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Sickness benefit sign-off pilot increases clinicians role

5 November 2013

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Healthcare professionals will have regular meetings with people on sickness benefits to address their barriers to work. 

The two-year government pilot, starting in November, will see around 3,000 people take part in the scheme. 

Regular appointments with healthcare professionals will become a condition for receiving their benefit, to focus on moving them closer to getting a job. 

The scheme will compare the help given by healthcare professionals to two other pilot schemes offering employment-focused support to see which is most effective at helping people to get back into work. 

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “It’s really important we give people who are disabled or have a health condition the support they need to get into work if they are able.

“Traditionally, this help has tended to be work-related, but this pilot will look at whether a more holistic approach is more successful in helping people to manage their conditions and so break down their barriers to work.” 

During the pilot the advice will be given by Ingeus UK, an employment and training services provider. 

However, the government hopes that the support could help a claimant to “re-engage” with their GP if they are struggling to adapt to their condition. 

Ingeus UK have been awarded the contract to provide healthcare professionals for the pilot following an open tendering process.