Newswire - ASEver the poor relation for NHS funding -  A recent Audit Scotland report - Overview of mental health services - says that up to 850,000 people experience mental health (MH) problems at any one time in Scotland. They can affect anyone, but some people are at higher risk, such as those living in deprived areas.

The NHS spends about £930m a year on MH services but this is likely to be an underestimate and it is not known how much councils spend. The wider costs to society of MH problems, such as people not being able to work, bring the total estimated cost to over £8bn a year.

MH care has changed significantly in the past 10 years, with more people receiving treatment in the community and a greater focus on helping people to recover from mental health problems. The report shows that there are long waits to access certain services, particularly services for younger & older people, and there is a lack of out-of-hours & crisis services in some areas.
Press release ~ Audit Scotland ~ Podcast ~ Main report ~ Key messages ~ Appendix 3 - Self-assessment checklist ~ Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland ~ WellScotland ~ Mental Health indicators ~ Scottish Association of Mental Health ~ See Me Scotland ~ Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid ~ Mental Health tribunal Scotland ~ Mental Health Foundation in Scotland

CQCFighting for the rights of those who cannot fight - A Coventry care home owner has been fined £1,666 in the first prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The case marks the first prosecution brought by CQC, the regulator for health & adult social care in England. 

Action was taken against the home owner (Greentree Enterprises Limited) after it failed to put right the problems relating to the home's management of medicines.  Multiple & repeated errors were seen and in one instance a resident did not receive any pain-relieving medication for three days.

Two days before the hearing at Coventry Magistrates Court CQC inspectors carried out an unannounced inspection at the home, which cares for older people, and found the previous problems had been rectified.
Press release ~ Care Quality Commission (CQC)

VSO:   Education is a primary key to a better life - To ensure thousands of children across many of the developing countries VSO work in have access to quality education, VSO needs qualified primary school teachers with at least two years’ experience, to volunteer their time & expertise in countries such as Malawi, Nepal and Nigeria. By sharing skills with local teachers,  VSO volunteers will ensure the continued provision of quality child-centred education.

Primary school teachers who applied in time for the May 2009 deadline could be on placement by September, providing invaluable in-service teacher training. Volunteers will work with a cluster of schools and serving teachers, most of whom will have had minimal teacher training.

Volunteers are expected to observe teachers, run workshops, help teachers develop educational materials using local resources and, in general, focus on helping teachers use participatory, child-centred teaching methods to meet basic educational needs. VSO’s education volunteers are committed to supporting 2000’s Millennium Development Goal that all children of primary school age should have access to quality education by 2015.

VSO also relies on a diverse wealth of knowledge & experience from senior educationalists & school leaders, with many rewarding roles for senior management now available.  This very experience led volunteers Deb Jordan and David Spinney to develop the Higher Diploma Programme to improve the skills of all teacher trainers in Ethiopia; a country where 47% of children don’t go to school.  Six years on, around 3,500 teacher trainers have undertaken the programme to the ultimate benefit of over 1m children, all because of 2 VSO volunteers.

VSO provides volunteers with flights, accommodation and an allowance to cover basic costs. UK public sector professionals volunteering for between 6 -24 months are entitled to claim pension contributions providing they return to the public sector for a minimum of 6 months on their return to the UK. 
Press release ~ VSO – Volunteering for Education ~ VSO – Education ~ Millennium Development Goal - Education ~ The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 ~ Global Campaign for Education ~ What Makes Teachers Tick?

DWPEnd of the Sick Note culture? - A new medical 'Fit Note' to replace the current 'Sick Note' and help more people stay in work rather than drift into long term sickness has been unveiled along with a 12 week consultation (closes on 19 August 2009) on its design.  The new 'fit note' is intended to enable people to ‘get the best possible advice about staying in work, and if they can't work what their employer can do to help them return to work sooner’.

For example, if the employee has a problem with mobility, suggesting a job where they can work sitting down rather than standing up.  Developed with the support of healthcare professionals, employer representatives and trade unions, the new 'fit notes' will roll-out across Great Britain in the Spring of 2010.

Under the new system 'fit notes' will be computer-generated in GPs surgeries, replacing the current hand written version.  The introduction of the 'fit note' forms part of the Government's response to Dame Carol Black's report (March 2008) into the health of Britain's working age population.

Key Statistics
* Cost to the British economy of working age ill-health is over £100bn each year
* Absences that last over 4 weeks make up around 40% of days lost to absence (CBI survey)
* 34m days lost in 2007/08 to work-related illness (official data)
* 2.6m people on incapacity benefits in May 2008 (latest data)
Press release ~ Consultation: Reforming the Medical Statement ~ Fit for Work Service pilots ~ Access to Work ~ Dame Carol Black – ‘Working for a healthier Tomorrow’ ~ Health Work and Well-being ~ 'Improving health and work: changing lives' ~ Acas Advisory booklet - Managing attendance and employee turnover ~ HSE: Working together to prevent sickness absence becoming job loss ~ NICE: Management of long-term sickness and incapacity for work

Industry NewsAvoidance of Systemic Failure with Process Mining - On 13th May 2009, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report showing systemic failings in the healthcare provided by NHS trusts to Baby Peter, who had 34 recorded contacts with health professional in his all too short life.

CQC Chief Executive Cynthia Bower said:   "This is a story about the failure of basic systems. There were clear reasons to have concern for this child but the response was simply not fast enough or smart enough. .............  Concerns were not properly identified, heard or acted upon."

'Process Mining' is a concept which enables public sector service providers to create process models and mine process data from logs of their existing information systems, automatically producing a process map to immediately identify the bottlenecks and any non-compliance issues.

Once implemented, the revised processes can then be used to show efficiencies, constantly monitor performance and/or automatically highlight variances from the norm, prompting remedial action and avoiding delays or errors in service provision. In addition, it facilitates direction of limited resources to areas of most need.  To receive your free White Paper'Process Discovery through Process Mining' - simply click HERE.
CQC press release ~ Review of the involvement and action taken by health bodies in relation to the case of Baby P ~ Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Safeguarding Children ~ DCSF – Safeguarding Vulnerable Children ~ Better Safe than Sorry ~ Learning Lessons: Taking Action

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