Health Commission backs 'Fit for Work' scheme

Around one in ten Greater Manchester residents of working age are not able to work because of their health, costing around £1.4 billion in benefit payments and lost taxes annually. But employment is important for a healthy lifestyle.

The Greater Manchester Health Commission has backed proposals which will keep people in work. Around one in ten Greater Manchester residents of working age are not able to work because of their health, costing around £1.4 billion in benefit payments and lost taxes annually. But employment is important for a healthy lifestyle.

The Health Commission, together with New Economy, want to make sure that health and employment services work better together to prevent people becoming unemployed, as well as increase the number of people moving off benefits and into work.

The proposals include a new ‘Fit for Work’ scheme, which will give free support and advice to keep 1,500 people across Greater Manchester, whose health conditions are putting their jobs at risk, in work.

The scheme is one part of a proposed wider health and work programme of activity to reduce the number of people out of work owing to a health condition. This will include better coordinating of relevant services such as housing, childcare and health to support more people off incapacity benefit and back into work.

Councillor Cliff Morris, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health Commission, said: “We want the people of Greater Manchester to be healthy and fit for work. By working closely with our partners at New Economy, we are able to get this new project up and running and get to grips with helping people to stay active and employed.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Greater Manchester Health Commission is the formal partnership made up of leading representatives from Greater Manchester’s Councils, NHS Trusts, and the Higher Education Sector, who are working together to improve health and tackle health inequalities in the city region.

Manchester’s Commission for the New Economy has been established to co-ordinate strategically the work in the field of economic development, employment and skills in the area of the ten AGMA Local Authorities (the Association for Greater Manchester Authorities, made up of the local authorities of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

  • The two agencies form two of seven commissions created that fill a central strategic role in AGMA’s governance arrangements for Greater Manchester.
  • The Greater Manchester Fit For Work Service is one of 11 such pilots nationally, funded by Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health following the landmark report into the health of the working age population by Dame Carol Black, Working for a Healthier Tomorrow.
  • Implemented from 1 April 2010, the Greater Manchester Fit For Work Service is the only such pilot in the North West of England and the only project of its type nationally to be delivered on a city-region scale.
  • Currently around 160,000 Greater Manchester residents of working age claim sickness benefits. Around 8000 employees every year move straight from work and onto sickness benefits as a result of a health condition.
  • Successive government reports have highlighted the importance of work to improving health. Now a joint programme of activity is developing in Greater Manchester – the first element of which will be the Fit For Work Service – to reduce the number of people moving on to benefits and raise the number moving off benefits and in to employment.

For media enquires please contact:

Ian Ratcliffe
Stockport Council’s Marketing & Communications Unit
0161 474 3059
ian.ratcliffe@stockport.gov.uk

Paul Kendal
Stockport Council’s Marketing & Communications Unit
0161 474 3114
paul.kendal@stockport.gov.uk

Updated over 3 years ago.

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