Commission an IPS service

Why commission IPS?

Employment can be key to recovery 
Unemployment is strongly linked to the development of mental health problems. Suitable work can be good for people’s health. While 93% of people who use mental health services are unemployed, most want to work and see working as key to their recovery. 

Employment reduces use of other health services
Returning to employment has been shown to reduce health service usage, with fewer days spent in hospital and reduced rates of readmission. For people with severe mental illness, the saving is estimated at around £6,000 per person. 

IPS works
Compared with traditional support, IPS has been proven in numerous studies to help more people with severe mental illness back into work more quickly. On average, people receiving IPS keep their jobs longer, earn more, and spend less time in hospital. That’s why NICE recommends mental health services to provide IPS to their users.  

Commissioning IPS

Are you commissioning an IPS service? 

The following tools and guidance materials are intended for CCG and Local Authority commissioners, but will also be of use to providers of mental health services, third sector and other organisations. 

These documents provide guidance for commissioners of mental health and employment services across primary and secondary mental health care. They also include a set of practical tools for how to commission a high-quality service, such as a model service specification and financial model template. All these tools require modification and adaptation to fit local need and comply with local requirements. 

Commissioning guidance

Guidance on commissioning mental health and employment services.


Setting up an IPS Service

Advice on how to set up an IPS service


Procurement guidance

Briefing note on the procurement of IPS services.


Model service specification

Template specification for procurement of IPS services.


Service cost calculator

Indicative service cost and workforce requirement calculator.


Outcomes target calculator

Tool to calculate outcomes targets. 


Finance model template

Template IPS procurement finance model. 


Model method statement

Template IPS procurement method statement.


Clinical engagement tool

Briefing note or poster for clinicians to share the benefits of IPS