Data Hui

Integrating Employment Support with Primary Healthcare Services. A Review of Models and Evidence.

The evidence review was commissioned to inform the design and delivery of programmes within Oranga Mahi, in line with recommendations by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) for evidence based approaches.

Oranga Mahi is a suite of cross agency trials and services delivered in partnership with Primary Health Organisations, District Health Boards and Community Providers. It aims to support disabled New Zealanders and those with health conditions to:

  • improve their health and wellbeing
  • increase their skills, confidence and independence in the job market
  • become work ready and achieve sustainable employment outcomes
  • improve their wider wellbeing so they have lasting positive social outcomes.

The evidence review focuses on national and international literature that evaluates and identifies successful models in primary and community care settings.

Key findings

The review found that integration of healthcare services and employment support, with successful collaborative structures and mechanisms across agencies, can reduce barriers to employment for disabled people and those with health conditions.

Integration of healthcare and employment services, as in Oranga Mahi, is more effective than separate provision. Successful integration requires organisational support and leadership. There is strong evidence of the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) initiatives and some promising results with other models of integration. However, there is also a need for more research in the New Zealand context, especially in how these work for Māori and Pacific people.


The evidence review has been used to inform and confirm the design, enhancements and delivery of the Oranga Mahi suite of programmes, including Here Toitü and Rākau Rangitira.

The continued delivery of IPS and the enhanced Responding Early Here Toitū service provide strong links to employers to sustain and retain employment. MSD will continue to strengthen its Kaupapa Māori services, and engagement between health and employment services and employers.

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