Monday, 30 May 2011

12 CQC dignity and nutrition reports released

We reported yesterday that 6 hospitals have been classified as 'causing concern' to the Care Quality Commission in relation to the way in which they treat eldery people. 3 hopsitals were named as having failed essential standards relating to nutrition and dignity. These 3 hospitals were; The Royal Free in London, The Ipswich NHS Hospital Trust, and Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

This report followed the release of the CQC's 'Dignity and Nutrition for Older People' reports for 12 hospitals across the country. The full reports for all 12 of these hospitals can be viewed from the CQC's website. They all make for an interesting read...

Cool gift ideas for writers


Are you always short on gift ideas when it comes to purchasing for creative types? If so then the stresses and strains of inventive present buying may now be over thanks to the gift website www.spinelessclassics.com which sells posters which include the complete (yet tiny) text of classical stories such as Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, and Heart of Darkness. Each poster is printed in a shape that is in some way relevant to the theme of the book or the leading book characters.

Prices range from £40 to £180.

For those looking for a wider selection of literary gifts, why not take a look at www.theliterarygiftcompany.com where you'll find jewellery, stationary, games and much more - all with some sort of literary connection or theme.

Definitely worth a look!
Check out our Writers Pages for literary inspiration in your own words, text and ideas...

Unpublished Enid Blyton book discovered

An unpublished Enid Blyton manuscript is believed to have been discovered in an archive of her work. The manuscript titled 'Mr Tumpy's Caravan' is a fantasy story that was auctioned in 2010. The work was auctioned alongside a whole collection of manuscripts and was brought for circa £40,000 by The Seven Stories, which is the national gallery and archive for children's books in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Archivist Hannah Green was the fortunate individual to stumble across this unpublished piece.

Can you believe that Enid Blyton wrote nearly 800 books throughout her career. Her books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 40 different languages.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

CQC raises concerns over elderly care provision in hospitals


Last week the BBC reported on how the Care Quality Commission has raised serious concerns over how acute NHS hospitals are caring for the elderly.

Three hospitals were named as having failed to comply with the legal essential standards of care that relate to providing patients with sufficient food and drink and to treating patients with dignity and care. The three hospitals named were Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, The Royal Free in London, and Ipswich Hopsital. Furthermore, concerns were raised over the performance and standards seen at 3 additional hospitals across the country.

The full story can be found on the appropriate BBC Health Page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13545780

Use Words Worth Reading Ltd's CQC Registration and Compliance services to ensure that your health and social care organisations never fall short of CQC standards.

This week's writing competitions!

Calling all creative writers! This week's competition selection is below:

Guardian Weekend Summer Fiction Special
Deadline: 13/06/2011 - UK
Guardian Weekend's summer fiction special is your chance to appear in print alongside some of the best writers around today.

Write a Short Story for Bedtime
Deadline: 28/10/2011 - UK
The A.Vogel Dormeasan has launched a ‘Write a Short Story for Bedtime’ competition, which will run until 28th October 2011.

Northern Crime Competition 2011
Deadline: 31/08/2011 - North East England
Northern Crime is an innovative competition that aims to unearth and publish exciting new crime writing from writers who live and work in the north of England.

The V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize
Deadline: 30/06/2011 - UK
The VS Pritchett Memorial Prize of £1,000 is for an unpublished short story. It was relaunched in 2009 in collaboration with Prospect magazine, who will be publishing the winning entry.

Rubery Book Award Short Story Competition
Deadline: 30/09/2011 - International
There are 3 prizes - first prize is £500. Author Dr Paul McDonald is the judge.

Leaf Books Open Competition 2011
Deadline: 30/09/2011 - UK
Sometimes what your write just doesn’t seem to fit a genre or size, maybe it’s not quite what competitions are asking for. If that's the case then this is the competition for you!

The Writers Bureau 2011 Competition
Deadline: 30/06/2011 - UK
The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition 2011 is now open and accepting entries.

BFS 40th Anniversary Anthology
Deadline: 30/06/2011 - UK
2011 is the 40th Anniversary of the British Fantasy Society, and to mark that event, we would like to publish a paperback anthology for FantasyCon this year.

WordAid Survival Submissions
Deadline: 31/07/2011 - UK
WordAid we are going to produce an anthology in aid of www.shelterbox.org.uk who
provide 'emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most.'

Wasafiri New Writing Prize
Deadline: 29/07/2011 - International
Renowned worldwide for featuring some of the best and brightest new talent, Wasafiri launched an annual New Writing Prize as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations in 2009. Now in its third year, the competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book.

Essex Poetry Festival 11th Open Poetry Competition
Deadline: 30/07/2011 - South East England
Sole Adjudicator: George Szirtes. First Prize £500, Second £250, Third £100 and 4 runner-up prizes of £25.

Regardless of what genre of writing you complete, Words Worth Reading Ltd are here to give you a helping hand.

Hay Festival web chats


If you are a book or literary lover who is pinning for the lush green fields of the Hay Festival this weekend, then now is your opportunity to enjoy a small segment of the literary festival without actually attending the event.

The Hay Festival online now has a detailed Questions & Answer section for anyone who is longing for the chance to chat with a whole range of writers, editors, designers and illustrators. Each day, the online Q&A webpage provides you with an updated calendar of individuals who will be interviewed throughout the week and the opportunity for you to pose your questions to them. Furthermore, any previous interviews can also be watched or listened to from the comfort of your own home and at the click of a button. How convenient!

Life writing competition from SWWJ


THE SOCIETY OF WOMEN WRITERS & JOURNALISTS are pleased to announce their International Online Life Writing Competition which is sponsered by The Morris Duo Foundation for SELVA (Standard English, Literacy and Visual Aesthetics).

Life Writing is a fluid term used to describe the recording of experiences and memories, whether one's own or another's. It covers biography, memoir, diaries, letters and personal essays etc., and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. It can also be linked with genealogical study when recording one's life, it is common to become curious about the lives of others that have affected one over time and, if they have not recorded their own life, to start doing it for them.

The Competition is open to any writer world-wide of 20 years old and over. There are two categories: one for 20/40 year olds and one for the over 40s.

The Word Count is 3000 words maximum and submissions must be made online.

There are three prizes in each category. 1st £3000. 2nd £1000. 3rd £500.

The entry fee is £7 (seven pounds sterling) payable with submissions.

The judges are Sophie King for category (i) 20/40 year olds and Katie Fforde for Category (ii) over 40s.

Sophie King is the author of the The School Run, Mums @ Home, Second Time Lucky, The Supper Club and The Wedding Party. Her first audiobook, a short story anthology, Just One More Coffee?, has recently been released. Sophie's books are aimed at teenagers, mums and grans, or anyone else who can identify with a chaotic family life. Sophie has three children, a dog, a cat and a sleepy terrapin ­ all of whom make her laugh or cry, depending on how she feels.

Katie Fforde is founder of the Katie Fforde Bursary for writers who have yet to secure a publishing contract. She was for many years a committee member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and was elected as its Chairman (2009­2011). In June 2010 she was announced as a patron of the UK's first National Short Story Week and her novel Going Dutch was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller in June 2007.

The Competition kicks off on the 23rd April 2011 and closes on the 30th September 2011.

For support with all of your ghost writing, assisted editorials and proof reading needs, speak to one of our Creative Writing Experts.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

CQC rethinks GP registration plans


On the 11th May the Pulse published a story that suggested that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had submitted to the Department of Health a series of proposed amendments as to how it will regulate GP practices.

The CQC said the changes would allow it 'more opportunity to embed compliance monitoring in the sectors we already regulate' and would ensure closer alignment between registration and practice accreditation. But it insisted the 'scope of regulation' for GPs would remain unchanged. The CQC currently requires NHS providers, independent healthcare providers, dentists and social care providers to be registered in order that they can continue to provide health and social care services.

A CQC spokesperson said: 'The CQC has proposed changes to its plans for registration of primary care medical services to the Department of Health. The aim is to try to improve the process for GPs, to give the CQC more opportunity to embed compliance monitoring in the sectors we already regulate, and to ensure registration is more closely aligned with accreditation schemes.'

'Registration will open in October 2011 for dedicated "out of hours" services, but the timing and make up of subsequent batches is still to be confirmed.'

'We will make a further announcement about our plans in June. We will ensure providers have enough time to prepare for registration. There are no plans to change the scope of regulation - all primary care medical services will have to register with CQC.' A CQC spokesperson has said however that the APril 2012 registration deadline for GPs is set out in primary legislation and so would not be moved.

Need support with your CQC registration? Give us a call!

SWWJ International Life Writing Competition


Life writing is an extremely popular form of creative writing at the moment, as more and more individuals become keen to share their own life experiences with others. For writers who believe they have the research and language skills to create the ultimate biography or autobiography, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) has launched a competition that will be right up your street. Full details are listed below:

THE SOCIETY OF WOMEN WRITERS & JOURNALISTS
is delighted to announce its

INTERNATIONAL ONLINE ‘LIFE WRITING’ COMPETITION

With prizes totalling £9,000

Sponsored by The Morris Duo Foundation for SELVA
(Standard English, Literacy and Visual Aesthetics)

Judges: Sophie King and Katie Fforde

Word Count – 3000 words maximum – Closing Date: 30.09.2011

Entry by email only via our website

‘Life Writing’ is a fluid term used to describe the recording of experiences and memories, whether one’s own or another’s. It covers biography, memoir, diaries, letters and personal essays etc., and, more recently, digital forms such as blogs and email. It can also be linked with genealogical study – when recording your own life, it is common to become curious about the lives of others, and if they have not recorded their own life, to start doing it for them.'

Chudleigh Literary Festival, July 2011

Chudleigh Writers' Circle is planning to stage the first Chudleigh Literary Festival at part of Chudfest on Wednesday 13th July. With a writing workshop, plus 'Meet the Authors' and book signing, this will be a true celebration of words for writers and readers alike. Ann Widdecombe will be the guest speaker for the day, together with Jackie Juno, Bard of Exeter and other famous names yet to be annouced.

Everyone is welcome!

For full details, see the stop press item on the Chudleigh Phoenix website: www.chudleighphoenix.co.uk

For full information on our writing and editorial services, check out the WWRL writing website pages.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Traditional publishing success for self-published author

Nick Alexander is a self-published author. He now however joins the list of authors who have been published by traditional publishing companies, as he has had seven titles bought by Corvus, a division of Atlantic Books.

The books are The Missing Boyfriend, which was in the top ten of Kindle's paid for charts for six weeks, an untitled sequel, and Nick's backlist of five self-published novels. These were published under his own imprint BigFib books. Nick also contributes to the gay literature website www.bigfib.com.

A digital edition of The Missing Boyfriend will be published by Corvus in August, followed by a print edition in 2012. Exciting times lay ahead for this proactive author.

Fancy writing a book of your own? Use Words Worth Reading Ltd's manuscript editorial services to ensure your manuscript shines.

Provider's IG Toolkit version 8 assessments published


Are you interested in how a healthcare provider is managing their information governance duties and responsibilities? If so, now is your chance to find out. Connecting for Health has published the results of the NHS Version 8 Information Governance Toolkit Assessment for all providers. This includes; NHS organisations, independent healthcare providers, pharmacists, dentists, and companies that work alongside the NHS in a data processing or data holding capacity.

As an organisation pushes that 'Publish' button when they finalise their Information Governance Assessment, they are confirming that this is the final version of their assessment, that no changes are needed, and that the assessment has been signed off by the Board and / or Senior Management. As they publish their assessment results to Connecting for Health, they are by default enabling Connecting for Health to share their results with the wider public.
It is important that all providers of healthcare, regardless of whether they are NHS based or not, complete an annual Information Governance toolkit submission. Words Worth Reading Ltd provide a comprehensive IG service that has proved successful for copious healthcare organisations over the years. Let us help you pass this important assessment!

Application form confusion for Registered Managers

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has a tendency to change their application forms for Registered Managers, Nominated Individuals and for CQC Provider Registeration on an ongoing basis. Understandably this causes confusion and complications for individuals and can also be very frustrating if you happen to have completed your application form early on in your CQC Registration preparation, and then find that just as you are about to submit your full registration request, one or more of the application forms have changed. Regardless, the CQC have said that they have now stopped accepting old versions of any application forms submitted to them, and have warned providers that it is imperative that they download new versions of the forms each time they make an application.

So be sure to check the CQC website to ensure that you are using the correct application form before you post off your registration application. The latest round of application forms were updated and posted onto the CQC website at the beginning of April 2011.

Another Care Home slips up against CQC standards of care


Following an inspection of Ballater House Care Home in Coulsdon, The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has reported that the Home is falling short of the essential standards of quality, care and safety that residents should expect and has told the Care Home that if it does not take immediate steps to improve, the regulator will take enforcement action.

The CQC has told Ballater House that it will be monitoring it closely and will hold it to account if improvements are not made swiftly.

CQC Regional Director for the South East, Roxy Boyce, said: “The care at Ballater House has fallen short of the standards people have a right to expect. It is clear standards require improvement, so we will continue to scrutinise this service very closely indeed to ensure these improvements are made and sustained.”

Don't let your processes slip against the CQC's essential standards of quality and safety. Sign up for Words Worth Reading Ltd's registration and compliance services today!

Women Magazine gets a new look


IPC, the company that produces the weekly magazine Woman, have announced that they are relanuching and revamping the publication because there is a market gap "for a more positive and aspirational weekly magazine for women aged 35-plus".

For the first two weeks of its relaunch, the magazine Woman will be sold at the reduced price of 70p before returning to its usual price of 92p. There will be a number of new sections found in the revamped version of this magazine. These include:

- A new section called 'Have a Good Weekend', which will cover TV, music, films, food, going out and staying in.

- 12 pages of fashion and beauty every week.

- A routine weekly feature called 'Don't Tell Me I Can't', which is a first person account from real-life women.

- 'Bloke at the Back', offering women the chance to spend a few minutes with a gorgeous male celebrity!

The changes have been made following intense market research, led by editor Karen Livermore. Livermore said: "Women tell us they're constantly seeking ideas to keep their world fresh and interesting and the new-look Woman will deliver this every week.

"Real life and celebrities remain key and we're building on this with investment in fashion, beauty and lifestyle coverage, as well as features that make readers' lives better, easier, happier and healthier.

"Other key features in the new-look Woman include 'Supermarket Checkout', an edit of the best value supermarket shopping and treats and 'Be techno smart', which gives the low-down on the technology that matters to readers."

Fancy writing for a magazine. Let Words Worth Reading Ltd show you how!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Obscenity charges in Turkey for William Burroughs publisher

A Turkish publisher is currently facing obscenity charges for releasing an edition of the novel, The Soft Machine, written by the much acclaimed William Burroughs.

Irfan Sanci has previously been sued under Article 226 of the Turkish penal code, for publishing books including Guillaume Apollinaire's Adventures of the Young Don Juan, but was acquitted in December 2010. Both he and his translator now face charges over the publication of William Burroughs' book, which could ultimately mean a nine year jail sentence for them both.

The International Publishers Association have called the situation "mind-blowing and disappointing" and called for Sanci and his translator's immediate acquittal, saying that the obscenity charges violate Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European convention on human rights.

"Of course we are fighting it [and] we will win," said Sanci's daughter Bilge Sanci, executive editor at his publishing house Sel Yayincilik. "This book is a symbol of an author of the Beat generation."

"Turkish readers have the right to read books the rest of the world can read," she added. "And we haven't had any complaints from readers. The state's argument is about 'Turkish moral codes' but we are asking 'how can the state can dictate a person's morality?'"

IPA Freedom to Publish Committee chair Bjørn Smith-Simonsen called the prosecution "undemocratic, anachronistic and unworthy of a modern and open society ... Sanci is being harassed for doing his publisher's job. At a time when freedom to publish conditions deteriorate again in Turkey, it is urgent to stop these practices and to leave Irfan Sanci alone."

Interested in book writing? Take a look at our Writer Pages.

Irish law firm set for expansion

Silicon Republic reported yesterday that the Irish international law firm Mason Hayes+Curran is building up its advisory ability in technology, healthcare, energy and the public sector and will therefore be looking to employ up to 50 new people over the next 12 months. This is a fantastic development for Ireland, and will increase staffing numbers for this company to over 300 across the offices in Dublin, London and New York.

This recruitment drive is part of an ongoing strategic expansion for the firm. Proposed areas of expansion are financial services, taxation, and commercial litigation. The firm is also increasing the number of trainee solicitor positions available.

“We see significant opportunity in the marketplace, and the recruitment of these new staff is to meet increased business from our local and international client base,” said Emer Gilvarry, managing partner, Mason Hayes+Curran.

If you are looking for a new job, check out our job seeker services - we've a number of different, tailored services to meet your needs.

Regulator tells Warrengate Nursing Home that it's not protecting patients

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited the Warrengate Nursing Home in Kingswood near Tadworth in March and found that it was failing to meet 12 essential standards of quality and safety.The Nursing Home provides accomodation to up to 40 people, some of whom have dementia.

The CQC's full report on this Nursing Home, which is published today, has concerns about 12 essential standards including major concerns in five areas:
  • Care and welfare: The steps taken to ensure appropriate and safe care is planned and delivered were inadequate and exposed people to risks of unsafe or inappropriate care. Care plans did not reflect people’s social and emotional needs and risk assessments were inconsistent.
  • Nutrition: Service users were not being protected from the risks of inadequate food and drink, because they were not being offered a choice of main meal and their nutritional needs were not being assessed.
  • Management of medicines: Medicines were not being managed or administered safely. Three people received their medicines at the same time in the dining room, although the MAR chart and medicines trolley had been left in another room. The amounts of two medicines did not match the record. The medicines policy and procedure was outdated.
  • Suitability of equipment: Equipment in the home is inadequate to meet the needs of those using the service, and is being used without appropriate assessments being carried out. Only one hoist with two slings and two standing hoists with two slings were available although nine people need a hoist to assist their mobility. Pressure relieving mattresses were not set correctly and could not be set to suit the recorded weight of the people using them. These practices may expose those using the equipment to risks to their health, safety or welfare.
  • 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: People using the service were not protected from staff who may not be suitable to work in the home. Staff have been employed to work in the home without the required background checks.
  • Supporting Staff training and supervision: Those using the service were not being cared for or supported by, competent staff. Staff have not received appropriate induction, training, supervision or appraisal.
  • Assessing and monitoring quality: The provider has not ensured systems were in place to protect those using the service from inappropriate or unsafe care. Risks, complaints and records have not been identified, assessed or managed.

The Care Quality Commission asked the provider to reply within 14 days to this full report, setting out the action they will take to improve. The CQC will then check to make sure that the improvements have been made.

Warrengate Nursing Home has submitted an action plan to the CQC, outlining how it will address these remaining 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: “The care at Warrengate Nursing Home has fallen far short of the standards people have a right to expect. 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.”

“The law says these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect when they receive care. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant – or face the consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to Warrengate shortly, and if we find that it is not making progress we won’t hesitate to take further action on behalf of the people who live there.”

Don't find your own health or social care establishment coming under scrutiny from the CQC. Use Words Worth Reading Ltd's CQC compliance and assessment services instead...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

BBC language pages - a perfect resource


The BBC's languages website page offers a wealth of information and support to anyone looking to improve their knowledge of langauges and their ability to understand and speak foreign languages. It is the perfect resource for students, teachers of modern languages, individuals looking to brush up on their speaking and reading skills, or for holiday-makers who are about to explore another world.

There are audio and video courses for anyone looking to learn Chinese, French, Spanish, Greek, Italian or Portuguese, there is a 'teachers resource' section of the website where teachers can download documentation and worksheets to help pull together teaching plans, you can watch programmes in another language, and complete 12 week beginner courses in a range of modern languages.

It really is a perfect little resource.

JK Rowling lets readers know her fav book character


JK Rowling has announced that Albus Dumbledore is the character she'd most like to have dinner with.

As her publisher Bloomsbury launched a global search to find the world's favourite Harry Potter character, Rowling said that her own most-favoured creation is the lightning-scarred young Harry himself. "I believe I am unusual in this, Ron is generally more popular (I love him too, though)," said the author. "Now that I have finished writing the books, the character I would most like to meet for dinner is Dumbledore. We would have a lot to discuss, and I would love his advice; I think that everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives."

The author has said in the past that Hermione Granger resembles her the most. "I have often said that Hermione is a bit like me when I was younger. I think I was seen by other people as a right little know-it-all, but I hope that it is clear that underneath Hermione's swottiness there is a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure (as shown by her Boggart in Prisoner of Azkaban)."

The publishing company Bloomsbury has pulled together a list of 40 characters from the Harry Potter books and is asking fans to vote online for their favourite. The poll opened on Monday 16 May and runs until 26 August, with the winning character to be unveiled on 30 August.

Fancy writing your own children's book? See how Words Worth Reading Ltd's editorial service can help.

East Sussex Hospital comes onto CQC's radar


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a press release yesterday, stating that their inspectors had found that East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust is failing to meet a number of essential standards of care for patients.

The CQC carried out a review of the five hospitals that make up the East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust in February. These reviews were part of their routine compliance assessments of health and social care providers.

As a result of the compliance assessment, the CQC raised immediate concerns with the trust's chief executive, demanding that the trust address problems identified in A&E, the maternity unit and the wards at Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in Hastings. The trust was told that it needed to produce plans that would demonstrate how changes were going to be made to ensure that essential standards are met moving forward.

Inspectors also identified that there were insufficient numbers of staff available to support proper patient care in some areas, that care plans and risk assessments were not completed or were inaccurate, that patient dignity was compromised by facilities and staff attitudes and that patient rights were not adequately respected.

At Eastbourne District General Hospital there were major concerns with five essential standards:

Care and welfare of people who use services: Comprehensive assessments of need were not always carried out and appropriately recorded for those patients tracked. Staff could not demonstrate through their nursing records that individual welfare and safety needs were met.

Safeguarding people who use services from abuse: CQC was concerned that staff did not understand adult safeguarding processes and did not recognise signs of abuse and how to raise them with the right person and in a timely fashion. The culture of care and the delivery of treatment in A&E and the wards lacked a personalised approach.

Staffing: There were long and short term staff shortages across the Trust and at all levels including consultants, middle grade doctors, qualified and unqualified nursing and midwifery staff. There was heavy reliance on locums and bank staff. There was clear evidence that this impacting negatively on the quality and safety of the service in the areas that we visited.

Supporting workers: There were inadequate arrangements in place to support staff with annual appraisals and supervision. Staff were not always able to meet the requirements laid down by their respective professional bodies. Not all staff had met their mandatory training needs. Staff reported low morale and not feeling valued by the trust.

Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision: As a result of the issues identified we were significantly concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of monitoring and audit arrangements at the trust, and the trust’s ability to accurately assess and monitor the quality of the services being provided.

At the Conquest Hospital in Hastings there were major concerns about meeting seven essential standards:

Respecting and involving people who use services: People using the service were not treated in a way that promotes privacy and dignity. Inspectors observed and noted that involvement of people in care and treatment decisions were not routinely embedded in practice and that there were inadequacies in the amount of information provided to people to inform their choices.

Consent to care and treatment: Not all junior doctors were sufficiently trained or prepared to be able to obtain informed consent from patients. Low numbers of staff were trained in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, and in the Deprivation of Liberty and Mental Capacity Act. Inspectors heard and observed that care and treatment decisions were routinely imposed upon patients, rather than informed consent being sought.

Care and welfare of people who use services: Comprehensive assessments of need were not always carried out and appropriately

recorded for those patients tracked. Staff could not demonstrate through their nursing records that individual welfare and safety needs were met.

Safeguarding people who use services from abuse: CQC was concerned that staff did not understand adult safeguarding processes and did not recognised signs of abuse and how to raise them with the right person and in a timely fashion. The culture of care and the delivery of treatment in A&E and the wards lacked a personalised approach.

Staffing: There were long and short term staff shortages across the Trust and at all levels including Consultants, middle grade doctors, qualified and unqualified nursing and midwifery staff. There was heavy reliance on locums and bank staff.

Supporting workers: There were inadequate arrangements in place to support staff with annual appraisals and supervision. Staff were not always able to meet the requirements laid down by their respective professional bodies. Not all staff had met their mandatory training needs. Staff reported low morale and not feeling valued by the Trust.

Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision: As a result of the issues identified both across the Trust and specifically within the Conquest hospital we were significantly concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of monitoring and audit arrangements at the trust, as well as their usefulness in monitoring and changing the quality of the services being provided.

Roxy Boyce, Regional Director of CQC in the South East, said:

“When we visited East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust in February, we were so concerned about the quality of care provided to patients in many parts of Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital that we raised immediate concerns with the Trust.

“The essential standards of quality and safety laid down in law are the standards of care people should be able to expect in any hospital. These include respecting the dignity of patients, helping them to make informed choices about their care and treatment, ensuring their care and welfare and protecting them from unsafe practice and abuse. The care at East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust fell far short of these standards.

“When we returned to the Trust in April to review progress, it was clear that the Trust has made considerable efforts to address the outstanding concerns. However, more needs to be done and the progress already made needs to be accelerated and sustained.

“We will continue to monitor their progress extremely closely and will make further unannounced visits. We have a range of enforcement options open to us, including restriction or closure of services, and we will not hesitate to take further action if we consider it necessary.”

Use our comprehensive CQC consultancy and compliance support services to ensure that your health and social care organisation is always meeting the essential standards of care.

May 2011 Newsletter available now


The Words Worth Reading Ltd May 2011 newsletter is now available for free download. Simply download the PDF file from our Newsletter page. Happy reading!!

Good practice guidelines for GP patient records


Connecting for Health has released an information bulletin, reporting that the new Good Practice Guidelines for GP electronic patient records version 4 will act as a reference source of information for all those involved in developing, deploying and using general practice IT systems.

The scope of the guidelines has been extended in this fourth version to include new services (including the Summary Care Record, Electronic Prescription Service and GP2GP). There is also a greater focus on information sharing and the central themes of the guidelines are interoperability and data quality. For more information, visit the Information Governance Toolkit News pages.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Refugee memoir book wins Children's Book of Honour


The Bite of a Mango, a memoir of a child refugee who comes to Canada to escape war in Sierra Leone, has won the Red Maple Award for non-fiction, one of several children's literature prizes given annually by the Ontario Library Association, USA.

The nice thing about this prize is that the award winners are selected by school children who read the finalists and vote for their favourite books.

The Bite of a Mango is narrated by a child refugee called Mariatu Kamara, who told her story with the help of Toronto journalist Susan McClelland. Though Kamara had her hands cut off by child soldiers who raided her village, she found the will to survive.

This book is a multiple award-winner and is recommended on reading lists around the world. Indeed, the book took the Norma Fleck Award for non-fiction from the Canadian Children's Book Centre earlier this year.

Need help ghost writing your own story? We can help - check out our ghost writing service now!

Harris sells 1 million Kindle ebooks


The Bookseller reported on Thursday 12th May that Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels, has become the latest writer to sell more than one million Kindle e-books through Amazon.

Harris is published by the publishing house Gollancz, a UK-based publishing company. She joins Stieg Larsson, James Patterson and Nora Roberts in the list of authors who have hit the 'million unit' digital milestone.

The most recent book in the series, Dead Reckoning, was published last week.

David Naggar, Kindle Content vice-president, said: "All Charlaine Harris' books, and in particular her Sookie Stackhouse series, are favorites with our Kindle customers, and the great sales of the 11th book in this series Dead Reckoning have helped push Harris past one million books sold. We're happy to welcome her to the Kindle Million Club."

Fancy writing a best seller of your own? Check out our writer pages to see how we can help.

Cornwall nursing home fails to meet CQC standards


On Friday 13th May 2011 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) told the owners of a nursing home at Falmouth in Cornwall that they must take immediate action to improve standards of care – or face enforcement action.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found that King Charles Court in Falmouth was failing to meet four of the essential standards of quality and safety. They have subsequently published a report on their website, which fully identifies their concerns with; levels of staffing, the care and welfare of residents, nutrition, and the condition of the premises.

The CQC has told the provider, King Charles Court Ltd, to produce plans to show how it intends to achieve compliance. By law, providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

The key areas of concern highlighted are:

Staffing: There are not enough suitably qualified people employed to meet the needs of people at the home. Inspectors said that people's care needs were not being fully met, with late delivery of personal care in the mornings, health care needs not met, call bells not answered and limited assistance with fluids and meals.

Care and welfare of people who use services: Residents did not always receive the care that they need. People who use the service were at risk due to inconsistencies in care planning, and their healthcare needs were not consistently met and addressed.

Meeting nutritional needs: People who use the service who cannot help themselves to their food and fluids, did not receive adequate nutrition or fluid. Inspectors observed that people were not being given assistance to eat or drink.

Safety and suitability of premises: While residents were generally safe, there were risks to their wellbeing.

Bernadette Hanney, acting Regional Director of CQC in the South West, said: "It is clear that the standard of care provided by King Charles Court has been falling far short of standards people should be able to expect.

“The law says these are the standards that everyone should be able to expect when they receive care. Providers have a duty to ensure they are compliant – or face the consequences.

“Our inspectors will return to King Charles Court in the near future and if we find that the home is not making progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers on behalf of the people who live there.

Don't get caught out by failing CQC compliance monitoring and assessment. Use the Words Worth Reading Ltd comprehensive CQC compliance service to ensure that your services always make the grade.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Orchard Lodge faces improvement demands from CQC


A Press Release provided by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on the 10th May states that Orchard Lodge Care Home in Sonning Common near Reading is not meeting 6 of the 16 essential standards.

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

Orchard Lodge is a small, private, family run care home that provides residential care for up to eleven people. The home provides services to people who have dementia.

As with all of their assessment and compliance visits, the CQC reviewed the information it held about this provider and carried out a visit in February 2011. It observed how people were being cared for, talked to people who use services, talked to staff, checked the provider’s records, and looked at records of service users.

The CQC report, published on the 10th May, found that Orchard Lodge was not meeting six essential standards. Inspectors had significant concerns in two areas:

  • Consent to care and treatment: People in the home were not involved in making decisions about their own care and treatment. The home did not ensure that people had assessments of mental capacity to make some or all of the decisions about their care, treatment and support.
  • Assessing and monitoring the quality of service: Orchard Lodge did not have effective systems in place for monitoring the quality and safety of care given and did not take into account the feedback from people and their families in order to address concerns or make improvements. Staffing levels and roles and responsibilities were not based on an assessment of need or the competency levels of staff. There were no clear lines of accountability and systems for the effective day to day management of the home were not in place.

CQC Regional Director for the South East, Roxy Boyce, said: “The quality and safety of care provided at this home is not good enough.

“Our inspectors will return to Orchard Lodge shortly, and if we find that the home is not making progress we won’t hesitate to take further action on behalf of the people who live there.”

CQC has now given the provider seven days to produce plans to show how it intends to achieve compliance. By law, providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

If you are a care home, a dentist, independent consultant, independent healthcare provider or NHS provider then you need to ensure that you are registered with the CQC and that you have robust compliance monitoring processes in place. Words Worth Reading Ltd are experts in this field. Let us know how we can help you.

Information Governance training tool updates


Connecting for Health have made a number of changes to their NHS Information Governance online training tool. For full details, download the training tool change notice, accessible from this weblink: https://www.igt.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/NewsArticle.aspx?tk=406733577835432&lnv=2&cb=56fe87fa-af6f-4f21-bcc2-c87f1cc805d8&artid=69&web=yes

All healthcare organisations, regardless of whether they are NHS based or not, should complete the annual Information Governance Toolkit. In addition, any third party commercial party that works with or processes patient identifiable data should also complete the toolkit submission each year. For advice and support with this challenging task, visit our Healthcare Dashboard.

Hay Festival news


This year's Hay Festival runs between 26th May and 5th June 2011 in Wales. It is an exciting line up yet again this year. Below are a few features of this year's event to get you into the creative writing spirit!

- The European Cup Final between Manchester United and Barcelona will be screened on the 28th May in the Starlight Stage. There will be free entry for anyone making a £5 donation to Ysgol Penmaes in Brecon, a very special local school.

- As part of the 400th anniversary celebrations, Hay will be reading the entire King James Bible, from Genesis to Revelations, over 96 hours throughout the festival. The first and last readings will be held on site. The rest of the readings will take place in small churches near Hay on either side of the border.

- Prizes will be given away every day on twitter, where news and updates of the event will also be communicated.

- Hay are teaming up with partners at the National Trust to select six of the best books celebrating the great outdoors. Nominate your favourite outdoor books and be automatically entered into a prize draw to win tickets to 5 Hay events of your choice.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Schools see significant budget cuts

The BBC reported yesterday that more than half the schools in England are facing cuts to their budgets. This news was reported following a survey completed by school heads and deputies.

The survey was completed by 1,177 school and college leaders, and it also suggests that nearly nine out of 10 schools or colleges are seeing reduced support from local authorities.

In response, the government states that school budgets always go up and down. In the last comprehensive spending review it promised to increase spending on schools budgets and in principle it did - however the budget rise was so small that any proposed gains were actually wiped out by an increase in inflation.

The survey also suggests that very few schools have seen any benefits from the extra cash that is targeted at poorer pupils via the pupil premium which is worth £430 per eligible pupil. The respondents to this survey suggest that any gains that may have been seen through the pupil premium have been wiped out by reductions in other areas, such as the loss of the ethnic minority achievement grant.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "We're protecting the schools budget in cash terms per pupil, introducing a pupil premium for disadvantaged pupils, and putting money directly into heads' hands.

"School budgets fluctuate every year as pupil numbers change so it is normal for some schools to get more, and for others to get less.

"In fact this survey shows that around a third of schools have reported an increase in funding."

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

CQC's Excellence Award consultation begins


On Monday 9th May the Care Quality Commission (CQC) commenced consultation on plans for a new excellence award scheme for adult social care services in England.

As we have previously reported, the award is scheduled to be launched in April 2012. The purpose of the award is to recognise those services that are providing the very best social care. Eligible services will be delivered by third party organisations, licensed by the Care Quality Commission.

In order to develop this award scheme, the CQC have been working with representatives of the sector, including the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and people who use services, to ensure that the scheme is as robust and successful as possible.

The consultation on this excellence award scheme asks for feedback on the definition of excellence developed by SCIE and on a range of aspects regarding how the scheme should work.

Prose and poetry prizes up for grabs from The New Writer magazine


The New Writer Magazine holds an annual international competition for short stories, microfiction, single poems, poetry collections, essays and articles. The competition has been running since 1997 and is on of the major annual international writing competitions of its kind.

Cash prizes are available, and winning writers will also have their writing published in The Collection, which is a special edition of the New Writer Magazine. The closing date for entries is 30th November 2011.

If you are interested in entering, it is worthwhile taking a look at back copies of The New Writer magazine, to get a feel for the standard of work they usually publish. Back copies of the publication and additional competition instructions can be found on their website: www.thenewwriter.com

Good luck!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Wealthy families to 'buy' student university placements


The Guardian reported last night that teenagers from the wealthiest families would be able to pay for extra places at the most competitive universities, thanks to government proposals that could allow institutions to charge some British students the same high fees as overseas undergraduates are currently charged.

Under this scheme, any students who decided to take up these extra places would not be eligible for publicly funded loans to pay for their tuition fees or living costs, thus the scheme limits itself to all but the most privileged households across the country.

Under the plans, these 'extra' places could cost students between £12,000 and £28,000 per year, depending on the subject chosen for study. Whilst the scheme would given more students the chance to attend their first choice of university, it would do so at a huge cost.

Ministers have argued that the creation of these 'extra' places will "boost social mobility by freeing up more publicly subsidised places for undergraduates from poorer homes." The universities minister, David Willetts, told the Guardian: "There are various important issues that need to be addressed around off-quota places, but I start from the view that an increase in the total number of higher education places could aid social mobility.

"There would need to be arrangements to make sure any such system was fair and worked in the interests of students as well as institutions. But it is not clear what the benefit is of the current rules, which, for example, limit the ability of charities or social enterprises to sponsor students.

"We are inviting ideas on the whole concept and we will listen very carefully to all the responses we receive."


CQC hits back on dental practice closure claims


In a press statement issued on the 6th May 2011, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported that contrary to other external reports released, they have not advised any dental providers to close their practices.

In their press statement the CQC reports:

"Some providers have experienced delays in their applications for registration due to issues beyond their control, including issues around receiving CRB certificates. We are working with these providers to support them through the registration process and will not seek to penalise any provider that has made reasonable attempts to register.

"However, we do have the power to close services where we have serious concerns about the quality of services."

Need a hand with your CQC registration or ongoing compliance monitoring and reporting? Check out our website for details on how we can help.

Weekly writing competitions


Details of writing competitions that are currently running are provided below. There's a little something for everyone so why not give it a go?

The publishing house Cinnamon Press runs twice yearly competitions for poetry, short story and novels/novellas. The closing dates for these competitions are 30 June and 30 November. The prizes available for short stories and poetry are £100 + publication in their anthology. The prizes available for novels include £400 plus a full manuscript appraisal for four runners up. Please note that Cinnamon Press competitions are predominately aimed at newer writers.

The Daily Telegraph Travel Writing competition is currently open to submissions. It offers a yearly first prize of £1000, with £200 for the best entry received each month.

The Lightship Short Story Competition is currently open, with a stated closing date of 30 June 2011. It will be jusged by Toby Litt and has a first prize of £1000 avaliable.
If you write short stories, novellas, poetry, non-fiction pieces or full novels then contact Words Worth Reading Ltd and see how we can help with your writing.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Student articles free for download


The essay, dissertation and thesis experts at Words Worth Reading Ltd have been busy ensuring that our students receive the very best information to support their academic life recently. A whole range of articles have been uploaded to our resource centre that are full of handy and informative hints and tips for students across the world.

This work has been led by Catherina Dunphy, our Director of Operations. Go and take a look - they are free to download and represent an invaluable source of information and guidance.

Updated NHS Quality and Risk Profiles now available


The Care Quality Commission introduced Quality and Risk Profiles (QRPs) as an important tool for providers, commissioners and their own staff to monitor compliance with essential standards of quality and safety. NHS providers should ensure that their QRPs are updated and uploaded monthly, so that the CQC and the commissioners of health and social care services can monitor routinely how NHS providers are performing.

The latest round of updated quality and risk profiles (QRPs) were made available to NHS trusts, lead commissioners, SHAs and Monitor via the password protected website last week. The CQC will be improving the accessibility, look and feel of QRPs for these providers over the coming months. The CQC has also announced that there will not be an update release for QRPs in May.

In addition the Care Quality Commission have stated that they are working to further develop QRPs for adult social care and independent health care providers. Their aim is to share QRPs with these providers in the same way as the NHS once this development work is complete.
Do you need help pulling together your QRP? Not only can we support your internal compliance monitoring, but at Words Worth Reading Ltd we can also help you produce and understand your very own QRPs.

Second Self-Published book for John Fraser

John Fraser has recently self published his second book, entitled Montrous Madonnas. He published The Wild Beast May Break Them in 2007 with the same self publishing company.

In order to celebrate the launch of the event (and coincidently to celebrate his birthday) John held a popular party. Guests included Richard Wilson, Celia Imrie, Maureen Lipman, Claire Bloom and Sue Johnston among others.

To mark the occasion a birthday cake created in the design of his new book cover was presented to John at the launch party!

Fancy self publishing? Ensure your manuscript is squeaky clean by utilising the editorial skills of Words Worth Reading Ltd.

Self Publishing magazine goes digital


The popular self publishing magazine created by Matador has 'gone digital'. Subscribers will now have the opportunity to choose to receive the magazine in hard copy or as an electronic 'flipping' file. Both versions of the magazine will be available at the same and will contain the same content.

Online subscribers will be able to view all issues of the magazine that they have subscribed to online, using a PC, Mac, iPad or tablet. Subscriptions rates will also reflect the reduced cost of delivering an online version of the magazine to online subscribers.
Words Worth Reading Ltd provides article content for the Self Publishing Magazine. To find out more about our writing services, visit the dedicated writer section of our website.

Nottingham Uni in row over academic freedom


The Guardian yesterday reported that Nottingham University has been plunged into a row over academic freedom after it suspended a lecturer who had criticised the University's treatment of a student who was researching al-Qaida.

The full Guardian report can be found below:

"Rod Thornton, an expert in counter-insurgency at Nottingham University, was suspended on Wednesday after he accused the university of passing "erroneous evidence" to police and attempting to discredit a student who downloaded an al-Qaida training manual from a US government website.

"A member of staff at the university also lobbied successfully for Thornton's article to be taken down from an academic website, arguing that it contained defamatory allegations.

"The masters student was arrested and detained for six days for downloading the al-Qaida material.

"A university administrator was also arrested after Sabir asked him to print the document because the student could not afford the printing fees. Both were later released without charge.

"In the paper, Thornton wrote: "Untruth piled on untruth until a point was reached where the Home Office itself farcically came to advertise the case as 'a major Islamist plot' ... Many lessons can be learned from what happened at the University of Nottingham.

"This incident is an indication of the way in which, in the United Kingdom of today, young Muslim men can become so easily tarred with the brush of being 'terrorists'."

"Thornton's article was prepared for the British International Studies Association, which promotes the study of international relations and held its annual conference in Manchester last week.

"A leaked email exchange shows that one of Thornton's fellow academics at Nottingham claimed the paper made "clearly defamatory" allegations against individuals.

"In an email to colleagues, Professor Theo Farrell, Bisa's vice-chair, writes that the request gets the organisation into the "difficult territory" of ensuring academic freedoms while protecting itself from being sued for libel.

"Thornton, a former soldier, told the Guardian he had received a letter from the vice-chancellor telling him he had been suspended because of a "breakdown in working relationships with your colleagues caused by your recent article".

"He said: "I'm just saddened by it. I'm criticising my own university but there's a bigger issue in terms of the university's treatment of Rizwaan Sabir. They failed miserably in their duty of care to him."

"Sabir, now a PhD student at Strathclyde University, said: "A public inquiry is needed more than ever before into the university's actions."

"Referring to the arrests in May 2008, Thornton wrote in his paper that both Sabir and the administrator were "completely innocent" of any link to terrorism.

"They were simply caught up in an extraordinary set of circumstances that might be described as laughable if the consequences had not been quite so severe.

"And, at the heart of their tribulations, there does seem to be something really rather dark; something I would never have believed existed in a modern British university and indeed, within modern British society."

"Thornton writes that the al-Qaida manual which led to the arrests is now stocked in the university's library.

"He says the university's administration notified police but had never given any indication they had carried out "even the simplest of internet checks or ... [sought] either advice or guidance from elsewhere".

"A university spokesman said Thornton's article was "highly defamatory" of a number of his colleagues.

"The university rejects utterly the baseless accusations he makes about members of staff. We understand that Bisa has decided to remove the article from its website.

"Academic freedom is a cornerstone of this university and is guaranteed in employment terms under the university's statutes.

"That freedom is the freedom to question, to criticise, to put forward unpopular ideas and views – it is not the freedom to defame your co-workers and attempt to destroy their reputations as honest, fair and reasonable individuals.

"It is important to remember that the original incident, almost three years ago, was triggered by the discovery of an al-Qaida training manual on the computer of an individual who was neither an academic member of staff, nor a student, and in a school where one would not expect to find such material being used for research purposes.

"The university became concerned and decided, after a risk assessment, that those concerns should be conveyed to the police as the appropriate body to investigate."

Are you a student? Check out our student pages for support now!

UN stresses the importance of freedom for the Press

United Nation officials stressed last week that freedom of expression remains as important as ever in this digital age, as it serves as a basis for democracy and human dignity everywhere. The UN is undertaking a series of events and training programmes across the world to pick up on this theme of freedom of expression within the press and to coincide with this year's theme - “21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers.”

In Washington, D.C., Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will award the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize in absentia to the Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, who is currently imprisoned in his home country. Ms. Bokova, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Navi Pillay issued a joint statement to mark the Day in which they noted
that new media and technologies offer the public “unprecedented opportunities” for expression.

“More and more people are able to share information and exchange views, within and across national borders,” the trio said. “This is a blessing for creativity, for healthy societies, for including everyone in new forms of dialogue.”

But the message warned that new threats are arising alongside the technology, noting that “measures to block, filter and censor information emerge every day.”

The Internet must be a truly global resource to which everyone has access and where all voices can be heard, the officials stressed.

“This calls for action to defend the integrity and safety of online reporters. All principles of freedom of expression must be brought to the online world. And they must be protected. Over the last decade, more than 500 journalists lost their lives in the pursuit of their profession. Sixty killings were reported worldwide in 2010 alone. Every week brings more reports of journalists and bloggers suffering from intimidation and violence.”

Update on CQC registration process for social and healthcare providers


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that 98% of applications received before the 1st February 2011 from adult social care, independent healthcare providers and NHS provider organisations have now been fully processed. The CQC is also making good progress with the processing of applications that were received after the 1st February 2011. They have reported that they are currently receiving an average of 172 applications from social care providers, independent healthcare providers and NHS bodies each day. This figure does however include applications for changing the nominated indivdual or registered manager, and for adding in additional sites to already registered provider bodies.

The CQC has also stated that they have recently launched a review of their registration process, in the hope that the outcome of this review will streamline the process for health and social care providers. They have started to roll out some small, internal changes to their registration process, and hope that by consulting with providers on the current registration process, they will be able to make more significant changes in the longer term.

Are you a health or social care provider requiring CQC registration? Check out our website to see how we can help.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Adult learning can be practical!

The BBC's 'Learner' pages are a fantastic source of information for anyone involved in teaching or who considers themself to be a 'learner'. In this day and age, we should probably all classify ourselves as learners in order to get the best out of life and the knowledge and technology that surrounds us. This element of the BBC's website is split out into categories such as 'School', 'Teachers', and 'Adult Learners'.

GCSE and A' Level students will find that the Bitesize revision sessions are now available to download and watch from this site; how things have changed - I remember having to record the Bitesize programmes in the middle of the night on a video recorder, ready for me to watch and absorb the following morning over breakfast!

My favourite part of the website however is the 'Adult Learner' pages. From here you can access online courses that span across subjects such as writing tips, first aid, learning to sing, learning a new langauge and (my personal favourite) learning to garden! Each online course is visual, practical and fun. The perfect way to strengthen your knowledge and skills.

CQC demands improvements at Clemsfold House

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told the registered service providers for Clemsfold House in Horsham that they must improve the services offered at this care home.

Clemsfold House is registered to provide accommodation for people requiring personal care for up to 48 people. Inspectors from the CQC undertook a compliance visit recently and concluded that the care home is not meeting one or more of the essential standards and that improvements were needed to improve the standard and quality of care given to patients.

Amanda Sherlock, CQC’s director of Operations, said: “By law, providers of certain adult social care and health care services have a responsibility to make sure they are meeting essential standards of quality and safety. These are the standards everyone should be able to expect when they receive care.

“We have told the provider where they need to improve and our inspectors will follow up to ensure those improvements are made. If we find that the service does not make progress, then we will consider further action.”

Let Words Worth Reading Ltd support your CQC registration and ongoing compliance monitoring - we're experts in this field

Freelance magazine writing opportunities


Below are details of this week's freelance magazine writing opportunities for all budding journalists and creative writers out there. Why not draft something and send it through to Words Worth Reading Ltd? We'll review your work and finalise it for you to ensure that you get the very best shot at publication.

Magazine 1: ITALY MAGAZINE, ITALY
This is a general-interest magazine covering a wide variety of topics concerning Italian life. The publication is always on the lookout for writing with great images and a strong narrative flow. Their regular features include holidays, wine, food, gardens, house interiors, culture, learning Italian, fashion and sport. The editor is seeking well-illustrated articles from freelancers on any aspect of Italy and its lifestyle, culture, food, crafts or lesser-known holiday destinations.

Magazine 2: COUNTRY SMALLHOLDING, UK
A monthly magazine for smallholders, small farmers and anyone interested in self-sufficiency, both rural and urban. The publication carries practical-based articles on small livestock, organic production, herbs, crafts, cookery, building, energy and any other aspect of small-scale agricultural production.

Magazine 3: DESCENT, UK
This is a bi-monthly magazine covering the sport of caving (potholing) and associated underground activities, in UK and overseas. Submissions are welcome from freelancers who can write knowledgeably and accurately on caves, mines and the world underground. The publication also seeks news items and images (photographs and maps). Articles and features should be up to 2,000 words. News items should be up to 1,000 words.

Magazine 4: IN MADRID, SPAIN
This is a free monthly English-language magazine covering the best of the city of Madrid for foreigners and Spaniards alike. Articles written for this publication should have a particular focus on the cultural events taking place in the city. The editor is always looking for new writers.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Financial fears dominate University prep


The Guardian today announced that concerns over finances are preoccupying sixth form and college students as they commence their preparations for University life. And it seems that it isn't just the continuously growing fees that are of concern; the reality of life outside the parental home is also starting to dawn on these 18 year old students, as they have to start to think about the real costs associated with living independently; food, utilities, rent and travel.

Funding provisions are poor for University students, particularly those who fall into the middle category of 'not too poor to require support', yet 'not sufficiently wealthy to not require any support'. A future University student who the Guardian is following, Zowie, will be the first of 5 children in her family to go to University. Her mum is as medical secretary and her dad is a building site manager. When talking about University funding, Zowie states that; 'even though my household income is enough to rule me out of much of a maintenance grant, my parents are not going to be able to fund my living costs, especially with the cost of living going up so much. One of the Unis I've been reading about says a single student can work on day-to-day living expenses of £200-£225 a week. That seems like a crazy amount of money.'

Zowie advises younger students to start putting money aside as early as possible. "I would suggest saving lots of money before university if you're in a similar situation to me," she says.

Difficult times ahead for the youth of today.

Are you a student? See how we can help.

Croydon University Hospital failing CQC standards

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released a Press Release stating that Croydon University Hospital is not meeting six essential standards.

A recent review of services has led to The Care Quality Commission telling the Croydon University Hospital that it must take action to address shortages of midwives in its maternity unit. This mirrors the concerns raised about staffing levels in maternity at Barking Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust several weeks ago.

The CQC found that the maternity unit at Croydon University Hospitak was not meeting six essential standards. Their Press Release highlighted the following areas of concern:
  • Care and welfare: While the majority of births at the maternity unit are safe, the CQC were concerned at recent occurrences of maternal deaths and the trust’s ability to ensure optimum care when an emergency high risk situation occurs. They found evidence that the maternity unit may not always be able to provide 1:1 care on the labour ward, that the trust had not devised a process to ensure timely and effective provision of epidurals in all cases, and that an anaesthetist may not be available at all times. These scenarios are likely to impact on patient welfare and care.
  • Safe and accessible surroundings: The CQC were concerned about the lack of separate showers for women using the birthing pools and the lack of provision of beds in amenity rooms for partners.
  • Safety and suitability of equipment: Equipment in the maternity unit was not always available when needed, especially during busy periods, and was not always repaired in a timely manner.
  • Staffing: The trust was in the process of recruiting additional midwives at the time of our review; however, the CQC were concerned that there were insufficient numbers of midwives giving direct clinical care to ensure people who use the services were safe and their health and welfare needs were met.
  • Supporting staff: People who use the service may not receive treatment from competent staff as there is evidence that mandatory staff training was not up-to-date.
  • Quality checking systems: The provider had implemented clinical governance and procedural changes following recent incidents and developed an action plan to improve the service. However the CQC were concerned that the trust has not yet delivered effective learning from past incidents where there are high risk mothers or birth complications gained from effective root cause analysis, assimilation of learning from incidents and transmission of learning to all staff, including midwives, midwifery assistants, anaesthetists and consultants.

Colin Hough, Regional Director of CQC in London said, “The Maternity Unit at Croydon University Hospital is not meeting all of the essential standards people should be able to expect. We have told the trust where it needs to do more to comply.

“We will continue to monitor the trust’s progress, to make more unannounced visits if necessary, and to take any further action that we deem necessary to make sure the trust gets it right."

“We have asked the trust to reply within 28 days of receiving CQC’s report, setting out the action they will take to improve. We will follow up to make sure that the improvements have been made.”

Did you know it can take between 300 and 400 hours to prepare for a CQC Registration? Words Worth Reading Ltd offer cost effective, efficient and professional services to enable you to prepare for your CQC assessment in a pain-free way.