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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 1

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Government is listening: What is the health and social care sector saying?

Government launches NHS listening exercise 

The Government has taken the opportunity of a break in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill to engage with patients, the public and health professionals on NHS Modernisation. The Prime Minister said: 'This listening exercise is a genuine chance to make a difference. Where there are good suggestions to improve the legislation, those changes will be made'. Secretary of State Andrew Lansley said it was a chance to ‘pause, listen, reflect and improve.’

Engagement over the coming weeks will focus on choice and competition to improve quality, public accountability and patient involvement, education and training, and advice from healthcare professionals to improve patient care.

View further information.

Do you have something to say then come along to RAWM's ‘listening event’ on 16th May 2011:


The Department of Health is running a series of four workshops on 'Developing the Provider Landscape and the role of choice and competition'. One of these events is in Birmingham:

Wednesday 11th May, 11:00-15:00 at BVSC, 138 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DR.
If you are interested in attending, booking forms and any queries should be sent to as soon as possible as spaces will be limited.


New Health Visitors Services announcements

Early implementer sites launched and recruitment of 4,200 extra health visitors begins

Twenty sites have been selected to lead the way in delivering the new health visiting service. The new service, announced in February 2011, will improve the health and well-being of children, families and communities, and health visitors will play a central role in making this happen.

An extra 4,200 health visitors are being recruited over the next 4 years and ex-health visitors are being encouraged to return to the profession. The new health visiting service is about providing information and support for all new parents. Health visitors will offer a universal service to families, with more targeted and tailored support for those who need it.

Read more about this news story.
Find out more information about this initiative.

Healthwatch Transition

HealthWatch Transition Plan
On 30 March, the Department of Health published the first in a series of transition documents primarily for Local Involvement Networks (LINks), their host organisations and English local authorities to support the evolution from LINks to local HealthWatch.

Download the transition plan.

Community Children’s Nursing Services

NHS at Home: report into community children’s nursing services
A review of the community children’s nursing service was published on 25 March. It looks at the contribution community nurses can make to integrated children's services. The review will help children's commissioners improve services.

View more information.


A guide to the right to provide healthcare services

Making Quality Your Business: A guide to the right to provide
The right to provide is part of a bigger vision for the future of public services.

This guide aims to support people who are thinking about taking up the right to provide and has been built on the experience of healthcare staff who have been through the right to request.  It sets out a process for people working in NHS Trusts who have the right to propose the development of a staff-led enterprise.

Further information on the DoH website.

Commissioning Support for emerging GP consortia event 18th May 2011

Commissioning Support for emerging GP consortia in the West Midlands
Unique opportunity  for three third sector / third sector umbrella organisations who have an understanding of ‘providing expert commissioning support’ agenda to  be part of an accelerated design day to develop commissioning support for emerging GP consortia.

This is an Accelerated Design Event (ADE) at which emerging GP Consortia representatives, PCT clusters, supplier representatives and other stakeholders in the West Midlands come together to collaborate on the development of the key design principles for Commissioning Support. The aim of the event is to design principles that will help:

  • Support emerging GP Commissioning Consortia take informed decisions as they make choices about the scope and type of Commissioning Support that they require and the relationship they are looking for with potential suppliers
  • Identify what is required to be an ‘informed’ client and what support emerging GP Consortia might need to become ‘informed’ clients
  • Identify what is required to be a ‘great’ supplier/partner

Download the event invitation [121kB, PDF].

Please confirm your attendance by downloading and completing this proforma [50kB, DOC] and returning it by email to no later than Wednesday 20th April 2011.


GP pathfinders announcements

Fourth cohort of GP pathfinders announced

The Secretary of State for Health has announced the latest groups of GPs to take on commissioning responsibilities. There are now 220 GP pathfinders covering almost 90% of the country and 45.7 million people. The groups will work together to help manage local budgets and purchase services for patients directly with other NHS colleagues and local authorities.  View full press release.


Cancer Drugs Fund response

Government response to consultation on the Cancer Drugs Fund

The Department of Health published the Government's response to the consultation on the Cancer Drugs Fund on 1 April 2011 alongside the launch of the Cancer Drugs Fund.  Go to consultation page.


Substance Misuse Services funding

Funding for Substance Misuse Services in adult prisons and children & young people in custody

The 2010 Spending Review transferred responsibility for both substance misuse services in adult prisons and children and young people held in custody in England to the Department of Health from April 2011. This letter confirms new responsibilities and funding allocations for 2011/12. 

View details about adult prisons.

View details about children and young people held in custody.

Adult prisoners with severe mental health problems

Transfer and remission of adult prisoners

This good practice guidance aims to reduce the length of time prisoners with severe mental health problems, wait for transfer between prison and appropriate hospital accommodation, and post treatment, their remission back to prison under s47 and s49 of the Mental Health Act.

Download the full publication.

Mental Health Helplines Partnership (mhhp)

Opportunity to join a specialist partnership

Mhhp is made up of 50 mental health helpline providers working collaboratively are keen to broaden their membership and encourage all helpline service providers who assist people with mental health related problems and carers to join.

View details about membership fees.

More information on mhhp.

Measuring Wellbeing

An introductory briefing (Need 2 Know)

The Mental Health Foundation has drafted an introductory briefing in response to The Coalition Government wishes to measure success not solely in terms of Gross National Product (GNP), but in terms of overall ‘national wellbeing’.

The briefing outlines the government's proposals, definitions of wellbeing, how wellbeing works, measuring wellbeing and the benefits derived.

For more information on the briefing and on the Mental Health Foundation go to: