Evaluation of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Service

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What is the issue?

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based highly individualised intervention to support people into employment. Traditionally, IPS was used in secondary care settings for people who have severe mental illness. A previous trial conducted in 7 Local Authorities (LAs) in England explored the effect of receiving IPS support on the employment, treatment, health and, where relevant, criminal justice outcomes among people with alcohol and drug dependence (the IPS-AD trial).

The 2021 Drug Strategy From harm to hope: a 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives includes a commitment to achieving full coverage of IPS in community alcohol and drug treatment across England by 2024/25. With financial backing from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), part of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), has been overseeing the expansion of IPS in community drug and alcohol treatment. The national roll out of IPS is planned to occur over a three-year period, starting in 2023/24. This project is a qualitative process evaluation of the expansion of IPS in community drug and alcohol treatment (IPS) in LAs across England.

How are we helping?

The aim of this evaluation is to evaluate the implementation and delivery of IPS in community drug and alcohol treatment services at a national scale and to inform its phased expansion, drawing on learnings and knowledge of good practice from more experienced IPS teams. The evaluation will focus on IPS teams established by 2022-2023, which amounts to 55 teams operated across 72 LAs. The evaluation will draw on a range of data collection activities, including interviews, workshops and surveys.