The Southampton Individual Placement and Support Service (IPS) has become the first IPS team in the country to be awarded an “Exemplary” IPS quality mark, following an external review. 

As part of Southampton City Council’s Employment Support Team and working in partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, this excellent service is available to support people, referred from Southern Health’s community mental health teams, who express an interest in paid employment. The team work alongside mental health professionals to help people to gain sustainable employment, or retain their existing job, to assist with their recovery.  

The quality of each IPS service is monitored by IPS fidelity reviews which are an intensive, two-day process. Fidelity reviews involve external reviewers conducting interviews with clients, referrers, and staff, along with observations, and a review of the outcomes achieved by the team. In addition to delivering a high-quality service, the Southampton IPS team have assisted with over 340 job outcomes since the service began in 2016, with 2021-22 being the most successful year for job placements so far with over 89 securing a job compared to 61 between 2020-21.

Emma Dalwood, IPS Manager said “We are exceptionally proud of the outcome of our recent review; to have been award the highest possible category for this quality mark is testament to the excellent relationships we develop with clients and employers to not only find and secure a job, but also in the months after employment to ensure they are able to retain that job. We have been supporting clients obtain work in such a diverse range of employment areas from sales consultants to bakery assistants, PAs, projection assistants, HGV Driver, Kitchen Assistant, Children’s Practitioner to Funeral Arranger; something our clients and staff are immensely proud of”.  

Felicity, from Southampton, who received support from the IPS service, said: 

“Southampton’s Employment Support Team have helped me through different aspects of my employment journey at a time when my mental health was relapsing. Charlene, my employment specialist, supported me in my plans to return to work by preparing me for conversations I could have with my employer so they could better understand my needs.  When I then decided I wanted to leave and find a new role in a different sector, Charlene supported me throughout with job searching, CV and personal statement writing, interview preparation and training opportunities.  The service I received has improved my confidence in both applying for and maintaining work.  Charlene has always treated me as an individual and made my employment journey easier.”  

Councillor Lorna Fielker Cabinet Member for Health, Adults and Leisure, said “The ‘Exemplary’ quality mark is a fantastic achievement for our IPS team, whose dedication and hard work has been recognised with this award. That it is the first time the ‘Exemplary’ award has been given in the country further underlines how exceptional our team, and the people they support, are.”

The Southampton IPS team are looking forward to building upon this fantastic score and assisting even more people to achieve their employment goals. For more information, please visit: 

Southern Health are now planning to launch this employment placement and support service across the rest of Hampshire. For more information, please visit the website:

Southampton City Council Employment Support

For further information please contact Mike Bimson, Communications Executive for Growth at [email protected], or visit us at or Twitter: @SotonCareers

For further information, please contact Sarah Reed, Communications Manager, via email [email protected]  

About Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

We provide community health, specialist mental health and learning disability services for people across Hampshire. We employ around 6,000 staff who work from over 200 sites serving a population of around 1.3 million people. These sites include community hospitals, health centres, and inpatient units. Our aim is to provide high quality, safe services, which improve the health, wellbeing and independence of our  / Twitter: @Southern_NHSFT 


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