Working towards better mental health

The PM has announced that tens of thousands of people with mental health conditions will be supported to find or return to work as part of a massive new drive to transform treatment in England.  Almost 3 in every 5 people with mental health conditions are currently unable to work, despite evidence showing employment can be a crucial part of treatment.

The new approach is based on recommendations from the Mental Health Taskforce – an independent, expert panel chaired by Mind CEO Paul Farmer – which set out a comprehensive plan to tackle the problem which affects millions of people in England and accounts for a quarter of all ill health – higher than heart diseases, cancer & diabetes.

Researched Links:

DH:  PM - Improve mental health treatment to get thousands more back to work

NHS England:  NHS commits to major transformation of mental health care with help for 1m more people

LGA responds to mental health taskforce report

NHS Confed:  Response to Mental Health Taskforce Report

NHS England:  Improve mental health treatment to get thousands more back to work

CQC:  Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, welcomes the 5 Year Strategy for Mental Health

DH:  New investment in mental health services

NICE:  Membership of social groups after retirement ‘boosts health & wellbeing’

BIG:  Helping to prevent self-harm amongst young people

Patients Association calls for increased funding for mental health services

DfE:  £1.5m to help young people spot signs of mental illness

ESRC:  No health without mental health

Many jobs do not require ‘perfect health’

Is it because we cannot see / touch mental health symptoms?

This impacts on the economy as well as individuals

De-Stressing the working environment can pay dividends

Mental health at work | Mind, the mental health charity

Stress, depression and mental health support at work

What are my employment rights | Mental health | Equality act

Mental health | Acas

Mental health & work - Publications - GOV.UK

Returning to work after mental health issues - NHS Choices

ScotGov:  Transforming GP & mental health services

Download Your Complimentary Gartner Report Now!
Download your complimentary Gartner report

Tearing Down the Walls: Why the Public Sector Needs a New Culture of Collaboration

At the recent Sprint16 gathering, there was a strong message of collaboration being key to digital transformation, coming from both Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock and new GDS chief Stephen Foreshew-Cain.

The need to deliver better services, and at a lower cost, is driving every level of government to look for new, more collaborative ways of working. Learn how government and public sector IT leaders are embracing cloud computing to drive greater multi-agency collaboration by downloading your copy of Gartner’s CIO Agenda: A Government Perspective, courtesy of Huddle.

  • Explore new ways of collaborative working across government agencies and public sector bodies
  • Understand public sector CIO's top ICT challenges 
  • Overcome industry challenges and drive long-term change

Click here to find out more and download your complimentary copy of Gartner’s CIO Agenda: A Government Perspective.

The fact that the numbers are ‘statistically small’ is NOT comforting
Katherine Murphy, CE of the Patients Association (PA), has responded to statistics lifted from NHS England data, which reportedly found that over 1,100 patients have suffered from very serious hospital errors over the past 4 years.  The figures seen by the PA suggest that the ‘never events’ - mistakes so serious they should never happen - included more than 400 people who suffered due to ‘wrong site surgery’, and more than 420 have also had ‘foreign objects’ left inside them after operations (including gauzes, swabs, drill guides, scalpel blades & needles).
Researched Links:

Patients Association calls for ‘Never’ incidents to cease

Patient safety incident reporting continues to improve

Attention Health Workers!

And about time too!

Yet again we find the NHS cannot investigate itself

Good practice saves lives

It is often not the ‘mistake’ that annoys people, but rather the ‘cover-up’ and the reluctance to at least say ‘sorry’

Achieving the best outcomes for the NHS requires ‘highlighting the worst’

Patients Association:  New Independent Patient Safety Investigation body 'will operate without fear or favour'

NICE Evidence Search | never events - NHS Evidence Search

Never Events - Patient Safety Federation

Revised policy on never events & serious incidents - NHS

Cover-ups in ‘bad practice’ lead to repeated mistakes in NHS treatments

Should the attempted ‘silencing’ (especially in public sector organisations) of Whistle-blowers become a legal offence?

We should reward those who speak up and reprimand those that ‘hide’ issues

Ombudsman reveals wide range of public service failures across NHS in England and UK government departments

Should have been done years ago
A new whistleblowing helpline for employees to speak out about child protection failures has been officially launched.  The NSPCC will deliver this service, which includes a helpline & email support, on behalf of the Home Office.  The helpline, which will be open Monday to Friday, will handle calls from employees from any sector, who are afraid to raise concerns about the way their organisation is dealing with cases of child abuse, or who feel they have exhausted all avenues with their employer directly.
Researched Links:

Home Office launches child abuse whistleblowing helpline

We have been ‘whistling in the wind’ for a way to encourage this

Would all the child abuse, sexual exploitation & poor patient care still go on if they were rewarded and not ‘punished’?

While being ‘relentless in our search for the truth’, we must be careful to highlight any good practices

PM unveils tough new measures to tackle child sexual exploitation

Crime Prevention Minister announces mandatory reporting of FGM

IPCC statement - independent report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham

Rotherham child exploitation- Jay Report exposes local government and Ofsted failure

The Guardian:  Should whistleblowing teachers be given more protection

Slightly more feasible than an EU ‘army’, but is their funding for it in the existing budget?
The EU has launched the European Medical Corps (EMC) to help mobilise medical & public health teams and equipment for emergencies inside & outside the EU.  Through the EMC, EU Member States and other European countries participating in the system can make medical teams & assets available for rapid deployment before an emergency strikes – hopefully ensuring a faster & more predictable response.  The medical corps could include emergency medical teams, public health and medical coordination experts, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation planes and logistical support teams.
Researched Links:

EU launches new European Medical Corps to respond faster to emergencies

EU support for Nepal reconstruction process

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

EU supports people affected by floods in Myanmar & Bangladesh

EU provides civil protection experts to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

EC & Europe's local governments strengthen ties to combat natural disasters

EC moves to help Italy, Greece, Slovenia & Croatia after flood, earthquake and ice storm disasters

Ebola: EU helps deliver aid to Sierra Leone

Dealing with disasters: new global strategy must empower local & regional authorities

EU Emergency Response Centre helps bring fire-fighting aeroplanes to tackle forest fires in Bosnia & Herzegovina

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Was the NHS funded for the 330,000 rise in population from last year’s nett migration?
NHS trusts are forecasting an end-of-year net deficit of around £2.3bn finds the latest quarterly monitoring report from The King’s Fund. The estimate, based on survey responses from 83 trusts, comes as NHS national bodies are imposing stringent financial controls in an effort to reduce the deficit to £1.8bn by the end of the financial year. This underlines the risk that the DH will breach parliamentary protocol by overspending its budget.
Researched Links:

Kings Fund:  NHS trusts' deficit estimated at £2.3bn as NHS financial crisis deepens

The King's Fund responds to the new NHS figures

So ‘Tens of Thousands’ is the right policy!

Of course if the NHS wasn’t so successful in extending our lives there wouldn’t be such a care / funding problem!

If NHS needs +£8bn, what do LA’s need for social care?

We won’t be able to afford the NHS unless we ‘solve’ this problem

Reducing visits to A&E

CCGs are more likely to be in financial deficit

It always needs more!

Cinderella needs a Fairy Godmother urgently

We have known this for years so why hasn’t NHS management ‘reformed’ its purchasing?

Must learn from each other

Hospitals get £1.8bn for sustainability & transformation

Investigation closes as Oxford Health trust improves its finances

TKF:  Social care budget cuts damaging the NHS, latest quarterly monitoring report finds

TKF:  New controls unlikely to have much impact on agency spending as NHS heads for financial crunch

Monitor & NHS England seek views on 2016/17 NHS payment system

Daily Mail:  NHS charged by foreigners for care in their OWN country

Consultation:  Overseas visitors & migrants: extending charges for NHS services – (closes on 7 March 2016)

Ignoring political dogma, could it be cheaper to use private sector resources than employing agency staff in the NHS
In response to latest NHS performance figures (Dec 2015) showing a breach of the 18-week referral to treatment time target, NHSPN wrote to the Secretary of State for Health to say more needs to be done to ensure patients are not facing long wait times.
Researched Links:

NHS Confed:   Independent Sector capacity to support NHS

NHS Agency staff costing too much?

Patients Association - Rise in Agency Nurses Risks Patient Safety

Managing the supply of NHS clinical staff in England

Civitas - Limits on nurse training numbers should be scrapped

Challenging environment for NHS providers

Restrictions on nurse recruitment from overseas changed

TKF:  Workforce shortages endanger delivery of the NHS 5-year forward view

Nice to know things have been improved

NICE has launched a suite of guidelines to ensure that trauma services are delivered effectively & consistently.  The guidelines cover fractures, complex fractures, spinal injury assessment, major trauma & trauma services.  Trauma cases result in around 5,400 deaths each year in England, and are the most common cause of death in patients under 40 in the UK.

In 2010, a report from the National Audit Office found inadequacies in the level of trauma care delivered in the country. Following this, a number of regional trauma networks were developed, led by doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals. The aim of these networks was to ensure patients are taken to the right hospital for them and to get the treatment they need.

NICE:  Ensuring trauma care is delivered effectively & consistently

NICE publishes 5 new guidelines to standardise trauma care in England

Hosting codebar at GDS

The Government Digital Service recently hosted their first codebar event in their offices at Aviation House, near Holborn.  Codebar is a tutoring programme that helps women, LGBTQ, and people belonging to underrepresented ethnic groups in tech learn programming in a safe & collaborative environment and expand their career opportunities. Their work was recognised last year by a Points of Light Award delivered by the PM’s office.  During these weekly events, experienced developers volunteer their time to help students go through tutorials or build their own project.

GDS:  Hosting codebar at GDS

Desperately needed in what has become an ‘annual occurrence’

Almost £1m has been awarded to 51 UK charities to support water rescue services in local communities.  The government scheme gives voluntary groups crucial funding for new equipment & training to support their rescue efforts on and around inland & inshore waterways.  The money is for the purchase of lifeboats, launch vehicles, rafts and safety gear, as well as going towards training and other costs to support lifesaving efforts.

DfT:  Government gives £915,000 boost to water rescue charities

Are we finally seeing an outbreak of common sense in CJEU ruling?
CJEU: EU law allows an asylum seeker to be detained when the protection of national security or public order so requires

 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Report on EU foreign & security strategy published

Towards Energy Union: The EC presents sustainable energy security package

EU fundamental rights & national legislation

IPPR:  Major risks for UK-EU deal at European Council summit

EESC supports Schengen and decries costs of Non-Schengen for European integration


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Fiscal Framework

PC&PE:  UK Government must take post-study visa problems seriously

ScotGov:  Fiscal framework - latest


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Ministers are seeking to ban councils from boycotting companies they consider unethical under new government procurement guidelines – a move that has outraged Joanne Fry, a local government officer who think it's one preposterous diktat too far. In a feisty retort to the recent announcement, Fry writes: "I predict that many councils would rather face legal challenge than toe this particular line."

Also on the network
Three-quarters of civil service pension records are wrong or missing

Three-quarters of civil service pension records are wrong or missing
Government watchdog blames lack of data and bad governance for poor performance by MyCSP

You'll notice bus cuts when your neighbours lose their independence

You'll notice bus cuts when your neighbours lose their independence
Some 63% of councils in England and Wales cut bus funding this year, while 44% withdrew services

On shift in flooded Cumbria, I lived the reality of fire service cuts

On shift in flooded Cumbria, I lived the reality of fire service cuts
I drove a fire engine for 14 hours and clocked up 200 miles when Storm Desmond struck

News in brief
• Fire services at risk from spending review cuts, warns PAC
• Councils and NHS trusts to be blocked from boycotting Israeli products
• Civil servants have accepted hundreds of gifts since 2010
• Spanish civil servant skips work for years without anyone noticing
• LGA says starter homes will be out of reach for most families
• Unions warn government not to sack civil servants over apprenticeships