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Seminar - Evaluation of an NHS case management service for long-term Incapacity Benefit Recipients in North East England

Monday, 23 May 2011
12:30 to 14:00
Dr Jon Warren, Dr Clare Bambra
Seminar Room 010

This is a large research project funded by County Durham Primary Care Trust (PCT), North East England, UK. County Durham PCT, in partnership with other local agencies, commissioned a major intervention to improve the mental and physical health of people in County Durham who have been in receipt of IB for three years or more. The intervention aims to provide recipients with a case manager who will offer individually tailored packages of support in order to ultimately lead to an outcome of health improvement. The main part of the research involves an evaluation of this intervention. However it is also asking qualitative questions about the experience of sickness and worklessness and offers participants a chance to tell their stories through interviews and also visual research.

Work, or lack of it, is the most important social determinant of population health and health inequalities. Work both directly, via the distribution of industrial diseases, and indirectly, as in the increased risk of coronary heart disease as a result of workplace stress, affects the prevalence and distribution of mortality and morbidity. The absence of paid work - worklessness - is also negatively associated with health. The importance of work to population health, and of worklessness as a cause of social exclusion and health inequalities, is increasingly being recognised by policymakers with, for example, the government commissioning of the Black review of working age health (Black, 2008) and getting the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce guidelines on incapacity and sickness absence (NICE, 2009). The level of ill health in the working age population in the North East of England exceeds that of any other English region. Across County Durham there are over 40,000 people receiving Incapacity Benefit (IB) due to health problems, representing 12% of the working age population.

The research is primarily concerned with evaluating the effectiveness of the case management service commissioned by the Primary Care Trust. The research will advise whether resources are being spent effectively, and will create a robust evidence base about whether such initiatives may be successful on a wider basis.

Research Team

Kayleigh Garthwaite, Jon Warren, Clare Bambra, Tim Blackman, Adetayo Kassim, Mark Booth, James Mason

Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University

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