DH: Old, forgotten and abused - New research, revealing the true extent of abuse suffered by older people in the UK, has been released and the findings of the study show that:

  • 227,000 people were neglected or abused by family, close friends & care workers in the last year
  • 342,400 people were neglected or abused in the last year by family, close friends and care workers, neighbors and acquaintances (i.e. a broader definition of those who might abuse).
  • The majority of the incidents involved a partner (51%) or another family member (49%) followed by a voluntary or paid care worker (13%) and close friend (5%).

Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis said:

"This research gives us the first objective and scientific assessment of the prevalence of elder abuse. We now have with some precision an up-to-date estimate of the size of the challenge that we face. Older people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect - abuse in any setting is just unacceptable.

I want people to be as outraged by the abuse of an older person as they are by the abuse of a child. Sadly, we are nowhere near that yet as a society but that culture has to change. This research shows us the nature of the problems that we will all face in the future.

That's why I'm announcing two measures for the first time, national and local records on the abuse of older people will be systematically collected so that each individual council can monitor abuse locally and act on it”.
Press release ~ Comic Relief – UK Study of Abuse and Neglect ~ Action on Elder Abuse ~ DH: No secrets: guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse ~ DH: Vulnerable adults ~ World Elder Abuse Awareness Day ~ DCA – Mental Capacity ~ Useful Links ~ Valuing People Support Team website ~ National dignity in care campaign ~ DH – Dignity in Care ~ The Dignity Challenge ~ Dignity in Care Practice Guide ~ General Social Care Council (GSCC) ~ A new ambition for old age, Next steps in implementing the national framework for Older people ~ AEA report: Adult Protection Data Monitoring ~ Commission for Social Care Inspection ~ AEA partnerships ~ Tool Kit to Raise Awareness on Elder Abuse - Taking Action: Step by Step ~ Older People's Champions ~ National Service Framework for Older People ~ A toolkit for older people's champions: A resource for non-executive directors, councillors and older people acting as older people's champions ~ Practical guide to Protection of Vulnerable adults scheme

DH: Is part of the solution better care for carers?- Details of a national debate on how to improve the future of the nation's 6m carers have been released and up to £1m will be made available to national organisations working with the Government to help provide the greater support in a range of projects that carers need.

A new dedicated website is part of a major nationwide consultation exercise to engage carers in debate about ‘what would make a positive difference or improve your life as a carer?’ Hundreds of local events will take place across the country over the next few months and carers will be encouraged to post their ideas on the website around the issues that would make a difference for them.

The website-based consultation asks what changes are needed on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Who do you want to value you as a carer and how?
  • What money issues are most important to you?
  • What could change to help you do things outside of caring (e.g. work, education, leisure)
  • what about issues with transport?
  • Is there any training that you think would improve your life as a carer?

Press release ~ Carers website ~ Young Carers ~ Carers UK ~ DH: Caring about carers ~ DH: New Deal for Carers ~ Caring for Someone ~ Platt review on Social care ~ Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) ~ Care Services Improvement Partnership ~ Social care workforce review - Options for Excellence ~ DH – Social Care ~ Caring Choices Coalition: Who will pay for long-term care? ~ King's Fund - Wanless Social Care Review ~ Healthcare Commission - Review of dignity in care

FS: Scotland’s future is a trained workforce - There will be 80,000 more jobs in Scotland by 2017, according to a recent report from Futureskills Scotland. Scotland’s workforce in 2017 will also be more highly-qualified than it is today. Employment growth will be dominated by the service industries, in both the public and private sector.

Over the next decade, employment will continue to shift away from manual occupations towards higher skilled & service-orientated jobs. Professional, managerial and sales & customers service occupations will dominate employment growth over the period.

In 2007, around a third of the working age population hold further and higher education qualifications, but this is expected to rise to almost half of the working age population by 2017. Over the same period, the proportion of the working age population with no qualifications is projected to fall from 13% in 2007 to 6% in 2017.
Press release ~ Labour Market Projections 2007 to 2017 ~ Futureskills Scotland Expert Briefing: Skills in Context ~ Scottish Enterprise ~ Highlands and Islands Enterprise network ~
Life Through Learning; Learning Through Life, the Lifelong Learning Strategy for Scotland ~ Responses to Lifelong Learning Strategy Consultation ~ 2006 Progress report on Lifelong Learning Strategy ~ Scottish Council for Development and Industry ~ Leitch Review of Skills ~ Scottish Skills Fund ~ SSASCOT - Sector Skills Alliance Scotland ~ SPICe Briefing – Adult training and skills ~ Association of Scotland's Colleges ~ FS’s Research Online provides a single gateway to the most recent & relevant labour market intelligence

CLG: Special treatment produces negative outcomes - The final report from the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, setting out the steps that need to be taken to build strong, cohesive & integrated communities, has been published. Our Shared Future - puts forward a wide-ranging set of recommendations for practical action to address cohesion & integration issues at a local level, along with suggestions for a national framework to support these.

Some of the key areas covered by the report include how the government promotes & supports English language speaking, developing a new role for local authorities with strengthened support from national government and puts a renewed focus on citizenship.

The report underlines the need to move away from a single approach towards more sophisticated analysis and tailored local solutions in order to make communities more resilient & united in dealing with the present and future challenges.

The Commission make recommendations on a number of key integration & cohesion issues including:

  • A nationally sponsored community week
  • National school linking programme
  • Volunteering
  • GCSE Citizenship ceremonies
  • A new role for Local authorities
  • National integration body
  • Local contracts
  • More English language provision

Throughout their report the Commission stress the importance of communities being helped to interact and they make clear that the way in which community projects are funded is a crucial part of this. It recommends that unless there is a clear business & equalities case, single group funding should not be promoted.

Press release ~ Commission on Integration and Cohesion ~ Our Shared Future ~ Russell Commission implementation ~ Communities England ~ Volunteers’ Week ~ ‘V’ Charity ~ Volunteering for All ~ GoldStar programme ~ Institute for Volunteering Research ~ National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) ~ DfES: Adult ESOL Core Curriculum ~ Life in the UK test ~Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship ~ Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Integration (ABNI) ~ Action plan: Preventing Violent Extremism - Winning hearts and minds ~ Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund 2007/2008 - Case studies ~ The Role of Muslim Identity Politics in Radicalisation (a study in progress) ~ The Radical Middle Way ~ Moslem Council of Britain ~ Community Development Foundation ~ National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit - NETCU~ Preventing Extremism Together - DCLG ~ Problems and Practical Solutions to Tackle Extremism; and Muslim Youth and Community Issues ~ Promoting good campus relations: dealing with hate crimes and intolerance(2.3Mb) ~ Community Cohesion: SEVEN STEPS - A Practitioner's Toolkit

CLG: Equal before the law - The Government has published a consultation document (closes on 4 September 2007) including proposals for a Single Equality Bill, to simplify & improve existing legislation and make common-sense proposals to modernise discrimination law. The Government makes it clear that this is a Green Paper and that it recognises there are strongly held views in what is a complex area.

The Discrimination Law Review (DLR) will have two key aims:

  • preventing discrimination happening in the first place by making equality law clearer
  • consulting on whether there are significant gaps in protection where we should legislate

Ministers believe the current laws covering discrimination need to be simplified, as they have grown up over the past 40 years and different approaches have been taken at different times. Discrimination law is currently contained in 9 major pieces of legislation, which the government thinks can act as a barrier to fairness, so the new Act is intended to put the law on equality & discrimination in one place, supported by clear practical guidance.

The paper includes consultation on plans for implementing Council Directive 2004/113/EC ('the Gender Directive'), which implements the principle of equal treatment between women & men in the access to and the supply of goods & services. The deadline for implementation is 21 December 2007.
Press release ~ CLG: A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain ~ Women and Equality Unit ~ CLG: Women and equality ~ Gender-related factors in career progression ~ Acas Equality & Diversity website ~ Equalities Review ~ Foundations for Measuring Equality

DH: Amendments to Mental Health Bill - The government is claiming that the rights of patients and the public will be strengthened by new amendments to the Mental Health Bill, which are meant to address the issues raised either in the House of Lords or Committee stage in the House of Commons.

The full list of government amendments laid are:

  • extending information rights to victims of unrestricted offender patients
  • setting up statutory advocacy services for patients under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • making explicit in the legislation the purpose of conditions placed on a person who is on a community treatment order
  • providing statutory access to advocacy for people deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act deprivation of liberty safeguards - often referred to as the Bournewood safeguards
  • extending safeguards for patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • making a change to s40 of the Mental Capacity Act which addresses situations where independent mental capacity advocates (IMCAs) cannot be made available, and
  • introducing a requirement that children and young people under 18 with mental health problems who are hospital inpatients should receive treatment in a setting that is age appropriate where possible and introducing a requirement for Primary Care Trusts to inform Local Social Services Authorities of their Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) beds, or arrangements for placing children where they have no CAMHS beds.

Press release~ DH: Ment al Health Bill and related documents ~ Young Minds ~ Children's Commission ~ Pushed into the shadows: young people's experience of adult mental health facilities report ~ Mental Health Alliance ~ Mental Capacity Act ~ Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) ~ Independent mental capacity advocates (IMCAs)

Home Office: More proposals, but when will Bichard recommendations be implemented? - Home Secretary, John Reid has published the 'Review of the Protection of Children from Sex Offenders', which has considered what extra steps are needed to enhance the protection of children from sex offenders. It looked at evidence from stakeholders, current operational practice and how other countries tackle the issue.

The review sets out 20 actions to further strengthen efforts to keep children safe, including:

  • piloting a new process allowing parents or guardians to request details of possible sex offenders in certain defined circumstances
  • introducing a legal duty on the police & probation services to consider in each case whether a child sex offender's conviction should be disclosed in order to protect the child, with a presumption towards disclosure
  • reviewing the use of satellite tracking to monitor high risk sex offenders
  • developing the use of drug treatment to help reduce sexual drive and subsequent offending
  • piloting the use of compulsory polygraph tests to ensure child sex offenders are not re-offending
  • extending the information that offenders must provide when on the Sex Offenders Register to include for example email addresses, or when they are starting a relationship with a woman who has children, and
  • community awareness campaigns to ensure parents are aware of how child sex offenders are managed and how they can best protect their children

An extra £1.2 million will be provided to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) areas to increase their capacity to manage offenders and protect the public and the new system of disclosure will initially be piloted in three police forces backed by £1.5 million in new resources. In addition, the Government will be committing £150,000 to pilot a community-awareness campaign in partnership with the Stop It Now! charity.
Press release ~ Re view of the Protection of Children from Sex Offenders' ~ Keepi ng children safe from sex offenders ~ Home Office – Sexual Offences ~ Stop It Now! charity ~ Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre ~ Home Office - Bichard ~ Sex Offenders Register

Industry News: Head North by North-West for eProcurement Excellence - A few months ago the North West Centre of Excellence (NWCE) established a clear business need for a shared strategic regional procurement system that integrates supplier management & administration (including supplier performance management), contracts management and administration and tender management and administration.

A tender exercise, led by Cumbria County Council has now been completed, with a contract award made to the successful supplier - Due North. It will first be piloted by Cumbria County Council and the portal is currently scheduled to go-live in August 2007 for the Cumbria and Greater Manchester sub-regions.

Linked with a procurement portal it will give local authorities a more efficient & sustainable route to procurement. More importantly, the region's authorities with little or no procurement resource will be given immediate access to professionally procured contractual arrangements and visibility of approved suppliers.

The system will be the key to facilitating aggregation of procurement activity across the region & improved procurement management, as well as a driver for the standardisation of documentation, processes and common e-tendering procedures across the region

The savings, as outlined by the National eProcurement Programme can be substantial. It is quoted that e-Tendering can deliver average savings of:

  • 13% for a RFQ
  • 21% for a non-OJEU tender, and
  • 25% for an OJEU tender

Further information ~ North West Centre of Excellence ~ Due North ~ National e-Procurement Project (NePP) website ~ NePP guidance ~ IDEA: Experiences of e-Procurement: Gateshead Council & Due North e-Tender System ~ Local t-Gov -| Preparing for e-Procurement

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