Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Researchers: PI: Jim Hillage, Institute for Employment Studies. Involved consortia led by the Institute of Employment Studies, Brighton with FfW Research Group, Liverpool, SPRU, York; NIESR and GfK NOP, London
Funder: Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
Date: March 2010-December 2011
Aims: (1) to assess the effectiveness of the pilots against key process and outcome measures; (2) to identify & disseminate (in collaboration with DH and DWP) key lessons for ensuring quality, effectiveness and efficiency of FFWS in future; (3) to undertake economic evaluation of FFWS.
The project also aims to:
Examine take-up & routes by which people access service, why they want to use it and barriers to access.
Explore characteristics of people who do/do not access the service (and why), with particular focus on those without access to work-related health support (e.g. employees of SMEs) and lower socio-economic groups (to assess how the services address health inequalities).
Examine the nature of services provided by the FFWS, to whom they are provided and how they differ to provision prior to the pilots and identify different models of service provision.
Assess FFWS participants‘, and stakeholders‘ (e.g. GPs and employers), views of the services provided, and whether, and how, they are perceived to be of benefit.
Identify the key costs involved in delivering the service.
Examine in detail a number of key aspects of the FFWS, (case management, process of referral to the FFWS, mental health and employer involvement).
Three strands: (1) process evaluation; (2) impact evaluation assessing performance of pilots against key success criteria (including a reduction in the time taken to return to work and a reduction in the flows onto out of work benefits); (3) an economic assessment of the pilot service.
The research will involve the collection of key management information about users of the service and a series of process visits to the pilot areas to interview local stakeholders and pilot providers. Contingent on ethical approval (and also access to FFWS users and sufficient data) the project will also involve: A longitudinal panel survey of FFWS users A series of focussed studies centred on key aspects of the service: case management; referral routes and the role of GPs; mental health and the role of employers in the service A longitudinal series of interviews with a panel of FFWS users.
The impact study is dependent on NHS ethical approval and local agreement to collect data from sick notes of eligible people in a selection of between 40 and 60 GP practices participating in the pilots and access to participating and non-participating GP practices to collect control data. If sufficient data are available impact will be assessed via a survival analysis, possibly supplemented by timing of events analysis, of Management Information and sick-note data. A difference in difference (DiD) analysis of the National Benefits Database and Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study data is also proposed, comparing pilot and non-pilot areas. Contingent on impact estimates being available (and data on costs being collected through the process evaluation) an estimate of the economic impact of the pilots will be undertaken through a cost and benefit analysis.
Differential impact/NHS:
Depending on achieved sample size the analyse will differences in experiences and views by age, gender and family circumstances, health condition, occupation and experience of work, size of employing organisation etc.