-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

02 Strategic partner updates February 2015

25 February 2015

Health and Social Care update from our work as Strategic Partner to the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England

Disability Rights UK heads up a user-led consortium as one of 22 strategic partners in the voluntary sector. Our name is ‘Win-Win Alliance – disabled people leading change’. This programme is commissioned by our system partners, the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. As strategic partner we are well placed to raise particular challenges facing our members of disabled people’s user-led organisations. We also ensure that information and opportunities to engage with system partners reach our members through this and other updates, forums, meetings and discussions, and we regularly inform about funding opportunities (which you may pursue with or without Disability Rights UK). This month we particularly invite our members’ contributions to a new research & development project on ‘user-driven commissioning. For any comments and/or ideas about how to strengthen ‘disabled people leading change’, please get in touch with Bernd.Sass@disabilityrightsuk.org 

Do you want to be part of research to learn from the disability movement ‘what makes change happen?’

Disability Rights UK is about to deliver a workshop on ‘learning from the disability movement to unleash the power of lived experience and peer-to-peer communities’. This is part of a national event about personalisation and integration on 24th February. We will present and discuss examples from our own projects and those of members and networks, such as SPECTRUM Southampton and Peer Support North East, Gateshead.

Our next step is to take user-driven commissioning further and focus in different local areas in England on specific aspects of our approach: 1) pooling personal (health) budgets; 2) de-/re-commissioning of services; 3) making peer support an integrated element of commissioned care pathways (including the necessary infrastructure support). With some support of the Strategic Partnership Programme and an ESRC grant we want to focus on ‘what makes change happen?’ If we co-produce projects, can we disabled people have a positive impact on professionals? How does this happen?

Maybe your DPULO is already involved with the local Clinical Commissioning Group or Adult Social Care department – say on co-producing experience and outcome measures that would be written into provider contracts to determine (to an extent) the payment of these providers. Or peer support is really about to take off from a well resourced and supported basis in your local area?

If you would like to work with us on any such projects in the future or simply showcase what you have done, please get in touch with Bernd Sass at Disability Rights UK bernd.sass@disabilityrightsuk.org . Or call him directly on 07906 521536.

Further specific news

Open and Transparent Healthcare events

NHS England are holding events aimed at patient groups, charities and the voluntary sector to explore how they can shape our health service to be open and transparent which enables patient choice, and empowers patients.

They will showcase transparency initiatives that make information accessible to everyone and help patients find out how their services are performing. They will also discuss the potential benefits of opening up performance information to help the public make the best decisions they can.

The workshop is scheduled for - please visit these links to book your place:

26/02/2015 – Town Hall, Leeds (http://www.events.england.nhs.uk/all/435)

05/03/2015 – Brighthelm Centre, Brighton (Bernd Sass from Disability Rights UK will attend this event) (http://www.events.england.nhs.uk/all/442) 

Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund

The Department of Health's 'Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund' is now open. The IESD Fund provides funding from one to three years to support proposals in the health and care field. The available funding is limited and to be successful, organisations will need to have a clear focus in their applications on how their proposals would support and drive forward new ideas, disseminate and replicate excellence or undertake strategic developments in voluntary sector capacity and/or capability in health and care. The Fund is open for applications for projects to start in September 2015 or later; we cannot accept applications after the closing date, which is at Noon on 27th March 2015 (Please note that an initial registration and eligibility process must be completed by Noon on 13th March 2015). For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/iesd-voluntary-sector-funding-for-health-and-care-projects 

Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund: phase 2 open for bids

Applications are now open for phase 2 of the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH). Specialist housing developers and providers are being invited to bid for a share of an additional fund of up to £155 million to develop accommodation for adults who need support in order to live independently, be it due to old age or disability. This phase of the CASSH fund will prioritise applications for housing for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues. For more information, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/care-and-support-specialised-housing-fund-phase-2-open-for-bids 

Joint review of health and care sector investment in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector
Disability Rights UK are involved in the VCSE Review through the Strategic Partners Programme. The review is currently being conducted by Department of Health, NHS England, Public Health England and the VCSE sector. We have aired our dissatisfaction that there is no direct representation of the user-led sector and its specific demands. We are a substantial and distinct subset of the VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises sector), yet time and again we miss out in majority votes because our interests are not the same as those of (mostly larger) provider charities. The review will assess the impact upon the VCSE sector of government and statutory sector funding, commissioning and partnerships and to consider whether changes are required which would better support the:

  • demonstrable contribution of the VCSE sector to achieving health and wellbeing goals;
  • capacity and sustainability of the sector; 
  • independence, inclusivity and diversity of the sector, including its ability to promote equality and provide an effective voice for the most disadvantaged in society.

The review will make recommendations about maximising the value of the £25m central grant programme. It will also consider the impact of cross-government spending on the VCSE health and care sector and on local relationships between VCSE organisations and Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards, councils and other statutory bodies.  It will also consider the broader social, economic and political context in which the VCSE now operates, taking account of the current state of the sector, the impact of austerity and other relevant factors.

The advisory group will present a report to Ministers in spring 2015 with recommendations on how they can best support the VCSE sector during the new Parliament.  We want to encourage as many and as wide a range of kinds of VCSE organisation as possible to engage with and feed into the review.

How to get involved:
1. Contribute your thoughts online at VCSE review website.  You can leave comments or submit proposed guest blogs.
2. The review advisory group are happy to talk at events or meetings and to contribute articles to newsletters and bulletins. Please contact Emma Easton to discuss.
3. Submit evidence, case studies or research papers on the VCSE review website or contact Tricia Rich.

A more detailed briefing on the purpose of and approach taken by the review is available on the VCSE review website.

Updating the NHS Constitution - Consultation closes on 11 March 2015

The NHS Constitution sets out:

  • rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled
  • responsibilities owed to each other to ensure the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

This consultation proposes to amend the NHS Constitution to respond to recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC and to:

  • give greater prominence to mental health
  • reflect the importance of access to transparent and comparable data
  • include the Armed Forces Covenant
  • reflect the new fundamental standards in April 2015

To read more and respond, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/updating-the-nhs-constitution

Plans for new legal protection for NHS whistleblowers

A new report on progress made across the health system has been published, along with plans to protect those who speak up about poor care.

To read more, go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-for-new-legal-protection-for-nhs-whistleblowers

Latest Assuring Transformation data published

NHS England has published the latest quarterly Assuring Transformation data that tracks progress on moving people with learning disabilities and/or autism from in-patient to community settings. Latest figures show a reduction in the overall number of people with learning disabilities and /or autism in in-patient settings. This follows the publication of the Next Steps report, developed to improve services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism over the coming months. Disability Rights UK and partner CHANGE have voiced strong concerns that – whilst there is some movement into and out of Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs) in particular – overall numbers have not decreased as has been a clear target of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Partnership workstreams. There are a number of practical barriers, including lack of access to independent advocacy (unlike for people with mental health problems under the Mental Health Act), which hinder learning disabled people to leave institutions and live independently. 

New GP workforce action plan

NHS England is investing £10 million to kick start a plan to expand the General Practice (GP) workforce. NHS England funding will be used to develop a range of initiatives in collaboration with Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association to increase the number of GPs and develop the role of other primary care staff such as nurses and pharmacists.

To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/01/26/boost-gp-workforce/ 

‘The Smear Test Film’

I also wanted to update you about a new film resource called ‘The Smear Test Film’. It has been made by Public Health England in association with Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. Professional guidance and support in the development of this resource was provided by the Better Health Team for Learning Disabilities at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Women with learning disabilities are 45% less likely to attend cervical screening compared to women without learning disabilities. This film has been made to help address those inequalities and to help women make a decision about whether to attend their smear test invitation. It has been designed and made by women who have learning disabilities and aims to give women and their carers information about smear tests and their role in preventing cervical cancer.

This is the YouTube link for the resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxapKFPDwjg.

The website page is here: http://www.jostrust.org.uk/videos/smear-test-film .

A DVD of the resource can be ordered for website at a cost of £3.00 which covers postage and packaging.

New tools available to help care for people with long term conditions

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s Director for Patients with Long Term Conditions, has welcomed the publication of three new handbooks aimed at supporting commissioners and practitioners in planning services for people with long term conditions in order to achieve more effective, personalised care. To read more, go to: http://www.england.nhs.uk/resources/resources-for-ccgs/out-frwrk/dom-2/ltc-care/ 

Update on Age UK work to reduce ‘winter pressures’ in hospitals

The Cabinet Office has approved plans to fund a programme, jointly conceived by Age UK, British Red Cross and the Royal Voluntary Service, which is designed to relieve pressures on hospitals during the winter months. Local Age UKs will receive a share of £500,000 to work with hospitals that have the most problems with delayed discharges and hospital admissions among older people. The programme, which will run for the next 12 weeks, will reach an estimated 10,000 older people.

We have called Age UK for involving local patient- and user-led organisations in this initiative in order ‘not to re-invent the wheel’ but learn from the grassroots level. We will see if in some areas Age UK (and the Cabinet Office) will be taking up this invitation, in particular as so many pressures are not just occurring in winter and can also be mitigated by better information and support between (disabled) peers. For further information and to signal your interest in local co-production, please contact Emma Bingham at Age UK: emma.bingham@ageuk.org.uk