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COIt has always been a question of ‘who you know’, not ‘what you know’, even for some manual jobs - A new strategy to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, was published last week by the Deputy PM.  The strategy, Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers, focuses on inter-generational social mobility: ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to do better than their parents.

It aims to tackle unfairness at every stage of life with specific measures to improve social mobility from the Foundation Years to school & adulthood.  The Government has also published its child poverty strategy; Tackling the causes of disadvantage and transforming families’ lives.  A year after the Child Poverty Act it, sets out how the Government will transform people’s lives by breaking the entrenched cycle of deprivation.

As part of this agenda, a new Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission will be established, strengthening the role of the Child Poverty Commission in holding the Government to account.  The Commission will report to Parliament and ‘monitor & drive progress towards ending child poverty, improving life chances and increasing social mobility’

To set up the new Commission the government will amend legislation and (in the interim period) will broaden the remit of the current Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility, Alan Milburn, to include child poverty.
Press release ~ Baroness Warsi announces cross-Whitehall internship programme ~ Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers ~ Fast Stream Summer Diversity Internship ~ CBI comment ~ PwC comment ~ Child Poverty Strategy ~ Child Poverty Act 2010 ~ Sutton Trust:   £140 billion a year - the cost of low social mobility ~ Social mobility in England still lagging behind rest of the world ~ Education Mobility in England - The link between the education levels of parents and the educational outcomes of teenagers ~ Summary: Recent Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in the UK ~ Early Intervention: The next steps ~ The Fairness Premium ~ Early Intervention Grant ~ Previous Civitas related PR ~ EHRC: How Fair is Britain? ~ Full rejoinder ~ Civitas ~ Previous DWP related PR ~ Minister’s speech ~ Foresight Project: Mental Capital and Wellbeing ~ Social Mobility Foundation ~ DWP - Factors influencing social mobility ~ Disturbing finding from LSE study ~ Unpaid internships that cripple social mobility ~ Graduate Talent Pool ~ UNICEF UK response to Child poverty Strategy ~ WAG: Child poverty ~ Removing barriers to literacy ~ Reading by Six: how the best schools do it ~ iea PR ~ A New Understanding of poverty (click on pdf links for free download) ~ Least well-off in society better identified by low spending than low income ~ DWP report: CPU Child Poverty Pilots: Interim synthesis report ~ Using unpaid interns is wrong – there must be a better way ~ Cash for internships: Tory backers pay party £2,000 a time to buy their children work experience at top City banks and hedge funds ~ Demos comment

DHProtectionism or justified caution regarding speed of changes? - PM David Cameron, DPM Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley have launched the Government’s listening exercise on NHS modernisation.  Setting out the Government’s desire to modernise the NHS with the support of patients, the public & health professionals, Andrew Lansley announced that engagement over the coming weeks will focus on:
* The role of choice & competition for improving quality
* How to ensure public accountability & patient involvement in the new system
* How new arrangements for education & training can support the modernisation process
* How advice from across a range of healthcare professions can improve patient care

Andrew Lansley also announced that a ‘new group of patient representatives, doctors & nurses will be brought together to listen and report back to Government’.  Chaired by Birmingham GP & former Royal College of General Practitioners Chairman, Steve Field, the new 'NHS Future Forum’ will provide a valuable channel for the thoughts & opinions of patients and staff on the ground.
DH press release ~ No 10 PR ~ Modernisation of Health & Care ~ NHS Evidence ~ News & views from BMA ~ RCN welcomes commissioning recommendation ~ Related PR & links ~ TKF response to Health Select Cttee’s report on commissioning ~ TKF response to 2 month delay ~ PX comment ~ NHS Reforms and BME communities PR ~ Age UK - Charities welcome Government's pause on NHS reforms ~ Formulas at war over two sorts of inequality in health funding ~ Failing to Figure: Whitehall’s costly neglect of statistical reasoning ~ NHS Allocations ~ Where it all started 2010 PR (See - Was the only ‘successful’ re-organisation of our health service when the NHS was originally created?) ~ Health & Social care Bill PR January 2011 (See - While a ‘free at the point of delivery’ NHS should be ‘sacrosanct’ that doesn’t mean ‘how it is provided’ should be) ~ Scroll down & click on other prior Think Tank Health reform related PRs (NB: not all those articles listed are relevant)

CQCSmall groups but often with bigger problems - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published the results of the final Count me in census about the ethnicity of mental health inpatients and calls for organisations beyond the healthcare sector to help improve mental health & well-being among black & minority ethnic (BME) groups.

Greater understanding is needed about the factors that lead to the variations that exist between the proportions of some ethnic groups on mental health wards, says CQC.  Early intervention is vital to reduce the need for admitting people to hospital.

CQC also says the proposed NHS Commissioning Board and general practitioner (GP) consortia, under the Government’s health reforms, will have a crucial part to play.  They will have a statutory obligation to promote equality & reduce inequalities in healthcare, something that is also enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.
Press release ~ Count me in 2010 ~ National BME Mental Health Network ~ Rethink: BME ethnic groups ~ SCIE Research briefing 29: Black and minority ethnic parents with mental health problems and their children ~ BMH UK ~ HSJ: Under the radar - BME mental health ~ Delivering race equality in mental health care: An action plan for reform inside and outside services and the Government's response to the Independent inquiry into the death of David Bennett ~ Mental Health Alliance ~ Grants for BME mental health anti-stigma projects ~ NACRO: BME offenders’ mental health needs aren’t being met ~ Positive Steps: Supporting race equality in mental healthcare ~ NMHDU: Race Equality ~ Inside Outside: Improving mental health services for black and minority ethnic communities in England ~ Delivering better mental health outcomes for people of all ages

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