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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 21

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URGENT! Dementia Challenge champion groups welcome your views

Two champion groups working as part of the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge are inviting views on how communities can be more dementia friendly, and how to improve health and care for people with dementia. You can make comments until 31 July 2012.

For further information, go to:

Consultation on funding allocations for independent mental health services

The Department of Health is asking for your views on options for distributing funding to local authorities for Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) services and the armed forces’ compensation disregard.

From April 2013 the statutory duty and funding for commissioning IMHA services will transfer to local authorities. These services are currently commissioned by primary care trusts.

This consultation runs until 7 September 2012. Please email responses to:

Consultation on new care objectives for improving health and healthcare

New objectives for the improvement of health and healthcare have been set out for public consultation. The consultation runs until 26 September.

For more information, go to:

Health scrutiny consultation

The Department of Health wants your views on proposed changes to local authority health scrutiny arrangements. The amendments are intended to strengthen accountability of NHS services and support effective service change. They are also intended to give local authorities greater freedom and flexibility in how they deliver their functions.

The consultation runs until 7 September. You can read the consultation document here and respond to the consultation via the dedicated website

Changes to Consultation guidelines

Anyone involved in commissioning services will know that an important part of that process is how you consult with people that might be affected by change. In making a consultation document, one of the most important things to consider has been the Code of Practice on Consultation that was developed in 2008.

The Code covered things like:-

  • Having a 12 week consultation process
  • Producing a clear consultation document
  • Scoping the impact of proposed changes
  • Minimising the level of consultation to reduce fatigue
  • Giving clear feedback

The 2008 code is now being replaced by Consultation Principles guidance that will come into effect in the Autumn of this year. The outlined principles will change the way that organisations carry out consultation.

Some of the changes include:-

  • Consultation can vary between 2 weeks and 12 weeks depending on impact
  • There will be presumption that consultation will be digital
  • Consideration should be given to informal consultation
  • There must be clear objectives to the consultation

Although this guidance is mainly aimed at the Cabinet Office and Government Departments it will have an impact on all bodies that are required to consult with the public.

(From: Birmingham Health & Wellbeing Board website)

Department of Health Voluntary Sector Joint Learning Event

11 September 2012 | 10:00 to 16:00
Venue: Central London

Social Care Reforms

This FREE joint learning event will give voluntary sector organisations an opportunity to get a better understanding of the reforms and their implications, to begin to frame some collective responses, and to support engagement with the consultation on the draft Bill.

Places are limited and they reserve the right to limit the number of places per organisation if the event becomes oversubscribed.

A programme for the day will be sent to delegates in advance of the event.

To reserve a place on this free event, please complete this booking form [36kB, DOC] and email it to

Public health transformation: learning event for voluntary and community sector organisations

Save the date: 29th October 2012 | 10.00 - 16.00
Venue: Central London

The Department of Health, Public Health England and the DH's voluntary sector strategic partners invite you to take part in a learning event on the public health reforms. This is an opportunity for voluntary and community sector organisations to inform the public health system's leaders and to hear from those leaders.

Discussion will include:
• Tackling the wider social determinants of health, through local planning and focusing on improving health outcomes.
• Mobilising the local health economy to identify, target and effectively meet the needs of excluded groups
• The multifaceted roles voluntary and community sector organisations can play in improving the quality and effectiveness of the public’s health.

Confirmed attendees include Duncan Selbie, chief executive designate of Public Health England and senior leaders from the voluntary and community sector and from local government.

Places are limited and they reserve the right to limit the number of places per organisation if the event becomes oversubscribed.

Please find booking form here [36kB, DOC]

A Healthier Perspective

Enhancing the commissioning potential of the voluntary and community sector to improve health outcomes for communities.

“A Healthier Perspective”, developed through a partnership between RAISE (one of RAWM's Regional Voices sister networks) NHS South of England and the Big Lottery Fund, aims to strengthen and transform that relationship between the voluntary sector and health and social care commissioners.

On Tuesday 17th July, the final ‘A Healthier Perspective’ event was held. To download the speakers’ presentation and the RAISE Toolkit which includes the project outcomes and findings, click here.

Or contact: Helen Rowland, Partnership Manager Email:

New report released - Volunteering: unlocking the real wealth of communities

In support of the vision for volunteering published by DH in October 2011, the Think Local, Act Personal Partnership has now released a new report – Volunteering: unlocking the real wealth of communities – in conjunction with their partners CSV, ADASS, In Control and SCIE.

The full report is available to download here [3.59mB]

Local Area Teams for the NHS Commissioning Board Authority

The first 16 appointments of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority 25 local area team directors have been made. Please see here [44kB, PDF] for more information.

A new development tool for health and wellbeing boards

The aim of this new tool is to enable health and wellbeing boards to go beyond assessing how ready the board is, towards how effective it is being in practice and how that effectiveness is enhanced over a period of time.

This tool aims to assist boards to explore their strengths and opportunities to improve and to inspire their ambition to develop a clear sense of purpose and an approach which will help transform services and outcomes for local people.

Find out more and download the tool here

Draft Care and Support Bill open for online comments

The government has announced the biggest reform of the care and support system since 1948. The White Paper, ‘Caring for our future: reforming care and support’ and the draft Care and Support Bill, also published, set out how the social care system will be transformed from a service that reacts to crises to one that focuses on prevention and is built around the needs and goals of people.

To read the White Paper, go to:

See a Regional Voices summary briefing here

The Department of Health is inviting online comments on the draft Care and Support Bill. You can comment on each clause of the Bill and answer questions. Your views will feed directly into the process of parliamentary scrutiny and will be used to assist and challenge the government in considering how to improve the proposals in the draft Bill.

You can post comments until 19 October 2012.

For further information, go to:

See a commentary blog on the Bill from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation here 

Care now and for the future: an inquiry into social care

This paper was written by the All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group in response to the care and support white paper and draft bill and it identifies a roadmap of practical reforms to prevent the social care system being placed on the critical list.

The paper makes recommendations on what can be done between now and 2015 to reform the care system and meet current funding challenges.

Government publishes progress report on social care funding reform

The government has published a progress report on social care funding reform – ‘Caring for our future: progress report on funding reform’.

The report sets out that the government agrees the principles of the Dilnot Commission’s model – financial protection through capped costs and an extended means test – would be the right basis for any new funding model.

To find out more, go to:

Only 52% of young people comfortable talking to GP about mental health

A study in Brighton and Hove has found that only 52% of young people aged 16–25 would feel comfortable talking to their GP about their emotional or mental health.

The study assessed young people’s experiences of visiting their GP, to identify improvements that could be made to their emotional and mental health services. The Brighton and Hove CCG is now working in partnership with Right Here to encourage changes to how GPs respond to young people’s emotional and mental health, based on the report’s findings.

Read more and download the study here

Cancer early diagnosis campaigns

To support the Government's priority to achieve better cancer outcomes, the Department is continuing to implement a series of public awareness campaigns.

This letter from Mike Richards, National Cancer Director, outlines the plans for the rest of 2012/13. It includes a further national bowel cancer awareness campaign running for four weeks from 28 August 2012, along with headline results of the first national bowel cancer awareness campaign that ran from the end of January 2012.

To find out more, go to:

Health information, health structures and patient involvement

Over the past three years the National Children's Bureau (NCB) has run a series of health consultations with 79 children and young people from around England. With the support and advice of the delegates we have summarised the recommendations from the five events into a clear and concise document containing the young people's views and the implications for the health structures involved.

It can be found here

New NCB Policy briefings

The Power of Information briefing summarises the key measures and messages set out in the Department of Health information strategy. It sets this against what children and young people have told us about these issues and comments on the potential implications for children and young people and voluntary and community sector organisations that support them.

The New Public Health System briefing describes the new public health system which is being developed alongside the reformed NHS. It focuses on the new roles of local authorities and Public Health England, and offers analysis of potential impacts on children and young people and voluntary and community sector organisations that support them.

Both briefings can also be found on the NCB website here

Informatics: The Future

Used effectively, information will empower patients and other service users, and enable a culture of shared decision-making. It will facilitate and drive integration across care settings and inform health and well-being strategies that best meet the needs of local communities. It will also help to generate greater efficiencies and productivity across health and social care.

To support this, the future policy, strategy and delivery structures for informatics have been agreed.

See the strategy here or find out more at