any IPS service provision. 

Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) who are invited to submit proposals for ‘Wave 1’ funding will be expected to outline how they will maintain fidelity to IPS principles in newly expanded services.

NHS England intends to launch applications for Wave 2 funding at a later date. Note that the ‘Wave 1’ funding available is for transformation funding in 2018/19 and awarded provisionally in 2019/20, subject to later confirmation. 

NHS England strongly urges those areas that currently have established IPS services (and are therefore able to submit strong applications) to make use of the funding available in Wave 1 to deliver increased access as soon as possible. 

They encourage all other areas to continue with local discussions around expanding access to IPS, with the aim of being in a position to make a strong application for Wave 2 at a later date. 

Proposals should be submitted to regional mental health colleagues (details provided in the application form) and copied to england.adultMH@nhs.net by Wednesday 28th February 2017. 

It is expected that applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by the end of March 2017.