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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 54

New laws for more open and safe NHS care come into force

The Duty of Candour and Fit and Proper Person’s Test is now in force.

The Duty of Candour places a legal duty on hospital, community and mental health trusts to inform and apologise to patients if there have been mistakes in their care that have led to significant harm.

The Fit and Proper Person’s Test will help to ensure strong and safe leadership in healthcare organisations.

To read more, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-laws-for-more-open-and-safe-nhs-care-come-into-force

Consultation: Adult social work: knowledge and skills

The consultation runs until 12 December 2014.

This consultation seeks views on a draft statement explaining what adult social workers need to know after their first year in employment.

DH also wants to know if you think the statement will help inform national minimum assessment criteria for social workers in adult services.

The draft statement has been put together by the Chief Social Worker for Adults, following Professor Croisdale-Appleby’s review of education of social workers with adults.

To read more and to respond, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/adult-social-work-knowledge-and-skills

Mental Health Taskforce announced

The Deputy Prime Minister announces that he will establish and chair a new Mental Health Taskforce.

The new taskforce will include the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, Home Secretary Theresa May, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and ministers from Education, Health and Defence.

The taskforce will urgently examine:

• how we can improve mental health services for young people
• welfare and employment issues and helping people back into work
• how we can improve crisis care and prevent the large numbers of people with severe mental health problems ending up in police cells and prisons

For more information, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mental-health-taskforce-announced

How GPs can help in ending violence against women

The role GPs can play in combating domestic violence has been highlighted by the Department of Health, Public Health England and the Royal College of General Practitioners in support of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. GPs speak to women and families over a long period of time which puts them in unique a position to empower women to seek help.

To read more, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/how-gps-can-help-in-ending-violence-against-women

Transforming the Commissioning of Services for People with Learning Disabilities and/ or Autism

NHS England has published an independent report into the future care of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

NHS England asked Sir Stephen Bubb, Chief Executive of charity leaders body ACEVO, to make recommendations for developing a national commissioning framework, recognising that we need to do more to transform care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The work will support NHS England’s current activity on transforming services to deliver better care now – working alongside other national partners – and re-shaping services to improve health outcomes in the longer term.

The report – ‘Transforming the Commissioning of Services for People with Learning Disabilities and/ or Autism’ - has been developed with input from healthcare specialists, the voluntary sector, local government and people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, and is available here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/ld/

Patients invited to put primary care providers to the test

A million people see their GP every day across England and from Monday they will be able to give their practice feedback at any time about their experience of care and treatment, with more primary care services inviting feedback from the New Year.

The NHS Friends and Family Test, a patient feedback tool that is already operating for some hospital services, is continuing to roll out across the NHS and it goes live across all 8000 GP practices on 1 December. It will be used in community and mental health services across England from 1 January.

More public information about the Friends and Family Test is available at www.nhs.uk/friendandfamily

A short animated film has been made to explain how it works

There is a British Sign Language version of the film

Another version of the film has been made for use in mental healthcare settings

Reshaping Primary Care – an opportunity to be involved

An opportunity has arisen to help shape primary care development in England. The National Network of Quality in Primary Care (NNQPC) focuses on uniting people from various parts of the primary care system (NHS and outside) in a common purpose to promote understanding, joint working and prevent duplication within primary care.

The NNQPC is chaired by the Deputy Medical Director of NHS England and is looking to increase the number of patient/carer representatives that currently contribute by giving their experiences and voice to this important area of work. For example, this could include a patient/carer giving their opinion on how the quality of general practice could be improved.

The NNQPC is looking for two patient representatives, who have experience of giving their views on primary care, e.g. involved in local GP Patient Participation Groups, in order to provide advice and guidance to the NNQPC from a patient’s perspective. Meetings take place approximately every eight to ten weeks in London and all reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

If you are interested in being part of the NNQPC, please complete the attached form [61kB] by the 12th December and email back to thomasbarnicle@nhs.net

You can also call Tommy on 0113 8251067 for further information about the NNQPC or if you have any questions/queries.

NHS England forms new alliance to support people with long term health conditions

NHS England has joined forces with a range of national health and care organisations to form a major new alliance committed to improving care and support for people with long-term conditions. The Coalition for Collaborative Care will champion a system-wide transformation of how those with long term conditions receive and use care to help them better manage their condition and maximise their well-being.

To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2014/11/21/c4cc/

Last chance to have your say on congenital heart disease services

NHS England's consultation on national standards for child and adult congenital heart disease services will close in just two weeks’ time. The consultation, which provides an opportunity for feedback on proposals for how services should be organised and delivered, aims to ensure the highest possible quality of services across the country.

For more information and to have your say, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/chd/

Care Quality Commission publish new data on GP care

NHS England has welcomed new ‘intelligent monitoring’ data on GP practices unveiled by the Care Quality Commission. The data highlights the work being done to ensure patients are offered high quality care in their local communities.

To read more, go to: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/our-intelligent-monitoring-gp-practices

Public Health England launches new violence toolkit for businesses

Ahead of the 16 Days of Action campaign against domestic violence, Public Health England has launched a violence toolkit for businesses: a step by step guide for businesses on how they can tackle domestic violence and raise awareness of an issue that impacts health, wellbeing, and absence in the workplace.

See more at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-launches-new-violence-toolkit-for-businesses

Drug recovery rates showing signs of slowing

A new Public Health England report out this week, Drug treatment in England 2013 to 2014, reveals signs of a slowing in the rate of people successfully overcoming their addiction, following years of treatment service figures overall showing a positive trend.

To view the full press release please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/drug-recovery-rates-showing-signs-of-slowing

Freshers told ‘it’s not too late’ for meningitis C vaccine

Immunisation experts and university leaders urge first year university students (Freshers) to come forward for a vaccine to protect them against meningococcal C infection following recent reports of cases of meningococcal disease among the student population.

See the full story at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/freshers-told-its-not-too-late-for-meningitis-c-vaccine

Race Equality Events: Better health and social care for black and minority ethnic communities

• Bradford on the 10th December: http://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/training/events/better-health-and-social-care-black-and-minority-ethnic-communities
• London on the 16th December:http://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/training/events/better-health-and-social-care-black-and-minority-ethnic-communities-0

Big changes are happening in health and social care, and these events will give you the information you need to know. By attending you will have the chance to hear about:

• How the NHS will be changing over the next five years and what it means for you
• Plans to tackle racial discrimination in the NHS workforce
• Health charging of migrants and how it will affect your clients
• Personal Budgets: what they are and how you can help your clients to access them
• An overview of a new Dementia Toolkit designed to help commission better services for black and minority ethnic people and others who experience discrimination and disadvantage

Formal launch of MyNHS

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has formally launched MyNHS. This is a new site on NHS Choices where people can compare the performance of their local NHS hospital, their care services and their local authority with up-to-date information.

The launch comes 1 year after the government’s response to the Francis Inquiry on Mid Staffordshire. It is the first time such a wide range of performance indicators has been made available to the public in this way.

To read more, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/formal-launch-of-mynhs

Transparent and accountable healthcare: why the culture in the NHS still needs to change

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt talks about his Four Pillar Plan for the NHS and creating a transparent and accountable culture: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/transparent-and-accountable-healthcare-why-the-culture-in-the-nhs-still-needs-to-change

Safeguarding vulnerable individuals from radicalisation

Organisations delivering services according to the NHS Standard Contract are obliged to carry our certain functions to ensure staff are aware that vulnerable individuals they come into contact with can be groomed into terrorist activity and what action they should take to safeguard them.

More information on the health sector contribution to the government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy is available in the national guidance, 'Building Partnerships, Staying Safe’.

Voluntary sector organisations that deliver NHS services can access some support to help them understand and carry out their obligations in relation to the Prevent strategy. NHS England has a limited resource to support organisations implementing the Prevent strategy, in the form of Regional Prevent Coordinators.

It is seeking to work with larger national VCSE organisations in the first instance before developing a strategy to engage the many smaller VCSE organisations that deliver services according to the NHS Standard Contract across the country. This includes organisations working with young people, mental health and learning disability services, and drug and alcohol services.

To find out more please contact NHS England Regional Prevent Coordinator Team Leader Shaun McCartney who can be contacted on shaunmccartney@nhs.net

NHS England welcomes positive mental health stories in soaps

NHS England has welcomed better portrayals of mental health in prime time TV storylines after a report showed the subject being covered more authentically and more often. The report ‘Making a drama out of a crisis’ was launched by Time to Change, the anti-stigma campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

To read the report, go to: http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/news/tv-drama-and-soaps-are-cleaning-their-act-when-depicting-mental-health

Reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning over winter

To mark the start of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, Public Health England advised people to have their fossil fuel and wood burning appliances – such as boilers, heaters and cookers – checked by an appropriately registered engineer before winter sets in. In addition, people should fit an audible CO alarm which meets European Standards EN 50291 in each room containing an appliance, and ensure rooms are adequately ventilated.

To find out more please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/reducing-the-risk-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-over-winter--2

New figures show high blood pressure costs NHS billions each year

New figures from Public Health England reveal that diseases caused by high blood pressure are estimated to cost the NHS over £2 billion every year. Over 5 million people are unaware they have high blood pressure yet it affects more than 1 in 4 adults and is one of the biggest risk factors for premature death and disability in England.

PHE and a number of partners across local and national government, the health service, voluntary sector and academia have come together with the ambition of improving the prevention, early detection and management of high blood pressure in England.

The new group today publishes an action plan setting out the steps towards emulating the success of other countries, such as the US and Canada. Both the US and Canada have higher levels of treatment and better control of high blood pressure which has led to lower death rates from heart disease and stroke.

See the full story at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-figures-show-high-blood-pressure-costs-nhs-billions-each-year

HIV infections continue to rise

A new report published by Public Health England, in advance of National HIV Testing Week, shows that there are now nearly 110,000 people living with HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) in the UK. Around a quarter of these (26,100) are unaware of their infection and at risk of passing on the virus to others through unprotected sex. Encouragingly, the proportion of people diagnosed with a late stage of HIV infection fell from 57% in 2004 to 42% in 2013.

The report shows around 6% of gay and bisexual men are now living with HIV. This rises to 13% in London - with 3,250 newly diagnosed in 2013, an all-time annual high. It is estimated that over 7,000 gay men have an HIV infection that remains undiagnosed and that an estimated 2,800 men acquired HIV in 2013. These figures underline the need to further increase both the numbers and frequency of HIV tests, which is critical to tackling the ongoing high levels of HIV transmission.

See the rest at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hiv-infections-continue-to-rise

Publication: Taking Charge

For anyone with a life-changing diagnosis that affects their mental or physical health, daily life can become bewildering and difficult to navigate. Strategic partner organisation Disability Rights UK (part of Win-Win Alliance - disabled leading change) have just published a useful guide which will help.

‘Taking Charge’ complements the ‘Disability Right Handbook’. The guide is a compilation of practical information and advice on the rights disabled people can expect in order to access services, education and employment. ‘Taking Charge’ is a tool to get everyone enjoying the same levels of choice and control to lead the lives they want.

For further info and to order please go to: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/takingcharge

Free training and events from the Race Equality Foundation

REF is running a number of training sessions and events in the next few weeks. To find out more and register click on the following links:

Safeguarding children and young people and equalities, 03 December 2014, Sutton - http://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/training/events/safeguarding-children-and-young-people-and-equalities-0

Exploring intimate relationship experiences of Asian disabled women, 09 December 2014, London - http://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/training/events/exploring-intimate-relationship-experiences-asian-disabled-women

NEW! Better health and social care for black and minority ethnic communities 

10 December 2014, Bradford / 16 December 2014, London / 15 January 2015 (TBC) Bristol - http://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/training/events/better-health-and-social-care-black-and-minority-ethnic-communities

Event: Disability Action Alliance Volunteer Charter launch

Over the past year, CSV and Disability Rights UK have been leading work for the Disability Action Alliance with aim of promoting and increasing the number, value and accessibility of opportunities for disabled people to volunteer their time, skills and experience. This work has been driven by CSV's and DRUK's shared belief in the importance of volunteering in enabling the social and economic inclusion of disabled people.

With support of other DAA members, we have now produced a Charter to help progress this work. The Charter will be launched on 5 December at an event hosted by Buckinghamshire Disability Service.

You can register to attend the launch at the following Eventbrite page:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-of-disability-action-alliance-volunteer-charter-tickets-14372172555

Event: Care planning and coordination for people with dementia approaching the end of life

9th Annual Conference on Dementia and End of Life’ is taking place in London on Wednesday 10th December

Although it is widely recognised that care planning and co-ordination are essential for people with dementia approaching the end of life, and their carers, still too little is being done to make it happen. This conference will bring together experts from across health and social care, as well as an international perspective, to consider new approaches to care planning and co-ordination across sectors to improve care for people at the end of life with dementia.

Speakers include: Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission; Prof Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, Department of Health; and Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society.

For more information, including the full event programme, go here

To book your place, go here

Please contact Kate McNaboe, Events Manager if you’d like any more information regarding the event, or to find out details about how to secure the special Strategic Partners discount off the delegate fee: email k.mcnaboe@ncpc.org.uk / phone 020 7697 1520

National survey of charities and voluntary organisations 2014 - please take part

Deadline: 31st December 2014

Have you taken part in #biggestcharitysurvey of the year? https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQ276GP

This is planned to be the biggest survey of charities in 2014. The survey is being carried out by charities to find out more about charities. The information you provide will help us understand more about the support you need and also to help us inform and lobby key decision makers and funders about how they can help you.

The charities involved in this survey are:
Age UK, National Voices, National LGB&T Partnership, Young People's Health Partnership, NACRO, Action for Prisoners' Families, Clinks, Disability Partnership, Mental Health Providers Forum, NAVCA, CSV, UK Health Forum, National Housing Federation, FaithAction, Men's Health Forum, National Children's Bureau, Race Equality Foundation, Women's Health and Equality Consortium, Regional Voices, Carers Trust and Carers UK, NCPC, Help the Hospices, Marie Curie, VODG, NCF, Sue Ryder, Disability Rights UK, Shaping Our Lives and CHANGE, all voluntary and community sector Strategic Partners of the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England.

 

Publication: Helplines at the frontline of health and social care

Race Equality Foundation helplines paper - Helplines at the frontline of health and social care.

It was published mid-November and is attached [PDF 1.09mB]

Project delivery and the VCS

The Project Delivery Centre within the Department of Health is working on a number of ways to improve the capability of its staff within Programme & Project Management. We are keen to incorporate the experiences of projects from across the public, private and VCS sectors to support the training of staff, including workshops and events.

If you are interested in delivering a presentation or presenting a case study of project work within the VCS, across a number of themes or topics, then we would be interested in working with you to collaborate on improving capability within this key area.

For further details or to discuss further please contact strategic.partners@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Major new report on digital technology

New plans to improve health outcomes and the quality of patient care through digital technology and innovation were unveiled by national health and social care organisations on the 13th November 2014.

Established by the Department of Health and chaired by NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, Tim Kelsey, the National Information Board has set out a vision for how technology should work harder and better for patients and citizens by 2020.

The vision commits to giving everybody online access to their GP records, viewed through approved apps and digital platforms, by 2015.

For more detail, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-new-report-on-digital-technology

National Data Guardian appointed to safeguard patients’ healthcare information

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has appointed independent expert Dame Fiona Caldicott to a new role as National Data Guardian for health and care. Following the appointment of the Chief Inspector of Hospitals to speak out about standards of care, the National Data Guardian will become the patients’ champion on security of personal medical information.

For more information, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-data-guardian-appointed-to-safeguard-patients-healthcare-information

Consultation: Autism statutory guidance

The consultation deadline is 19 December 2014.

The government is seeking views on proposed new statutory guidance to local authorities and NHS organisations, to support the implementation of ‘Think Autism’ [PDF 1.29mB], the update to the 2010 adult autism strategy.

To read more and give your views, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/adult-autism-strategy-guidance-update

Webinar: Invitation to a briefing on the Patient Online programme – December 8th

NHS England is holding a webinar on the 8th December to brief voluntary sector partners about the Patient Online programme and discuss opportunities for further involvement.

Patient Online is an NHS England programme designed to help general practices implement access to online booking of appointments, online ordering of prescriptions and viewing summary information in patients’ own records online.

The first stage of the programme is to make sure that practices have the necessary technology and have switched the functionality on. A lot of practices already offer at least two of these services. As this way of interacting becomes more widely embedded, we will be looking at enhancements and widening the range of services available as well as encouraging patient take-up.

Right from the start we have worked in partnership with a range of professional bodies, voluntary sector organisations and patients. As we move forward, we would like to strengthen these relationships and open up opportunities for input and co-production wider.

The webinar is from 2pm to 3.30pm on Monday 8th December and you can book a place by contacting Debra Carter, debra.carter@nhs.net, 0113 824 9324.

NHS England helps GP practices expand online patient services

NHS England has launched an interactive Patient Online Support and Resources Guide to help general practices deliver patient services online. Developed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners, it provides practical tools on implementing a range of online services including booking appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions.

To view the support and resources guide, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/npo-guidance-291014.pdf

Consultation: NHS England on innovative radiotherapy treatments

Consultation runs from 3 Nov 2014 to 26 Jan 2015

NHS England is seeking views on proposed changes to Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Radiotherapy services across the country. As the only national commissioner of these services, which are used to treat patients with conditions such as brain tumours, NHS England has the opportunity to develop a national service and ensure equal access for all.

For more information on the consultation including how to respond, go to: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/options-for-change

Consultation: Views sought on data sharing guidance

Deadline: 31st Jan 2015

NHS England, as part of the Information Governance Alliance, has worked with Government to develop data sharing guidance for health and care professionals. Views are now sought on how easy the leaflet is to understand and how it could be best implemented.

To read the leaflet and give views, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/data-sharing-for-health-care-professionals-guidance-leaflet

New team to give voice to learning disability community

NHS England will appoint a new team to help people with learning disabilities transform services as part of the Transforming Care programme. The team, which will include one member of staff with a learning disability, will ensure those with learning difficulties play a powerful role in shaping services.

To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/wint-view-impr-prog/

Translated Materials - Congenital Heart Disease

The contents of the New Congenital Heart Disease review exhibition boards and the response forms to the consultation are available in the following languages:

• Polish
• Punjabi
• Hindi
• Gujarati
• Urdu
• Tamil

You will find these documents on the consultation pages here: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/qual-clin-lead/chd/translated-materials/

Publication: Men need humour and camaraderie to lose weight

A shocking 67% of men are overweight or obese, which is significantly more than women at 58%, yet men are much less likely to join weight-loss programmes. Only 10 to 30% of those in weight-loss programmes are men, and some weight-loss programmes attract almost no men.

A new How to guide launched on 13 November 2014 by the Men’s Health Forum charity, and supported by Public Health England, is the first to show how to adapt and run weight-loss programmes that are tailored specifically for men.

See the full story at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/men-need-humour-and-camaraderie-to-lose-weight

Improving the health of vulnerable families

Originally launched in 2012, the Troubled Families Programme aims to support 120,000 families who face multiple problems including involvement in youth crime or anti-social behaviour, truancy, and parents receiving out-of-work benefits. The second phase of the programme, announced last year, will see up to an additional 400,000 families supported by 2020.

A recent health offer launch supports Public Health England’s work in the Troubled Families programme where there is an even greater focus on health. The programme represents a significant step forward in taking a family-centred, rather than service driven, approach to supporting families to turn their lives around.

See more at: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2014/11/14/improving-the-health-of-vulnerable-families/

New funding available for drug and alcohol recovery

Public Health England (PHE) has announced the availability of £10 million of capital funding for services that are helping people in England with drug or alcohol problems to recover from their addiction. Local authorities and service providers are able to apply for capital funding to support recovery-focused projects, following a similar process earlier this year.

See information at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-funding-available-for-drug-and-alcohol-recovery

Equality for mental health and joining up health and care

To read the Minister of State for Care and Support’s speech about the health and care system, joined up services and equality for mental health given at NCAS, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/equality-for-mental-health-and-joining-up-health-and-care

Social work with adults: progress report

Lyn Romeo, the Chief Social Worker for Adults, has published her first annual report since taking up the post in September 2013. The report sets out progress made over the last 12 months in improvements in the education, training and practice of social work with adults.

To read more and download the report, go to: https://in.dh.gov.uk/social-care-local-government-and-care-partnerships-directorate/chief-social-worker-for-adults-publishes-first-annual-report/99351/

Response to Sustain’s campaign about hospital food standards

The Government has responded to concerns raised by Sustain’s campaign following publication of the Hospital Food Standards Panel's report.

To read the response, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/response-to-sustains-campaign-about-hospital-food-standards

Nursing Technology Fund – second round launched

In October 2012 the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a Nursing Technology Fund to support nurses, midwives and health visitors to make better use of digital technology in all care settings, in order to deliver safer, more effective and more efficient care.

The funding was to be allocated to providers following an application and evaluation process. The first round, for £30M, was for funding to be spent in FY13/14. In the second round launched in November 2014, £35M of capital funding is available to be spent across FY14/15 and FY15/16.

The second round of the Fund has now launched, with a closing date for applications of 2nd December 2014.

To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/tsd/sst/nursing-technology-fund/

Evidence into practice: tackling domestic violence in universities and the workplace

PHE has launched 2 new initiatives to help tackle domestic violence and sexual harassment in universities and the workplace.

A survey by the National Union of Students revealed that 37% of women and 12% of men said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances. Research has also found that female students have a greater than 1 in 3 chance of being sexually assaulted during their time at university.

The “Bystander Intervention Initiative” is a free resource with an educational toolkit to be used by universities and colleges for the prevention of sexual coercion and domestic abuse in university settings. The toolkit is available for all universities to download since early November, 2014.

Public Health England has also launched the, “16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence toolkit for businesses,” a step by step guide for businesses on how they can tackle domestic violence and raise awareness of an issue that impacts health, wellbeing, and absence and turn over in the workplace.

See the full press release at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/evidence-into-practice-tackling-domestic-violence-in-universities-and-the-workplace

CQC publishes plans for its new approach to regulating healthcare in secure settings

CQC is inviting the public to give their views on how healthcare in prisons, youth offending institutions and immigration removal centres is regulated.

Healthcare services in prisons, youth offender institutions (YOI) and immigration removal centres (IRCs) will all be subject to CQC's new style of regulation from next year and the public have been invited to give their views on the new model, as set out in a 'signposting' document, which provides preliminary plans.

CQC plans to work with NHS England and HMI Prisons to explore the way data about these services is used to monitor the way health care is delivered in these settings. You can read the document and find out how you can give your views here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/cqc-publishes-plans-its-new-approach-regulating-healthcare-secure-settings

Further consultation on plans to inspect these settings will run from January 2015.

Better care plans to help elderly and reduce hospital visits

The Better Care Fund will help join up local health and care services to improve care and reduce A&E admissions. Better care plans, which will also provide more dignity for older people and reduce the length of stay in hospital, are funded by the government’s £5.3 billion Better Care Fund. It was originally set at £3.8 billion but has increased significantly following additional local investment.

For more detail, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/better-care-plans-to-help-elderly-and-reduce-hospital-visits

Outline proposals on data security for care sector

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has been asked to take on an enhanced role by the Secretary of State for Health to help ensure data security across the care system.

In line with its own commitment to safeguarding information and encouraging transparency, DH has outlined proposals to help health and social care organisations meet this challenge.

To read more, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/outline-proposals-on-data-security-for-care-sector

Care leaver strategy

One year on from the publication of the Care Leaver Strategy - A cross-departmental strategy for young people leaving care, the Government has published a progress update.

To read the strategy and the update on progress, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-leaver-strategy

New funding approach for palliative care

NHS England is developing a new funding approach for palliative care which focusses on patient need. The approach will introduce a ‘currency’ for palliative care which will ensure that services match the needs of patients, offer best value for money and that providers are reimbursed for services fairly.

To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2014/10/23/palliative-care/

PHE announces the launch of “Healthier Lives”

Healthier Lives: Diabetes, Hypertension and NHS Health Check, a major new online tool from Public Health England, reveals large variation in the prevalence and treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure, and in the provision of the NHS Health Check across the country.

The interactive ‘heat map’ includes information on prevalence of the conditions and their complications, levels of care provided and the quality of care achieved in each area by local authority (LA), clinical commissioning group (CCG) and general practice, compared to the England average.

For full details please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-atlas-highlights-variation-in-treatment-of-diabetes-and-high-blood-pressure-across-the-country

Experience the new tool here: http://healthierlives.phe.org.uk/

What Works Centre for Wellbeing announced

Public Health England is pleased to be playing a major role in the development and establishment of this independent national centre.

The ‘What Works Centre for Wellbeing’ is the latest addition to the ‘What Works Network’, which was launched by the Government last year to improve public services through evidence-based policy and practice.

The new centre will soon be commissioning universities to research the impact that different interventions and services have on wellbeing.

See the full story at:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/what-works-centre-for-wellbeing-announced

Blogging project to capture everyday experiences of people living with mental health difficulties

A new online project is calling on people living with mental health difficulties to blog about their lives.

People signing up to “A Day in the Life” will be invited to share their experiences of what makes their mental health better and what makes it worse by submitting a 700 word blog on set days as part of the year-long project.

“A Day in the Life” is designed to provide an insight into the lives of people living with a mental health difficulty to help inform the development of policies and projects which better meet their needs. The project is also designed to better educate and raise awareness among the wider public of the reality of mental health issues.

Check out the project at: http://dayinthelifemh.org.uk/

 

The impact of the Immigration Act 2014

The Race Equality Foundation has published two briefings on the impact of the Immigration Act 2014. Service providers should be aware of a number of issues.

The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a number of measures for undocumented migrants. These include restrictions on the ability of undocumented migrants to access bank accounts, driving licenses, and housing. In addition, provisions within the Act allow for a levy to be charged to migrants entering the country for using the health service however the statutory regulations need to be laid to introduce this new levy.

The Department of Health is also developing a range of additional charges, for accessing NHS services, to which migrants will be subject. However the Government has announced that GP and nurse consultations in GP surgeries will remain free to ensure that public health risks are picked up. These charges are set to be implemented over the next two years. Many details are yet to be worked out, and charges for secondary care will be explored as part of the final phase.

Many health, race equality, and migrants’ rights organisations have concerns about the impact of these measures.

More information and access to the briefings are available on the website: http://www.raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/news/access-services-and-immigration-act-2014

You may also find the healthcare specific guide published, in June 2014, by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) helpful:

http://www.ilpa.org.uk/resources.php/29015/information-sheet-immigration-act-healthcare

Reaching carers through the flu vaccination campaign

Following a new partnership between Carers Trust and NHS Employers, a Flu Vaccination for Carers Campaign has been launched which asks healthcare staff to encourage carers to request a flu jab from their GP practice. Staff are also asked give carers the contact details of Carers Trust so that they can be linked up with their local carers service and access information, advice and support.

For further details email jellis@carers.org or go to http://www.nhsemployers.org/campaigns/flu-fighter/carers-resources