The purpose of this paper is to explore and describe the effectiveness, achievements and challenges of a job creation project that was developed with people in contact with forensic mental health services.
This evaluation (case study) used a mixed methods approach: a range of quantitative and qualitative data were gathered, analysed and interpreted.
There were economic and health benefits. The income generation was sufficient to fund a large chunk of the projects operating costs. Service users reported improvements in mental health, wellbeing, confidence, skill development and earning capacity.
The sample size was too small to be generalised and no validated measures were used. Further research is required into the long-term benefits of job creation in mental health services and providing a continuum of employment support.
A range of commercial activity can form the basis for job creation and work training projects in mental health services. Substantial operating costs can be generated, to re-invest in job creation/enterprises.
Social value can be enhanced within NHS public sector procurement procedures. Agreement between a range of internal NHS departments is necessary: finance, commercial, estates and facilities, and procurement.
Public sector procurement has the potential to act as a catalyst to support the inclusion agenda by funding commercial activity that job creation projects can undertake.
Sarah McDonald, Mark Bertram
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 2018