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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 8

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URGENT NHS Future Forum webchat
9am, Tuesday 8th November

Take part in the education and training webchat

If you would like to join the NHS Future Forum’s conversation on education and training, forum lead Julie Moore will be taking part in a webchat on Tuesday 8 November at 9am.

The Future Forum is looking at several issues around education and training, including:

  • how to ensure that education and training in the new system is flexible and fit-for-purpose for the new way that care is delivered and enables training beyond the job
  • how to ensure an effective partnership with health, education and research at a local level
  • how to ensure appropriate and effective patient and public engagement
  • how to improve information on the quality of education and training.

If you can’t join in live on the day, you can also submit questions or comments by the form at the end of the webchat page.



Health and Social Care Bill explained

If you want to find out more about the Health and Social Care Bill, have a look at these fact sheets. They explain the key themes in the Bill, include case studies and answer frequently asked questions.



Strategic vision for volunteering

The Strategic Vision for Volunteering sets out the Government’s long-term vision for volunteering and social action.

Social action for health and well-being: building co-operative communities builds on work with key partners across the voluntary sector, local government, NHS and the trade unions. This updated vision reflects health, public health and social care reforms.

It highlights the valuable contribution volunteering and wider social action makes to every sphere of health, public health and social care, including prevention, the creation of people-centred and relationship-based services and improved patient and service user experience.

Download a copy from the DoH's website.



Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund (HSCVF)

ECORYS and Department of Health are pleased to announce the launch of the second Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund (HSCVF) national grant scheme 2012 and a bespoke partner search portal that will support interested organisations find appropriate partners to meet the fund’s requirements.

The programme has been designed to increase investment in volunteering in health, public health and social care. The programme supports health service priorities and feeds into the recently launched Department of Health's Strategic Vision for Volunteering (see above).

Projects that focus on volunteer involvement in key health, public health and social care areas such as personal budgets, cutting smoking and encouraging healthy eating will be targeted as part of this national fund that will run over the next three years.

Find out more about the fund on the volunteering fund website or contact ECORYS by telephone: 0845 172 8058 for further information and help with the application process.



NHS Future Forum wants your views on integrated care
Two webchats in November

The second phase of the NHS Future Forum continues to listen and engage with a wide range of patients, public, NHS staff and partners. This phase is looking at four distinct areas of policy:

  • information
  • integration
  • education and training
  • the NHS’s role in the public’s health

The recommendations from each workstream will help inform policy development in the Department of Health.

The independent Forum is made up of 55 members chosen for their relevant experience and background. The integrated care workstream is led by GP Robert Varnam and Geoff Alltimes, Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham. The workstream is particularly interested in how the needs of the following three groups can be better met by the health and social care system:

  • the frail elderly with multiple long term conditions
  • children with complex needs
  • adults with long term mental health problems

Robert and Geoff are holding two webchats about integrated care on 2 and 17 November 2011. Find out more information about the webchats.



Priorities for social care reform

The Department of Health has launched a period of engagement with people who use care and support services – carers, local councils, care providers and the voluntary sector – to discuss priorities for improving the care and support system.

Caring for our future: shared ambitions for care and support began on 15 September and will last until 2 December. It will be followed up by a White paper in spring 2012, alongside a progress report on funding reform, with a view to legislating at the earliest opportunity.

For more information or to feed in your views, please visit the Department of Health website.



Personal health budgets pilot – the story so far

In a new DVD, people in the Department of Health’s personal health budgets pilot programme share their experiences so far. They describe in their own words what the process is like, what they spend their money on and how they decided on this. The stories also include the perspectives of family carers and health care professionals. The stories illustrate the kind of choices people can make if they have a personal health budget, and the positive impact it can have on their health and lives.

The DVD contains eight films, and includes an introduction by Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow. For more information go to:



New partnerships, new opportunities - A resource to assist setting up and running Health and wellbeing Boards – Executive summary

The Local Government Group, with the Department of Health, has published New partnerships, new opportunities – a resource to assist setting up and running health and wellbeing boards.

Download the executive summary [733kB, PDF]
Download a short version of the case studies [658k, PDF]

The full version (with the full case studies) is available to download from



Grandparent Carers - new research from Age UK Wirral

Research has been carried out by Age UK Wirral on grandparent carers, which highlights the high level of issues faced by those who care full time for grandchildren. These include:

  • Emotional –dealing with their own emotions, and those of other family members
  • Cost – both the financial cost, emotional cost and physical cost
  • Fear – of what is going to happen now and in the future
  • Confusion / Insecurity – about how processes work and whether or not they will work in the way that they are supposed to.

Download the report [3.3mB, PDF].



European Year of Volunteering 2011

As part of European Year of Volunteering 2011 Age UK is doing several activities that you might be interested in.


  1. They are writing a Guide to Volunteering in Health and Social Care. For this, they are asking for volunteer role profiles which support the health and social care needs of older people. The deadline for submission of roles is 18 November.
  2. Age UK are coordinating a one-off awards scheme for volunteers who deliver health and social care services to older people. Deadline for submission 25 November.

Download volunteer role template [121kB, DOC]
Download awards nomination form [117kB, DOC]
Download awards guidance notes [123kB, DOC]

Age UK welcome entries from statutory/health services who involve volunteers as well as charities and community groups.

Please send entries direct to



Cold Weather Plan

The Cold weather plan for England, which aims to protect people’s health throughout the cold winter months, was launched on 2nd November – the official start of winter.

The cross-Government initiative reminds all local communities and the NHS how best to prepare to keep people healthy and warm in their homes.

Find out more information on the DoH website.



NHS Commissioning Board Authority goes live

The NHS Commissioning Board Authority, a special health authority and the shadow form of the NHS Commissioning Board (the Board), is now in operation.

Subject to the successful passage of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011 through Parliament, over the next 12 months the Board Authority will focus on designing an innovative business model for the Board, which puts patients and clinical leadership at its heart.

It will also work in partnership with clinical commissioning group leaders, GPs and the Department of Health to agree the method for establishing, authorising and running clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Find out more and watch Sir David Nicholson speaking about the NHS Commissioning Board on the NHS Commissioning Board Authority website.



GPs go into action for carers

A new guide to help GPs and their teams provide improved support to carers is launched today by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Supporting Carers: An Action Guide for General Practitioners and Their Teams offers advice on identifying carers, understanding their needs and involving them in the planning of care, along with real-life case studies and practical tools to help practice teams in their work.