Friday, 22 September 2017

A Focus on Equality & Human Rights Essential to Get a Good CQC Rating

The CQC, alongside a number of partners, has published a new good practice resource, Equally Outstanding, exploring how a focus on equality and human rights can help to improve quality of care.

Using case studies from the NHS, adult social care and primary medical services, it looks at how services rated outstanding by the CQC have prioritised equality and human rights and the positive effects this has had on quality of care and staff engagement. This resource also helps set out the ‘business case’ for equality and human rights at a time when the whole health and care system faces significant financial challenges.

Paul Corrigan, CQC Non-Executive Director and Board Equality and Human Rights Champion, said "When finances are squeezed, it may seem tempting to view work on equality and human rights as an expendable extra – when in fact it makes both ethical and business sense for this work to be more central than ever.

"There’s a clear link between the quality of care a service provides and whether the people who use it and its staff feel that their human rights are respected and they are treated equally. And equality and human rights will only become more important over time because of demographic and system change; research shows that money spent on reducing health inequalities is the most efficient way of improving health outcomes for a local population.

"We have developed – and will continue to develop - this work both as a practical resource that people can use within their own organisation to make the case for an increased focus on equality and human rights and to learn from providers that have used these approaches. More broadly, we hope it encourages health and social care leaders to look beyond provider boundaries to ensure the community involvement of people from diverse communities and develop broader, more holistic services that meet their needs."

Human rights principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy should be at the heart of good care provision .  Evidence points to a clear link between quality of care and whether people who use services feel their human rights are respected and they are treated equally:
  • In the 2015 NHS Inpatient Survey, patients receiving care from Trusts rated outstanding were more likely to say that they were treated with dignity and respect in hospital and had the emotional support that they needed.  Their overall satisfaction with their hospital stay was also higher and patients at outstanding trusts who identify as lesbian or gay were more likely to give positive responses to all three questions than heterosexual patients - the reverse is true in Trusts not rated outstanding.
  • In the CQC’s acute NHS hospital inspection reports, the proportion of positive comments made about the quality of care for people with a learning disability increased in line with the Trust’s rating.
  • Seventy-five per cent of hospices rated as outstanding had carried out some work on equality for disabled people, but only 55% of other hospices had done so. Eighty-eight per cent of hospices rated as outstanding had carried out some work around equality for people of different religions and beliefs compared to 65% of lower-rated hospices.
  • Looking at 14,000 adult social care “provider information returns”, services rated good or outstanding were more likely have undertaken some specific work on equality in the past 12 months.
There is also a link between whether staff feel they are treated equally and with respect and the quality of patient care provided:
  • CQC analysis of NHS trusts' ratings shows that staff in acute or combined trust with higher ratings are less likely to say they have experienced discrimination, bullying or harassment.
  • Research looking at the NHS staff survey and inpatient survey found that where Black and Minority Ethnic staff experienced discrimination, there tended to be lower levels of patient satisfaction.
  • Though there has been less work on this topic in primary care and adult social care, the case studies in Equally Outstanding show that the basic principle holds true – where organisations value and support staff equally, this will help lead to better care.
  • Equally, a care setting where staff do not feel valued and respected is more likely to experience absenteeism, high staff turnover and recruitment problems – with implications for both care quality and finances.
The resource describes some common “success factors” in the case study organisations that have used equality and human rights to deliver outstanding care. These include:
  • a leadership committed to equality and human rights
  • applying “equality and human rights thinking” to quality improvement
  • developing a culture of staff equality where staff are improvement partners in this work
  • listening carefully to people using their service, including to their aspirations
  • being courageous in their approaches to tackling difficult issues
  • and making external links to help them progress their work.
Download a copy of Equally Outstanding by clicking here.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Awards with UK's Biggest Author Prize Fund Open for Entries

The Society of Authors is inviting entries for its 2018 Authors’ Awards. Run by authors for authors, the prizes make up the UK’s biggest literary prize fund.
There are five awards to apply from, three of which celebrate younger authors.

Five awards

All entry forms can be found online, along with eligibility criteria and instructions on how to submit your work to each award.
Betty Trask Prize and Awards
For a first novel by a writer under 35.
Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund at least £20,000.
Eric Gregory Awards
For a collection of poems by a poet under 30.
Past winners include Carol Ann Duffy, Tom Chivers, Helen Mort and Alan Hollinghurst. Total award fund £20,000.

McKitterick Prize
For a first novel by a writer over 40.
Past winners include Helen Dunmore, Mark Haddon and Petinah Gappah. Total prize fund £5,000.

Somerset Maugham Awards
For published works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry by writers under 35, to enable young writers to enrich their work by gaining experience of foreign countries.
Past winners include Hari Kunzru, Helen Oyeyemi, Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith and Jonathan Freedland. Total prize fund £10,000.
    Tom-Gallon Trust Award
    For a short story by a writer who has had at least one short story accepted for publication. Total award fund £1,500.

    The Eric Gregory Awards, McKitterick Prize and Tom-Gallon Trust Award are open for entries until 31 October. The deadline for entries to the Betty Trask Prize and Awards and the Somerset Maugham Awards is 30 November.

    You can find out more about these prizes by clicking on the titles above.

    Tuesday, 19 September 2017

    Exceptional Leadership and a Passion for Caring Leads to CQC Awarding Outstanding Rating

    The Care Quality Commission has found the quality of care provided by Risby Park Nursing Home, to be Outstanding following an inspection in July.

    Risby Park Nursing Home is run by The Partnership In Care Ltd and provides accommodation, nursing and personal care for up to 54 older people.

    Risby Park Nursing Home was rated Outstanding for being caring, well-led and responsive and Good for being effective and safe.

    Report Highlights
    • The registered manager is a highly skilled leader who has clear oversight of the home and a passion for delivering the very best of care to people.
    • Staff understand the needs and preferences of the people they care for and people are given reassurance and encouragement when they need it.
    • Staff go the extra mile to ensure people have their care needs met in the way they want.
    • There are extremely effective quality monitoring processes in place which cover all areas of the home and care delivered.
    • Staff morale in the home is extremely high and staff  are proud to work there. They were remarkably enthusiastic and passionate about delivering high-quality care.
    Rob Assall-Marsden, CQC’s Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region said “Our inspection team were really impressed by the level of care and support offered to people living at Risby Park Nursing Home."

    “Extremely caring and compassionate relationships had been cultivated between people and staff."

    “All of this meant people received a high standard of care, which is why it has been rated Outstanding.”

    Friday, 15 September 2017

    Celebrate National 4pm Finish Day Today!

    Today, Friday 15th September is the National 4pm Finish Day!

    The brains behind the scheme are the folk at Red Bull, who devised it to promote productivity and working smart rather than working long hours.

    It has been so successful that many offices have started finishing at 4pm every Friday, harking back to the good old days when all offices closed early on a Friday to give office workers a head start on the weekend.

    If you need convincing that this is a good thing, it has been scientifically proven that employees who work six hour days get just as much work done as 9 to 5’ers - honest!

    If you are an owner of a small business and want to get in your staff’s good books, honour National 4pm Finish Day and let them out early. It will also give them an incentive to work harder to get out on time!

    Thursday, 14 September 2017

    CQC to Begin Inspecting and Rating Independent Healthcare Providers

    The Department of Health has confirmed that it will grant the CQC the power to be able to rate independent healthcare providers, including cosmetic surgery, substance misuse and termination of pregnancy clinics for the first time.  Giving people clear and accessible information about even more of their care services.

    The CQC already rates NHS and independent hospitals, general practices and adult social care services and will now also award rating to the following services:
    • cosmetic surgery services (some types)
    • independent ambulance services
    • independent dialysis services
    • refractive eye surgery services
    • substance misuse services
    • termination of pregnancy services
    The form these inspections will take and rating system will consulted on in the new year.

    The Department of Health has also launched a new consultation on proposals to a further increase our powers to award ratings to all other registered providers, including independent community health services and independent doctors. This consultation will run for eight weeks and will close on 6 November 2017.

    Sir David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve - never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.

    “CQC already inspects and publishes reports for these providers and the ability to award a rating will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of these services.

    “We also welcome the Government’s longer term proposals to extend our ability to award ratings to even more services and we look forward to the outcome of the consultation they have launched today.”

    Wednesday, 6 September 2017

    Universities Pledge to do More to Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing of Students

    Universities UK has published a new framework aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of university students studying in the UK.

    The Step Change framework ­is aimed at supporting university leaders, embedding good mental health practice across all university activities.

    The framework recommends that:
    • Universities work closely with the NHS to consider how mental health care services should be commissioned and delivered to student populations. Working in close partnership with parents, schools and colleges, as well as with employers and businesses.
    • Students and staff are encouraged to talk about mental health without fear of stigmatization.
    • Staff and students know how to support others suffering from poor mental-health and access support for themselves, both within their university and the wider community.
    Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England and chair of Universities UK's Working Group on Mental Health in Higher Education said: "Mental health matters to universities. University leaders care about their students and staff. We want to help them to thrive and succeed as well as to support them through mental health challenges.

    "We can be proud of the work that higher education institutions do on mental health, the services they provide, the impact they have on those in distress or difficulties. We want to capture these positive activities, but also ensure that our response to this growing challenge is the right one."

    "This framework is about getting universities to think about mental health and wellbeing across all their activities and people. From students to academics and support staff. From teaching and research to accommodation and relations with local communities. The step change in student mental health begins here."

    Find out more about the framework at or search #stepchange on social media.

    Thursday, 31 August 2017

    Financial Support to Help You Finish Writing Your Book

    The Society of Authors is one of only a few organisations which makes grants to writers for works in progress.

    The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust award grants twice yearly to assist with research costs or give authors valuable time to complete work.

    The deadline for grant applications this autumn is the 30th September.

    Applications need to be made by letter with the necessary enclosures - you can find out more by clicking here.

    About The Authors' Foundation

    The Authors’ Foundation was set up from donations by authors in 1984 and gives grants of up to £6,000 to authors who are currently working on a project and have, or are likely to have, interest from a British publisher.

    All applicants will also be considered automatically for specific grants offering funding for writing in the fields of biography about women, the environment and natural history, philanthropy, poetry, racial understanding, Scandinavia, science fiction, fantasy and magic realism (open to adult and children’s writers), spy thrillers and crime.

    About The K Blundell Trust

    The K Blundell Trust gives grants of up to £6,000 to British authors under the age of 40 whose work aims to increase social awareness. The project can be fiction or non-fiction.

    New Grants/Awards for 2017

    In addition to these established awards and grants two new grants have been added to those offered by the Trust this year. The Eric Ambler Awards, offered in memory of the spy thriller writer, and for the Antonia Fraser Grants, open to any writer, offering two grants of £3,000 per year for a biography of a woman or women.

    All applicants for K Blundell and Author Foundation grants will automatically be entered for consideration in these new awards.

    Antonia Fraser, one of the Authors’ Foundation’s original trustees, will be retiring from her role this year and commented on her decision to set up the Antonia Fraser Grants: ‘The Antonia Fraser Grants are inspired by my own lifelong interest in women's history and a wish to encourage others to share it. Not only biographies of individual women will be eligible, but also studies of women in more general terms. I have written both myself, starting for example with Mary Queen of Scots in 1969, and then moving to The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in 17th century England in 1984, ending with a group biography of Louis XIV's ladies in 2006."

    "I believe strongly in the biographical approach to history which was after all created by individuals, and above all hope that applicants for an A.F.G will experience the same mixture of excitement and discovery in the course of their researches, as I have done."

    "As one of the founding Trustees of the Author's Foundation, it gives me special pleasure to support its work in this way: to mark my withdrawal from active involvement after 33 years."