Evaluation of The Poppy Factory's
NHS-embedded employment support

In November 2022, the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health published an evaluation of our employment service embedded within Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. This pilot project was funded by Forces in Mind Trust.

Our Employment Consultant works alongside clinicians within NHS primary and secondary care and other local services to reach unemployed veterans, helping them overcome barriers and move into work.

The report was overwhelmingly positive. Veterans perceived the service as a ‘safe space’ and clinicians trusted The Poppy Factory to support veterans with
often complex needs at an appropriate pace.

Read the full report here.


"The experience of NHS workers is very different to that of those who have served in the Armed Forces.

To have an employment consultant from The Poppy Factory embedded within one of our adult mental health teams in Wirral has created a deeper understanding of the veteran experience and has been an invaluable opportunity to share learning more widely across CWP."

Tim Welch

Chief Executive

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Recommendations from the report include:

  • The provision of employment services specifically for veterans with a range of health conditions and referred from a variety of different sources.
  • Embedding the service within the NHS and developing effective partnerships with other services.
  • A person-centred approach with less time pressure on first employment opportunities for those further from employment.
  • Employment consultants with a good knowledge of the specific locality within which the service is based and an understanding of the military experience and culture.
  • Better identification of veterans on patient/client records needs to support referrals.

Key figures:

  • 68 veterans were supported by The Poppy Factory to find employment.
  • 40 veterans started work, others progressed in other ways e.g. developing new skills, starting training, education or volunteering.
  • 54% of veterans achieved a job start within 12 months of registration.
  • 76% of roles were sustained for 3 months or more.
  • 45 veterans took part in the baseline survey, 30 of which also did the follow up survey.
  • 14 veterans took part in interviews.
  • 8 stakeholders took part in interviews, including NHS staff and other local partners.