Help for those who fight, provide support services and families who have to ‘wait / deal with the consequences’ at home

The Ministry of Defence is committed to supporting personnel, their families & veterans who have been affected by mental health issues.  For those serving in the armed forces (including mobilised reservists), the MOD runs 16 Departments of Community Mental Health around the country where mental healthcare professionals provide support & treatment to personnel from all 3 services.

Mental health professionals are also deployed to the front line during operations where they are able to spot the first signs of a problem and take steps to treat it.  Stress management & mental health awareness has been built into all levels of training and leadership in the armed forces.  The removal of stigma is crucial. Through initiatives like the Don’t Bottle it Up’ campaign, awareness of the professional medical care & support available to personnel is increasing within the military.

The Reserves Mental Health Programme, run in partnership with the NHS, is open to all current or former members of the reserves, who have been demobilised since 1 January 2003, following operational deployment overseas and who believe that their deployment may have affected their mental health.

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The Must-Have Guide to Website Accessibility

The Must-Have Guide to
Website Accessibility

With SOCITMs' Better connected 2015 report  focusing heavily on user accessibility of government websites, public sector organisations are under increasing pressure to adopt a digital approach to their services. Whilst many have successfully undertaken the ‘channel shift’ towards digital services, accessible digitalisation remains an issue.

Whilst things such as accessible infrastructure are a societal expectation, the digital world is still largely ungoverned meaning that up to 20% of internet users face daily struggles to access government services online.

This latest guide outlines how to tackle website accessibility to conformance levels and beyond.

Click here to access this must-have white-paper.

Hospitals must understand that they have a duty of care for Body AND Mind

A major review of dementia care by the Care Quality Commission says the unacceptable gap in the quality of care means it is likely that someone living with dementia will experience poor care as they move between care homes and hospitals.  The report says the variation in how care is assessed, planned, delivered & monitored by hospitals & care homes puts people living with dementia at risk of experiencing poor care.

It found when people are admitted to hospital via A&E there is too much focus on a person's physical health needs.  There is also poor sharing of information between health professionals, people living with dementia in care homes & hospitals may not be able to tell staff about their pain and there is a lack of understanding and knowledge of dementia care by staff.

The report adds that supporting both the physical health & mental wellbeing of a person – as well as managing known risks such as falls & urinary tract infections – can help reduce avoidable admissions to hospital and unnecessary long stays in hospital.

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Innovate UK smooth’s the development journey for a ‘wheely’ clever invention

Nottinghamshire-based industrial designer Sam Pearce has spent the last 6 years literally re-inventing the wheel after a ‘light bulb moment' in Eindhoven airport.   He noticed a child in a buggy being bounced about while negotiating a kerb – despite the buggy's suspension system.  It inspired his design of a wheel with integral suspension that cushions users from bumps in the road. 

With his wife Gemma, he refocused his product design company Jelly Products to develop the concept, named Loopwheels.  It launched its first product in 2013 - a 20-inch wheel suitable for small wheel commuter bikes, which has sold well to cycling enthusiasts around the world.  With the basic concept proven, Jelly turned to Innovate UK for help to scale up the design & build a prototype of a larger 26-inch version that could be used across a much wider range of bicycles and for wheelchairs.

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Unlike Ebola we can do something about this, at least in the UK

To mark International Day of the Girl, £330,000 of funding to help tackle female genital mutilation and forced marriage head on has been committed by the government recently.  The funding will be used to extend a number of projects that provide expertise & support services in some of the most at risk areas of the country to help eradicate this abhorrent practice.

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Securing the basics of life for all

Securing sustainable supplies of water, energy & food is a key global issue.  Increasing demands on these commodities, together with pressures on land use and the need to manage the exploitation of natural resources in the transition to a sustainable economy will present challenges on local, national and international scales.

In response to these challenges the EPSRC is leading a 5-day residential sandpit in the water-energy-food nexus with the aim of enabling UK researchers to perform transformative work, potentially adopting revolutionary approaches to the complex challenges in this area.  Full details of the sandpit are available in the EPSRC call for participants.  The closing date for applicants to the Sandpit is 4 November 2014.

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Time to get nominating

With days to go until nominations close, FM Carwyn Jones has urged the people of Wales to get online & put someone truly outstanding forward for a St David Award.  The Awards, now in their second year, honour the extraordinary achievements of the people of Wales.  They were created to recognise the great deeds & contributions made by people from all walks of life.  Nominations close on the 28 October.

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Students learn that ideas are ‘worth’ money

Launched last week, the StudentshIP Enterprise Awards will provide funding, ranging from £10,000 up to £100,000, for university projects that bring enterprising students, businesses, and their local community together to work on innovative projects.  In-house projects or collaborations with other universities or businesses that create, manage or exploit intellectual property will all be considered.  Award winners will increase their understanding of the value & use of intellectual property.

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 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

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