The Health, Work and Well-being Co-ordinators and Challenge Fund were time-limited policy initiatives designed to stimulate awareness and activity around health, work and well-being at both the strategic and organisation level. Set up in response to recommendations in Dame Carol Black’s 2008 ‘Review of the health of Britain’s working age population’, there were 11 Co-ordinators throughout Great Britain and 73 Challenge Fund winners who received small grants for up to two years. This study, commissioned in 2009, explores the perceived impact of the projects on health and work practices and on the health, work and well-being agenda, as well as their long-term sustainability.
Interviews were held with Health, Work and Well-being Co-ordinators, Senior NHS Public Health officials, and policy makers within the Department for Work and Pensions. A survey of 59 Challenge Fund winners and a survey of 279 organisations that had been in contact with the Co-ordinators were carried out. In depth case studies of 12 Challenge Fund winners were also undertaken. Data collection commenced in February 2010 and completed in October 2011.
The evaluation findings on these initiatives will be of particular interest to an external audience involved in assessing local needs, such as local authorities and the new health and wellbeing boards in England, whose responsibilities include improving employment outcomes (in the Public Health Outcomes Framework). Findings will be disseminated through the cross-Government Health, Work and Well-being Executive, and National Stakeholder Council, and were fed back to the Co-ordinators throughout the life of the evaluation to inform and develop their work.