Health-led Trials Impact Evaluation Reports

Download the synthesis report

The full suite of reports contain the detailed findings and analysis for the Health-led Trials, a large scale randomised-controlled trial testing time-limited provision of Individual Placement and Support for people with moderate to mild mental and physical health conditions in primary care.

These reports include:

  • the implementation and four-month report
  • the impact report
  • the survey report
  • the economic evaluation report
  • a theory-based evaluation report (context, mechanism, outcome report)
  • a report on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the trial

Download the theory-based evaluation


The theory-based evaluation was led by L&W and the economic evaluation was led by Helen Gray (L&W’s Chief Economist) in her previous role at IES, with input from L&W staff. The theory-based evaluation provides detailed insights into how far, for whom and why outcomes were achieved. The economic evaluation estimates the value of the impacts set against the costs of delivering the IPS services.

The trials recruited 9,785 people across 2 sites between May 2018 and October 2019. In Sheffield City Region (SCR), 6,110 people were recruited including an out-of-work group and a group in employment but struggling. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) trial recruited 3,675 people, all of whom were out-of-work. The IPS service offered support for a total of 12 months, with 9 months of support to find employment and 4 further months of in-work support.

The evaluation found impacts on employment, health and wellbeing varied by site and trial group. In WMCA there was a substantial and strongly statistically significant impact on the probability of being employed for 13+ weeks over the year following randomisation. There was also a positive impact on this measure for the SCR in-work group. No impact on employment was observed for the SCR out-of-work group. Across both SCR groups, strongly significant impacts were seen for health and wellbeing outcomes. These did not emerge in WMCA.

Different leadership structures and different delivery models were the factors most likely to explain the differences in impact between the sites. Specialised employment adviser and smaller caseloads enabled more employer engagement activity in WMCA for those who were out-of-work on joining the trial. A mix of short and longer meetings was likely to provide momentum for employment outcomes. Less frequent, longer meetings were likely to enable a greater focus on making best use of health support, as well as wellbeing in SCR. At a strategic level, building integration between health and employment systems, and increasing understanding of the value of work to health are important outcomes for future delivery.

A synthesis report is also available.