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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 14

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Latest results of BVSC’s cuts survey out!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of bi-annual surveys with Birmingham based voluntary and community organisations. In view of the data published by Birmingham City Council on Voluntary and Community Sector Funding in September 2011, BVSC (Birmingham’s centre for voluntary action) have sought to identify the real impacts of funding cuts on Birmingham’s voluntary and community sector and its citizens.

Over 25% of organisations responding to the survey deliver Health and Social Care services that are at risk due to funding uncertainty or cuts.

Download the survey report [245kB, PDF].

New Commissioning Guidance for CCGs

The latest documents to support the development of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have been produced by the NHS Commissioning Board Authority.

Healthwatch England membership consultation

Healthwatch England will be a national consumer champion that enables the collective views of the people who use health and social care services to influence national policy, advice and guidance. Stakeholders and the public are being asked to contribute to the development of the Healthwatch England membership regulations.

The Consultation on the regulations for Healthwatch England Membership will help ensure that the public have a strong national presence to represent their views and help drive up improvements across the NHS.

The deadline for comments is Friday 2 March.

Helping people live healthier lives: the future for public health

On 23 January 2012, the Government made further announcements on its ambitions for a new public health system. For the first time, public health will be measured against a framework, which sets out 66 health measures so councils and the Government are able to see real improvements being made and take any action needed.

In 2012/13 around £5.2bn will be spent on public health services.

From April 2013, councils get a ring-fenced budget and can choose how they spend it according to the needs of their population. A new health premium will reward areas that make progress.

Find out more on the Department of Health website.

Campaign Resource Centre provides easy access to latest public health campaigns

Providing a one-stop shop for all Department of Health public health campaign information and resources for anyone who works directly with the public, the online Campaign Resource Centre was launched this week.

Independent experts to help improve health results for children

An independent group of experts has been established to help develop the ‘Children’s and Young People’s outcomes strategy’ which will focus the health service on improving health results for children, including those needing primary, hospital and urgent care, and children with long-term conditions.

To inform the strategy, a group of independent experts from local government, the NHS and charities will hear views from children, parents, carers and wider families as well as health professionals.

The Children’s and Young People’s Forum will be jointly chaired by Professor Ian Lewis, Medical Director at the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, and Christine Lenehan, Director at the Council for Disabled Children, which is part of the National Children's Bureau (NCB). Barbara Hearn OBE, deputy chief executive of NCB has also been appointed to the forum.

Find out more on the Department of Health website.

Public consultation launched to help develop Mental Health Act statistics

The NHS Information Centre (NHS IC) has launched a public consultation on how one of its major mental health statistical reports should be further developed.

Views are welcome from groups and individuals - from health professionals to the general public - about shaping the future content of the well established annual report; ‘Inpatients Detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, and Patients subject to Supervised Community treatment'.

Take part in the online consultation.

View the latest report for 2010/11 online.

CQC publishes 12 reports from its review of services for people with learning disabilities

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a further 12 reports from a targeted programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities.

The programme is looking at whether people experience safe and appropriate care, treatment and support and whether they are protected from abuse. A national report into the findings of the programme will be published in the Spring.

The 12 inspections covered locations that provided a range of services including assessment and treatment, rehabilitation and longer term care.

The reports can be downloaded from

Review of National Self Care Week 2011

Self Care Week 2011 (14 – 20 November 2011) was an opportunity for NHS, social care and voluntary sector organisations to raise awareness of the services they provide to help people take care of themselves. The review captures some of the national and locally-led activity that took place.

Read more on the Self Care Forum.

World Cancer Day - 4 February 2012

World Cancer Day is an annual event organised by The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), designed to bring all nations together in the shared fight against cancer, supporting prevention and control of this devastating illness.

This year’s theme is ‘Together it is possible’ to help encourage every person, organisation and government to work together and reduce premature cancer deaths by 25% by 2025.

For more information and to download resources to help you plan your World Cancer Day activities visit

University of Westminster reports on ‘experience led commissioning’ of end of life care

The University of Westminster has carried out an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of “experience led commissioning” (ELC) in improving end-of-life care. ELC is a commissioning methodology based on patient experience and involvement.

Download the evaluation report [1.07mB, PDF].

National Heart Forum Information Services

The National Heart Forum (NHF) provides a range of specialised information tools and resources. Resources are all free to use, and include current awareness updates, the Chronic Disease eLibrary which is a fully searchable database of public health information, and the Obesity Learning Centre and Panacea websites. All services are available from and linked to by the National Heart Forum website.

Age UK uncovers unfair care funding postcode lottery

New research from Age UK shows that the Personal Budget system in England, which is meant to enable adults to have greater choice in choosing and paying for domiciliary and day care, is highlighting huge regional differences in the amount of care older people receive.

Read more on the Age UK website.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGB&T): A Summary for Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation is seeking to address the significant concern that existing Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) do not often address lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGB&T) people’s issues, needs and experiences of healthcare in any meaningful way.

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation has produced a document which makes the case for the importance of LGB&T evidence, and introduces strategic level health professionals to some of the key health issues facing the LGB&T communities.

Download the summary document [528kB, PDF].

Parent carer involvement in shaping health

Contact a Family (a member of National Voices) have launched a report highlighting the work carried out by parent carer forums in shaping health services and the challenges forums have experienced in raising children’s issues through LINks.

The report explores the complexity of delivering public and patient involvement in the NHS and suggests ways that HealthWatch could coordinate local patient and community groups to ensure that the voices of parents of disabled children and other patient groups are not lost in the system. The work was funded through a DH innovation grant.

Download the report from the Contact a Family website.

Review of Central Government’s implementation of the Compact

The Compact is an agreement that sets out shared principles and guidelines for effective partnership working between central government and civil society organisations in England.

The National Audit Office has completed a review that examined the Government’s implementation of the Compact, focusing on issues of accountability and transparency.

The report summaries the findings based on work at nine departments (including the Department of Health), representing 98 per cent of central government’s expenditure with the civil society. NAO also consulted the civil society sector. It highlights variations in practice and makes recommendations for improvements in departments and in the Office for Civil Society.

Read the report online.

CCG case studies: patient and public engagement (PPE)

In 2011, 25 emerging CCGs were awarded funding by the Department of Health to run a range of PPE projects using best practice techniques.

The aim was for each emerging CCG and primary care trust to widen community participation. In a new series of PPE case studies, four of these CCGs are now sharing their experiences and lessons learned. Two focus on social media and technology, and two look at running a citizens’ jury.