Fit for Work pilot site selection under way

A shortlist of pilot sites for national director for health and work Dame Carol Black’s Fit for Work service is due to be finalised by late June, the government has said, as it started the process of selecting suitable candidates last month.

A series of workshops was held in March to gauge initial interest in running the pilots, which will be evaluated until at least 2011. The government has published a memorandum of information on the pilot selection process and timetable.

Interested parties will now go through a series of questionnaires and interviews to make the shortlist, with the pilots due to kick off by late summer. While the point of the pilots is to look at different types of service and methods of delivery, the government has said the intention is that they will provide support for people with common mental health conditions, musculoskeletal disorders and other conditions.

They may also provide services such as employer liaison case co-ordination employment, debt, housing or skills advice conciliation and dispute resolution health and wellbeing services psychosocial therapies physiotherapy occupational therapy and long-term rehabilitation.

Other likely areas include support for people with disabilities or those with fluctuating conditions who regularly fall in and out of work.

Health minister Phil Hope said: “I want local authorities, primary care trusts and other providers to put their innovative ideas behind these pilots, which can only have social and economic benefits for their areas.”

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