In late 2016/early 2017, the Centre started to work with the ‘work and health unit’ – this unit is jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health (DH) and led the work across government on the Improving lives: the work, health and disability green paper.
The green paper focuses on how government and wider society can enable and support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to reach their full potential and asks “What will it take to transform the employment prospects of disabled people and people with long-term health conditions?”
A number of the consultation questions for the green paper have a focus on information sharing. Such as, asking how to share evidence between different benefit assessments to reduce the burden on claimants and on benefit decision-makers? How to bring about better work-focussed conversations between an individual, health professional, employer and Jobcentre Plus work coach? How to encourage innovation through local networks to improve health and work outcomes and consider different approaches to joint working such as co-location? How can government and local partners best encourage improved sharing of health and employment data?
To support the DWP/DH consultation, in February 2017 the Centre ran a workshop (on behalf of the joint work and health unit) to capture the views of a range of partners and stakeholders including practitioners, commissioners, members of health & wellbeing boards and information governance experts.
At the workshop we discussed the information sharing issues currently faced, shared good practice together and explored how information sharing could be improved by strengthening the way in which government works at both a national and local level. The workshop was also an excellent networking and learning opportunity and a chance to share ideas.
Following the workshop, Centre staff pulled together a short report which summarised the delegates thoughts from the day. This has been provided to the work and health unit to feed into the wider consultation and is also available to download: Work and health consultation - findings report