Experiences from the frontline : an exploration of personal advisers’ practice with claimants who have health-related needs within UK welfare-to-work provision

Ceolta-Smith, J ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7412-233X, Salway, S and Tod, AM 2018, 'Experiences from the frontline : an exploration of personal advisers’ practice with claimants who have health-related needs within UK welfare-to-work provision' , Health & Social Care in the Community, 26 (4) , pp. 598-608.

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Recent UK welfare reforms have been less successful than expected by the Government in supporting unemployed people with long-term illness into work. Frontline workers remain a core element of the new welfare-to-work machinery, but operate within a changed organisational and policy landscape. These changes raise important questions regarding whether and how claimants’ health-related barriers to work are considered. This paper examines the UK welfare-to-work frontline worker’s role with claimants who have long-term illness. Fieldwork observations in three not for profit employment support services, and semi-structured interviews with 29 participants (claimants, frontline workers, healthcare professionals and managers) were conducted between 2011 and 2012. Participant observation of the wider welfare-to-work arena was initiated in 2009 and continued until 2013. A qualitative methodology drawing on ethnographic principles was adopted. Thematic analysis of the data was carried out. The findings show that the frontline worker plays a key role in assessing and addressing claimants’ health-related barriers to work. Two important health-related role dimensions were identified: a health promoter role which involved giving health promotional advice to claimants about their general health; and a health monitor role which involved observing and questioning claimants about their general health. Frontline workers’ practice approaches were shaped by organisational and individual factors. Integration between the National Health Service (NHS) and employment support services was limited, and the findings suggested improvements were required to ensure an adequate response to claimants’ health-related needs to support their journey into work.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Health & Social Care in the Community
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1365-2524
Related URLs:
Depositing User: J Ceolta-Smith
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2018 12:56
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 23:09
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/46815

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