Rooting work support in local communities will help more people back in to employment

Matthew Taylor responds to the announcement of funding for ICS to provide support for people currently too unwell to work.

17 November 2023

Responding to the letter to ICSs on the WorkWell programme, which will fund Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to recruit a work and health integration lead and provide a further £57 million to 15 ICS to run pilots of more intensive, early-intervention support, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

“ICS leaders will welcome government rooting the WorkWell programme in local leadership; leveraging the key potential of ICS which is to provide services that help build better health and wellbeing amongst the population that meet the needs of local communities.

“Our members know that 80 per cent of what affects health is not within the direct control of the NHS and thus it’s critical ICS bring different public services, the VCSE sector and beyond to deliver in a way that drives positive health outcomes which in turn drives local economies.

"ICS leaders know that with the right support, people living with poor health and long-term conditions can find that good quality work helps prevent them from becoming more unwell, and helps people to live a more full life, in turn reducing pressure on health services.

“With the fourth core purpose of ICS being to support the NHS in driving broader economic and social development, our members working across the 42 ICS are already driving this work and will welcome the opportunity to spur it on.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the joint Health and Work Unit and welcome the cross-Whitehall approach to tackling knotty issues. We hope to see more of this across different departments in the coming months.”