MICA: Supporting Older People into Employment (SOPIE): Identifying factors influencing return to work in the over 50s.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: College of Medical, Veterinary &Life Sci

Abstract

This research will be undertaken by a unique partnership between Ingeus, a welfare-to-work provider, and an academic team led by the University of Glasgow and will study the Ingeus workless clients including those with health problems, who participate in interventions to help them return to work (RTW) and sustain employment and there will be a particular focus on those over 50.

In the UK there has been a steady increase during the past 40 years in the number of people (now 2.6 million) on long term health related benefits despite work becoming much safer and less physically demanding. We know that generally work is good for our health. Life expectancy has also improved. However health problems are inevitable with age and over the age of 45 years an increasing number of people leave work through ill health. Sometimes this may have been precipitated by closure of industries and lack of suitable alternative work, and sometimes by a lack of skills in the individual. There may be very little difference in the health of some of those who fall out of work due to ill health, and those with health problems who stay in work, and we know that many of those who are long term workless can be rehabilitated to work. Those that leave work and go onto benefits tend to experience more rapid deterioration in their health and die younger than those who are able to stay in work and it has also has been shown that people who RTW become healthier and generally live longer.

In the past these individuals have not had enough help in improving their health, nor have they had enough support in terms of retraining, building their confidence, and helping them find work. The Work Programme (WP) introduced in 2011 across the UK is intended to provide this help and in Scotland Ingeus is one of two providers. Ingeus estimate referrals of 17,000 per year for 2013-2015 with around 15% over 50.

This partnership between academics and Ingeus provides a unique opportunity to establish a long term study of older people going through the WP and comparison of those who succeed in returning to and staying in work with those who do not. In the past this has been a population who have been hard to reach and this research will identify what are the needs of people over 50 and, what needs to be done to help them improve their health and RTW. By studying the other age groups the research will also provide information on the lifecourse of this population and may provide information on which interventions could be introduced in future to prevent people falling out of work. All of this will require the consent of the people involved to use their data in a completely anonymised way and also to link information to other records on economic factors, deprivation, employment opportunities in different parts of the country and health usage.

The research will gather data on the numbers going through the different interventions and the results of these interventions, including if they RTW and what happens subsequently. Clients of the WP will also be interviewed so that we can gather information on how they feel about the WP and understand their perspectives. Ingeus staff and advisors will also be interviewed separately.

The research will provide new information on the interventions, support, and individual factors which assist the over 50s RTW and sustain work and the academic research will not only help to inform how the Ingeus interventions can be improved, but may also provide new information on how to prevent people having to leave work and extend working lives of this most disadvantaged group. The benefits to these individuals are clear as it is well established that safe work improves the health of those who are long term workless. This research will inform current and future welfare-to-work and job retention initiatives and improve their effectiveness in helping working age people extend their healthy working lives, which will benefit them and society.

Technical Summary

The objectives are: 1. To understand the different work and health trajectories experienced by clients during their engagement with the Ingeus WP and how these differ by stage of the lifecourse and multiple dimensions of socio-economic position; 2. To establish a large-scale cohort of WP clients to enable long term analysis of the relationships between health, worklessness and the RTW process, and sustainability of employment, in the over 50s. We intend to use a mixed-methods observational methodology consisting of embedded fieldwork, and longitudinal qualitative and quantitative components. The embedded stage will establish administrative data collection procedures and map the detailed processes clients pass through in Ingeus WP. The qualitative study will involve interviews with purposively sampled WP clients to focus on experiences of: the WP; the interaction between age, health and employability across the lifecourse; and barriers or facilitators to RTW. Staff will be interviewed to give an understanding of the referral, assessment and intervention processes. The quantitative component will study a cohort of clients engaging in the WP from April 2013 to March 2014. We will quantify the relative frequencies of various patterns of RTW (or not), and the various intervention components provided, cross-classified by client characteristics relevant to programme success and explore those individual and area characteristics (such as unemployment measures and job densities), associated with sustainable RTW with a particular focus on how these vary by age. Analyses will use logistic regression and Cox regression models for time to event (RTW or length in work following return). We will also link the pilot sample (5,000 individuals) to routine health data (e.g. deaths, hospital discharges, prescriptions). The findings will help Ingeus to improve their services, and the research findings will provide important policy learning about how to support older people's RTW.

Planned Impact

Benefits of this research

People who are workless
The main beneficiary of this research will be those people who are out of work. These individuals not only have poorer health but their health deteriorates further once they become workless; deprivation and inequalities increase and their life expectancy goes down. This group have been relatively neglected; previous national interventions have not always been evidence based and have evidentially failed. This research will identify what these citizens need and how to provide them with more effective support and services so that those that have the potential to work, will be rehabilitated to work and assisted to stay in employment with all the considerable benefits to their health and wellbeing that this will provide.

Children of workless households
The health of children in workless households is poorer and those who are reared in workless households and communities are at increased risk of long term worklessness themselves. Helping older people stay in employment will improve the life chances of their children.

Benefits to society
The number of the population on long term health related benefits is now in excess of 2.6 million and a large proportion of these are over fifty when the risk of falling out of work due to health reasons is highest. The costs of health related disability and worklessness in the UK is £100 billion p.a. There is evidence that many of these individuals do have the potential to work but need effective interventions to achieve this and this research will provide evidence on what are the effective interventions for the ageing population, inform existing and future programmes and help more people extend their working lives. This will improve social inclusion, reduce health and other inequalities, and improve prosperity.

Benefits to Work Programme providers
The academic output of this partnership will inform how existing and future intervention programmes can be made more effective and will cotribute to the success of these organisations that are paid by results.

Benefits to policy makers
Policy makers in government such as in the Treasury, DWP, NHS, Education and Skills will have more and better evidence to inform how future programmes could enable the population to maintain their functional abilities and extend their working lives. We will aim to produce briefing material for MPs, MSPs and key civil servants to improve understanding of the perspectives of Work Programme clients.

Benefits to the NHS
The health of the those who are long term workless deteriorates faster than if they had stayed in safe employment. By enabling older workers to extend their working lives their health care usage will relatively reduce.

Benefits to the economy and national prosperity
The population is ageing and it has been estimated that by 2035 there will be 15.6 million people over the existing state pension age. Already many older people are taking advantage of the ability to remain in work beyond 65 and this will increase. The demographic changes make this necessary and extension of working lives will benefit the economy by increasing the proportion of the population who are productive and reduce the proportion dependent on state support.

Academic-developing knowledge of what works
This study will be one of the most comprehensive undertaken of the ageing workless population undergoing interventions, and will provide new information on the interventions being provided, what is effective and what is needed to assist the over fifties return to and sustain work. It will also provide new information on the lifecourse of those with health problems who become workless and on the earlier interventions which may be successful in preventing worklessness in this relatively disadvantaged group. It will also raise more questions which will need answered by further research.
 
Description Member of Ministerial Expert Advisory Group (Scottish Government) - Since 2017: Appointed by the Minister for Social Security.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Research findings have influenced development of Scottish Government implementation of the devolved social security benefits by providing evidence of the outcomes of the previous work programme in Scotland
URL https://beta.gov.scot/groups/disability-carers-benefits-expert-advisory-group/
 
Description Social Security Policy evaluation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description The Centre for Ageing Better together with the Department for Work and Pensions produced a report on 'Employment support for over 50s: Rapid evidence review'. The report cites the SOPIE analysis many times and one of the summary 'fiche's' (Box 1) is dedicated to the SOPIE work and evidence.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/publications/employment-support-over-50s-evidence-review
 
Description Work, health and disability consultation, Department of Health
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/work-health-and-disability-improving-lives
 
Description SOPIE partnership with Ingeus 
Organisation Ingeus
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The research as part of the award MR/L006367/1 is being undertaken by a unique partnership between Ingeus, a welfare-to-work provider, and the academic team from the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing together the University of Stirling and the SCPHRP/University of Edinburgh.
Collaborator Contribution Ingeus contributed to the development of the project through dedicated planning time, access to facilities and information exchange and this will continue throughout the project.
Impact Publication of protocol paper. SOPIE stakeholder meetings. Both detailed in relevant sections of form
Start Year 2014
 
Description "The Older Vocational Driver" presentation at SOM seminar on Older workers at RSM London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact About 100 people, including multi disciplinary professionals, policy makers and 3rd sector interested in the issues of care and employment of the older worker. Were informed about the medical aspects assessing fitness for work and a need for change in policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 16th National Congress - ANAMT - Medicina do Trabalho - Brazil - 13 - 21 May 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Visited Brazil at the invitation of ANAMT to present two talks; the first "Skills and Competencies for the practice of Occupational Medicine: an international perspective" and the second related to "Healthy Working Lives for the Ageing Worker and the role of Occupational Health". The latter presentation was developed directly from the information and research that developed from the SOPIE Project and looked at "co-morbidities" and the "impact of multiple chronic conditions across age groups". Factors explored related to age, physical and psychological, sensory and organisational considerations. An overview of OH intervention studies was given.

Following attendance in Brazil at the above event, Ewan Macdonald was invited to collaborate with the Brazilian National Association of Occupational Medicine (ANAMT) as a Member of the Editorial Board of the Brazilian Journal of Occupational Medicine for an initial period of 3 years commencing July 2016. Feedback given was that Ewan's presence "was crucial to the achievements of the event and contributed to the level of excellence, praised by our Brazilian and foreign colleagues who attended"...
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Ageing Epidemic presentation given in Lima, Peru to CRONICAS research unit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a international exchange visit aimed at developing an international research collaboration involving leading researchers in Peru. The aim being to assist them in the analysis of a large cohort dataset in which the work and function related components had not been investigated and involved the discussion of potential research questions and a research application. As a result of this discussion and the visit which also involved visiting a clinical trials unit in Lima and the ministry of health, a formal research programme has been agreed and funding is being sought.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Ageing and the Workplace Workshop, Edinburgh Napier University, May 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr J Neary presented the qualitative findings from the SOPIE project. The workshop was attended by academic staff interested in welfare policy and unemployment; UNISON, Healthy Working Lives Fife, NHS Lothian; and occupational health practitioners. The aim of the Ageing workshop was to discuss the potential workplace implications of the ageing population, and will give insights into the business case for, and best practice in, workplace age management. It will give insights as to which approaches work best and why in terms of achieving sustained change. These discussions will be underpinned by research findings in a range of key sectors in the economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Big Data expert meetings - health & work (Health & Work Predictive Analytics Workshop) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The SOPIE research team were invited to participate in expert meetings with the Scottish Government to explore the potential for innovative use of data to improve our ability to support those people in Scotland most at risk of falling out of work and into long-term unemployment due to ill health or disability.

Background - The Scottish Government are working with key partners on two projects which share an interest in the potential application of predictive analytics to administrative data, in order to identify predictive factors relating to people experiencing difficulties or falling out of work due to ill health or disability:-

• The Health, Disability and Employment (Early Interventions) Project
• The Big Data (predictive analytics) project

The purpose of these expert meetings were to:

• Provide project background and share information on the work to date

• Seek participants' views on the aims and approach of the project, including whether the areas of focus are appropriate

• Seek input from participants on the existing evidence in respect of predictive factors and their relative weight (including any literature/evidence we are as yet unaware of)

• Test the initial assessment of what the key data variables are likely to be (including by identifying any gaps or omissions), and which datasets could potentially provide us with access to these

• Seek advice on how best to draw data together into a meaningful dataset in order to answer the key questions

• Learn from others' experience and expertise on data sharing and linkage, and identify any other ongoing work that could usefully link in with
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work - Annual Scientific Meeting - 31 January 2017 - MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Southampton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald gave an overview of the wider Health and Work issues and described preliminary findings from SOPIE study, in particular, the barriers to return to work and causes/ medical conditions contributing to worklessness. The presentation also discussed the role of very early intervention in sickness absence as a way of reducing long term morbidity and presented the evidence base for the significant reduction in muscoskeletal absence identified in the EASY study. This was very well received and particularly by the PHD students. Subsequently, Ewan Macdonald has been invited to peer review research applications from this group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Chief Executive of the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) - Visit on 24 November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Visit by Nick Pahl, CEO of the Society of Occupational Medicine, to the University to discuss collaboration opportunities with the Healthy Working Lives Group. As part of his visit he presented on a number of initiatives he would like input from our group. A particular interest of his is "Health of People" and his view was that the work of the HWL Group and in particular the work on Return to work, Worklessness, Employability etc. would be a strong fit. Dr J Neary and Dr J Brown both presented the up to date quantitative and qualitative findings of the SOPIE Project and provided an overview of the work of the EASY project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/healthofpeople/
 
Description Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group which provides advice to Scottish Ministers on the introduction of the devolved benefits in Scotland. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Circulated scientific paper to the group and also discussed the barriers and facilitators to returning to work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Founder member of Athena Swan Group Older Workers Group at University of Glasgow. Presentation given to the group on The Barriers and Facilitators to Work for the over 50's 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation to the group on issues arising for older workers which required policy modifications by the University and led to a formal survey for older workers being undertaken. This has led to a short term secondment post to undertake more work in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference, Birmingham 8th & 9th March 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is the UK's leading event for occupational health, HR and other healthcare and management professionals responsible for improving the health, safety, wellbeing and performance of work-aged people. The conference profiles national developments, service innovations, examples of best practice and the latest research. Ewan Macdonald and Judith Brown were invited to present findings from the SCPH/15 project in the Sickness Absence Management programme. Title of presentation - A novel approach to early sickness absence management: The EASY (Early Access to Support for You) Way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.healthatwork2016.co.uk/
 
Description Health of Older Workers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a presentation on the Health of Older workers to the association of local authority medical advisors highlighting the issues facing the increasing number of older persons at work and the challenges they faced. It also talked about the interventions required in workplace setting and society to enable older workers to maintain function and also the role of occupational health services in advising and supporting this important patient group. Considerable discussion followed as the presentation proposed changes in practice. There was follow up communications about the topic with attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Healthy Working Lives Conference: Long Term Conditions dont have to mean worklessness 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This conference was hosted by Glasgow University's Healthy Working Lives Group and organised and funded by AbbVie Ltd in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, the College of Medicine and the New NHS Alliance. The Conference aimed to address/debate the following: - the importance of early intervention; what can the NHS do to support people to remain in work; Employment and long term conditions and what people and services can achieve together and how do the current systems shape up? Employer and clinical perspectives were sought and two panel discussions took place on the importance of work as a health outcome and getting the right advice from employers, the welfare system and health services in a more joined up way.

A number of keynote speakers were secured including Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training who spoke about the Scottish Government's commitment to healthy working lives and Dame Professor Carol Black representing the Fit For Work Coalition. The Conference was covered by local radio and in the Glasgow Herald and a publication is in production outlining the success of the event and next steps which might be undertaken.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Helsinki, Experience of the case management model Healthy Working Lives Scotland 14/12/18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This meeting was targeted at policy makers from central government in Helsinki reviewing the Jyvaskyla study and discussing implications for introduction of case management methodology into health care and social care.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description How Wales is Getting it Right with Prudent Health - 27 September 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Bevan Commission, together with AbbVie and the College of Medicine brought together over 250 members of the public, health and care professionals and researchers to share their experience and expertise to help address the sustainability challenge faced by our health system. The day-long conference explored how a 'Prudent Health' approach is being applied in Wales to support people throughout their lives, from early years, through work, into a healthy older age.

Ewan MacDonald presented an "Older Years Panel" session and observed that since ageing is a continuing process, starting at birth, we should not identify older people in a separate category. He noted that health is a complex mix of factors: nutrition in the womb; your genes; your lifestyle and socio-economic factors. People need to become partners in their healthcare; co-production and ownership means taking responsibility for your own health. Designing holistic services that allow people to do this and that enable them to be healthy and independent for as long as possible is a priority. The research of the SOPIE project was influential in his presentation and he continues to share the impact of the study with everyone whom he collaborates with.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.collegeofmedicine.org.uk/blog/wales-getting-right-prudent-health/
 
Description Impact of Chronic Health Problems on Young Workers - Undergraduate Medical School, Glasgow - 9 February 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald presented to 250 undergraduate students on the subject of the impact of chronic disease problems on the young and working population. Specifically he focussed on work, health and society and the need to ensure the maximum number of productive years from as many people as possible as those not working depended on others. Being sufficiently healthy is a condition for work and maximising healthy life as a proportion of total life is therefore a desirable goal for society and individuals. This is the subject of a great deal of research by Ewan Macdonald and the importance of working for a healthier tomorrow was the starting point of his presentation. He touched on the annual economic costs of sickness absence and worklessness associated with ill health being in the region of £100bn, which he saw as an unsustainable burden in a competitive global economy. He highlighted a number of factors that influenced work participation (some which promoted and some which hindered). A lot of the research and statistical information attained through the work of the SOPIE and EASY projects was presented there was a significant focus on the process of ageing workers. Worklessness is the single most important cause of health inequality, social exclusion, deprivation and mortality. Ewan Macdonald invited a "patient" to attend this event and they spoke of their experiences having become disabled in a fire as a child; however, the significant physical deformities in the hand had not prevented her from achieving a career as a carer herself. Her attitude almost single handledly determined the way in which her working life progressed and she enjoys a fulfilling worklife balance. The audience in this event had participated in a very interactive question and answer session.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Impact of chronic health conditions on young workers - Back and Limb Module - 8 February 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald lectured to 250 undergraduate students on the subject of the impact of chronic disease problems on the young and working population. Specifically he focussed on work, health and society and the need to ensure the maximum number of productive years from as many people as possible as those not working depended on others. He touched on the annual economic costs of sickness absence and worklessness associated with ill health, which in his view, was an unsustainable burden in a competitive global economy. He highlighted a number of factors that influenced work participation (some which promoted and some which hindered). A lot of the research and statistical information attained through the work of the SOPIE and EASY projects was presented there was a significant focus on the process of ageing workers. Worklessness, he said, is the single most important cause of health inequality, social exclusion, deprivation and mortality. The audience in this event had participated in a very interactive question and answer session. Students have requested more input in this topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Invited presentation to the Joint Work & Health Unit August 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald and Judith brown were invited to present results of the SOPIE project to the Joint Work & Health Unit in London (including conference call with Sheffield, Leeds & Newcastle). The audience was a mixture of policy, analysts and social researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker to Jyvaskyla Central Finland conference on functional integration of occupational health care in national health services 13/12/18. "Case Management Goals and Principles in Scotland" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I had previously lectured in Finland on the biopsychosocial model of health care in relation to return to work. In central Finland formal study had been undertaken using methodology used in Scotland to provide occupational health based case management vocational rehabilitation and which was applied in Finland to patients being discharged from hospital after spinal surgery. This had led to a very significant reduction in time taken to return to work and significant economic benefit. A scientific paper is in preparation and further developments of the programme is planned.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited to attend the Frontier Event: Tracking impacts of employment support, August 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a joint meeting between Scottish Government, Administrative Data Research Centre - Scotland and academics. The key aims of the day were to set in motion a study that will draw on administrative data to address a research question with high priority for the Scottish Government. The intention is that this work will act as a pathfinder in developing robust research to inform policy. It will also initiate the development of a dataset that can provide the basis for work going forward around the topic of employability to the benefit of policy development. In particular outputs from this data linkage project will inform Scottish Government evaluation plans for their proposal to track DWP customers over several years in order to understand outcomes related to employment, sustained employment earnings and health. Judith Brown is now part of the Core group taking this project forward.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Napier University, Edinburgh (March and May 2017). Internal seminar for staff interested in welfare policy and unemployment. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Dr J Neary presented the Qualitative findings from the SOPIE project.The aim of the Workplace workshop was to discuss the potential workplace implications of the ageing population, and will give insights into the business case for, and best practice in, workplace age management. It will give insights as to which approaches work best and why in terms of achieving sustained change. These discussions will be underpinned by research findings in a range of key sectors in the economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Older People and Work presentation at HCB training conference, Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact About 40 participants all clinical case managers actively discussed the evidence based issues raised.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Oral presentation at the New Horizons of European Social Policy: Risks, Opportunities and Challenges 14th-16th September 2017, Lisbon, Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Jo presented in the 'Welfare and Unemployment Dynamics: Mechanisms, Determinants and the Role of Social Policy'

Her title was:
UNDERSTANDING BARRIERS IN RETURNING TO WORK AMONG UNEMPLOYED OLDER WORKERS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY.
Jo Neary (United Kingdom)1; Hilary Thomson (United Kingdom)1; Vittal Katikireddi (United Kingdom)1; Ewan Macdonald (United Kingdom)1; Judith Brown (United Kingdom)1
1 - University of Glasgow
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://espanetlisbon2017.eu/
 
Description SOPIE Glasgow Stakeholder meeting, 15th December 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The event involved a combination of formal presentations (SOPIE team presenting latest findings and Adam Reid from Scottish Government, speaking on the future direction of devolved employability services in Scotland) and breakout discussions, where there was an opportunity to discuss the 'Work, Health and Disability' Green paper on disability and return-to-work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description SOPIE Stakeholder Glasgow meeting (22nd October 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The SOPIE stakeholder Glasgow group is comprised of individuals and organisations currently engaged in the Scottish employability agenda. The group will meet once in the first year, once in the second year and also at the symposium towards the end of the three year project. The purpose of the stakeholder group will be to advise and inform the research team, provide a client perspective, inform policy makers, employers and the wider stakeholder community. The first SOPIE stakeholder Glasgow group meeting took place on the 22nd October 2015 at the University of Glasgow. ~45 stakeholders were invited with 20 attending. The meeting comprised of a brief overview of the study, and an opportunity to help shape the research through breakout sessions and group discussions regarding stakeholders' own experiences working in this area. The topic guide for this discussion was forwarded in advance of the meeting. Following the meeting the slides, the questions from the breakout sessions and a summary of the themes was forwarded to all stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SOPIE Stakeholder London meeting (27th November 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The SOPIE stakeholder London group is comprised of individuals and organisations currently engaged in the UK employability agenda. The group will meet once in the first year, once in the second year and also at the symposium towards the end of the three year project. The purpose of the stakeholder group will be to advise and inform the research team, provide a client perspective, inform policy makers, employers and the wider stakeholder community. The first SOPIE stakeholder London group meeting took place on the 27th November 2015 at Reform, Great Peter Street, London. ~30 stakeholders were invited with 15 attending, including think tanks (e.g. Resolution Foundation, Behavioural Insights Team, Institute for Public Policy, Research. The meeting comprised of a brief overview of the study, and an opportunity to help shape the research through breakout sessions and group discussions regarding stakeholders' own experiences working in this area. The topic guide for this discussion was forwarded in advance of the meeting. Following the meeting the slides, the questions from the breakout sessions and a summary of the themes was forwarded to all stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description SOPIE Symposium December 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A one day symposium (Supporting Older People into Employment (SOPIE) - Barriers and Facilitators to Extending Working Lives) was held on the 5th December 2017 to update academics, policy makers and other stakeholders on the research findings from the SOPIE study, other projects funded by the MRC Lifelong Health and Wellbeing extending working lives funding call and employability policy. The Minister for Social Security, Jeanne Freeman, spoke at the Symposium. Jeanne Freeman stated that in her view, a more joined up system between services, policy, and employment was essential and the continuing contribution of older people in the workplace must be recognised and celebrated. Professor John Frank, Director, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh (SCPHRP) compared the effectiveness of interventions aimed at return to work and/or stay at work in ageing workers from an International perspective. Other speakers included Professor Dame Carol Black, Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge and Special Advisor to the Department of Health and Public Health England. Her talk suggested that perceptions should be challenged at a much earlier point in life and improvements will only come if we address the social determinants of health, people's aspirations/hopes and expections and if we deal with the public health challenges of obesity, smoking, inactivity, etc. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between health, worklessness, and the return to work process for the over-50s population. In addition, the project sought to identify factors which might act as facilitators or barriers for the return to work of older workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/healthwellbeing/research/publichealth/hwlgroup/currentresea...
 
Description Safe Healthy and Productive Workplaces Conference - Vancouver Canada 31 May - 2 June 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to speak by the Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD) at the International "Safe, Healthy, and Productive Workplaces" Conference and two presentations delivered firstly on "Scotland's Healthy Working Lives: Improving the Health of the Working Age Population" and secondly the SOPIE project. Feedback from the Organisers following the event said that the presentations were profoundly important to the organisation and were discussed at their following Board S
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.wwdpi.org/Workforce/HealthandWorkProductivity/Pages/HWPPortalInformationPage.aspx
 
Description Study twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Group has an online presence via twitter account. One of our team (Jo) maintains the account, using it to detail the progress of the study, the whereabouts of the research team, as well as 'live tweeting' any event attended with a work, health, and ageing focus. The twitter enables the group to be part of wider online discussions and keep up to date with the work in the field. The twitter account also enables interested parties to contact the group for more information regarding the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.twitter.com/SOPIEstudy
 
Description The Health Consequences of Worklessness - Online Webinar - 15 March 2018 - Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Free educational webinar aimed at providing an opportunity for researchers to share the latest research and tools to help people with chronic and episodic health challenges (e.g. muscle and joint disorders, chronic pain, mental health, respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetes, etc.) stay at work and return to work. Offered as live, online events and then posted as recordings to reach maximum audiences. Description of the content is "While ill health is a common cause of worklessness it is also the case that worklessness contributes to ill health and this seminar explored the consequences of worklessness for health and wellbeing. Participants learned to understand the importance of work to health, learn how system failure leads to unnecessary worklessness and know how worklessness impacts health and mortality.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.wwdpi.org/Webinars/Pages/Webinar.aspx?wbID=189
 
Description The Royal Society of Medicine - The Future for Health & Work - London - 21 September 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald presented the topic "The importance of research in understanding health & work". This one day meeting explored potential avenues for the role of occupational and organisational health in a wider socio-political as well as business context given the current political landscape to support everyone to remain in work or getting into work whatever the barriers. Ewan delivered research based statistical information (SOPIE Project) which included mortality age rates and the relationship between mortality and deprivation. From a research perspective he explained that OH practice was continuously evolving and priorities such as changing employment trends, decline in traditional industrial disease, ageing workers, multi morbidity and sickness absence were all key to understanding the problems OH practitioners would face in the future. Ewan's presentation also highlighted findings in relation to sickness absence (EASY). Feedback from the organisers indicated that his presentation had been well received and generated significant discussion. "We hope to continue to raise awareness through publications and discussions in a number of forums and thanks again for your support as ever".
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.rsm.ac.uk/events/events-listing/2015-2016/sections/occupational-medicine-section/omg03-t...
 
Description Triservice Occupational Health Symposium - 3 March 2017 - Sandhurst 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The theme of the two day symposium was "Making Occupational Health relevant to the Modern Military". Ewan Macdonald was asked to give an update on the advances in civilian occupational health of relevance to the military environment, particularly in relation to sickness absence, the ageing worker and ways to improve retention in work and functional capacity of the ageing worker. The outcomes were discussion at the meeting and subsequent interaction with the Major General heading Military Medical Services about improving the relevance of the occupational health effort.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit of Tabitha Jay Director of Work and Health Unit, (joint department of health and DWP) to University Department 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I invited Tabitha Jay Director of Work and Health Unit of DH and DWP and senior colleagues to visit the Healthy Working Lives Group at University of Glasgow and also SALUS Occupational Health and Safety Return to Work Service. The purpose of the visit was to update these senior policy makers about current issues in Occupational Health, update and research, and visit to a leading edge occupational health service. This meeting was also attended by senior policy makers in the field in Scotland and served to enhance information exchange. The meeting led to further exchange, a recognition by the healthy work unit of the serious decline in the academic base of occupational health to provide the evidence base for service developments, and led to raising awareness of the potential impact of these challenges in terms of potentially impeding the aspirations for the development of these services for an older work force in the UK. Following this the Health and Work Unit undertook a survey of resources of the academic base. This led to a working age work and health research and innovation round table chaired by Dr Chris Whitty in Caxton House 14/02/19.
"Thank you for attending the roundtable on occupational health and wider work and health research a few weeks ago. We appreciate your input to a rich and wide-ranging discussion. The secretariat have capture points made in the attached note.
The discussion will inform thinking as proposals are prepared for this year's consultation on employers' role in work and health and improving access to occupational health. The consultation will provide the opportunity to continue discussions with you about how to address the issues with occupational health research identified at the meeting, and how to work together to shape and resource more focused and impactful activity"
(12/03/19) from the private secretary to the Chief Scientific advisor Department of Health and Social Services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit of the Health & Safety Executive to the University of Glasgow - Chief Scientist and CMO in attendance - Glasgow - 3 November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Morning Seminar delivered by Ewan Macdonald and the Healthy Working Lives Group to Andrew Curran, Chief Scientist, HSE and David Fishwick, CMO of HSE. The agenda included an overview of Health Working Lives Group research including an overview of the SOPIE and EASY projects as well as a discussion on research priorities and a study on Scottish Veterans. A letter of thanks received said that the visit had been excellent and they "were extremely impressed with the quality and the diversity of your research and the huge enthusiasm and clear committment demonstrated by your research team. We both learned a lot and agree that we need to keep in touch as a consequence of all the "light-bulb" moments we had on the plane home!....with that in mind I think we will next see each other at the Academic Forum on 28 November, so we can agreed some next steps then."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Visit to discuss Opportunities for Collaboration - September 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Professor Jaime Miranda visited Glasgow from Peru for a discussion on opportunities for collaborative working. As part of that visit the SOPIE and EASY projects were presented to him by Dr's Brown and Neary.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Vocational Rehabilitation Case Management Course - 21 February 2017 - Hilton Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ewan Macdonald had overall input to the content of this three day course and presented at least 4 elements of the Day 1 Module. These included the link between good work and good health, the Bio-Psycho Social Model and definition and models of case management. He also delivered a workshop on the key skills required for Case Management. As part of these subjects he talked about research into Sickness Absence undertaken by the Healthy Working Lives Group (EASY) which included sickness absence culture, GPs attitudes to sick notes, the obstacles to return to work in older patients and prediction of job loss in those absent from work through sickness (SOPIE). Participants expressed an overall satisfaction with the course of 4.5 out of 5.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.gla.ac.uk/researchinstitutes/healthwellbeing/research/publichealth/cpd/healthyworkinglive...
 
Description Welfare Reform Health and Employability Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited to speak about SOPIE to the WRHEF on 12 September (Minutes of that meeting attached). Attended by various local Health Board representatives and updates received from the DWP and NHS Scotland. Information provided on training/employability e-modules across Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/media/1152912/minutes_12092017.pdf
 
Description Work and health working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Arrangement of a formal working group of academics across different departments who shared an interest in work, health, and welfare. The meeting sparked new research ideas, discussions, and some new avenues for collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Work, Employment, and Society Conference presentation, University of Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Jo Neary (SOPIE's qualitative researcher) presented the interim findings of the qualitative component of SOPIE at the British Sociological Society's Work, Employment, and Society conference at the University of Leeds. Approximately 30 delegates were in the audience, including academics from Germany, Spain, and the UK, all with an interest in work and health. The presentation sparked questions and discussion. As a result of this presentation, Jo has been invited to give a talk at University of Napier to a group of academics interested in the ageing workforce.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016