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National e-connect newsletter

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Social care: the forthcoming Green Paper on older people (England)

This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides background on the forthcoming Green Paper on social care for older people – there will be a “parallel process” of work looking at social care for working age adults (although it is not clear at this stage if there will be a Green Paper covering this group).

Issues facing providers of social care at home to older residents in rural England

This study by the Rural England CIC points to the lower density of populations in rural areas preventing economies of scale in home care, the ‘penalty of distance’ in which health and care services are often further away and inaccessible by bus, and the fact that home care staff are often not paid travelling time despite having to travel further than in urban areas.

People in rural areas may often face a higher prevalence of fuel poverty and isolation.

The report says that, without action, vast numbers of vulnerable individuals risk being left without services. Rural councils pay on average 13 per cent more than urban ones when commissioning adult social care services. It calls for greater focus on rural-proofing in sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and for rural issues to be taken into account in the forthcoming green paper on adult social care.

You can read the full report here

You can read a summary of the report here

Policies for healthy lives: a look beyond Brexit

The Health Foundation invited contributors with expertise in public health, employment standards, local government, consumer rights and food policy to share their insights on the potential risks and challenges ahead.

This collection brings their essays together.

The UK’s departure from the EU will have significant and wide-ranging implications for national laws and regulations. This profound shift in the policy landscape presents risks that must be mitigated, but also provides potential opportunities for policymakers across all sectors to collaborate on a major rethink of the UK’s approach to improving the health of its population, through the adoption of a health-in-all-policies approach.

For more information go to the Foundation’s website

Reimagining community services: making the most of our assets

This report by the Kings Fund describes the importance of community services. It points out that community providers tend to respond to financial pressures by cutting costs rather than running deficits and this could adversely affect the quality of care.

The Kings Fund argues that NHS England should publish a five year forward view for community services and the sector should be a priority for additional NHS funding to redress the balance with the acute sector.

Similar plans should also be created for mental health and general practice.

You can read the full report here

You can read a summary of the report here

Funding boost for new mums’ mental health

The NHS has confirmed that extra funding will be made available to improve the mental health of at least 3,000 pregnant women and those who have recently given birth.

The £23 million funding is part of a major programme of improvement and investment by NHS England which will see a total of 30,000 additional women getting specialist mental health care, in person and through online consultations including over skype, during the early stages of motherhood, supported by a total of £365m, by 2021.

Perinatal mental ill health affects up to 20 per cent of women during pregnancy and in their first year after giving birth. As well as being crucial to new mothers, newborns and their families, perinatal services, alongside other treatments for common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, can play an important role in ensuring mental health is integrated into overall healthcare at the earliest possible stage of life.

Perinatal mental health – wellbeing related to pregnancy and the first year of motherhood – has become an increasingly prominent issue in recent years, with high-profile figures including the Duchess of Cambridge speaking out about its impact.

For more information go to the NHS England website

State of the Nation: stroke statistics

Stroke is a sudden and devastating illness – however, many people are unaware of its widespread impact.

The Stroke Association’s State of the Nation report is a definitive, up-to-date, evidence-based and easy-to-understand set of statistics relating to stroke. It includes statistics on:

  • incidence
  • mortality
  • prevalence
  • risk factors
  • stroke treatment and care
  • the impact on the lives of stroke survivors.

The report reveals that in the UK almost two thirds (65%) of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability. Around three quarters of stroke survivors have arm or leg weakness, around 60% have visual problems and around a half have difficulty swallowing and loss of bladder control. Communication is also affected in around a third of stroke survivors.

You can download the report as a pdf here

Heritage Lottery Fund – future direction and funding. Deadline 22nd March

HLF is consulting on its role, vision and funding priorities for the next five years.

A unique opportunity is now open for everyone who cares about the UK’s extraordinary heritage to give their views on HLF’s plans for the future.

They support projects that range from restoring natural landscapes to rescuing neglected buildings: from recording diverse community histories to providing life-changing training.

They now want to know what people think their role, vision and priorities should be as the UK’s biggest funder of heritage during the next strategic funding framework – the period from 2019-2024.

Comments are being invited on a proposed new approach including targeted funding campaigns, repayable loans and public involvement in decision-making, all of which could have a role over the next five years in ensuring the most effective use of National Lottery money to support the UK’s heritage.

Click here for more information

Click here to contribute

Volunteering in general practice: Opportunities and insights

Interest is growing in the contribution that volunteering can make in health and social care. This paper builds on previous work, which examined volunteering in hospitals, to explore ways in which volunteers are involved with, and are contributing to, general practice.
The authors identified four approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice: use of volunteers to enable general practice to carry out its activities; organisations using volunteer support that were located within general practice premises; social prescribing; and community-centred general practices.
To download the report as a pdf go to the King’s Fund website

Charity regulator’s response to concerns about Oxfam

The Charity Commission has made the following statement in response to concerns raised in the media regarding Oxfam:

The allegations reported in the media have absolutely no place in society, and are made all the more shocking by the alleged involvement of charity workers. Charities are rightly held to the highest standards.

In August 2011, Oxfam made a report to the Commission about an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by staff members involved in their Haiti programme. It explained that the misconduct related to inappropriate sexual behaviour, bullying, harassment and the intimidation of staff. The report to us stated there had been no allegations, or evidence, of any abuse of beneficiaries. It also made no mention of any potential sexual crimes involving minors. Our approach to this matter would have been different had the full details that have been reported been disclosed to us at the time.

We have written to the charity as a matter of urgency to request further information regarding the events in Haiti in 2011 to establish greater clarity on this matter. This includes a timeline of events, information about when the charity was made aware of specific allegations and the detail of the investigation’s findings and conclusions. This information will be considered as part of an ongoing case regarding the charity’s approach to safeguarding.

It is important that charities engage with the regulator frankly and openly. We must fully understand the allegations that have been made to ensure that we have confidence in the charity’s approach to safeguarding now and in the future.

A report of the Commission’s ongoing case into Oxfam from December 2017 can be found on the Government website