Herefordshire’s new IPS Service is a Centre of Excellence

If there is one thing Landau is not short of, it is ambition! “We want to offer the best services to our clients, get the best outcomes for them, deliver by building the best local partnerships and through this achieve our mission: Changing Lives, Creating Futures,” says Sonia Roberts the company’s CEO.

But even within Landau we could hardly have imagined achieving the award of Centre of Excellence for our employment support within mental health services just a few short months ago. So team leader Jan Hadfield and her amazing group of staff are delighted to be celebrating this dazzling feat.   

Centre of Excellence is a badge of honour.  It means that Landau’s Individual Placement Support (IPS) services achieve the ultimate standards of quality – called the Fidelity Standard.  Awarded by the Centre for Mental Health UK, this accolade means that the people of Herefordshire are having access to the best quality of provision to help those dealing with mental health conditions to improve their lives and prospects. 

Getting back into work brings with it a host of rewards – financial stability, growth in self- esteem and self-worth, opportunities to make new colleagues, and chance to help others  – these are just a few of the bonuses of being in work.  But for would-be employees who are overcoming mental health difficulties the benefits go even further.  Individual Placement Support (IPS) is an internationally recognised model for helping overcome mental health problems by getting and keeping a job.  

Jan says “Having worked with the unemployed through Landau’s BBO programme, I knew what a difference it makes to support people to get into a meaningful job.  It transforms their life and their prospects, and through this the people around them too.  Through IPS we can directly benefit their mental health too”.

Started as a pilot, Landau’s Herefordshire IPS or HIPS service relies on strong partnership working to achieve success.   That is why Jan focused first on building relationships across the Recovery and Early Intervention teams within Herefordshire Mental health and Learning Disability Service (HMHLD). 

HIPS has not achieved Centre of Excellence on its own.  The excellent relationship and the continued support of Diane Topham, Community Services Manager, Les Trewin, Operational Service Director and clinical team members of Herefordshire Mental Health and Learning Disability Service was fundamental in HIPS growing and succeeding.

Even though it was only launched in September 2019 the HIPS team opened themselves up to the scrutiny and challenge of external audits and review in order to achieve the Centre of Excellence standard. 

Jan said, “Even though we were a new service that did not stop us from wanting to be the best.  Though it was a challenge, we were determined that our clients deserved outstanding services and being inspected against the Fidelity Standards would help us to achieve that goal”.

Starting with a map of the client journey, Jan and her team of four took advice from IPS Grow, a programme designed to help expand the availability of high quality IPS services across the UK and undertook training as part of the NHS Wave 2 initiative.

“We knew there was a need for a local IPS service in Herefordshire” says Sonia Roberts Landau CEO.  “Until Landau came along there was no such provision for people with mental health conditions who were keen to get in to work.   So partnering up with Herefordshire Mental Health and Learning Disability Service was pivotal.  HMHLD has really welcomed the HIPS team into their community, helping and supporting them to become valued partners of the clinical teams.”

As a mark of quality, the Centre of Excellence award will help us to help more people fulfil their aspirations and to manage their mental health and wellbeing.  Alongside celebrating the achievement of the award, Jan and her team are already looking to the future.  “It is so important to be able to offer support at the right time and in the right way to help local people get on in their lives.  It is great for them and great for local the economy.”

So congratulations HIPS – Centre of Excellence