Monday, 27 June 2011

SWWJ's 'meet the authors' afternoon in August

The Society of Women Writers and Journalists have announced their 'meet the authors' afternoon in Selseytime on Tuesday August 9th from 2pm - 4pm. The event will be held at St Peter's Church Hall and admission is free. Refreshments will be available on the day.

Authors attending the event include; Peter Lovesey, Dee Williams, Simon Brett, Beryl Kingston, Elizabeth Arnold, Val Biro, Catherine King, Roberta Grieve, Eve Phillips, Patricia Carlton, Janet Laurence, Joan Moules, Susan Webb, James Morley, Jean Newman, John Owen-Smith, Pamla Birley, Wendy Hughes, Len Tyler, Eileen Robertson, Beth Elliott, Ginny Vere Nicoll, and Josephine Chia.

There will be a short entertainment spot during the afternoon and a raffle. This is a great opportunity to pick up a signed book or two from one of your local authors.

CQC closes Winterbourne View Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced on Sunday that Winterbourne View, the hospital featured in the recent Panorama programme, has closed. New accommodation has been found for all the of the hospital’s patients.

Castlebeck, the hospital's owner, told the Care Quality Commission that it would not be seeking to challenge their decision regarding the closure of Winterbourne View, so the CQC do not expect the company to oppose the formal Notice of decision that will lead to the withdrawal of its registration to provide services at the hospital.

For support with CQC registration and compliance, take a look at the Words Worth Reading Ltd website.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Seven Stories children's book centre receives cash injection

Seven Stories children's book centre in Newcastle has benefitted from a massive £750,000 endownment donated by the Enid Blyton Trust for Children

Seven Stories, which is the largest public collector of Enid Blyton material, was awarded the grant following a decision to close the Enid Blyton Trust and donate all its funds to a single organisation.

'The Enid Blyton Trust funded work for children that improved their life opportunities and provided learning opportunities, especially for disadvantaged children. Seven Stories runs a number of programmes with schools and with children for whom books are not part of their home life and the funding will help support their costs,' said Seven Stories chief executive Kate Edwards.

Last autumn Seven Stories purchased typescripts for nine of Enid Blyton's best-known titles, including three Famous Five stories, which would otherwise have been sold to private collectors.

For full editorial support with your own children's writing, check out the Words Worth Reading Ltd writer pages.

Funding application process launched by alcohol and drugs partnership

The Outer Hebrides Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) is currently looking for expressions of interest/applications from organisations who would be able to assist in the delivery of services to support people with drug and alcohol issues in their recovery, and to support people, families and children affected by drug and alcohol issues.

The Partnership is able to offer funding for this service delivery for July 2011 through to March 2012 and maximum bids of £25,000 are invited.

Applicants should ensure that potential projects are linked to the Outer Hebrides ADP strategic priorities of Early Years and Early Intervention.

  • Early Years work should target children affected by parental substance misuse to ensure children and family members of people misusing alcohol and drugs are safe, well supported and have improved life chances.
  • Early Intervention work should target adults and children who are drinking or using drugs at levels or patterns that are damaging to themselves or others and aim at a reduction in the prevalence of harmful levels of drug and alcohol use through prevention, changing social attitudes and recovery to improve long-term, health, social and economic outcomes
Need help with writing bids in response to juicy tenders? See How Words Worth Reading Ltd's bid writing service can help.

Liverpool Nursing Home fails to meet standards

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) undertook an inspection of the Ashley Manor Nursing Home in Liverpool at the end of March 2011. The inspection demonstrated that the home was failing to meet five of the sixteen essentail safety requirements.

The CQC report, which was published last week on their website, highlights the regulator’s concerns with five areas the inspector looked at:

People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights

The CQC felt that the risks to people receiving safe and appropriate care and treatment were increased due to poor standards of assessment, planning and delivery of care.

People should be cared for in a clean environment and protected from the risk of infection

The CQC found that a number of areas across the home fell below the standards they would expect to be in place to maintain a clean and appropriate environment for people who use this service. They found that the home does not have a detailed cleaning schedule/plan to ensure all areas and key items which require cleaning are identified and listed.

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs

The CQC did not consider that people who use this service benefited from sufficient staff to meet their needs and thus they felt that care given to people was compromised as a consequence this. The Registered Manager confirmed that she has not carried out a needs analysis and risk assessment as the basis for deciding sufficient staffing levels. There was no system in place for ensuring that staff levels were monitored and reviewed to ensure safe levels.

Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills

Overall the CQC found that the provider was meeting some but not the all of the requirements for this standard. They consider there to be insufficient evidence to demonstrate that staff are properly supported to provide care and treatment to people who use the service. There was evidence that staff were properly trained but satisfactory supervision and appraisals arrangements were not in place.

The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care

In respect of monitoring the quality of services that people who use the service, the CQC considered that this standard was not met. They identified that there were no robust arrangements in place to make sure people are not harmed as a result of unsafe care, treatment and support. They saw limited information in relation to reporting on quality, risk and improvement plans and were not assured that the results of this were adequately acted upon.

Sue McMillan, Regional Director for CQC in the North West says, “The care at Ashley Manor Nursing Care Home is not good enough. 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.

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

Need support with your CQC registration application or on-going compliance monitoring? Speak to one of the Words Worth Reading Ltd advisors on 01245 707580.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Jobs boost for Irish Midlands

RTE News announced on Friday that the Ericsson group is taking on 100 software engineers at its plant in Athlone. At the same time, a mobile software firm on the west side of the town has reported that it is about to recruit 40 new programmers. Great news on the recruitment front, and this increase in staffing levels at the Ericsson group demonstrates how to company has turned itself around, given that just two years ago it laid off 300 people in Ireland.

'The addition of 100 highly skilled jobs to the Midlands gateway is very welcome news by a leading technology company such as Ericsson and this emphasises the quality of the skilled workforce available and the pro-business environment here,' commented IDA Ireland's chief executive Barry O'Leary.

On a separate note, 50 people are being employed in a motorway service area, Junction 14 Mayfield, which is opening on the M7 in Co Kildare today. The development at Monasterevin cost €7m. Things are looking up!
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CQC welcomes GP Registration extension

On Friday 17th June, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) issued a statement in support of the Department of Health's published proposals on changes to the GP CQC registration process.

The Care Quality Commission stated that they will work with the Department of Health and with stakeholders to ensure any changes are clear, and they have confirmed that they will be writing to all affected providers.

The CQC has asked the Department of Health to extend GP practice registration beyond the current deadline. This requested extension is for one year; moving the final registration deadline from April 2012 to April 2013. However it is still proposed that all providers whose sole or main purpose is NHS GP out-of-hours services or walk-in centres will still need to be registered by 1 April 2012.

The aim of the delay is to try to improve the process for GPs, to give the Commission more opportunity to embed compliance monitoring in the sectors they already regulate, and to ensure registration is more closely aligned with accreditation schemes.

At this time the CQC have confirmed that, 'there are no plans to change the scope of regulation - all NHS primary care medical services will have to register, but the timing of that registration for GP practices may change.'

Peter Finch honoured

The poet, critic and Academi chief executive Peter Finch has been named as recipient of the Ted Slade Award for services to Poetry 2011. The annual award recognises a person who has given their time and efforts over many years to promote poetry to a wider audience.

Jim Bennett was chairing the selection panel this year. He said that, 'Peter Finch has had a long and distinguished career, not only as a poet, but also as an editor; critic and in recent years as chief executive of Academi, promoting literature. This award is given to acknowledge the tremendous contribution he has made.'
If you need support or advice for your poetry writing, check out the Words Worth Reading Ltd website.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Weak schools converted to academies

Michael Gove, the education secretary, has announced that the 200 weakest primary schools in England will be turned into 'academies' next year. Academies operate differently to schools in so far as they are controlled internally as opposed to being controlled by the local authority. They can also set their own pay scales for teachers.

Those primary schools that will be turned into academies are those that have fallen below the government's minimum standards for five years. The standards require at least 60% of pupils to achieve a basic level – level four – in English and maths by the age of 11, and also require them to have made at least average progress between the ages of seven and 11.Authorities with particularly large numbers of struggling primaries will be identified for urgent collaboration with the Department for Education, Gove said.

Speaking to the National College for School Leadership's annual conference in Birmingham, he warned that the government could intervene where authorities were "recalcitrant" or tried to "stand in the way of improvement".

He said: "Wherever possible, we want to find solutions that everyone can agree on, as we have done with the vast majority of the secondary schools that will become academies next year."

But Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said "compelling" schools to turn into academies would not improve standards.

"This is a totally unacceptable experiment to undertake with our primary school children," she said. "Since last September, few primaries have voluntarily converted to academy status.

"Schools value and need the additional support they receive from their local authority and neighbouring schools," Blower added. "Simply closing schools and replacing them with academies will not have the impact sought, but will cause a great deal of confusion and distress for parents, pupils and staff."

Gove has also said that he would be setting tougher exam targets for Britain's worst-performing schools. By 2015, he expects every secondary school in England to be achieving the current national average of at least 50% of pupils achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths. If not, the school will be regarded as underperforming.

"To compete with the best in the world, we have to raise our expectations not just once, but continuously," Gove said.

"In Singapore, more than 80% of young people taking O-levels now achieve five passes – the equivalent of C grades at GCSE. In South Korea, an incredible 97% of students graduate from high school.

"There is no reason, if we work together, that by the end of this parliament every young person can't be educated in a school where at least half of students reach this basic academic standard."

Gove told the conference that England "still had one of the most segregated school systems in the world, with the gap between the best and the worst wider than in almost any other developed nation".

To "liberate thousands from the narrow horizons which have limited mankind's vision for centuries", teachers and everyone involved in education would have to "work harder", he said.

"My moral purpose in government is to break the lock which prevents children from our poorest families making it into our best universities and walking into the best jobs," he added.

Emap considers moving titles to monthly ot online only

We all need to streamline our spend and publishing companies are no different. In a bit to improve service delivery and deliver against a tighter budget, the large magazine publisher Emap is currently considering the move of all of its weekly titles to either monthly or online publication.

The move could see Emap, which owns trade titles including Drapers, Broadcast and Retail Week, enact the change for all of its titles over the next few years. The first title due to test the move to a monthly frequency is understood to be Nursing Times.

The company has seen a large amount of change of late. Last month the publisher parted company with its chief executive David Gilbertson...he is yet to be replaced. Furthermore, at the end of last year, Claudia Arney, the group managing director at the publisher, also left.

It is believed that the company's end-of-year financial results for 2010, due out in the next two months, will reflect a business performing well. Between 2008 and 2009, the company's revenue dropped from £283m to £282m, but it turned a pre-tax loss of £2m into a pre-tax profit of £34m.

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Interested in Education Funding?

Do you work within the education sector or do you have an interest in what's happening in terms of funding opportunities and budget cuts? If so then you might want to take a look at the Bid and Funding News and Information page located on the website.

This website has a section dedicated to information and news updates about education funding.

Current stories and information pieces include:

- Education spending feels a squeeze
- Savings that schools could make
- The axe begins to swing
- The Financial crisis
- Where will the crunch be felt

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Finance firm creates 50 new jobs in Ireland

The Irish Times reported yesterday that 50 high-end jobs are to be created in Ireland over the next two years, thanks to the launch of a new finance company.

Asset management firm BNY Mellon announced the creation of the new futures and derivatives company — BNY Mellon Clearing International Limited — to be headquartered in Dublin.

The new jobs will be in the areas of finance, risk management, technology, operations, sales, compliance and legal.

The Executive for BNY Mellon Ireland stated the, “announcement represents another milestone in our Irish growth strategy and supports our ongoing commitment to expand the range of capabilities we offer from Ireland to both local and global clients.”

Ireland is now BNY Mellon’s second largest location in Europe, employing more than 1,800 people in Dublin, Cork, Wexford and Navan. The company operates in 36 countries and serves more than 100 markets.

The company delivers a broad range of services to traditional and alternative asset managers, banks, pension funds and insurance companies, offering a range of services including asset servicing, alternative investment services and corporate trust.
If you're looking to apply for a new job, why not use Words Worth Reading Ltd's CV writing and editing services or their application form writing services to secure the best possible chance of interview success?

Information Governance Version 9 bulletin available

Version 9 of the Information Governance Toolkit is now available for healthcare providers and those organisations that process patient level information to complete.

As the Department of Health releases it's 9th year of completing Information Governance assessments, we take a look at the key changes in this version of the Toolkit, looking to see how the assessment will differ this year for partaking organisations.

Key changes have been made to the functionality of the Toolkit, with Version 8 comments and scores rolled over into the organisation-specific information found in Version 9.

Since Version 7 there has been a significant increase in the number of indicators that organisations have to report on and provide evidence against. These indicators continue to provide robust information about organisation's governance arrangements.

Additional organisation types now have the ability to complete this Information Governance Toolkit. The toolkit has now been made available to those organisations that provide prescribed appliances to patients and healthcare providers, and to organisations that process patient-level information for purposes other than providing direct healthcare.

Words Worth Reading Ltd has created a handy one page summary on Version 9 of the Toolkit. It can be downloaded for free from the Newsletters webpage.

CQC welcomes Learning Disabilities report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has stated that it welcomes the comments found in the Improving Health and Lives Learning Disabilities Observatory report.

This report highlights some of the key gaps that currently exist in the data available for analysing the benefits and performance of health care services that are in place to support people with learning disabilities.

The CQC state that, 'the report is an important indicator of risk for both commissioners and for the CQC. The results will also feed into our review of learning disabilities data, which will be concluded later this year.'

Monday, 13 June 2011

Knit your own poem!

Following the success of its giant centenary poem project, where more than a thousand knitters joined in the making of a 13m x 9m hand-knitted version of Dylan Thomas' In my Craft or Sullen Art, the Poetry Society website is offering visitors the opportunity to knit their own virtual poem.

To take part, simply visit their website and type in your chosen poem. It will then appear in knitted squares, and you can even print it out and keep it for posterity!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Potential e-book competitor?

The next big thing in publishing might not be an electronic book reader but a newly invented, print format book called a 'flipback book'. It is due for release in the UK this summer.

The flipback book was introduced into Holland in 2009 and has sold 1 million copies since its release. It is a pocket-sized book that is printed on wafer-thin paper and it has a distinctive spine which allows it to lie open on a table without any support.

How funny if the death of the e-book was brought upon by a printed book!

Science lessons should be about science says government advisor

Tim Oates, the government advisor in charge of overhauling the school syllabus in England has reported that the issue of climate change should not be included in the national curriculum. Instead he feels that it should be up to schools themselves to decide whether they want to teach students about climate change, and if they do want to complete this teaching, it should be up to them to decide how this topic is taught.

In an interview with the Guardian, Oates called for the national curriculum "to get back to the science in science". "We have believed that we need to keep the national curriculum up to date with topical issues, but oxidation and gravity don't date," he said. "We are not taking it back 100 years; we are taking it back to the core stuff. The curriculum has become narrowly instrumentalist."

The Guardian report that, "his stance marks a turning point in the development of the national curriculum. Oates' intention is to substantially reduce the national curriculum. Under the previous government, the curriculum expanded to nearly 500 pages. His remarks also show he wants to reverse a shift in emphasis, made under the Labour government, under which teachers were encouraged to place great importance on scientific "issues" and not just scientific knowledge."

Climate change has featured in the national curriculum since 1995. In 2007, the topics "cultural understanding of science" and "applications and implications of science" were added to the curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds.

But Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, warned that Oates' ideas might not be in pupils' best interests and could make science less interesting for children.

"An emphasis on climate change in the curriculum connects the core scientific concepts to topical issues," he said. "Certain politicians feel that they don't like the concept of climate change. I hope this isn't a sign of a political agenda being exercised."

He said leaving climate change out of the national curriculum might encourage a teacher who was a climate change sceptic to abandon teaching the subject to their pupils. "This would not be in the best interests of pupils. It would be like a creationist teacher not teaching about evolution. Climate change is about science. If you remove the context of scientific concepts, you make it less interesting to children."

However Oates stands firm in his judgement. He states that the subject areas that engage children in science "changed dramatically" from year to year. "The national curriculum shouldn't ever try to keep up with those, otherwise it would keep changing." Teachers knew best which current affairs topics related to science would interest their pupils, he said. "A lot should not be in the national curriculum at all. A lot of damage was done to the curriculum last time it was reviewed," he said.

"If you live in a town where there is a lot of manufacturing, then teachers can use that as a context to discuss the social effects of science; other groups of pupils might be more interested in how the pharmaceutical industry produces drugs. It's really important that children think through the social application of science, but the precise topics... do not have to be specified by the state."

WI joins battle to save UK libraries

There has been an ongoing battle across 2011 with individuals and organisations joining together to fight the loss of libraries that so many local communities are facing thanks to cuts in local government spending. Currently more than 600 libraries in England alone are under threat of closure. But additional help to save these libraries may be at hand, as 208,000 Women's Institute members join the campaign to prevent local library closures wherever they are proposed.

Ruth Bond, the chair of the organisation stated; "WI members clearly recognise the worth that local library services bring to communities, often in isolated areas, and we will now work hard to prevent such services being removed from the areas where they are often needed most."

The vote followed an impassioned speech at the WI's AGM from the library body CILIP's chief executive Annie Mauger, in which she warned a 4,500-strong audience in Liverpool that "if we lose libraries, they may never come back".

"We believe that 20% of the libraries in England alone are at risk. Possibly even more ... We could lose 600 libraries in 600 communities and many mobile libraries to remote areas," said Mauger. "Where library buildings are safe, it's staff, funding and opening hours that are at risk. We know that there have to be savings. But we believe that this level of cuts is disproportionate to other savings being made by local authorities. Libraries at risk are often in communities with the fewest nearby public facilities. As local libraries close, many more people will have to make long and inconvenient journeys or will stop using the library altogether."

Before the AGM, librarians had been speaking to local WI branches around the country, urging them to support the campaign to persuade the government that libraries are "an essential educational and information resource".

"From Shilton in Warwickshire to Leyland in Lancashire and Pudsey near Leeds, you have been voting to help us save libraries," said Mauger. "The Women's Institute has a special kind of power. You have influence. You can make change happen. You campaign for the things you believe in."

Libraries, she said, "help fight illiteracy, ignorance and exclusion. Libraries bring people access to the world beyond their horizon ... As a child, books open up the worlds of knowledge and imagination. All through life libraries empower people through access to information beyond anything that anyone could buy for themselves."

Writer resources can be found on Words Worth Reading Ltd's main website.

PM holds higher education summit

The Guardian reported on Friday that the prime minister will meet university leaders in Whitehall to discuss the coalition's long-awaited blueprint for higher education.

The meeting will be private and it will be hosted next Friday by the universities minister David Willetts.

The Guardian reports that "the agenda for the meeting is thought to be the government's white paper, which will outline reforms to higher education, and a discussion on how universities can contribute to the growth of the economy. Research Fortnight magazine claims universities have been unable to agree on any clear objectives for the meeting."

The white paper is expected to pave the way for many more private colleges to offer degree places. The government believes this will spark more competition in the sector and thus force universities to improve or be taken over. A similar approach can be seen in the government's approach to the introduction of private healthcare providers into the healthcare sector.

Gareth Thomas, Labour's shadow universities minister, said Cameron needed to "fundamentally rethink his decision to treble tuition fees and cut university funds by so much. The quality of higher education is at stake too from major cuts in investment funding for new research and teaching facilities and from an expansion of US-style unregulated private for-profit providers."

Check out our website to see our full range of student support services.

South Yorkshire amends its grant application process

The South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF) has completed a review of its application procedure for project fundings and can announce that a revised application process is now in place.

SYCF has stated that it anticipates that there will be a high demand for the Small Grants Fund and that potential applicants should first read the Overview Sheet, Guidance Notes and all other supplementing information about the grants. This information is available on the SYCF website.

Potential applicants should then speak to the SYCF Grants team before filling in an application form. The SYCF Grants team are available on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday during normal office hours.

Application forms from before May 2011 are now out of date and are no longer accepted.

The contact details for this team are below:

Contact: SYCF Grants team
Telephone: 0114 242 4294

If you need help with bid writing or completing funding applications then give one of the Words Worth Reading Ltd advisors a call to see how we can help!

Friday, 10 June 2011

June's Newsletter is now available

The Words Worth Reading Ltd's June 2011 newsletter is now available for you to download and read free of charge.

This month's edition is very diverse! We take a look at the Government's plans to boost apprenticeships, OCR’s AS blunder, ways to make your academic writing more exciting and of course our charity cupcakes ..!

Happy reading!

150 new jobs created in Cork

A company which provides outsourcing services has announced that they are looking to recruit 150 employees as part of a planned company expansion. SouthWestern provides finance, human resources and customer relations management services to other companies. Indeed, just two weeks ago it was reported that Vodafone was to outsource its debt collection function to SouthWestern.

The company already employs 450 people in Clonakilty, with a further 150 people in Poland, serving customers across Ireland, Britain and Europe.

The company's ability to grow in Ireland and internationally is under-pinning today's announcement, coupled with a €3.5m investment in research and technology.

Enterprise Ireland is contributing to that investment because of the potential for the company to create more jobs here by expanding abroad.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton made the announcement stating: 'Today's announcement that SouthWestern is creating 150 jobs and investing heavily in R&D in a regional location shows what can be achieved when government and innovative companies work together.

'I am determined to build on this and ensure that government keeps its end of the bargain so that good companies can replicate today's announcement across the country in the coming years.'
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Which? cuts review on bookshops

Which? undertakes an annual 'shops' survey, to look at levels of service, quality of customer care and productivity etc . This year's survey omits the 'entertainment shops' category, which covers shops selling books and music because so many people now buy online. High streets have lost more than 4,200 book, news and stationery shops since 1988. Retail analyst Verdict predicts the lost of a further 350 by 2014.

There is hope, however, for specialist book shops that offer a unique service. Richard Davies of online books marketplace states: "Niche, genre-themed shops go down really well if they can sell online and offline'. (Witness Persephone!)

However, online shopping and downloads of titles will continue to dent the prospects of book shops, which face high rents and the need to keep a large amount of stock that attracts few sales.

Go back to 1997 and just 1.6% of book sales were made online - today it's 30%. And with supermarkets undercutting the big chains and independents on the prices of bestsellers, it's no surprise that Waterstone's - the only major chain left since Borders collapsed last year - and independents face difficulties.' Just what will the future bring for our beloved bookstores?
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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Information Governance Toolkit Version 9 released

Version 9 of the NHS Information Governance Toolkit is now officially live! So all healthcare providers and information services that support the NHS need to take note - annual Information Governance submissions need to take place before the end of this financial year, and they need to be made in line with the new information requirements attached to this version of the toolkit.

Full details of the changes between version 8 of the toolkit and version 9 of the toolkit can be found on the Connecting For Health's Information Governance Toolkit pages. Users will also notice some new functionality attached to this year's toolkit, including the rollover of all scores, evidence and comments from the previous assessment into version 9.

Additionally, large NHS organisations (Acute Trusts, Mental Health Trusts, Commissioning Organisations, Ambulance Trusts) will be expected to return to the completion of the 3 stage reporting process. Therefore if you are undertaking an IG assessment for one of these organisation-types you must carry out the following stages:

  1. Baseline assessment by 31 July 2011
  2. Performance update by 31 October 2011
  3. Final submission by 31 March 2012

Youngest Orange Prize Winner announced

25-year old author of The Tiger's Wife, Serbian-American Tea Obreht, has been announced as this year's Orange Prize winner. Tea is the youngest writer to win the £30,000 award.

Chair of the judges, Bettany Hughes, said: 'The Tiger's Wife is an exceptional book and Téa Obreht is a truly exciting new talent. Obreht's powers of observation and her understanding of the world are remarkable. By skilfully spinning a series of magical tales she has managed to bring the tragedy of chronic Balkan conflict thumping into our front rooms with a bittersweet vivacity.'

Emma Donohue's Room was the novel tipped to win this year's prize. The other shortlisted writers were Aminatta Forna, The Memory of Love; Emma Henderson, Grace Williams Says it Loud; Nicole Krauss, Great House and Kathleen Winter, Annabel.
Feel like writing your own fiction prize winner? Speak to any of our writers and editors to see how we could help!

New fitness magazine to be launched by Bauer

Looking to tap into the growing market for fitness and well-being magazines, Bauer's specialist division have created a bi-monthly publication called 'Outdoor Fitness'. The new title aims to build on the success of the publisher’s 'Trail magazine' and its sister title, 'Trail Running'.Link

Matt Swaine, editor of Trail and Trail Running, acted as an editorial consultant on the new magazine, alongside Trail art director Mark Tucker.

Jonathan Manning will edit the new magazine. He was previously editor of Bauer’s Country Walking magazine, where deputy editor Nick Hallissey will take his place as acting editor.

Outdoor Fitness will be available for purchase from 6th July, priced at £3.99. It aims to target consumers interested in triathlons, sea kayaking, open-water swims, mountain climbing and similar activities.

The launch is supported by advertisers including Wiggle, Kinetica energy drinks and pharmaceuticals brand Sanofi.

Rob Munro Hall, group managing director of Bauer Media's specialist division, said: "We have built on our expertise gained from Trail and Trail Running, and are perfectly placed to be the first to market with this new magazine, which will serve a growing audience.

"Outdoor Fitness also provides both lifestyle and specialist advertisers with a unique opportunity to reach highly active and affluent, 25- to 55-year-olds."

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Urgent action taken by CQC to protect care home residents in Kent

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent legal action to protect the safety and welfare of residents of a care home where there were concerns of neglect and abuse.

Information provided via a press release from the CQC yesterday suggests that following concerns raised on Monday, the Care Quality Commission made an urgent application to Canterbury magistrates’ court on Wednesday of this week to cancel the registration of Sea View Lodge in Herne Bay with immediate effect. The owners are no longer able to offer care services at Sea View Lodge.

Kent County Council has identified alternative placement for the eight people aged between 25 and 80 who were still living at the home.

Roxy Boyce, Regional Director for CQC in the South East, said: “We have acted quickly to protect the safety and welfare of people at Sea View Lodge. All services must meet essential standards of care and we take action where services are failing people.

“Closing a care home is not a decision taken lightly. These are places where people live and we have to weigh up the potential impact on residents. In some cases, moving frail and vulnerable people can cause more harm than good.

“However, it became clear that the only way to properly protect residents at Sea View Lodge was to close the home immediately, and move residents to other locations where care is of a better standard.”

Need support with ensuring CQC registration and ongoing compliance? Visit our website to see how Words Worth Reading Ltd can help.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Arts Council to protect poetry funding

The arts council has been dealt a budget card that has been one of the toughest to manage for the past 65 years. Government funding was reduced by 29.6%, which meant that it simply wasn't possible to fund every application received. Inevitably individuals would be unhappy about some of the decisions made in terms of which projects should and shouldn't be funded.

The Arts Council state that they were very clear that there were going to be strong applications that they would be unable to fund, and that their aim was to achieve the best possible results for the arts overall and deliver greatest value for money.

So what was the outcome for literature and, in particular, poetry? Despite the significant cut to the Arts Council's budget, investment in literature will actually increased 9.9% and the council have managed to maintain their support for poetry, while many other artforms saw a decrease in funding.

The arts don't stand still, they are constantly evolving, and our funding decisions reflect this shifting landscape.

Speaking for Channel 4, Antonia Byatt, a representative of the arts council, states that "in allocating our funding we tried to make sure that readers have access to a diverse range of high quality poetry (for example through our support for Bloodaxe and Carcanet); that children can be inspired by poetry through the likes of Apples and Snakes and Booktrust; that people can hear and enjoy poetry at festivals such as Lebury or Manchester, or at regular events organised by Poet in the City or the Southbank Centre; and that new talent is nurtured, mid-career poets are supported and established names are celebrated - working with organisations such as Poetry Business, The Forward Prize (Forward Arts Foundation) and Poetry London.

"We received some really ambitious and exciting applications which offered compelling visions of how we could reach new and existing audiences. In our judgement the Poetry Book Society's reach and distribution was not as wide or effective as a number of other applicants.

"However, as we have made clear to the Poetry Book Society (PBS), we remain committed to the TS Eliot prize and the crucial role it has in helping readers find the best in contemporary poetry and we hope to continue our relationship with the organisation.

"The PBS will receive regular funding for another full year, which will give them time to adapt to the change in their circumstances.

"And the new National Portfolio funding is not the only way that the Arts Council invests in the arts. Our Grants for the Arts scheme - an open application lottery funded programme - may prove appropriate for key elements of the PBS's work. This grant programme is also suited to supporting small, independent publishers, with funding awarded to presses delivering valuable work in producing translation and poetry titles.

"We believe we've chosen the right balance of poetry organisations to develop the artform in all areas of the country."

More Dignity and Nutrition reports released

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have today released their next batch of Dignity and Nutrition reports. Reports on the following hospitals are now available from their website:
  • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust
  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
This programme, run by the Care Quality Commission, intends to look at 100 NHS trusts, and focuses on whether people are treated with dignity and respect and get food and drink that meets their needs.

Further inspection reports will be published at weekly intervals over the course of the summer. A national report into their key findings will be published in September.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Travel Writing Competition

Bradt and the Independent on Sunday have come together to seek out the very best in travel writing. They are looking for entries from both experienced and first-time travel writers.

The winner will be awarded the luxury prize of a holiday for two in eastern Turkey and will be commissioned to write an article that will be published in the Independent on Sunday.

There is an additional prize for previously unpublished writers, and that is the ability to attend an overseas travel-writing course courtesy of Travellers' Tales.

This year's theme is 'up the creek...' which can either be interpreted metaphorically or literally.

Creative bid writing course aimed at Fundraisers provides a wealth of advice for anyone involved in fundraising activities. One of the main activities you will carry out as a fundraiser is preparing grant or funding applications. now provides a 3 week course which covers the rules for successful grant writing and how to write creatively. The website states that, 'exercises are designed to improve your written work across all fundraising areas. Lots of examples are used to help you develop your own bid writing style, explore the use of fundraising language and apply good practice.' The course focuses on providing participants with the skills to:
  • Adapt their writing style according to requirements of donors, trusts, foundations & business
  • Convey the right balance of emotion and reason within a draft application
  • Describe their project using active language and good visual presentation

The course is provided via online assessment modules and takes circa 2-3 hours per week for 3 weeks to complete. Successful completion of the course leads to the attainment of an NCFE level 3 award.

Do you need help with bid writing or the creation of funding applications? Check out our website for details of how we can help...

Teachers expect less from black students

The Guardian reported this morning that 'teachers expect black middle-class pupils and their parents to be far less interested in education than their white middle-class counterparts.'

Researchers at the Institute of Education, University of London, spoke to 62 black Caribbean parents about whether their race and social class made a difference to their children's school experience. The parents told the researchers that, despite the fact that they have similar academic qualifications to their white middle-class counterparts, they found that teachers treated them differently, assuming them to know less about their children's education.

The Guardian goes on to report that, 'to counter this, some of the parents said they dressed particularly smartly when meeting teachers, while others said they ensured they knew more than other parents about education issues. One said she modified the way she spoke when she was at school governor meetings.'

The parents said they felt teachers expected their children to perform less well than white middle-class pupils.

One of the parents, Eleanor, a social worker, told the academics: "You find it helpful sometimes to use your status, what job you do …people [then] treat you differently."

Jean, a college lecturer, said that at school governors' meetings "we're all sort of speaking the language, I call it the language of Whiteness … It's like you've got to be part of that in order to communicate in certain situations. So the governing body communicates in a very white, middle-class language … They forget themselves and start making these derogatory remarks about parents and … [I] sort of [sit] there thinking 'oh, so this is it'. [You] see very much what their core beliefs are."

Dr Nicola Rollock, of the Institute of Education, one of the study's authors, said racism was a reality for many black middle-class families. "Parents recognise it as less overt than when they were children, but nonetheless [it is] pervasive in more subtle and coded forms," she said.

"White middle-class parents often presume an entitlement to a good education for their children and [an entitlement] to educational success. Black middle-class parents are there to protect their children and insist on high standards," she said.

"Their own negative experiences of school, the labour market and wider society, on account of their race, means that they recognise that they do not have the same security of entitlement as their white counterparts. Black middle-class parents with whom we spoke often find it necessary to actively demonstrate their knowledge about education, their interest and their capability as parents to white teachers in order that they be engaged with as equals."

This study titled 'The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes' will be discussed on Monday at a conference for academics and policymakers. The findings will be published on the Institute of Education's website.

Think you can proofread?

The Writers' Forum has provided an extract from Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. It contains 20 many can you find?!

'Just before mid-night he put on warm clothes and his new shoes and walked a cross the bridge. He turned of the road along the sound below the church. Ice had firmed on the sound and inside the old harbour, but further out he could see a darker belt of open water. As he stood there, the lights on the facade of the church went out, and it was dark all round him. It was icy cold and star filled the sky.

All of a sudden Blomkvist felt depressed. He could not for the live of him understand how he ad allowed Vanger to talk him into taking on this assignment. Berger was right: he should be in Stockholm - in bed with her for instance - and planning his campaigns against Wennerstrom. But he felt pathetic about that too, and he didn't even have the faintest idea how to begin planning a counter strategy.

Had it been daylight, he would have walked straight to Vanger's house, canceled his contract, and gone home. But from the rose beside the chursh he could make out all the houses on the island side. Herald Vangers house was dark, but there were lights on in Cecilia's home, as also in Martin's villa out by the point and in the house that was least. In the small-boat harbour there were lights on in the drafty cabin of the artist and little clouds of sparks were rising from his chimney. There were also lights on in the top floor of the cave, and Blomkvist wandered whether Susanne lived there, and if so, wether she was alone.'

Need a hand with your proofreading? Give us a call...

Examination Board apologises over impossible AS question

OCR, one of England's biggest exam boards, has apologised to teacher, pupils and parents alike after pupils were set an impossible question in an AS-level maths paper. The examination body has promised to take this error into account when marking the exam and has assured students that the mistake will not impact on their overall grades or chances of attaining their university places.

The question, which was worth eight marks and 11% of the paper, was impossible to solve due to a miscalculation of an equation.

The Guardian provided full details of this impossible question set: 'students were presented with a diagram showing a network of tracks in a forest. The distances between points on the network were also set out.

'Students were then asked to find the shortest route to walk along every track, starting and ending at the same point. The given length was supposed to be equal to an equation set out in the paper.

'But OCR admitted that it failed to calculate the length properly – meaning the shortest route failed to match the mathematical equation.'

6,790 sixth-formers sat the paper on Thursday 26 May. Since then, many have been posting messages on social networking sites calling for a resit, and expressing fears that the mix-up may harm their university chances.

One student wrote on "Can we not all or the majority of us write to OCR and demand a resit?"

Another said: "I agree, there is no fair way to mark it and loads of us need certain grades for uni."

Indeed, one poster suggested that students could attempt to bring legal action if they missed their grade, and therefore university places as a result of the error.

"On a teaching website, a head of maths has proposed that a no win, no fee solicitor could bring a class action to represent anyone who fails to make their university offers because of this and ends up paying £9,000 per annum university fees instead of £3,000 per annum," wrote the poster.

An OCR spokesman has released the following statement: 'we would like to assure teachers, parents and students that we have several measures in place to ensure that candidates are not unfairly disadvantaged as a result of this unfortunate error.

'Because we have been alerted to this so early, we are able to take this error into account when marking the paper.

'We will also take it into account when setting the grade boundaries. We have sent a letter to all schools and colleges explaining in more detail what we shall do.

'We do apologise again that this has happened. To help us understand how this occurred and to minimise the chance of such an error happening again, we will be undertaking a thorough review of our quality assurance procedures.'

Small businesses - get your funding applications written!

Government funding aims to boost apprenticeships in small firms

Last week the Government announced plans to increase apprenticeships and work placements across the country. Up to 250,000 more apprenticeships will be funded by the Government over the next 10 years, with 100,000 work placements to be created across the next two years.

“I’m delighted that over 100 large companies and tens of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises have already responded to our call for work experience placements so that tens of thousands of young people can take those vital first steps in experiencing the world of work,” said the Prime Minister.

The funding will include a £10 million Innovation Fund to give businesses a chance to help and employ young people.

Yet the Federation of Small Businesses is concerned that many smaller businesses will avoid taking on apprentices due to their fear of employment regulation.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to take on apprentices, interns and staff more generally, and make micro businesses aware of what fiscal incentives are on offer for taking on an apprentice,” the chairman of the Federation said.

Head of communications at the Chartered Management Institute, Mike Petrook, said currently small that firms offered work placements to students and apprentices more than big businesses. “It’s a great way of getting a much wider range of experience and being able to try more tasks,” he said.

“For small companies it’s a great way of finding talent very quickly and giving them a break,” added Petrook. “Quality employers are saying that not just traditional forms of education are valued, and work placements teach young people valuable skills that they’ll need.”

If you're interested in applying for Government Funding to support the development of work placements or apprenticeships in your organisation, take a look at the Words Worth Reading Ltd funding application services.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

How your standard or care expectations should be met

In October last year a law was passed which stated that every health and adult social care service in England is legally responsible for making sure that it meets a whole host of essential standards of quality and safety.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) registers care services if they meet essential standards. The CQC also monitors care services to ensure that they continue to meet these standards all of the time. Ultimately, they can shut down a social or health care service if it is found to not comply with these essential standards.

On their website, the CQC helpfully list a summary of the full essential standards that you can expect from your care service. This summary is provided below:

The essential standards

1. You can expect to be involved and told what’s happening at every stage of your care

  • You will always be involved in discussions about your care and treatment, and your privacy and dignity will be respected by all staff.
  • You will be given opportunities, encouragement and support to promote your independence.
  • You will be able to agree or reject any type of examination, care, treatment or support before you receive it.

2. You can expect care, treatment and support that meets your needs

  • Your personal needs will be assessed to make sure you get care that is safe and supports your rights.
  • You will get the food and drink you need to meet your dietary needs.
  • You get the treatment that you and your health or care professional agree will make a difference to your health and wellbeing.
  • You will get safe and co-ordinated care where more than one care provider is involved or if you are moved between services.

3. You can expect to be safe

  • You will be protected from abuse or the risk of abuse, and staff will respect your human rights.
  • You will be cared for in a clean environment where you are protected from infection.
  • You will get the medicines you need, when you need them, and in a safe way.
  • You will be cared for in a safe and accessible place that will help you as you recover.
  • You will not be harmed by unsafe or unsuitable equipment.

4. You can expect to be cared for by qualified staff

  • Your health and welfare needs are met by staff who are properly qualified.
  • There will always be enough members of staff available to keep you safe and meet your health and welfare needs.
  • You will be looked after by staff who are well managed and have the chance to develop and improve their skills.

5. You can expect your care provider to constantly check the quality of its services

  • Your care provider will continuously monitor the quality of its services to make sure you are safe.
  • If you, or someone acting on your behalf makes a complaint, you will be listened to and it will be acted upon properly.
  • Your personal records, including medical records, will be accurate and kept safe and confidential.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Tibor Jones' announces fiction award winner

The London-based literary agency Tibor Jones has announced the winner of their fiction award at this year's London Book Fair. Gabriel Gbadamosi has been acknowledged as this year's winner, receiving £1000 in prize money and representation by the agency.

Submissions for next year's prize can be accepted from January 2012. Entrants must either submit a completed manuscript or a nearly complete manuscript. The competition is open to all writers of any nationality, however the manuscripts must be written in English. Entry to the competition is free of charge!
Need editorial or proofreading support with your writing? Check out the WWRL writer support pages.

CQC continues to review registration process

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) state on their website that the review they're undertaking that looks at streamlining the CQC registration processes is still ongoing. They report, 'we continue to receive an average of 155 applications per day from adult social care, independent healthcare and NHS providers wishing to vary their registration. These include applications for new registered managers, providers wishing to add or remove locations and providers wishing to vary a condition of their registration.

'A large number of these applications continue to contain common errors which create delays in them being processed. The most common reasons we need to reject applications are:

  • Incomplete applications – mainly related to the ‘declaration’ section not being completed with correct ‘regulated activities’.
  • Out of date CRB for Registered Managers.
  • Missing or incomplete accompanying applications (e.g. registered manager) – mainly related to using the wrong application form.
  • Missing references – medical, professional and financial.

'We are planning to roll out a series of improvements to our system from early July which we hope will help providers to avoid these common errors. These improvements will include:

  • A review of forms and processes to simplify the applications process.
  • A change in our policy relating to the requirement to submit hard copy references.
  • Changes to CRB validity requirements.
  • An online ‘interactive’ version of our ‘scope’ guidance to help providers understand which regulated activities they are likely to need to be registered for.
  • Clarity around our standard timescales to consider and make a decision on applications.
Need help with your CQC application form or registration preparation? Take a look at our CQC support services to see how we can help.

Irish Government-backed start up create 100's of jobs

The Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has stated that start-up companies that are recognised as having 'strong potential' will be supported by the Government to enable them to grow through the provision of finances for additional recruitment. It is believed that this Government-funded support will create a further 310 jobs within the Irish economy.

The 17 companies creating jobs are in the financial services, life sciences, biotech, online gaming, telecommunications, sustainable energy, medical devices and cloud computing sectors.

“The environment is strong for export-led new business start-ups, and the pipeline of ambitious technology start-ups, including an increased number from overseas-based entrepreneurs, is stronger than ever in 2011. These start-ups will be perfectly timed to catch the upturn in our key export markets while also benefiting from Ireland's improved competitiveness,” The Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said.

“Enterprise Ireland's recently launched Competitive Start Fund opens up the access to critical early-stage funding, making it easier than ever for young, first-time entrepreneurs with good ideas to get started.”

Some start-ups creating jobs:

  • 2PDS Gaming Trading as 2PaperDolls, it is the brainchild of US serial entrepreneurs Louis Ravenet, his wife Andrea Ravenet, and Steve McLelland. 2PaperDolls is a social marketing tool that extends the customer relationship with business and brand via fun and engaging mobile games. 2PaperDolls will develop a platform and create entertaining and purposeful games for mobile devices, giving players the chance to interact with friends, community and brand. The company expects to employ 15 and is based in Dublin.
  • Rose Hill Insurances The company is being established to provide specialist insurance administration services for multinational customers in a number of international markets and plans to create 50 jobs.
  • Nopsar Nopsar, in Athlone, Co Westmeath, expects to employ an additional 20 people, providing telecom R&D consultancy services to Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co.
  • VascoCare Group In Carlow, the company expects to employ an additional 13 people producing patient positioners for the operating theatre and products for the prevention of decubitus ulcers. The main function is to securely rest the patient's body, head and limbs on an operating table in a comfortable position without the risk of harm to the patient and to reduce the risk of pressure sores.
  • Radisens Diagnostics The Cork-based firm expects to employ 33 people. The company is involved in the development and commercialisation of a medical diagnostic instrument capable of multiple blood testing applications at point of care.
If you're searching for a new job, why not let us give you a helping hand? Speak to one of our Job Seeker advisors and see how we can help ease your job seeking quest!

Guardian Jobs is worth a look!

If you're a job seeker, why not head over to The Guardian's 'Jobs' webpage? Not only does it provide you with the details of thousands of job vacancies that employers are currently pursuing, but it also splits these jobs out into handy little sectors - making your search so much easier.
In addition you'll also find the following job seeker services on this site:

- An 'upload your CV' function. Once you've created a professional CV that is suitable for online distribution, you can upload it to the website, which makes job applications so much easier on a routine basis.

- The 'Featured Jobs' section enables you to browse the best job opportunities of the day in less than 30 seconds.

- You can choose to receive job opportunities or job information in a way that best suits your needs; i.e. via Twitter or via email.

Why not take a look around?!

University tuition fees released for 2012

If you are a student planning on attending University in 2012, you'll be interested in the tuition fees table that The Guardian published this week. The fees table demonstrates that there is a growing number of Universities planning to charge £9,000 per year – this is the maximum possible tuition fee figure. This increase has raised fears that the government will have to claw back funds from universities – possibly by reducing the number of places on degree courses – if the majority of institutions charge the maximum. It was also revealed last month that all universities plan to charge at least £6,000.

The latest universities to announce their 2012 tuition fee plans are:

  • Bangor, Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport have said that they plan to charge £9,000 fees for students if they are from England, Scotland and N.Ireland. Students from Wales will continue to pay £3,375 a year
  • Liverpool Hope University may not be charging the full £9,000... but they are charging students £8,250 instead
  • Nottingham Trent have chosen to charge £8,500
  • LSE became the first Russell Group university to not plan the maximum £9,000 fee for students in 2012 last week. Instead the university has chosen to charge fees of £8,50o
So far only a handful of institutions (announced so far) have published plans to charge less than the maximum. Universities and colleges had until Tuesday 19 April 2011 to submit their access agreements to Offa. They will then assess their agreements and announce all that have been approved by 11 July 2011.

More Dignity and Nutrition reports released

The Care Quality Commission have published a second batch of reports from the Dignity and nutrition inspection programme.

Reports are now available for the following Trusts:

  • St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust
  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kingston Hospital NHS Trust
  • Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
  • York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The full programme intends to look at 100 NHS trusts across the country. The focus of the programme is to establish whether or not people are treated with dignity and respect and get the food and drink that meets their needs when they are in hospital.

Further inspection reports will be published at weekly intervals over the course of the summer. A national report into the key findings will be published in September