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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 38

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Event: CQC Inspection at the Heart of England Foundation Trust

This inspection will take place between 11-15 November. The CQC is interested in hearing from those who use the Trust services. They will be asked to share their experiences of care through a survey and invited to a public listening event facilitated by CQC during the week before the inspection.

There will also be two focus groups in the week before the inspection – details:


Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust: Your experiences – Focus Group 1 of 2, Thurs 7th Nov 1-3.30pm

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust: Your experiences – Focus Group 2 of 2, Fri 8th Nov 10-12.30pm


G8 dementia summit: have your say on improving dementia research

Deadline: 15th October

The Department of Health is inviting people to give their views about dementia research in the run-up to the G8 dementia summit on 11 December.

The summit, which will be held in London, will focus on how the G8 can lead efforts to prevent, delay and effectively treat dementia. It aims to: 

  • identify and agree a new international approach to dementia research
  • help break down barriers within and between companies, researchers and clinicians
  • secure a new level of co-operation needed to reach shared goals faster than nations acting alone 

The online questions give people the opportunity to have their say on the important issues the summit will discuss. Although this is not part of the formal summit process, all the comments will be considered by the Department of Health team planning the summit and will be used to inform their work developing themes for discussion. 

Have your say on improving dementia research across the world on the Dementia Challenge site - 

Comments close on 15 October.


Friends and Family Test extended across public services 

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has announced the extension of the Friends and Family Test across the NHS and other public services. 

The simple test – answering the question “Would you recommend this service to your friends and family?” – will be extended to all NHS services in England, including mental health services, community nursing, and outpatient appointments by the end of March 2015. The test will also be used to assess Jobcentre Plus services (learning from which will be incorporated into the next phase of the Work Programme), further education courses and all service providers of government’s flagship youth scheme National Citizen Service.

To read more, go to:


Thousands of patients to benefit from £400 million cancer package 

In a cutting-edge pioneering package, thousands more cancer patients in England will get the life-extending drugs their doctors recommend thanks to an extra £400 million invested in the Cancer Drugs Fund. 

To read more, go to: 


Government strengthens CQC’s independence

The health regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is to be given greater independence to ensure it can act fearlessly as the nation’s chief whistleblower on health. 

Under the proposals, the Health Secretary will relinquish a range of powers to intervene in the operational decisions of the CQC. This means that the CQC will no longer need to ask for Secretary of State approval to carry out an investigation into a hospital or care home. It will also remove the Secretary of State’s power to direct CQC on the content of its annual report. 

In addition, the newly created positions of Chief Inspector of Hospitals, General Practice and Adult Social Care, will be enshrined in law. This will place the positions on a permanent footing and ensure that individuals who are appointed to the roles are able to speak up for patients without fear of political interference. 

To read more, go to:


Seven day, 8am – 8pm, GP access for hard working people 

Hard working people will be able to see their GP seven days a week and out of office hours under new proposals set out by the Prime Minister for a first wave of GP groups offering extended opening hours across the country. 

The move will make it easier for people see their family doctor from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. It will help thousands who struggle to find GP appointments that fit in with their family and work life. 

To read more, go to:


Improving General Practice: A Call to Action and a Call for Evidence

Deadline: 31 October 2013 

GPs see over one million people every working day, the average patient visits their doctor just over five times a year, and the demand for services across the system, including general practice and wider primary care, continues to rise.

NHS England knows that general practice wants and needs to transform the way it provides services to address these challenges and at the beginning of August NHS England launched Improving General Practice – A Call To Action ( to help stimulate debate amongst GP practices, area teams, CCGs, health and wellbeing boards and other community partners as to how best to develop general practice services fit for the future.

Their aim is to enable general practice to play an even stronger role at the heart of more integrated out-of-hospital services that deliver better health outcomes, more personalised care, excellent patient experience and the most efficient possible use of NHS resources.  This forms part of the wider The NHS belongs to the people: a call to action ( that NHS England launched on 11 July 2013.

They know that there have been many projects within the voluntary and community sector over recent years that have looked at how general practice could be improved for different communities.  Whilst they are aware of many of these, they know there will be many more that they are currently unaware of.  They are therefore asking for your help in identifying evidence from around the country on how general practice might be improved, and especially any evidence that might help reduce health inequalities.

Please circulate this message through your networks and ask for any examples of good practice, research on how general practice could be improved etc. to be sent to by 31 October 2013


Mothers to have their say on maternity services in new friends and family test

NHS England has this week begun asking the Friends and Family Test (FFT) question in every NHS maternity unit across the country. The first results of FFT for maternity services will be announced towards the end of January 2014 when three months’ worth of feedback has been gathered and analysed. The test, where patients are asked if they would recommend the same service to a friend or family member – is already an integral part of A&E and acute inpatient units, providing patients with a platform to give their views and help shape better NHS services.

To read more, go to:


Call to Action - national events programme 

Following the recent seven day services conference, NHS England will launch a programme of national Call to Action events on 7 October with a workshop in Birmingham to discuss how the NHS can help people to live healthier lives, prevent illness and promote early diagnosis. 

Forthcoming events include: 

  • 11 November, Manchester - ‘Valuing mental and physical health’
  • December (date tbc), Bristol - ‘Putting patients in control’ 

If you have any questions about Call to Action, please email


Event: NHS Services, Seven Days a Week , Saturday 16th November 

NHS England and NHS Improving Quality will be holding a major event on Saturday 16 November, to support the publication of new insight and evidence from the review undertaken by the NHS Services, Seven Days a Week Forum. 

This event is open to the public, patients, carers, NHS England staff, health and social care organisations and voluntary organisations.  Early registration is encouraged to secure a delegate place 

For more information, including how to register, go to: 


Stoptober Stop Smoking Challenge Begins 

As thousands of people across the country began Stoptober on Tuesday 1st October– the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge –the latest data shows that the incidence of lung cancer continues to increase amongst women, whilst dropping for men. 

The research highlights an increasing focus on the impact that smoking is having on the health of women and young girls in the UK. 

See the full PHE Press Release here: and the Stoptober website here:


FaithAction ‘Friendly Places’ webpage 

FaithAction has produced a collection of articles, top tips, guidance and other resources to help faith groups to make practical and positive steps towards becoming more mental health friendly.

Access the Friendly Places webpage here: