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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 42

Young man looking for web design resources online with close-up of his hand on the mouse.

Event: Mental health listening event, Dudley, Wed Jan 8th 2014

What’s your experience of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust?
Do you access services or care for someone who does?
Are local mental health services... Safe? Effective? Caring? Well led? Responsive to your needs?

Your views are important, please come and join an informal discussion group run by Healthwatch Dudley on:
Wednesday January 8th 2014 - 11am – 1pm
Bank Street Methodist Church
Brierley Hill DY5 3DA

Refreshments will be available and places must be booked in advance:
or by calling Ali on: 03000 111 001


European Structural Funds, health equity and the voluntary sector

In the context of another seven years round of European Structural Funds (2014-2020), Equity Action has just release a report Health Equity and Regional Development in the EU- Applying EU Structural Funds.

The work of Equity Action (a EU funded collaboration between 15 European Member States and Norway, non governmental bodies and the European Commission) would like to see health equity become a cross cutting theme across ESF activities in the next round of funding. Social inclusion is an important aspect of ESF- and Equity Action argue that economic growth cannot be inclusive without more health equity. Key aspects of the funds are for job creation and poverty reduction.

In partnership with the Department of Health, Equity Action has also produced a briefing for Directors of Public Health about ESF. Regional Voices is exploring the role of the voluntary sector in promoting work on health equity in local plans for ESF.

Full article here

State of the Nation Report on dementia care and support and a supporting interactive map of variation

The Department of Health has published a State of the Nation Report on dementia care and support and a supporting interactive map of variation.

They include published data from a range of organisations and set out, in one place, what we currently know about the state of dementia care, support and research across England, based on available national data. The Report and map highlight where improvements are being made and where we can see progress, but they also highlight areas where we need to improve, including where we need better data.

The Report and map are available here

Learning disabilities good practice project report

Published on 28th November, this report gives people who commission, design and deliver services a better understanding of how to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.

To read the report, go here

Consultation on independent sector providers carrying out termination of pregnancy

The Department of Health is consulting on a further updated set of required standing operating procedures for independent sector providers carrying out termination of pregnancy.

The consultation closes on 17th January 2014.

For more information, go here

Friends and Family test

Tim Kelsey, NHS England Director for Patients and Information, has written to NHS Chief Executives, Directors of Nursing and HR, outlining the Friends and Family Test next steps and thanking all involved for their part in continuing to ensure that patients’ voices are both heard and acted upon.

Read the letter here

Health and Care Innovation Expo 2014

The most important health and care event of 2014 - at the Manchester Central on 3 and 4 March.

Over two days Innovation Expo’s fast-paced interactive programme will bring together more than 10,000 people from across health and care who want to improve NHS and care services for patients. Expo, which will focus on theme of integrated care, will be a turning point for many people in their professional lives, giving them the inspiration and tools they can use to improve health outcomes for everyone.

More information here

The National Learning Disabilities Awards 2014

Friday 16th May 2014, Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham

The National Learning Disabilities Awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to those individuals or organisation who excel in providing quality care.

Read more and download a nomination form here

Ombudsman to offer better public redress service

An independent review, published on 29 November 2013, recommends that the government reforms the Local Government Ombudsman, which deals with poor council services.

The independent review also recommends that consideration be given to the creation of a single public services ombudsman for England. Establishing a 1-stop-shop for problems or complaints will make it easier for the public to register complaints and seek redress.

Read more here

Green Light Toolkit to improve mental health services for People with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism

The Green Light Toolkit to improve mental health services for People with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism was launched by the Department for Health at 'Learning Disabilities Today' in London on 28th November 2013.

More information here



Making health and social care information accessible:
Have your say

NHS England is seeking views from health and social care professionals on a new accessible information project. The project aims to develop guidance which will tell organisations how they should ensure that disabled patients and carers receive information in languages and formats that they can understand, and receive appropriate support to help them to communicate.

More information here

NHS England sets out how it will assure commissioners are best meeting the needs of local people

NHS England has now published assurance frameworks for CCGs and direct commissioners. The frameworks set out how NHS England will assure that CCGs and NHS England’s own direct commissioning functions are operating effectively to commission safe, high quality and sustainable services within their resources.

Read more here


Children and Young People’s Mental Health

The Young People’s Health Partnership would like to draw your attention to an important report published this week by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.

'Overlooked and forgotten: a review of how well children and young people's mental health is prioritised in the current commissioning landscape' is based on a review of 145 Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and 142 Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs).

Key findings include:
• 1 in 3 JHWSs don't prioritise children and young people’s mental health
• 2 in 3 JSNAs do not measure levels of children and young people’s mental health needs locally
• 2 out of 3 JSNAs do not have a section that specifically addresses children and young people’s mental health needs
• Data about the mental health needs of 16-25 year old young adults is especially limited in JSNAs
• Data most commonly used to estimate prevalence of mental health need is almost a decade old

Read the full report here



When the wisdom of crowds meets the kindness of strangers: why patient and citizen participation is fundamental to high quality health and care services – Tim Kelsey

When patients are ignored, they are most at risk; that was the central conclusion of the report by Robert Francis into Stafford hospital. Don Berwick, in his safety review, said the NHS should be ‘engaging, empowering and hearing patients and theirs carers all the time’. The most important goal of a modern health service is to listen and act: this is the essence of care – and to do so transparently so that poor patient experience does not go undetected and excellence can be celebrated.

Further information here



Nursing Technology Fund Launched

NHS England is inviting applications to its Nursing Technology Fund, which is £100m of funding uniquely available to support nurse and midwife-led activities, announced by the Prime Minister in October 2012. The first round of funding (£30m) is open to applications until midday on Wednesday 15 January 2014.

Find out more here

Community pharmacy – a stronger role in the NHS

NHS England recognises the immense value community pharmacy can contribute to patient care and health outcomes. Community pharmacy teams are invited to play a stronger role and to influence the future sustainability of the NHS by joining the debate.

Please take a look at Improving care through community pharmacy – a call to action and feedback or email comments to

Read more here

Survey of voluntary sector engagement with the health and wellbeing boards

Regional Voices has published the results from a recent survey of the voluntary sector around engagement with the health and wellbeing boards. 434 people responded sharing their experiences from across England.

Specific questions were asked of voluntary and community sector (VCS) representatives on health and wellbeing boards (HWB), Healthwatch reps on the boards and to the wider VCS, interested in engaging with the HWB. Thank you to everyone who took the time to take part in this survey about voluntary sector involvement with local health and wellbeing boards- responses have been incredibly useful- for shaping support and for lobbying.

Link to an article which includes a summary of the results and recommendations for VCS reps, Healthwatch reps, health and wellbeing boards, infrastructure organisations and national health bodies

Symposium events - Realising Social Value: meaning, methods, measurement

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) and FaithAction are inviting registrations for two FREE symposium events on Realising Social Value: meaning, methods, measurement in:
• London (25 February) - book online here 
• Birmingham (13 March) - book online here

These events are part of NCB and FaithAction's 'Commissioning for Equality' programme funded by the Department of Health.

The programme supports third sector equalities organisations working with children, young people and families, including faith-based, to effectively engage in the new health commissioning environment. Delegates will learn the meaning and importance of social value; commissioner and voluntary organisation perspectives on the advantages and challenges of using social value as a measurement; and how to embed a culture of demonstrating social value in their work.

An event flyer can be accessed here

Learning report on ‘Dementia in black and minority ethnic communities: Meeting the challenge’.

Findings from a one day event from Age UK and the Race Equality Foundation

This report outlines the learning from a one-day event, run jointly by Age UK and the Race Equality Foundation. The event brought together practitioners from across the voluntary, community and statutory sectors to explore ways to deliver better support to black and minority ethnic older people living with dementia. It was funded by the Department of Health as part of their Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme.

The report summarises the issues that speakers and participants raised, setting out examples of good practice for statutory services, the voluntary sector and individuals to support black and minority people living with dementia.

The learning event also saw the launch of a new briefing paper, ‘Black and minority ethnic communities and dementia: Where are we now?’. The paper was produced by David Truswell for the Race Equality Foundation’s Better Health briefing collection. It not only models the number of people living with dementia in the UK from different ethnic backgrounds, but also proposes potentially cost-saving strategies for the care and support of these individuals.