NHS Confed:  We need to find better alternatives to just doling out pills - Paddy Cooney, interim director of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network says improving care of people with schizophrenia will require greater joint working within the NHS and a change in attitude, in response to the report from the Schizophrenia Commission.

He commented:  "There is plenty of good work going on in the NHS to improve the care that people with schizophrenia receive.  This report highlights many examples of these.  But we still hear too many unacceptable stories about people not receiving the right care in the right settings, or of people's physical health not being properly looked after.

Improving the health and care of people with schizophrenia will require real progress in the kinds of treatments and therapies we provide, and greater joint working to improve the access service users have to wider NHS services.  Most importantly, it will require a change in attitude to the way the NHS, and society as a whole, views people living with this condition.

The Commission reiterates that the most successful interventions occur when people play an active role in shaping their own care plans to achieve the outcomes important to them, and where carers are closely involved”.
Press release & links ~ MIND: Understanding schizophrenia ~ NHS Choices: Symptoms of schizophrenia ~ Rethink ~ RC Psych ~ NICE: Core interventions in the treatment & management of schizophrenia in primary & secondary care (update) ~ 10,000 people in Wales trained as Mental Health First Aiders ~ Life does get under your skin ~ NHS Confederation - Mental Health Network comments on use of police custody facilities as places of safety ~ Together for Mental Health - first strategy of its kind for Wales ~ CIPD - Fall in absence levels could be masking deeper problems in the workplace ~ NHS Confederation - First map of Mental Health market provides comprehensive survey of current provider landscape ~ CQC publishes the views of more than 15,000 people using community mental health services ~ NHS Confederation - Government launches new suicide prevention strategy ~ BIG support for those who hear voices and for diverse communities in Wales ~ IPCC to investigate death of man following arrest in Leicester ~ ScotGov: New mental health strategy ~ National framework to improve mental health and wellbeing published ~ Employers urged to take 3 steps to improve mental health ~ Employers urged to offer flexible working to support mental health needs ~ Improve your knowledge of guidance on common mental health problems ~ NHS Confederation - Mental health leaders need to up their game in tackling homelessness ~ DH: We should answer their calls for help ~ DH: Being flexible could keep the costs down (4th item) ~ MoD: The latest round of redundancies won’t exactly boost morale (4th item) ~ MOD's veterans' Medical Assessment Programme moved and renamed

EU News
Perhaps less testosterone in boardrooms would lead to more equitable pay levels? -  Last week the European Commission took action ‘to break the glass ceiling that continues to bar female talent from top positions in Europe’s biggest companies’.  

The Commission has proposed legislation with the aim of attaining a 40% objective of the under-represented sex in non-executive board-member positions in publicly listed companies, with the exception of SMEs.

Currently, boards are dominated by one gender: 85% of non-executive board members and 91.1% of executive board members are men, while women make up 15% and 8.9% respectively.  Despite an intense public debate and some voluntary initiatives, only an incremental average increase of the number of women on boards of just 0.6 percentage points per year has been recorded since 2003.

Press release & links ~ Business Secretary’s statement on EC’s proposed directive on improving gender balance on Europe’s corporate boards ~ CBI comments on EC proposals for improving gender diversity in boardrooms ~ Women and Equalities Minister sets out plans to remove barriers to the workplace ~ Defence organisations top workplace equality lists ~ EU News:  One notes that most ‘top bankers’ are male, which illustrates the point being made rather nicely ~ 30% Club campaign for diversity ~ BIS: Women on Boards ~ Simpler company reporting to focus on transparency and gender balance ~ Women on boards: code of conduct one year on ~ Women on Boards: One-Year-On ~ Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and industry ~ Campaign for more women on boards hits major milestone ~ UK stands up for British business ~ Headhunters & chairmen encouraged to do more to increase female non-execs on FTSE boards ~ Progress in gender equality leads to economic growth, says European Commission report ~ European Commission weighs options to break the ‛glass ceiling’ for women on company boards ~ Cameron wrong on boardroom quotas

Good to see that this ICT project is being trialled with pathfinders rather than immediately being implemented nationally - Across the country 100,000 people are set to benefit from new health technologies, Jeremy Hunt said last week, as he set out his vision for improving the lives of people with long-term conditions

This followed publication of the NHS Mandate last week where he announced that significant progress will be made towards 3m people being able to benefit from telehealth by 2017.

Jeremy Hunt confirmed that 7 ‘pathfinders’ – NHS & local authority organisations including clinical commissioning groups – are to agree contracts with industry suppliers that will mean 100,000 people being able to benefit from telehealth next year

Research funded by the Department of Health showed that using telehealth could result in a 20% reduction in emergency admissions, a 15% reduction in A&E visits and a 45% reduction in mortality.  Leading technology companies will be supplying the NHS with the technologies & services at no upfront cost.
Press release & links ~ CBI: Successfully delivering care closer to home could improve outcomes for patients and save the NHS £3.4bn a year ~ LGA:  A cheaper (but effective alternative) to personal care (2nd item)

TUCThis is more about ‘Government Control’ than ‘Regulating for common benefit’ - Proposals to place the internet under the control of a UN technical body could restrict political freedoms and harm civil society, the TUC has warned. 

The TUC has joined a global campaign - co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - against plans to regulate the internet that are being put forward by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and due to be discussed in Dubai in December 2012.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow launched Stop the Net Grab (and a petition) at a press conference in London, alongside Paul Twomey, the ex-head of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body which co-ordinates the allocation of internet addresses worldwide.

The ITU is a UN body, set up initially to regulate telegrams, and later telephones & faxes.  A coalition of countries including China, Russia and Iran is now seeking to give the ITU (and ultimately individual governments), the power to control internet use, regulating not just the network infrastructure, but the internet uses people and organisations are allowed to make.
Press release & links ~ Petition ~ Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ~ International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ~ The 2012 World Conference On International Telecommunications: Another Brewing Storm Over Potential UN Regulation Of The Internet ~ BBC: US resists control of internet passing to UN agency

TNA:  Better access to historical documents might help us to learn from our past mistakes - The National Archives want to hear your views on their online services.  Your feedback will help them improve their website.  The survey is entirely anonymous and should only take 5 minutes to complete.
Press release & links

COTime to start ‘re-tuning’ your favourite government links - Just one month after the successful launch of GOV.UK, the next phase in establishing a single domain for all government services & information has begun with the first 2 departmental websites moving their corporate & policy information to GOV.UK.

The home pages of the Department for Transport and the Department for Communities & Local Government and of 3 associated agencies & bodies – the Driving Standards Agency, the Building Regulations Advisory Committee (BRAC), and the Planning Inspectorate – are now available on GOV.UK.

During the next 18 months, hundreds more government websites are set to follow.  Over time, this move, alongside the savings from closing the DirectGov and Business Link sites, is expected to save the taxpayer at least £50m annually.
Press release & links

Case Study: - Transformation & Channel Shift Programme Delivers £300k Savings for Harrow Council - With £300k savings in the last twelve months and an anticipated £1m over three years, Harrow Council’s “Customer Access” Transformation Programme proves channel shift really works, a fact that was recently recognised by the accolade of ‘Best Transformation Through IT’ at the 2012 MJ Awards.


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