NICE:  Standards are essential, but ensuring people abide by them is the ‘hard bit’ - NICE's first quality standards for social care will help support people with dementia to live well, and improve the health & wellbeing of looked-after children & young people

The standards launch as NICE becomes the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and officially takes on the work of bringing evidence-based guidance & standards to the social care sector, as outlined in the Health & Social Care Act 2012.

The dementia quality standard contains 10 statements which are high-priority areas that will help people with dementia to live well. Statements include ensuring that people with dementia, with the involvement of their carers, have choice & control in decisions affecting their care & support, and that they can participate in a review of their needs & preferences when their circumstances change.

NICE's second quality standard for social care contains 8 statements that will improve the health & social, educational & emotional wellbeing of looked after children & young people in care. 9 other social care topics are currently in the pipeline with the Department of Health consulting on a further 15 topics.
Press release ~ Dementia quality standard ~ Looked after children and young people ~ Dementia 'not being diagnosed' ~ NICE announces its Collaborating Centre for Social Care ~ Dementia, stroke and cancer among potential indicators for latest CCG Outcomes Indicator Set ~ Have your say on NICE's social care work (Consultation ends 26 April 2013) ~ DH:  The more we talk about it, the less there is to fear ~ TCS:  Is it possible to provide a ‘place of safety’ without also providing a legal way to ‘ground’ children in care? (3rd item)

HOGiving them ‘Something to do´ - Community projects aimed at getting youngsters off the streets and into sport have been recognised at the football industry’s annual Kickz Awards.  Policing Minister Damian Green attended the event at Stamford Bridge last week to present the Outstanding Kickz Delivery award to Portsmouth FC’s Kickz Team.  

Under the scheme, local projects run sport, arts, media & youth work sessions, which aim to break down barriers between the police & young people.  Some areas have seen up to a 60% reduction in anti-social behaviour as a result of the scheme.
Press release & links ~ Kickz programme ~ Portsmouth FC’s Kickz Team ~ Mentors can divert young people away from crime ~ Government grants to sports & leisure schemes for troubled youth are 'a dog's breakfast', says spending watchdog (2009) ~ Tired of Hanging Around - using sport & leisure activities to prevent anti-social behaviour by young people ~ Youth Services - new self-help pack points councils & professionals to better value ~ Services for Young People: Value for Money Self-Assessment Pack ~ What’s your story? ~ HO: Public attitudes to youth crime: Report on focus group research ~ Bridging the boredom gap ~ Youth Taskforce study of perceptions in Youth Crime Action Plan areas ~ Customer Voice Research: Youth Crime Action Plan ~ Sport and Youth Offending

PC&PEAt last it will ‘pay’ to save even a little bit for your old age - In a report published last week, the Work and Pensions Committee welcomes the improvements in retirement income that the new Single-tier State Pension will bring.  The Committee warns, however, that the key to the policy’s successful implementation lies in the Government informing the public as soon as possible about how it will affect individuals. 

The Report notes that the Government not only imposed an extremely tight timetable, but brought forward the implementation date by a year, after the Committee had completed taking evidence.  It highlights that the change in the implementation date has significant implications, particularly for pension schemes & employers, who now have 1 year less to prepare for the ending of contacting-out. 
Press release & links ~ Government confirms 2016 start for new flat rate State Pension ~ Winners & losers debate misses point, says CIPD; the simplicity & clarity of the flat-rate pension will encourage more workers to save for their retirement ~ CBI – state pension reforms will bring 'clarity & certainty' to retirement saving ~ Automatic enrolment to double private pension income by the time people now starting work reach their retirement ~ Simplifying the state pension ~ 11m under-saving Brits ~ Government's pension reforms will give lower paid bigger incentive to save

DHIt is meant to provide a ‘dignified end’, not ‘cost savings’ - The independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) for dying patients is holding sessions for families & carers.  The sessions, in which the review panel will listen to families’ & carers’ experiences of the LCP, are taking place in London on 7 May, Preston on 16 May and Bristol on 20 May 2013. Please email the review if you wish to attend.

In addition to the sessions, the public was asked to send details of their experiences of the LCP, both good & bad.  Views are also wanted from professionals, either as individuals or on behalf of organisations. The deadline for written comments was 5 April 2013.
Press release & links ~ Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP) ~ AUK:  Little dignity or safety in old age for many ~ New code established to safeguard older people’s dignity in care ~ Dignity counts when caring for older people ~ NHS is failing to meet even the most basic standards of care for older people, warns ~ New helpline to offer advice on end of life care ~ London is rated poorly in care for patients at the end of their lives ~ First national survey of bereaved people shines light on end of life care ~ Major cultural shift needed to improve dignity in care ~ NHS Confederation - Independent Commission issues "call to arms" on improving dignity of care of older people in hospitals and care homes ~ Expert panel proposes framework to underpin any future change in law on assisted dying for terminally ill people ~ NICE: End of life care ~ The King's Fund warns against loss of momentum on end-of-life care ~ Good progress on end of life care but more to be done

FCOThe problem is it is a very profitable crime - On 31 January 2013, the British Embassy in partnership with Save the Children Lithuania, launched a campaign against human trafficking ‘Two Little Girls’. The short animated film, made in consultation with 5 Albanian women who were trafficked into the UK and rescued by Poppy project, aims to warn young women of the dangers of being trafficked.
Press release & links ~ Click here for the video ~ Poppy project ~ The fight against human trafficking ~ Anti-Slavery day - more victims being rescued and supported ~ Human trafficking: Commission welcomes Council adoption of stronger EU rules ~ Protecting child victims of trafficking in Wales ~ Latest trends in child trafficking ~ Guidance on safeguarding children who may have been trafficked published ~ Most migrant sex workers are not forced to sell sex ~ Combating the slavery of our times ~ Human trafficking gangs targeted by UK government ~ Police issue report into sex trafficking

CQC:  Let us hope that they are up to the task - From 1 April 2013, NHS GP providers in England are being regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for the first time.  Changes to regulations mean primary medical care services including GP providers are required to register with the CQC.  Of the 7,607 providers that applied, 99.4% (7,563) have been registered in time for the April deadline.  To date, CQC has proposed to refuse to register a total of 8 GP providers.
Press release & links

FCOAnother mass invasion? - The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) report ‘Potential Impacts on UK of Future Migration from Bulgaria and Romania’ was published recently.  The report, commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, draws together existing research on the potential impacts on the UK of future migration from Bulgaria & Romania after the lifting of EU transitional controls on 31 December 2013.
Press release & links

HSESome people will use any excuse to stop other people enjoying themselves - A panel set up to expose ‘health & safety’ excuses has clocked up 150 cases in its first year – helping the public fight back against ‘jobsworths’ who use safety laws as a convenient ruse to ban legitimate activities.  Among the more crackpot cases exposed as myths by the panel in 2013 alone were:
* The bars that refuse to pull pints in glasses with handles
* The burger that could not be cooked rare
Press release & links ~ MPs voice fears over provision of school science practicals and field trips ~ Lord Young restores common sense to health & safety ~ Planning and Leading Visits and Adventurous Activities - RoSPA ~ Health & safety myths should not stop schools - RoSPA ~ Safety in Schools and Colleges
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