Change that leads to better lives

Research into Investment in Employment Support for Disabled People

NDTi has today published interim findings from research into the cost effectiveness of local authority and NHS investment in employment supports for people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems.

The initial key findings include that:

  • After a period of increased spend, investment in supporting people into paid work appears to have declined in 2012/13.
  • Many commissioners do not have access to the data they need on services they commission to ensure they are achieving best value for money.
  • There appears to be limited focus on the use of personal budgets to support people into paid work.

These interim findings describe how:

Levels of Spend

  • Over a five year period, there appears to have been a growth in overall levels of spend – provisionally attributed to policy initiatives in the last decade.
  • Spending reductions in 2012/13 appears to have taken spend levels back to at or below the level they were in 2010/11.
  • Despite the 2012/13 reduction, more commissioners expect commissioned employment supports to be consolidated or increased over the next few years than expect them to be cut.

Information held by Commissioners

  • Although most commissioners have data on how much they spend on employment support, many are unable to break down spend between different types of employment support.
  • Data collected by commissioners does not generally provide information on more complex issues, such as the impact of someone getting a job on their use of other health and social care services.

The Use of Personal Budgets

  • Whilst most respondents said people were allowed to use personal budgets for employment support, only a small proportion knew whether this was happening and even fewer had information about the extent to which they were being used to help people into paid work.

Commenting on the report, NDTi Chief Executive Rob Greig said:
“These early findings suggest that many commissioners do not have access to the information they need to help ensure that they are achieving value for money out of the investments they are making in supporting people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems into paid work.

There is clear evidence that some types of employment support are more effective than others in enabling people to gain and retain paid work. If we can support evidence-based investment in those approaches, then the chances of increasing the numbers of disabled people accessing the world of paid work will be greater. Achieving this should be cost effective as past research has shown it costs the public purse less to support people into work than it does to meet the costs of people using alternative health and social care services such as day centres.

Following the completion of the next stage of the research – which will look in more depth into the outcomes achieved from investment – we will be producing tools and supports that will help commissioners to plug these gaps in their knowledge.”

For more information you can read the report using the download link on the right.

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