Monday, 25 April 2011

Independent consultants and consortiums to register with CQC


The Care Quality Commission is responsible for ensuring that the health and social care provided to all patients is kept at a high standard at all times. The way that health and social care is provided is constantly changing, with more and more patients now being treated by care providers who are independent or 'private'; i.e. they are not part of the NHS.

Fortunately the Care Quality Commission's role stretches out to the non-NHS providers, thereby ensuring that regardless of who provides the care, patients are always treated safely, accurately and to a high standard.

So far all larger providers of diagnostic services, acute services, inpatient services, outpatient services, nursing care and dental care have had to register with the Care Quality Commission. Now however the Care Quality Commission has stated that all independent consultants and consortiums (private groups of consultants), along with all GPs will also need to ensure that they have registered. New guidance as to how this registration process will happen will be released shortly. The Care Quality Commission is however urging these provider groups to make a start at compiling their registration evidence as soon as possible, in order that their registration be processed as quickly as possible.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Debate of publishing trends


On that all important World Book and Copyright Day that sits proudly in centre stage of most writer's calendars, the head of the United Nations agency which is tasked with preserving the world''s cultural heritage called for a debate to examine the changing trends in book publishing and copyrights. The agency stated that the introduction of new technologies to the publishing industry was having a huge impact on publishers, authors and readers.

"Change is giving rise also to sharp new debates -- about the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of products, about the nature of copyright today, about the role of libraries relative to online knowledge, about the meaning of ''authorship'' in a world of blogs and wikis," said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), in a message to mark the World Book and Copyright Day.

She also drew attention to UNESCO''s responsibility to explore all the repercussions
of the change, while preserving the values and forms of expression that the world shares and cherishes.

"Our role is to provide a platform for debate and to act as a knowledge-broker to explore old and new ideas," Ms. Bokova said.

Ms. Bokova, called for the protection of books, stating that they are the best voices of tolerance and that they act as pillars of free and open societies. She asked that efforts be made to ensure that books become available to the 800 million adults who still do not have reading skills. "We must explore all aspects of the changes they [books] are undergoing today," she added.

French living really can lead to literary success!

A Midland's author, Glyn Pope has had a novel published by Cactus Rain Publishing of Arizona America.

Glyn moved to France in 2007. 'Living in France', says Glyn, 'has meant that I've been able to devote myself full time to writing and I've produced a novel that I'm proud of.'

Pope's novel has been reviewed recently by BBC Radio Presenter Stephen Butt. Talking about the bok in his review Butt states; 'Rich in atmosphere and the colour of time, all the characters in Glyn Pope's novel are alive. This is a true reflection of life in a certain surburb of Leicester in the English East Midlands, but the themes are universal. This would well be your neighbourhood facing the challenges of a changing world at the end of the 2nd World War. Enjoyable and challenging.'

Sarah Berry from the Deux-Serves Monthly magazines provides readers with a precis of the novel:

'Set in 1948 the novel tells the story of a young Doctor taking up his first position on a council estate in Leicester. Doctor Latymer arrives full of hope after dreadful experiences of the war settling into life on the estate. The young doctor quickly becomes the local miracle worker. However, when food poisoning strikes the estate residents, Doctor Latymer sets out to right injustices.'

Happy Reading!

If you're in the process of writing a novel, story or article, check out our Writers' Pages to see how Words Worth Reading Ltd can help.

Gonville and Caius Easter school for academic high flyers


On the Cambridge University website this week information was released about the University's residential Easter school.

150 high-achieving state school pupils have had the opportunity to enjoy a taste of life at Gonville and Caius as participants in the College’s 2011 Residential Easter Schools.

The website report announces that 'the two free two-day courses, one for students interested primarily in the humanities and the other for prospective scientists, are held every year for high-achieving state school pupils who have the potential to be successful applicants to the University of Cambridge.'

The courses are designed to give final year college or sixth form students an experience of university life at Cambridge through lectures, seminars, visits to university sites and an overnight stay in Caius College, including dining in Hall. The courses are free to attend thanks to the generosity of Thomas Young, the father of a former Caius student.

Cambridge University's report goes on to say that 'at the final session of each course, Dr Andrew Bell, Admissions Tutor for Gonville and Caius College, gave a presentation intended to demystify the Cambridge applications process and provide information and advice on how to prepare a competitive application to any top university.'

Victoria Robinson, a pupil at The Hertfordshire and Essex High School, said: "I'm definitely going to apply now. I didn't really know what to expect - but I didn't think everyone would be this normal!"

The 150 students lucky enough to attend the residential course were nominated by their schools. The courses are run as part of Gonville and Caius's commitment to encouraging every student in every school to make the most of his or her abilities, and to help talented students achieve their ambitions, as Dr Bell explains: "It's a difficult time for students thinking about higher education. The funding of universities is changing rapidly, and there's a lot of uncertainty, even misinformation, out there.

"Events like this Easter School allow us to show students that, whatever their personal or financial background, if they've got the academic ability and the determination then Cambridge could be the very best place in the world for them to study. My colleagues and I have had a great time meeting these Easter School students - I'm sure we'll see some of them again."

If you need help with your application to Universities, just give us a call.

HealthWatch progress update

It appears that the launch of HealthWatch and HealthWatch England will now take place “no earlier than July 2012”.

Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, issued a letter to his colleagues yesterday which read:

"Because of the pause in the legislative process and...subject to the results of the listening exercise and the passage of the Bill, all of the statutory changes which were due to take place in April 2012 will take place no earlier than July 2012."

The ‘listening exercise’ was launched on 6 April during the natural break in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill. For details of the 'listening exercise', visit the Department of Health's Working together for a stronger NHS webpage.

For all your Healthcare Service support needs, visit our Healthcare Centre.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Severn Heights Nursing Home failing CQC standards

On the 18th April the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a press release stating that Severn Heights Nursing Home is currently failing to meet 3 of the 16 essential standards of care.

In their press release, the CQC stated that:

"A Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector who visited Severn Heights Nursing Home in Callow End, Worcestershire, found that it was failing to meet three essential standards of quality and safety.

Providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety.

A CQC inspector visited the home in December 2010 because of CQC’s concerns about the home. The inspector reviewed three specific areas.

The CQC report, which is published today, highlights the regulator’s concerns with the three areas the inspector looked at:

Cleanliness and infection control

The inspector found that people living at the home were at risk because of a lack of effective infection control procedures. Risks included toilets that would not flush, soiled dressings, dirty commodes and overflowing bins.

Safety and suitability of premises

The home was using portable heaters to keep the home warm. Water was too hot in places and the cold water supply lacked pressure. The inspector also found medicine left unsecured in an open office.

Safety, availability and suitability of equipment

Equipment such as portable heaters, portable hoists and lifting equipment over two baths had not always been checked or serviced when they should have been."

The Care Quality Commission went on to say that they have alerted other agencies including the local authority and the fire and rescue service to their concerns. The CQC themselves have carried out further assessments and produced additional reports on this nursing home provider. Currently the provider is undertaking work to ensure that the required standards are met. Therefore there aren't any patients receiving care at this home at this time.

For help with your CQC assessment, registration and ongoing compliance monitoring, contact Words Worth Reading Ltd.

Publisher's Postbag


The Guardian has today released a picture gallery of letters that the children's publisher Klaus Flugge received over his 30 year career. He received almost 100 beautifully designed and lovingly created envelopes from a wide range of writers including Posy Simmonds, Tony Ross and Alex Scheffler.

Take a look at this link to sample just a few of Flugge's collective pieces.

iPhone and iPad security breach

Well what would Information Governance leads across the country have to say about this then? The story below is taken from the Los Angeles Times. Anyone involved in data protection, security and basic freedom of movement should find this story a bit of an eye-opener!

"Security researchers said they found a file hidden in the operating software of Apple's devices that can contain tens of thousands of records of a user's precise geographical location, each marked with a timestamp.

"Those records create a highly detailed history of a user's whereabouts over months or even years.

"The data are in an unprotected file embedded in the phone and tablet computer, the researchers said Wednesday, allowing hackers who pick up a lost iPhone or iPad access to the location history with relative ease.

"The discovery comes as technology companies are coming under increasing scrutiny for the ways in which they collect, store and share personal information gleaned from consumers' use of digital devices.

"Apple, Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., three of the most popular consumer technology companies, have attracted intense scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates.

"Illustrating the data in dramatic, understandable form, security researchers Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan released a software program Wednesday that allows iPhone and iPad users to download and plot their location histories onto an interactive map, showing their trail over time.

"The maps show clusters of colorful dots in hundreds or thousands of precise locations visited by the device's user.

"I have no idea what Apple thinks it's doing in collecting this," said Christopher Soghoian, a cybersecurity researcher at the University of Indiana and formerly a Federal Communications Commission employee. "You'd think they would've learned the lesson Google learned, which is: Don't surprise your users on privacy."

"Apple raised eyebrows last year when it added a phrase to its privacy policy disclosing that it would "collect, use and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device." The company said that the data were anonymous and could not be used to identify the original user.

"But Allan of Exeter University and Warden, a former Apple engineer, said the cache of location information on a user's iPhone or iPad can be linked easily to the user and is not protected by any security.

"Cellphone location data have long been collected by wireless providers to help route calls to mobile users. Law enforcement officials can get access to that data, but it generally requires a court order.

"Now this information is sitting in plain view, unprotected from the world," Warden and Allen wrote in an online post on the O'Reilly Radar technology site. The data are "available to anyone who can get their hands on your phone or computer," they said.

"Apple did not return requests for comment.

"Many Apple customers were excited about the maps, which aren't as specific as the data used to plot them, and wanted to share their meanderings.

"Randy Botti, a web designer in Hawaii, posted a map showing visits to many spots around the coast of the Big Island.

"Here's my iPad location map," Botti wrote on Twitter. "I showed mine, now show yours."

Students compete in Earth-themed art show


Teenagers in Vancouver were asked what the environment meant to them; and they were then asked to depict their answer through visual art. More than 250 students took part in the challenge, thus entering the first art show of its kind: an open-juried, province-wide art competition for hight school students.

Marc Pelech, a board member of the Arts Council of Surrey (B.C.), credited the former office of Stephanie Cadieux and current office of Ida Chong, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, for promoting the project and the vision.

“Art teachers have wished for a provincial level student art competition for years, but it never seemed to come together," he said in a written statement.

"I am delighted to see that so many schools are rallying around this opportunity."

The Vancouver Sun reported that, 'more than 53 public and private schools were represented by the entrants, and the 50 finalists, span grades 9 to 12 from 25 B.C. communities: Abbotsford, Burnaby, Campbell River, Chetwynd, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Delta, Langley, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Pemberton, Penticton, Prince George, Richmond, Salmo, Squamish, Shawnigan Lake, Surrey, Trail, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Williams Lake.

'Three winners will be announced just in time for Earth Day, at a gala on Friday at the Newton Cultural Centre.

'The top prize is $2,000, with second and third place prizes of $1,000 and $500.'

Pelech said the jurying process was done through a "blind process:" The jury panel was only provided with the artworks and descriptions.

Are you a student? Check out our student-based services.

Kindle readers to borrow e-books from libraries


American owners of the e-book reader, Kindle, will soon be able to borrow e-books from their local libraries...and...scribble in the margins!

On Wednesday 20th April, Amazon.com announced that it would allow Kindle users to borrow e-books from more than 11,000 American libraries. This announcement follows news of similar agreements drawn up by Kindle's rivals, notably the Sony Reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

The move was welcomed by American librarians. "Anyone who works with the public has encountered the discouragement people feel when you have to tell them that Amazon does not allow library ebooks on the Kindle," stated library manager Bobbi L Newman in his blog. "It's SO exciting to see that Kindle users will now have access to library ebooks (especially when we know that library books usage actually drives sales up). Plus that note-taking ability they mentioned is a big reason I bought my Kindle! Very excited to see it on library books."

Roberta A Stevens, the president of the American Library Association, told the New York Times that Amazon's move into library lending as "all but inevitable". "I can't say that I'm surprised," she said. "They were just shutting off a whole part of the marketplace. It's just logical that this would happen."

Amazon.com haven't released the exact date that ebook library lending will come into play in the US, but it is rumoured to be before the end of the year.

For advice and support with your own writing, check out our website.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Beryl Bainbridge finally wins that Booker Prize


The late Beryl Bainbridge's historical novel Master George has won the much-loved author a Booker Prize. Branded the eternal Booker bridesmaid, Beryl Bainbridge has made it to the short list 5 times for this prize (between the years 1973 and 1998) but had never won the prize before.

The Guardian reported that, "following her death last July, aged 75, organisers of the award decided to honour an author who had made the shortlist more frequently than any other writer by creating a "Best of Beryl" Booker, and asked the public to vote for their favourite of Bainbridge's shortlisted books.

"Over 1,000 readers voted in the contest, with Master Georgie squeaking in just ahead of Every Man for Himself, published in 1996. The other titles in the running were all older novels: The Dressmaker (1973), The Bottle Factory Outing (1974), and An Awfully Big Adventure (1990)."

Ion Trewin, literary director of the Booker and a former judge, said: "I have a feeling that, wherever she is now, she'll be hugging herself and saying 'gosh, how lovely'. Over the years when she didn't win, she thought oh well, and had another puff on a cigarette and a drink. But to win – well, I can't believe it would give her anything other than immense pleasure."

He added: "She may have been known as the eternal Booker bridesmaid, but we are delighted to be able finally to crown Master Georgie a Booker bride."

Fancy writing your own Booker Prize winner? Check out the WWRL writer support services!

Romford hospital fails CQC standards in maternity


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) that it is failing to comply with essential standards of quality and safety and that it must make improvements.

BHRUT is made up of two acute hospitals; Queen’s Hospital, located in Romford, and King George Hopsital, located in Ilford. This CQC report refers to the maternity services delivered on the Queen's Hospital site.

The CQC carried out a review of maternity services at Queen's Hospital Romford because the trust achieved CQC registration initially on the condition that it improve staffing for maternity and midwifery services. Inspectors reviewed all the information the regulator holds about this provider, surveyed people who use services, and carried out unannounced visits. They talked to people who use the service, talked to staff, checked the provider’s records, and looked at the records of people who use services.

In their report following this review, the CQC have stated that they found, 'that care is falling far short of the essential standards of quality and safety people should be able to expect. The trust was failing to meet six essential standards and we had major concerns in two areas:

  • Care and welfare of people: Some patients suffered delays in being transferred to the labour ward and delays in going to theatre. Some were left alone for long periods and some did not receive the pain relief they required.
  • Staffing: There were not enough staff to ensure people who use the services were safe and their health and welfare needs were met. Staff from all maternity wards told us that they were very understaffed and that the main staff shortage was in the labour ward. Staff from the antenatal and postnatal wards told us that they were frequently asked to help when the labour ward was short staffed, which meant that their own ward became short staffed.

'There were other areas of minor and moderate concern:

  • Respecting and involving people who use services: Whilst some of the new mothers we spoke to were happy with the care they received during labour, there was evidence that people who use services were not always involved in the care, treatment and support they received before, during and after birth.
  • Safety, availability and suitability of equipment: Evidence provided demonstrated that equipment at Queen’s hospital maternity department was not always available in sufficient quantities, and that self checks performed by the department were not always made often enough
  • Supporting workers: The needs of service users were not always being met by staff who had attended relevant training sessions. Less than half of the obstetricians have received training on interpreting CTG monitors and a ‘fresh eyes’ approach (which means that if a member of staff is unsure about something they ask another member of staff to have a look) is not followed by hospital staff. The ratio of supervisors to midwives was higher than recommended, meaning that supervisors were responsible for too many midwives.
  • Records: Patient records were not always stored securely. During our visit, we observed patients’ notes randomly left on the counter within a treatment room on the postnatal ward. The door to the room was open and there did not appear to be any restricted entry mechanism. We also observed patients’ notes in open trolleys next to the midwives’ station.

'The major concern about staffing was raised with the Trust immediately following CQC’s visit. Some improvements have since been made and CQC continues to keep this issue under close scrutiny. In addition, the Trust has been given seven days from the issue of this report to produce plans to show how it intends to meet the other essential standards.'

CQC Regional Director for London, Colin Hough, said:

“When we visited Queen’s Hospital, we were so concerned about what we found that we raised urgent concerns with the Trust about staffing, ahead of the publication of this report.

“Since the inspection visit that generated this report, we have been back to the hospital to check that these concerns are being addressed. There is evidence that the number of midwives has been increased, and the staff we spoke to – who had previously expressed concerns about capacity – confirmed that they were happier with staffing levels. The Trust now needs to demonstrate that these improvements can be sustained going forward, with sufficient numbers of appropriately trained midwives in post on a permanent basis. We will continue to make unannounced visits to ensure this is happening.

“Now we are giving the Trust seven days to tell us how they plan to address other areas where we have found they are not meeting essential standards of quality and safety. These include record keeping and ensuring staff are properly trained to use equipment. Again, we will be checking that they have made these improvements; we will also be working closely with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Strategic Health Authority.

“This Trust will continue to be under intense scrutiny until we are sure that they have taken all necessary steps to ensure that all women and babies using their maternity services receive safe Care. If we are not satisfied that they have done so, we have a range of enforcement powers available which include prosecution, restriction of services or closure.”

Do you need help with your CQC registration or internal compliance monitoring? Words Worth Reading Ltd can help!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lauriston Christian Nursing Home failing CQC standards


Nursing Homes and Care Homes are currently being assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), to ensure that the services they are delivering to patients are in line with essential standards of care.

The (CQC) inspectors recently (January 2011) visited the Lauriston Christian Nursing Home in St Leonards on Sea, which provides accomodation for up to 60 people, and found that it was failing to meet 13 essential standards of quality and safety.

The CQC were alerted to concerns at the care home following a serious incident where a resident was harmed. Inspectors were thus sent in to check whether The Lauriston Christian Nursing Home had made the necessary improvements to meet the essential standards of care. Providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety.

In a press release, the CQC have stated that their full report on this Nursing Home, which was published on Monday, reports concerns about 13 essential standards:

  • Respecting and involving service users: The home did not ensure personalised care, treatment and support through involving and consulting with the people who use the service.
  • Consent to care and treatment: Although the home had systems in place for gaining and reviewing consent, they were not being implemented appropriately for the majority of the people who use the service. Staff lacked appropriate training and awareness.
  • Care and welfare: Treatment and care was not reflective of individual need, did not promote optimum safety and was task orientated and not person centred.
  • Nutrition: The provision of food and drink at the time of the visit was not adequate to ensure people using the service were receiving a safe, suitable and balanced diet to support their health. Pureed diet for people who required them were not properly prepared or safely delivered.
  • Safe and appropriate care: Inspectors found that service users did not always experience safe and appropriate care, treatment or support that met their needs and protected their rights. The provider failed to recognise and respond to risks and challenging behaviour has placed people at risk.
  • Safeguarding people from abuse: Staff and managers at the home did not ensure through robust risk assessments, that the use of restraint is appropriate, reasonable and justifiable to all the people who use the service.
  • Management of medicines: Medication management in the home was poor and places people at risk.
  • Suitability of equipment: The home did not ensure that the use of specialised equipment was suitable and appropriate for each individual to meet varied health needs.
  • The care environment: The heating and call bell facilities in the home needed improvement to ensure the safety and comfort of people living in the home. The home carried out relevant checks on prospective staff before employment started but did not ensure that they had the necessary training, experience and qualifications to perform the job competently.
  • Staff numbers: There were too few staff to meet the high level of dependency of some people, particularly at times of intensive need such as meal times.
  • Staff training and supervision: Residents at the home were at risk from staff who were not properly trained, supervised and appraised.
  • Managing risks: The systems in place for quality monitoring were inadequate. Monthly reports did not identify clear shortfalls and the provider did not complete the home risk assessments within the timescale stated in their application to register with the CQC.
  • Record keeping: The home failed to keep accurate, personalised care, treatment and support records in a secure and confidential manner.
  • Management: The appointed manager has been in post since September 2010 but has not applied to become the registered manager. She had not undertaken any training since coming into post. The management structure of the home did not promote the health, safety and welfare of the people who use the service.
The CQC have reported that the Lauriston Christian Nursing Home has submitted an action plan to CQC, outlining how it will address these concerns in order to meet the standards. Inspectors will return to the care home unannounced to check whether the improvements have been made and to decide whether to initiate formal enforcement action.

CQC Regional Director for the South East, Roxy Boyce, said: “As well as these 13 major concerns, we also found that the home needed to make improvements in other areas.

“The care at Lauriston Christian Nursing Home has fallen far short of the standards people have a right to expect. We need to ensure that people living at the home are not at any immediate risk of harm, which is why we have been working closely with Hastings and Rother Primary Care Trust and local social services under safeguarding procedures.

“Despite there being some progress in care delivered at the home since our initial visit in January, it is disappointing that this was only made under our direction and under the threat of radical action.

“It is clear standards require significant further improvement so we will continue to scrutinise this service very closely indeed to ensure these improvements are made and sustained.”

If you are a Care Home or Nursing Home provider, speak to one of our CQC advisors about how we can help you achieve CQC registration and continue to comply with the essential standards of care.

Latest article writing opportunities


Several magazines are looking for article submissions at the moment. It is the perfect time to start building up your portfolio of writing.

GEOGRAPHICAL, UK
Award-winning lively, colourful monthly magazine of the Royal Geographical Society presenting geography in its broadest sense. It has exciting and beautifully illustrated articles on people,
places, cultures, adventure, responsible travel, history, science and environmental issues.
Pay: rates circa £100 per published page.
Guidelines: http://www.geographical.co.uk/Home/About_us/index.html


UPSTAIRS AT DUROC, FRANCE
An international literary and arts journal that promotes innovative English language writing from the Paris area and around the world. Publishes both established and emerging writers. Interested in English language poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and translations. Welcomes innovative or cross-genre forms, prose poems and flash fiction.
Pay: Non-paying market. Contributors get one free copy of the journal.
Guidelines: http://www.wice-paris.org/upstairs_at_duroc


FRANCE REVISITED, USA
A web magazine created under the premise that the greatest rewards of travel come from approaching people, places, things, history, sights, food, art and culture with curiosity. Happy to work with writers and journalists able to write creatively and knowledgeably about travel, touring, and life in France and beyond.
Pay: They have started offering 'token payment' (from Feb 2011) based on advertising. Current rate is $5 for a first article of 500+ words, $10 for a second contribution and $15 for third and subsequent contribution.
Guidelines: http://francerevisited.com/contact-2/write-for-us/


EMBROIDERY MAGAZINE, UK
A bi-monthly magazine covering all forms of the embroiderer's art- contemporary work (with illustrations), historical embroidery, embroidery from outside the UK, and reviews. Submissions must be accompanied with good images.
Pay: Paying market, rates negotiable.
Guidelines: http://embroidery.embroiderersguild.com/info/contributors.htm


SAUDI ARAMCO WORLD, USA
Publishes positive and non-political stories of lasting educational value about aspects of the Arab and Muslim worlds, their arts, history, geography, biography, cross-cultural connections and
trends. Published 6 times per year. Welcomes proposals from freelance writers and photographers who supply nearly all of the magazine's content.
Pay: Fees vary.
Guidelines: http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/about.us/guidelines.htm


EYE, UK
Early Years Educator is a monthly magazine aimed at early-years education professionals. Covers child health and behaviour, children's centres, cross-curricular activities, the outdoor
classroom, management and training issues. Seeks inspirational articles and time-saving ideas and projects for educators to use in an early years education setting.
Pay: Payment must be agreed before publication and will be made following publication.
Guidelines: http://www.earlyyearseducator.co.uk/contribute.shtml

Happy writing!
Need help with your writing? Visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website for details of how we can help.

Genre authors protest about treatment by the BBC

Article source, Guardian, 18.04.11

"Elder statesmen science fiction authors Iain M Banks and Michael Moorcock are among the 85 authors who have written to BBC director-general Mark Thompson complaining about the "shabby treatment of genre fiction" on World Book Night last month.

From children's authors Tamora Pierce and Debi Gliori to crime novelist SJ Bolton, horror writer Ramsey Campbell and fantasy authors Steven Erikson, Stephen Hunt and Juliet Marillier, the 85 writers believe the "sneering tone that was levelled towards commercial fiction" during the
BBC's programming on World Book Night was "deeply counterproductive to the night's aims of actually encouraging people to read novels".

The BBC's coverage on 5 March included The Books We Really Read: a Culture Show Special and New Novelists: 12 of the Best.

Hunt, who organised the joint letter from the writers to the BBC, said that the weight that was given to the single sub-genre of literary fiction in the remaining programmes was unbalanced and unrepresentative of all but a small fraction of the country's reading tastes".

"Closest to my own heart, the failure to feature a single work from the three genres of horror, fantasy, and science fiction was a disgrace," he said, before pointing out that "the official World Book Night list included Philip Pullman's fantasy novel, Northern Lights. It is a shame the BBC could not."

"There have been weeks when one in three books sold in the UK were Harry Potter novels, or more recently, Twilight novels. The sweeping under the carpet of the very genres of the imagination which engage and fire readers' minds shows a lot more about the BBC production team's taste in fiction than it does about what the general public is actually reading."

Other authors to put their names to the letter include science fiction writers Neal Asher, Harry Turtledove, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Robert J Sawyer and Elizabeth Moon."

Monday, 18 April 2011

Egan receives Pulitzer fiction price

The American novelist, Jennifer Egan, has been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, thanks to her fourth novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad. A review of this chunky book will be apearing on the Words Worth Reading Ltd book club forum soon so keep your eyes peeled.

The prize, worth $10,000, recognises distinguished fiction by American authors, with a preference placed on fiction that is based on American life.

The judging panel was chaired by the literary editor, Chicago Tribune, Elizabeth Taylor, called the work "an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed."

This US bestseller has also won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and is a finalist for the Pen Faulkner Award and the LA Times Book Prize, as well as a longlist finalist for the UK’s Orange Prize.

Fancy writing your own best seller? Let Words Worth Reading Ltd help.

Travel Writing Competition


Can you write a winning travel article?

Travel scribes, wordsmiths, scribblers and scrawlers have been invited to enter the 2011 Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel-Writing Competition.

There are lots of individuals out there who aspire to become successful travel writers; it can seem such a romantic and exciting job... Well, anyway, there are plenty that talk the talk with a wistful faraway gaze but whose commissioned travel tales never seem to take them beyond the kitchen at a dinner party. Now is the opportunity to break out of this mould! If you love travelling and genuinely relish the challenge of a blank page even more, then Bradt and The Independent on Sunday want to hear from you.

This year's theme is ŒUp the Creek, which can be interpreted as a metaphor or taken literally. Entries must contain a strong travel element (obviously) and the maximum length is 800 words. The competition is open to all UK-resident writers, published or unpublished, aged 18 years or over. For more details see bradtguides.com.

This year's main prize is a holiday for two to eastern Turkey, and the winning entry will be published in The Compact Traveller section of The Independent on Sunday. In addition, the winner will be commissioned to write a follow-up article for the newspaper based on their prize visit to eastern Turkey. In addition, there is a special category for unpublished writers, where
the winner's prize is a place on a Travellers' Tales overseas writing course.

The closing date is noon on Friday 20 May 2011. Winners will be announced at a future glittering event held in central London later in the year.

So get scribbling!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

CQC looks for improvements at East London Hospital


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a press release on the 12th April 2011, stating that it has told Cygnet Hospital in Beckton, East London, that it must make improvements to comply with all essential standards of quality and safety.

Following a Care Quality Commission assessment, inspectors from the CQC found that the mental health hospital was failing to meet seven essential standards of quality and safety.

As reported in the press release; 'the inspection team reviewed all the information held about this provider on all 16 essential outcomes and carried out a visit on 19 January 2011. The review was carried out as part of our routine schedule of planned reviews. During the visit, we observed how patients were being cared for, talked to patients who use the service, talked to staff and checked the provider’s records.

CQC found that Cygnet Hospital Beckton was not meeting seven essential standards, with major concerns in one area:

  • Care and welfare of service users: It was unclear what system existed for reviewing patient’s care plans or physical well being following restraint. Cygnet Beckton are unable to adequately measure crucial elements of risk or good practice from what is currently recorded. There was also evidence of patients being left on their own with physical healthcare issues because the reactive system in place could not adequately meet patient’s needs.

There were other areas of concern with safeguarding people and staffing.'

The CQC has asked Cygnet Hospital to provide a robust action plan which sets out how the hospital will meet these essential standards. The CQC will then check to make sure that the improvements have been made.

Colin Hough, Regional Director of CQC in London, said “We have told Cygnet Hospital Beckton where it needs to do more to comply with essential standards and we have asked them to tell us what action they will take to improve. We will check to make sure that the improvements have been made.”

For support with your CQC registration, ongoing internal compliance monitoring or assessment preparation, check out our dedicated CQC Service.

Green storage for data management


Article based on content written by Juergen Arnold from SNIA Europe for data management news (www.datamanagementnews.com)

"Sometimes a topic or idea is discussed so much that it almost becomes a campaign; we stop questioning it and instead end up believing it. "

From health (bottled water is purer than tap water) to of course IT (too many instances to list), most subjects or items can become the hottest item on today's agenda.

The latest example of such a phenomenon within the Information Technology and data management world is the environmental agenda. 'Green IT' is now becoming a business-level concern, with the following areas in need of discussion and action:

- the limits imposed on additional hardware in data centres ;

- ongoing costs that organisations must sustain for powering and cooling data centres;

- new regulatory directives on the implementation of the environmental agenda, driven by the EU or by individual countries.

The rise of the green IT discussion from IT department to board-level is one of the factors that has made this topic become so widespread throughout the industry in such a short amount of tume. Never before had such a technical matter become the subject of the senior management spotlight in such a short space of time. Undoubtedly this is partly due to the fact that ‘being green' is seen as having a positive effect on a company's brand and hence ensuring that individual IT companies or data centres are reducing the impact they may be having on the environment is now close to the heart of many Vice Presidentss and CEOs.

But are data centre managers communicating effectively in order to devise a successful green strategy for their organisation? Do they have all the facts necessary to discuss this topic with the rest of the organisation and to eventually neutralise their CO2 emissions? Do IT managers know how much power their infrastructures use? How much they use for cooling? How much this costs? How much additional equipment their data centre can host to accommodate business growth? Have they ever worked out their data centre efficiency metrics?

And of course the green debate is not just about power and cooling. In 2005 and 2006, vendors selling in the EU all had to implement the RoHs directive (Removal of Hazardous Substances) in their products and nowadays many European countries have processes in place to recycle electronic waste.

So what measures are at the disposal of IT managers to address these issues?

The media has extensively covered the development of this debate and plenty of information can be easily found on the Internet. However, in order to provide organisations with vendor-independent information, SNIA recently formed the SNIA Green Storage Task Force and a Green Storage Technical Working Group. As a result, the association delivers tutorials to help IT professionals better understand this topic. The storage industry has introduced new technologies and architectures to help data centres save energy and cost. A leading examples is the 2.5 inch Serial Attached SCSI or SAS drive technologies, which dramatically reduce power and cooling requirements. Data de-duplication, virtualisation and storage consolidation also reduce the amount of physical storage required, thus cutting down on hardware and its carbon footprint and ultimately lowering an organisation's OPEX and CAPEX.

Beyond SNIA's activities, the "Green Grid" initiative www.thegreengrid.com is a great source of educational information at data centre level.

Becoming green is a rewarding experience which enables organisations to reduce both costs and environmental damage. The IT industry has already made great progress in identifying the initial steps that can make datacentres become more efficient with regard to their power and cooling consumption. As time goes on new metrics will be defined so that organisations can accurately discover their carbon footprint size and origin and take corrective actions. In the meantime, the deployment of technologies such as data deduplication, Thin Provisioning, and tape-based archiving will allow data centres to become more environmentally friendly.

Teacher Training budget cuts


This morning the Guardian announced that plans by Michael Gove, the education secretary, to move teacher training out of universities and into schools face a wave of protest and threats of strike action. Teacher Trainers are not all that happy!

It is well known that teachers already spend a vast majority of their training in classrooms where they gain valuable practical experience. However, Unions insist that it is also crucial to learn theory and best practice in lecture halls. Surely the idea of scrapping university teaching sessions for teachers is on par with suggesting that nurses can learn everything they need to know about healthcare through non-stop ward working? Theory has to come into play somewhere.

The Guardian reports that Sally Hunt of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said last night that her members would turn to industrial action rather than allow the government to reform a system that "isn't broken".

Hunt said: "What I am very concerned about is this assertion that teaching is a craft that can be simply learned by watching others. There is an awful lot of theory and research behind the profession. Teachers have a huge breadth of experience open to them and we are likely to lose all that if these reforms are pushed through.

"Something like 85% of teacher training is good or outstanding. That is not something you remove, that is a success story to be built on."

Gove is set to unveil more detail about his plans in June. Let's see what action his next round of revelations lead to...

All the latest education news brought to you by Words Worth Reading Ltd.

CQC releases results of Count Me In census


On the 6th April, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published the results of the final Count me in census that looked at the ethnicity of mental health inpatients. The results call for organisations beyond the healthcare sector to play their part in improving the mental health and well-being of black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.

The following press release on this census was published on the CQC's website:

"Greater understanding is needed about the factors that lead to the variations that exist between the proportions of some ethnic groups on mental health wards, says CQC. Early intervention is vital to reduce the need for admitting people to hospital.

Mental health services have a key role, but collaborative working is needed between statutory agencies and other organisations in the healthcare sector and also outside the sector, such as education authorities, police authorities, the criminal justice system, primary care services, voluntary organisations and BME community groups.

CQC also says the proposed NHS Commissioning Board and general practitioner (GP) consortia, under the Government’s health reforms, will have a crucial part to play. They will have a statutory obligation to promote equality and reduce inequalities in healthcare, something that is also enshrined in the Equality Act 2010.

As the lead commissioners of healthcare services, it will be up to GP consortia to assess with councils’ social services the needs of their local populations and to commission the right services to meet those obligations, says CQC. The strengthened public health role of councils offers significant potential for addressing the socio-economic and other disadvantages faced by BME communities, which impact adversely on mental health.

Since 2005 the annual Count me in census has been important in providing information on the ethnicity of inpatients in mental health and learning disability services.

It was designed to support the Department of Health’s five-year action plan for improving mental health services for BME communities in England, Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care, which ended in 2010.

Overall, the findings of the sixth Count me in census show little change from previous years. They continue to show differences in mental health admission and detention rates between black and minority ethnic groups and white groups, and also differences within minority ethnic groups. Although the total numbers of mental health inpatients have fallen since 2005, ethnic differences in rates of admission, detention under the Mental Health Act and seclusion have not altered materially.

  • Admission rates remain higher than average among some minority ethnic groups, especially Black and White/Black Mixed groups. In contrast, admission rates remain average or lower than average among the south Asian (Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi) and Chinese groups.
  • Rates of detention under the Mental Health Act are higher than average among the Black, White/Black Caribbean Mixed and Other White groups (but not in other ethnic groups). The rates for detained patients who were placed on a community treatment order (CTO) are higher among the south Asian and Black groups.
  • Although there have been fluctuations in seclusion rates, they have generally been higher than average for the Black, White/Black Mixed and Other White groups. (Seclusion is the supervised confinement of a patient in a room, which may be locked to protect others from significant harm.)

Dame Jo Williams, CQC’s chair, said: “NHS trusts and independent providers need to look carefully at the census information. These findings, however, do not in themselves show that mental health services are failing to meet the needs of people from black and minority ethnic groups. The findings need to be interpreted in the light of evidence about levels of mental illness and pathways to care among different groups.

“There is a need to move on from counting patients to understanding more about the factors that lead to hospital admission, such as ethnic differences in the rates of mental illness, the socio-economic and other disadvantages faced by some BME communities, and the ways in which patients enter the care environment – for instance, patients from some ethnic groups are much more likely to be referred from the criminal justice system than other groups.

“In this report, as in previous years, we are again highlighting the need for all involved to try to prevent mental ill-health by addressing these contributory factors and intervening early. This must be done by organisations not only in healthcare but also in other sectors, working collaboratively and with people from the BME communities themselves.

“This message, about prevention and early intervention, is at the heart of the Department of Health’s new strategy for the future of mental health care in England, No health without mental health, which aims to tackle the economic, social and environmental determinants and consequences of mental health problems, and to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities.”

In publishing the results of the final Count me in census, CQC says that a one-day snapshot tells only part of the story. It is essential that good-quality data is available on all mental health and learning disability patients, not just those in hospital on a given day.

CQC urges all providers of specialist mental health services – both NHS and independent – to improve the quality of the data they submit to the Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS), which is collated by the NHS Information Centre.

The MHMDS covers both hospital and community-based services in England and provides a rich source of information on levels of need and patterns of care."

For support with administering CQC guidelines and monitoring regimes, take a look at our healthcare dashboard.

Submission guidelines for version 8 of IGT


Connecting for Health has issued a notice to all organisations that are required to submit their Information Governance Toolkit submissions against version 8 of the toolkit. They have asked that all organisations ensure that they have taken the appropriate steps required to actually submit and publish their toolkit self assessments.

For the NHS and Social Care bodies, these steps include:
  • IGT User to mark each “Requirement as Complete”;
  • IGT Reviewer role to mark each “Requirement Confirmed Complete”;
  • IGT Reviewer role to select “Assessments” on the left-hand menu and then click the “Confirm” button (which only appears when all requirements have been confirmed as complete);
  • IGT Administrator role to select “Assessments” on the left-hand menu and then click the “Publish” button;
  • IGT Administrator role to read and accept the “IG Assurance Statement”.
For all other organisations using the toolkit; i.e. GPs, community pharmacies, dental practices, eyecare services, NHS Business Partners (Independant Healthcare Providers), and secondary use organisations, these steps include:

  • Answer each IG Toolkit requirement (ensure a score is recorded for each requirement)
  • Select “Assessments” on the left-hand menu and then click the “Publish” button (which only appears when all questions have been answered);
  • Read and accept the “IG Assurance Statement”
For help and support with your Information Governance Assessment, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd IG Support page.

Interview with Alberto Vitale!

For those of you 'in the know', Alberto Vitale is the former Random House CEO. He oversaw huge changes in the world of publishing; the greatest of course being the revoluntionary shift in publishing that moved the world from paperback books to downloadable e-books.

Knowledge@Wharton has included an audio version of their full interview with this influencial individual on their website. An edited transcription of the interview and part of the interview video can also be found on this webpage.

Need help in your pursuit for publication? Chat to one of our writers.

E-book sales out number paperbacks


Friday's press was littered with stories of how the US e-book sales have overtaken the sale of paperbacks. Sales of e-books trebled to $90m, exceeding the corresponding adult paperback sales figure of $81m. It's certainly a milestone, and one that throws further doubt on the future of high street booksellers and local authors.

Martin Latham, manager of Waterstone's Canterbury, when writing in this week's edition of the Bookseller, argued that it is not actually the increasing e-book popularity that is causing so many problems for bookshops. Instead, he states, local booksellers are finding themselves in trouble because of "delayed paperbacks".

As quoted in the Bookseller, Latham writes:

"Customers have interrogated me for 25 years about why, when they want to buy a product, its publisher will not sell it at a man-in-the-street price until many months later. When I explain that the actual date is unknown, and depends on how long the publisher can milk a dwindling minority for the hardback price, well, the customer backs away with an expression that says "get me out of here and back to a normal retailer" or even, "when your planet exploded, how many of you survived?" Now that the book can be downloaded on publication day, this Dance-of-the-Seven-Veils journey to paperback seems even madder.

E-reader buyers are mostly older people fed up with holding up that new Clive Cussler hardback in bed, or, at holiday-time, paying EasyJet a fortune in baggage allowance. Ironically, hardbacks, or rather, delayed paperbacks, are helping to kill bookshops."

Fancy writing your own book or creating an e-book? Visit our Writer pages.

London Bookfair

Did you attend the London Bookfair at Earls Court? It is one of London's biggest events for writers, aspiring writers, publishers and agents. The place to be if you have a strong interst in the world of literature.

Key highlights from this year were:

- Witnessing the early pictures of The Gruffalo
- The 'Turning a Book into Film' exhibition
- Grabbing marketing tips in the Author's lounge
- The coffee stops, obviously!

Sue Townsend's much-loved character, Adrian Mole is back to share more of his life experience with us; now a grown man in his mid-40s. In this latest Adrian Mole book, we get to see his life unfold as he experiences the Royal Wedding, in his royal wedding diary.

Let's not foget that our Mr Mole has endured a royal wedding before: mooning over Sarah Ferguson as a young bride 22 years ago in The True Confessions of Adrian Mole, bitterly noting that "oafish" Prince Andrew looked like a bricklayer, hardly deserved beautiful Fergie and was clearly a bit of a baddie all round. "As I recall, Adrian was so against that wedding," says Townsend, "he got on a coach down to London to protest."

In this book however, Adrain Mole has the job of exploring the royal wedding from afar, as he pursues an exclusive story for the News Review.

Sue Townsend has stated that she expects Adrian Mole will return in a 10th volume of diaries before long. "I think there'll be an Adrian every two or three years, because I have to follow him now. I have to find out what happens to him."

So keep your eyes open for the next instalment of this lovable character's life.

Fancy writing a novel of your own? Let Words Worth Reading Ltd help.

New job opportunities in Shannon

It appears thar more than 170 new jobs will be created by two companies in Shannon (Co. Clare, Ireland).

The United States mobile phone accessory producer, ZAGG, is establishing a European services centre in Shannon, which is rumoured to lead to the creation of up to 40 new jobs over the next five years.

The company will carry out the sales and marketing, product design and administrative activities for the European expansion of ZAGG's business.

ZAGG is to partner with the company CREGG Logistics to carry out all the manufacturing, assembly, packaging and logistics of their products on their behalf.

Breaking News.ie reported that, 'CREGG Logisitics will create 130 new jobs over the next two years. In a statement, the managing director of ZAGG International Brian Packer said he hoped to create up to 300 jobs in Shannon over the next four years.'

The CREGG Group already operates three successful companies employing up to 750 people in Shannon, with a turnover last year of €15m. Good news all round then!

For job seeking advice and help with CVs, Application Forms and Interview Skills, check out the WWRL Job Seekers pages.


Friday, 15 April 2011

Should we be turning on the feminine charm?

A couple of months ago, the magazine Grazia revealed that a survey had concluded that the more aggressive and man-like women were at work, the less well they did. So, the publication questioned, 'is it time to turn on the feminine charm?'

It's an interesting questions and one that of course has two arguments; those for a bit of additional femininity and those totally against the idea.

Those against the idea feel that there is other contradictory evidence that suggests that women could actually do with being a little more assertive in the work place, not less. They also feel that being assertive is different to being aggressive - an argument that I would certainly agree with. There is a difference, of course there is. Being assertive doesn't mean that you have to become, well, mean! But surely you can be assertive and feminine at the same time? Surely the combination of these qualities has assisted well known female icons in their pursuit for world domination?

Those who claim to be more in favour of adding a bit of the feminine charm into the workplace (and these are opinions held by women, about women you understand; otherwise I too would be questioning the validity of these arguments!), feel that the key is authenticity. They state that self-confidence comes from authenticity, and that the confidence others have in you is also derived from a feeling that they can trust you, and that they can trust who you are. We women would perhaps be a little nervous of men who we felt weren't ever showing their true personality at work - why then do women feel the need to behave like men in the work place when that's not who they truly are?

Of course everyone is different. But the prominent feminine personality traits are generally different to those of men. Women are generally more sensitive towards others, they tend to be more cautious about un-necessary risk and their self esteems are generally less inflamed. Femininity is more than just what clothes you wear. It is what makes women different from men. Why trample on or try to hide these unique features?

Words Worth Reading Ltd. For all your writing, editorial and design needs.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Keeping your career Facebook-proof


Just how facebook-proof is your career? Or perhaps more importantly, how facebook-proof is your future career?

Most individuals don't consider their online profile as forming part of their professional portfolio. Yes, we may all update our Facebook status 4 times a day, tweet constantly and even write a blog diary for the world to see, but in the main we view these activities as things we do personally - they form part of our personal life, not our professional life.

The trouble is, anything your friends or the general public can see and read, so can your current or potential employers. By using social networking or online communication sites, you are creating an online fingerprint, and if this fingerprint is, well let's say 'a little dodgy', it could have devastating consequences for your employment prospects - both now and in the future.

We can't blame employers or potential employers for checking out online profiles routinely. Let's be honest, if we have an interest in an individual (personal or otherwise!), we have all had the desire to 'google' them. Some recruiters are now suggesting that job seekers should limit or shutdown their Facebook accounts whilst job hunting, just in case a potential employer found anything on their account which they considered 'inappropriate'. Employers are also using social networking as a way to ensure all is well with their employees. Making offensive comments online about your boss could terminate any promotion or bonus opportunities that were previously heading your way; calling in sick and then tweeting about your hungover state could terminate your employment contract!

So social networking and online communication can cause problems for us all, if we're not careful. But that doesn't mean we can't continue to use these mediums to share our views and communicate with friends. It just means that we should all use the sites carefully, and ensure that they work for us, not against us. There are ways after all that social media can actually enhance our reputation and career prospects. So just pause for a second each time you're about to upload a photo or send out a tweet. Think about the possible negative or positive implications your update could have on your career, and then amend your actions accordingly.

Kitchen Books to keep you smiling


It's Friday! That means plenty of time to experiment in the kitchen this weekend.

Why not try out one of the newly released cookery books that are currently turning heads in the book world? We've listed our favourite top ten here:




- Collected by Kristin Hove
- Supper Club by Kerstin Rodgers
- Chococo by Claire Burnet
- Home at 7, dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright
- Less meat more veg by Rachel de Thample
- Easy by Tom Aikens
- Ginger Pig Meat Book by Time Wilson and Fran Warde
- Bake! By Nick Malgieri

Have fun!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

CQC looks for provider of ASC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a press statement last week, stating that they are seeking expressions of interest to run a CQC-licensed excellence award for adult social care providers.

The CQC state that, 'The award - due to launch in April 2012 - will be open to all social care providers offering regulated services, including care homes, domiciliary care, supported living and Share Lives services, rehabilitation and residential substance misuse services.

The new scheme will be voluntary and subject to a proportionate charge. Providers who achieve the award will see it published on CQC's website, alongside their core 'provider profile' showing compliance with CQC's own essential standards (due to launch later this year).

The award will be delivered by third party organisations licensed by CQC. CQC wants there to be a number of schemes available nationwide so that care providers can choose a scheme which is most suitable and affordable to them.'

The CQC is therefore now inviting expressions of interest to run the scheme under licence. A formal tender process will commence in April and further information will be made available at this time. For more information on the tendering process, visit their website.

Successful applicants will need a track record of delivering audit or inspection programmes as well as knowledge of the social care sector. THe CQC states that it is keen to encourage partnerships across the private and voluntary sectors and is happy to hear from bodies with experience in one of these areas who may be interested in submitting a collaborative tender. Interest from voluntary sector organisations is actively encouraged.

Poetry Surgeries


A series of One To One Poetry Surgeries are being held in Birmingham throughout April and May; all delivered at Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain Square.

The surgeries are free and open to all. You can book a one-to-one session, lasting 20 minutes, with the poet Jacqui Rowe. Use this time wisely to discuss any poetry that you've already drafted or to obtain advice on improving your verse.

The next two surgeries will be on the 27th April and the 11th May 2011. To find out more, visit the local council website; www.birmingham.gov.uk

For additional support with your poetry or creative writing, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

CQC Quality and Risk Profiles update


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that for the 2011/12 reporting year, they will not be producing updated quality and risk profiles (QRPs) for NHS trusts in May, September and January. This decision will enable the CQC to carry out a quarterly evaluation of the information provided by the quality risk profiles. They will however continue to provide access to updated QRPs for all of the other months of the year.

Quality Risk Profiles are an essential tool for providers, commissioners and the CQC themselves. They provide information that helps determine how well an organisation is performing against the essential standards of quality and safety in healthcare. QRPs help determine where risks lie in an organisation, and thus aid internal monitoring and commissioner monitoring of quality and performance.

The development and use of QRPs will soon become mandatory for all healthcare and social care organisations, regardless of provider. Words Worth Reading Ltd offers a bespoke QRP service for both providers of healthcare services and commissioners of healthcare and social care services. Check out our website for more details.

Update on Health and Social Care Bill status

The level of uncertainly around the healthcare system in London and indeed across the whole of England remains high, particularly now that there has been an increase in the amount of media coverage on the Health and Social Care Bill.

Andrew Lansley spoke in the House of Commons on Monday and addressed the issue that the speed of the transitiion has created substantive concerns. He explained that the Department of Health wants to continue to engage with and learn from experts, patients and frontline staff within the NHS and beyond.

He also told the House that they propose to take a natural break in the passage of the Bill to pause, listen and engage with all those who want the NHS to succeed, and subsequently to bring forward any amendments that may improve the plans further.

In addition the Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Andrew Lansley held a press conference yesterday to expand on the comments made in the Commons on Monday.

This press conference helped clarify the fact that plans for GP-led consortia, Foundation Trusts, the National Commissioning Board, and HealthWatch are continuing, as is the abolition plan for PCTs and SHAs.

The Department of Health will be setting up an NHS Future Forum, which will work with clinicians, managers and local government to listen and engage. Andrew Lansley has asked the forum to provide a report on four key themes: choice and competition, patient involvement, engaging other professions, and education and training.

Due to this 'pause' in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, there will be some changes to key dates. SHAs will now be abolished on 30th June 2012. The new Monitor, National Commissioning Board, Trust Development Authority, Health Education England, and Public Health England will not be established until 1th July 2012. There are still plans to abolish PCTs on 31st March 2013.

Need support with NHS assessment, registration, documentation or analytics? Visit our Healthcare Business Centre.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

CQC's state of care report released


Last week the Care Quality Commission (the CQC) launched their second annual report on the state of health care and adult social care in England. The report highlights improvements in the care system where people have greater control over their care due to more choice in appointment times, location of care and available providers. However, the report details that some areas of care still have a long way to go until they can be classed as 'satisfactory' by the general public.

The report is divided into four key sections, making the content that little bit easier to digest. These four sections are:

- Safe Care
- Choice and Control
- Person-Centred Services
- Standards of Care and Support

For details on any of these sections or to download the full report visit: http://www.cqc.org.uk/stateofcare2009-10.cfm
Words Worth Reading Ltd supports organisations in their CQC registration, assessment and ongoing compliance. To find out more simply get in touch or visit our website. Let us help you!

Connecting for Health latest stats


Connecting for Health is the body that is responsible for Information Governance across the NHS.

The organisation's latest statistics on the following areas are currently available from their Statistics page on their website (http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/newsroom/availability) :

- London Programme for IT
- North Midlands and East Programme for IT
- Southern Programme for IT
- Choose and Book
- N3 Network
- NHS Care Records Service
- NHS CFH
- NHSmail and Relay
Need help with your Information Governance? Give us a shout - we can help

College students waiting up to a year to start their course


In the United States of America, as in the United Kingdon, universities or colleges are sellective about the students they access for study. This means that come spring time each year, some applicants get a warm note of acceptance, and the rest get a curt rejection.

Now, in the USA, as colleges are becoming increasingly swamped with applications, a small but growing number are offering a third option: guaranteed admission if the student attends another institution for a year or two and earns a prescribed grade-point average.

The New York Times states that, 'This little-noticed practice — an unusual mix of early admission and delayed gratification — has allowed colleges to tap their growing pools of eager candidates to help counter the enrollment slump that most institutions suffer later on, as the accepted students drop out, transfer, study abroad or take internships off campus.'

“Life happens — we all understand that the size of the freshman class diminishes as they progress,” said Barmak Nassirian, an associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in Washington. “This is an attempt at what is called enrollment management.”

However, whilst this practice offers applicants a second shot at attending their dream school, it can also place them in limbo, as they start college life on a campus they plan to abandon. And it can create problems for that institution, which is not usually informed of the deal the student has struck with a competitor.

Monica Inzer, the dean of admission at Hamilton College in upstate New York, called the practice “borderline unethical,” saying it had the effect of recruiting students from other colleges. “We would allow a student to defer for a year, but never to matriculate full time at another college,” Ms. Inzer said.

Though this practice of deferred admission is not entirely new, admissions officers say the number of colleges in the USA offering the option has increased in recent years, and that they expect that to continue as baby boomers’ children, who created their own demographic bulge, move into adulthood.

“Throughout the Northeast in particular, the number of traditional freshmen will continue to go down, so schools that aren’t already doing something like this are talking about it,” said Gregroy P. Florczak, vice president for enrollment management and undergraduate admissions at Medaille. “You’re going to need to pick up in transfers what you are losing in incoming freshmen.”

Let's see if the UK education market starts following this trend of 'admission management'.
Are you a student? See how Words Worth Reading Ltd can help you with your assignments and study by taking a look at the student pages on our website!

Motivational audio imprint created

Do you remember that cult classsic, Chicken Soup for the Soul? The writers then went on to publish a whole host of similar titles aimed at supporting and motivating others.

Well, Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing has teamed up with Brilliance Audio to create a new audiobook imprint called, wait for it... Chicken Soup for the Soul on Brilliance Audio!

The imprint has already released twelve audio titles.

Publication opportunity for poets


The quarterly publication, Poetry Ireland Review, welcomes unsolicited submissions of poetry and proposals for articles or review from individuals all over the world.

The publication is open to submissions from both emerging and established poets, and there are no restrictions on style or subject matter. The magazine suggests that interested individuals should send a maximum of six original, previously unpublished poems which have been typed with the author's name clearly printed on each page. For articles and reviews, ensure that you send a proposal first, before submitting the full piece.

All published work will gain their writers payment and a copy of the relevant issue of the magazine.

All submissions should be made via post, and for more details on the appropriate submission details check out http://poetryireland.ie/publications/submissions
Need help with your creative writing? Speak to one of the Words Worth Reading Ltd team members.

It's all about Cerise Press

Cerise Press is an international online literary magazine which is based in both the United States and France. As Words Worth Reading Ltd have an office in France too this publication has a little place in our hearts! The e-zine is published three times a year and its aim is to forge 'cross-cultural bridges' between American, French and other European writers.

The magazine publishes pieces in both English and French. The magazine is currently seeking submissions of photography, art, fiction and poetry. The editors state that they welcome, 'translations in French, Chinese and Spanish.'

For full details of the submission guidelines, email queries to editors@cerisepress.com

Need a hand with your writing? Check out our website!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

New celebration of 1700's slang dictionary


A newly published paperback, Lobcocks and Fartleberries: 18th Century Insults to Confound Your Foes reprints extracts from a celebrated dictionary of slang published in 1785 by Captain Francis Grose and entitled; A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

It has been observed that many of the words and phrases uncovered by Grose and his assistant (a Mr Tom Cocking) are actually still very popular today. Words such as; 'nincompop, bettle-browed, old biddy, whipper-snapper, pettifogging, thingamabob, a drubbing, hatchet-faced, bambozzle and balderdash.'

Ronald White, writer at The Times Newspaper, wrote on the subject that; 'Slang is pretty much universal. There are small tribes that regulate language so strictly that innovation is impossible, but no country is too conservative to use slang, even if - like Japan and Slovenia - it has to borrow it. Japan uses English slang, while Slovenia imports words from Serbia and Germany.'