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Health, Wellbeing and Care

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Sustainability and Transformation Plans Leaders Confirmed 

Senior figures from across health and care who will be leading work on Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) within their ‘footprint’ area have been confirmed. The recently announced 44 STP footprints are geographic areas that will bring local health and care leaders, organisations and communities together, to develop local blueprints for improved health, care and finances over the next five years, delivering the NHS Five Year Forward View.
To read more, go to:
Read our new briefing on Sustainability and Transformation Plans

Social Value Act: helping commissioners improve local health and reduce inequalities

The requirements of the Social Value Act are a really important opportunity for public bodies to think about how to achieve the very best for their communities across a range of outcomes – including health and health inequalities.

There is a growing body of guidance to help with applying the Social Value Act, but thinking through the implications of a social value perspective for health and health inequalities is trickier. To address this gap, Public Health England commissioned the Institute of Health Equity to produce a practice resource on social value for local public sector commissioners to help them increase the social value of local services in ways that can help to reduce health inequalities. As well as offering useful tips and suggestions, the resource shares some great examples of local organisations that are already ahead of the curve when it comes to social value.

To read the full blog by Kevin Fenton, PHE's National Director for Health and Wellbeing, go to:


CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework 2016/17

NHS England has published a new CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework for 2016/17 to align with the government’s mandate and planning guidance. This replaces the existing assurance framework and CCG dashboard, and aims to reach beyond CCGs, enabling local health systems and communities to assess their own progress. It will also require NHS England to work differently, both internally and with CCGs, to provide support to unlock improvement.

To read more, go to:


NHS England Business Plan 2016/17 Published

NHS England has published the Business Plan for 2016/17 which reflects the main themes of the government’s mandate and embodies the agenda of the Five Year Forward View. As with the previous plan, there remains strong continuity in the 10 business plan priorities for the year ahead. The priorities are grouped under the following themes: improving health, transforming care and controlling costs.

To read the business plan go to:


Quick Guide to Support Patients' Choices to Avoid Long Hospital Stays

New guidance encourages hospitals to have the conversations with patients early and properly inform them about choices.

This new multi-agency Quick Guide aims to provide better support to patients and families in making their choices and to support health and care systems to reduce delayed transfers of care.

Drawing on the work of local government, health and social care organisations, this guide contains practical tips, examples and links to useful documents:

  • A checklist for local areas to use to identify areas for improvement;
  • Information on existing solutions to common problems, including tools to support choice and environments to support choice (e.g. intermediary placements).
  • A template policy and template patient letters which can be adopted locally.

These resources will be useful for both commissioners and providers. They showcase good examples of how people across the country are working with the care sector to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and delayed transfers of care.

Read the new Quick Guide:

 NHS Standard Contract for 2016-17 Published

Most of you will be familiar with this but it's worth mentioning that the Contract has now been updated from the 2015/16 to the 2016/17 version. A summary of the changes made to the Contract can be found in section 3 of the NHS Standard Contract 2016/17 Technical Guidance below. As you are aware, NHS England has published a shorter-form version of the Contract, for use in defined circumstances. This will complement the full-length version of the Contract, which will continue to be used (and indeed will remain mandatory) in many situations.

Guidance on when each form of Contract should be used is set out in section 9 of the NHS Standard Contract 2016/17 Technical Guidance below.

 A User Guide to the shorter-form Contract user guide is now available at:


Involving the Public in Primary Care Commissioning

New guidance has been published for commissioners on how to involve patients and the public in the development of primary care services. NHS England has also produced information for patients and the public on how to get involved in primary care commissioning.

You can find this new guidance and information at:


Public Health England Strategic Plan

PHE has published its strategic plan for the next four years: Better outcomes by 2020.
PHE’s Strategic plan sets out how the organisation intends to protect and improve the public’s health and reduce inequalities over the next four years. It also outlines actions PHE will take over the next year to achieve these aims and deliver its core functions.
It builds on the Department of Health’s Shared Delivery Plan, the NHS Five Year Forward View, and From Evidence into Action.   It confirms the role that PHE will continue to play in the health and care system, building on evidence, prioritising prevention and supporting local government and the NHS.
A copy of the plan can be accessed at


NHS England Plan - Transforming General Practice

The General Practice Forward View sets out a plan to support the transformation of general practice over the next five years and improve services for patients. By 2020/21 there will be an extra £2.4 billion a year going into general practice. In addition, there will be a one-off, five year £500 million investment to support GP practices. The General Practice Forward View includes plans to grow the workforce, increase use of technology, develop better premises and improve the way services are provided so patients have better access to the right service at the right time.

To read more, go to:


Practical Guide to Healthy Caring

NHS England, with Carers UK, Carers Trust, Age UK, Public Health England and carers networks, has produced a Practical Guide to Healthy Caring. This is a companion guide to the Healthy Ageing Guide and provides information and advice to older carers about staying healthy whilst caring.

To read more, go to:


Support for Patients to Manage Their Own Care

People with long-term conditions will be supported to better manage their own health and care needs, thanks to the rollout of an evidence-based tool over the next five years. NHS England has agreed a deal which will grant nearly two million people access to more person-centred care as part of its Self Care programme.

Local NHS organisations and their partners are being invited to apply for access to patient activation licences, which will help them assess and build their patients’ knowledge, skills and confidence, empowering people to make decisions about their own health and care. The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a tool which captures how engaged and confident people feel in taking care of their health and wellbeing.

To read more, go to:


HSCIC changing its name to NHS Digital

From July 2016, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) will change its name to NHS Digital, building on the role it plays in directly supporting the NHS and social care services. Noel Gordon has been appointed as the new Chair for NHS Digital by the Secretary of State.

HSCIC, now NHS Digital, is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care. To read more, go to:


VCSE Review Report Published

The final report of the VCSE Review has been launched. You can access a copy of the report at:

The review has been conducted in partnership between the Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England and representatives from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The aim of the review was to:

  • describe the role of the VCSE sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes
  • identify the challenges and opportunities in realising the sector’s potential
  • address challenges and maximise opportunities

The report makes recommendations for government, health and care system partners, funders, regulatory bodies and the VCSE sector. It emphasises putting wellbeing at the centre of health and care services, and making VCSE organisations an integral part of a collaborative system.

A blog by Alex Fox, the review’s Chair, can be found here:

The accompanying press release can also be seen at:


NHS England Sets Out Local NHS Funding

NHS England has published indicative figures for how much each part of England could see its NHS budget grow by 2020, and the funding available for transformation.

This will help local NHS and care leaders develop their Sustainability & Transformation plans (STPs), showing how the NHS Five Year Forward View will be implemented locally, using the growing funding envelope available to each area.

NHS England also announced that it would invest around £112 million (2016/17) in the vanguard projects which are leading the way and road testing new models of care in different parts of the county.

To read more, go to:


HIV Innovation Fund 2016/17

PHE’s HIV Innovation Fund is back and is now open to entries for 2016/17. We're looking for projects that could help prevent HIV across England.
PHE is encouraging voluntary organisations to apply for national funding to support innovative HIV projects across England.
Proposals are particularly welcomed that tackle:

  • diagnosis for both HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
  • stigma associated with HIV
  • other risky behaviours that can increase risk of contracting HIV such as drug and alcohol misuse
  • the integration of HIV prevention into wider sexual and reproductive health

The application phase for the new National HIV prevention innovation fund opened on Tuesday 10 May, running until Wednesday 15 June 2016.
Applications are encouraged from voluntary sector organisations, supported by their local authority, for projects that target groups at high risk.
The total available fund for 2016 to 2017 is up to £600,000. Those interested in the fund are asked to register at


New Funding for Mental Health Crisis Safe Places

Government opens bidding to fund health based places of safety to stop those in mental health crisis being held in police cells.

When a person is experiencing a mental health crisis they need care from healthcare professionals in the right place. Too often the only safe place available is a police cell, which can add to the person’s suffering. This £15 million fund will help to provide health and community based places of safety to prevent vulnerable people being held in police cells.

To read more, go to:


New Resources - Commissioning for Value Packs

NHS England and Public Health England have published three new Commissioning for Value (CFV) packs to help CCGs identify the best opportunities for improving value for their populations. The cardiovascular disease, respiratory and neurological focus packs are personalised for each CCG and provide detailed information on the opportunities in the highest spending programmes previously covered by CFV. They include a wider range of outcome measures and information on the most common procedures and diagnoses for the condition in question. The packs are part of the NHS Right Care programme, referenced in the CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework and Quality Premium for 2016/17.

To read more, go to:


New Six Principles for Engagement Publications

National Voices has published the following documents which were produced by the People and Communities Board (chaired by Jeremy Taylor): 

  • Six principles for engaging people and communities: putting them into practice
  • Six principles for engaging people and communities: definitions, evaluation and measurement (a redesign of the original six principles document)

The six principles were developed by the People and Communities Board, in conjunction with the new models of care vanguards sites, to give practical support to services as they deliver the new relationship with people and communities; set out in the Five Year Forward View.

You can get more information and download them here:


Care Strategy - Consultation Extended to End of July

The Department of Health has extended the closing date until 31 July 2016 (from June 30 2016). This will help to make sure DH hears from all those it would like to reach and understand the complex diversity of caring roles – both carers and those they care for.

The consultation team want to hear from carers from a range of groups who may have a particular experience of caring, or face particular challenges.  Examples of such groups might include LGBT carers, BAME carers, carers of a particular faith, carers from military families, gypsy and traveller carers etc. In particular they are interested in:

  • A response to the call for evidence an organisation – i.e., that might bring together collected views, experience and evidence from ongoing contact with carers from these groups.
  • Details of any published or unpublished evidence, reports etc. that articulate the issues for groups of carers
  • Any collated responses from “mini consultations” hosted among your networks, carers contacts etc.

Please send any call for evidence responses to

You can access the online survey here

To read more, go to:  


New Integrated Personal Commissioning Emerging Framework

NHS England, in partnership with the Local Government Association published The Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) Emerging Framework.

Setting out the future model of care for patients with some of the most complex needs in England, the framework is based on learning from the programme so far and sets out the changes required to deliver more joined up health and social care, and enable patients and families to commission their own care through personal budgets. It signals the start of national rollout of IPC, with new areas being asked to signal their interest in becoming early adopters of IPC through local Sustainability and Transformation Plans.


Learning Disability Quality Checks

NHS England has announced that people with a learning disability are to be asked to contribute to new tests which will help improve NHS services. The NHS Quality Checkers programme employs people with a learning disability to inspect local NHS services, and provide advice on how they can better meet their needs and those of other patients.

To read more, go to:


New Toolkit to Support Wellbeing of Carers and Families 

NHS England has published a toolkit to help hhealth and social care organisations work together in identifying, assessing and supporting the wellbeing of carers and their families.

An integrated approach to identifying and assessing carer health and wellbeing has been developed in collaboration with NHS England’s partners and forms part of NHS England’s ongoing commitment to carers.

The toolkit explains what is expected of NHS organisations under the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 and includes examples of work that have been successful in supporting carers and their families.

To read more, go to:


New Resources to Help Build Volunteer Capability and Capacity  

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) and National Care Forum (NCF) have launched the Volunteer Management Toolkit to mark this year’s volunteer week.

The toolkit supports frontline managers to create volunteer roles which enable people to make a real difference to local social care services. It also looks at how to take an inclusive approach to volunteering. For example, people who may have experienced fewer life opportunities can be encouraged to volunteer. Volunteers who use services themselves often have insights which mean they are uniquely placed to support others in similar situations.
To read more and to download the toolkit, go to:
To read Rhidian Hughes blog, go to:



GSK IMPACT Awards 2017

Core funding and free training for health charities

GSK’s IMPACT Awards reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. Organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £25,000 and £2 million. Up to 20 awards will be made ranging from £3,000 to £40,000 plus free training and development valued at up to £6,000. Organisations will also have a film made, receive help with press and publicity and be given a set of promotional materials. Hear from this year’s winners about the benefits of winning an award. Applications for the 2017 awards are now open and the closing date is 21 September 2016.

The King's Fund

Supporting integration through new roles and working across boundaries

This report looks at the evidence on new roles and ways of spanning organisational workforce boundaries to deliver integrated health and social care. Commissioned by NHS Employers and the Local Government Association, it finds increasing focus on roles which facilitate co-ordination and management of care, development of existing roles to increase the skill-mix and enable the provision of more holistic care, and a limited number of truly innovative roles, the most notable being care navigators and community facilitators, enablers or link workers. Given that many of the skills required for integrated care already exist within the workforce, it suggests the central question is how to use those skills more effectively to support boundary-spanning activities.


Breaking barriers: Building a sustainable future for health and social care

'Breaking barriers: building a sustainable future for health and social care', recommends the creation of a new central government department for communities and wellbeing, which will help manage integrated budgets. The report also calls on NHS England and the Local Government Association to agree a joint framework to devolve control of primary and community services. The report was launched at the Breaking Barriers Summit which took place on 29 June 2016.,4BSTK,N7BES4,FV810,1

Westminster Commission on Autism

A spectrum of obstacles: an inquiry into access to healthcare for autistic people

Following a seven-month inquiry and a consultation of over 900 people, the Westminster Commission on Autism launches its inquiry report and calls for improved access to healthcare for all autistic people. It calls for greater training of health professionals to increase awareness of the health care needs of autistic people; the implementation of annual health checks for autistic people; and also that CQC should establish autism-specific inspection questions into their inspection framework.



Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Not seen, not heard: a review of the arrangements for child safeguarding and health care for looked after children in England

This report looks at how effective health services are in providing early help to children in need, the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and how these services identify and protect children at risk of harm. It concludes that health professionals have improved the way they assess risk and recognise safeguarding concerns, but that services are not consistently protecting and promoting the health and welfare of children. It urges a whole system response to do more to listen to and involve children in need in their care.


New care models and staff engagement: all aboard

This publication brings together the experiences of four vanguards which are placing staff at the centre of new care models. The featured vanguards recognise that those on the front line of care have the best ideas about how to improve it but need to feel empowered to do so.,4ACRI,N7BES4,FQ8AJ,1


National Voices

Six principles for engaging people and communities: putting them into practice

This briefing discusses how person-centred, community-focussed approaches to health, wellbeing and care can be created. It builds on the proposed new relationship with patients and communities set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View. It aims to complement a wider suite of products to be produced by national bodies for the health and care system as it moves forward with the implementation of innovations in care delivery,4ACRI,N7BES4,FQEED,


NatCen Social Research

British Social Attitudes survey 33

 This year's British Social Attitudes survey focused on the consequences of seven years of austerity for social and political attitudes in Britain. The chapter on the NHS explores levels of dissatisfaction with the NHS and how this has changed over time and in relation to trends in NHS funding. It examines new data identifying the reasons for NHS dissatisfaction and satisfaction.


The King's Fund

Patients as partners: building collaborative relationships among professionals, patients, carers and communities

This report calls for all NHS organisations to commit to working more closely with patients to meet the requirements of a new relationship with patients and communities outlined in the NHS five year forward view. The paper looks at what can be achieved by NHS professionals working with patients and looks in detail at case studies drawn from the Fund’s ground-breaking national collaborative pairs programme, which supported patients and health professionals to work together on a wide range of local initiatives. The paper is a helpful guide for people who are interested in working with patients and sets out five practical ways to develop collaborative relationships among NHS, patient and community partners.


NHS England


Implementing the five year forward view for mental health

This plan outlines the changes people will see on the ground over the coming years in response to the Mental Health Taskforce’s recommendations to improve care. It is intended as a blueprint for the changes that NHS staff, organisations and other parts of the system can make to improve mental health. The plan also gives a clear indication to the public and people who use services what they can expect from the NHS, and when. The plan also outlines further details on key commitments to greater funding for mental health.,4D2Q3,N7BES4,G1RF3,1