Monday, 22 August 2011

CQC tell another care home to improve services

The owners of a care home at Congresbury in North Somerset have been told they must take action to ensure that people are protected from unsafe or inappropriate care.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that the Leonard Elms care home was failing to meet six of the essential standards of quality and safety. The home provides nursing care for older people, some with dementia.

The CQC identified concerns with the care and welfare of residents, inadequate nutrition, staffing levels, notification of incidents and the home's own systems to monitor the quality of its services. Another concern was that the home had been without a registered manager since December 2010.

CQC has given the registered provider, Mr Paul Bliss, seven days to produce plans showing how he intends to achieve compliance. Providers of care services have a legal responsibility to make sure they are meeting the essential standards of quality and safety.

Do you need assistance with CQC registration? Then contact one of our CQC experts today.

Is the Scottish University Funding System Lawful?

Scotland’s university funding system is being challenged by a human rights lawyer, who claims that the system breaches the European Convention on Human Rights.

The lawyer, Phil Shiner is citing the fact that Scottish universities charge students from other parts of the UK to study in Scotland. There are approximately 22,000 English students who pay tuition fees, however Scottish and EU students have escaped this hefty charge. The Scottish government defends its policy and insists it is acting within the law.

The human rights lawyer is currently representing two students who have been given full judicial review to challenge the tuition fee increase at English universities.
From next year, English students will face tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year and it is anticipated that his legal team will argue that the increase will discriminate against poorer students and those from ethnic minorities.

Mr Shiner is also due to take on the Scottish tuition fee structure with the argument that ministers in Scotland had “misinterpreted the law” and that not only does it breach the European Convention on Human Rights, but it may also breach Britain’s Equality Act.

Scottish government claim that they are “clear that the proposals set out are lawful”.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament also added that in an ideal world, no students would pay fees and that the main priority for the Scottish Parliament has to be protecting opportunities for Scottish students to study at Scottish institutions.

Scottish students studying in England, where fees will rise to £9,000 per year, will continue to receive financial support from the Scottish government in form of brusaries and loans. Originally the UK government said that the £9,000 per year fee should be set only in exceptional cases, however two thirds of universities have indicated that they want to charge students that amount for all or some courses.

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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Patients to Have a Stronger Voice

New plans set out by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, will see 75 Local HealthWatch pathfinders introduced as part of the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS. These new learning networks will champion patients’ views and experiences, promote the integration of local services and improve choice for patients through advice and access to information.

These all being outcomes promoted by the Care Quality Commission's Essential Standards

Local HealthWatch will provide a collective voice for patients and carers, and advise the new Clinical Commissioning Groups on the shape of local services to ensure they are informed by the views of the local community.

Visiting a new HealthWatch pathfinder in Cambridgeshire, Andrew Lansley said:

“Putting patients and the public at the very heart of the health service is central to our vision of modernising the NHS and today is a huge step forward.

“Local HealthWatch will give patients and carers a real say over how their local health service is run. They will act as patient champions, drive local involvement in the community and ensure patients understand the choices available to them.”

Mike Hewins, Chairman of Cambridgeshire Local Involvement Network, said:

“Cambridgeshire LINk has always worked hard to put patients and service users at the forefront of its work. As a HealthWatch Pathfinder, we’ll be able to reach out and work with many more people in Cambridgeshire and ensure that they are fully involved in health and social care in the county.”

The 75 Local HealthWatch pathfinders established today will pioneer plans ahead of their full establishment across the country in October 2012.

If you need help with the CQC registration process, why not speak to one of our CQC experts today?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Stafford Hospital not meeting Essential Standards

The BBC have today reported that scandal-hit Stafford Hospital is still not meeting some of the CQC's essential standards.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have reported there are still concerns remain about staffing, recruitment, complaints and how medicines are managed.

Hospital bosses are working to have all of the identified issues rectified by December.

Sue Jordan, compliance manager from the CQC, said: "If we were really concerned about the immediate safety of patients, we would be taking enforcement action.

"What we're doing at the moment is allowing the hospital the opportunity to improve."

In a statement, Stafford Hospital said: "The review confirms the hard work undertaken by the trust to improve quality and safety at Stafford Hospital.

"Eight minor concerns have been lifted and we are committed to ensuring that we meet the four remaining standards by December 2011."

If you need help ensuring your service meets the CQC's essential standards, contact one of our CQC experts today.

Ministry of Stories - Helping Young People in London

The Ministry of Stories was founded by Nick Hornby and co-directors Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne; their aim is to encourage young people to get involved with creative writing, in the hope that writing will inspire them to transform their lives. Based in Hoxton, North London, The Ministry of Stories provides a free space for fresh writing by young people, it also provides workshops and one-to-one mentoring delivered by volunteers in the form of local writers, artists and teachers, who all give their time and talent for free.

Not only does the Ministry of Stories provide young people with the tools to be creative but it also supports them to improve language skills, increase abilities in communication, and increase social and educational confidence.

Click here to find out more, or to get involved with the Ministry.

If you've penned a creative gem but need help approaching publishers, why not contact us?

Monday, 15 August 2011

Essex Libraries Summer Reading Challenge - There's Still Time!

There's still time for children to get involved in the Essex Libraries Circus Stars Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge runs from Wednesday 20 July to Saturday 3 September 2011 from all local and mobile libraries in Essex.
Circus Stars is all about giving children a love of books and the opportunity to share some of the libraries' great titles with parents and carers.
Circus Stars is open to children of all ages, even if they can’t yet read independently. When children sign up to the scheme they are given a 3D circus stage, and as they read their books they will receive stickers of characters to place on the stage. Scratch-and-sniff stickers add to the circus atmosphere! Children who read six books will be awarded a Circus Stars medal and all children will receive a certificate.

If you've written a children's book that you think may just be the next big thing, why not come to us for editorial assistance?

Kent Care Home Closed After CQC Take Urgent Action

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent enforcement action leading to the closure of a care home in Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

The home, Four Nevill Park, had been registered to provide care for up to 24 adults with autism and challenging behaviour.

In an unannounced visit, inspectors found that the home was not meeting the CQC's essential standards of quality and safety and that people were not experiencing effective, safe and appropriate care, treatment and support.

Inspectors reported a range of concerns, including staff lacking skills and experience, low staffing levels, poor documentation, lack of behavioural support plans, staff being threatened and bullied, and residents’ complaints not being recorded or resolved.

CQC inspectors raised their immediate concerns with the providers, Evesleigh (Kent) Limited, following the inspection in June, working closely with Kent County council social services.

On 23 June CQC served a Notice of decision to vary the registration of Evesleigh (Kent) Limited under Section 31 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. This means that this location is no longer registered to care for people and by law cannot continue as a care home.

Kent County Council and other local authorities have found alternative placements for the remaining 13 people who were living at the home which is now empty.

Roxy Boyce, Regional Director for CQC in the south east, said: “We have acted quickly to protect the safety and welfare of people at Four Nevill Park.

“Taking action which leads to the closure of a care home is never a decision taken lightly. These are places where people live and we have to weigh up the potential impact on residents.

"But the provider failed in its duty to provide necessary standards of care. The only way to properly protect residents at Four Nevill Park was to close the home immediately.”

Do you need assistance with gaining or maintaining your CQC registration? Then why not speak to one of our CQC experts today?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Bookshop holds benefit for riot victims

The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green is to hold a comedy event to raise money for The Tottenham Fund, to help residents and businesses affected by the riots that have affected England over the last few weeks .

The Big Green Bookshop, which was not damaged or looted, blogged earlier in the week about the riots on its doorstop. The benefit gig will take place on 19 August, and will be headlined by Sir Ian Bowler MP, played by comedian Nat Tapley.

Tickets are £5 and can be booked through the website:

For writing support and advice, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website today!

CQC reports that Royal Cornwall Hospital has improved safety procedures in operating th

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today reported that surgical teams at the Royal Cornwall Hospital have made the safety improvements which were required in its operating theatres.

Inspectors found that important checklists recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) are now being effectively used in the operating theatres at the hospital in Truro.

The unannounced inspection followed concerns which were raised earlier in the year when the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust reported its fifth 'Never Event' in its operating theatres within 18 months. Never events are serious, largely preventable incidents which should not happen.

Following that incident, CQC inspectors, accompanied by a professional clinical advisor, visited eight operating theatres in May to watch procedures and speak to clinical staff.

Immediately after that inspection the trust was told it must make urgent improvements, or face possible enforcement action.

The inspection team found that the surgical safety checklist, which aims to improve the safety of surgery, reducing deaths and complications, was not being applied properly or consistently. The checklist consists of a system of safety checks which are carried out at various stages of a patient's progress through an operation.

Inspectors also found that:

  • patients were at risk of receiving inappropriate treatment because information about their operation was inconsistently recorded.
  • some equipment was in need of repair or replacement as areas where tape or gloves had been used to repair or improvise could increase the risk of infection or pressure area damage for patients.
  • there were not always enough skilled staff on duty.
  • the hospital's internal systems for assessing and monitoring the quality of service were not good enough, and a culture of reacting to problems rather than monitoring and preventing them, meant that some patients were at an increased risk of receiving unsafe care and treatment.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust responded by introducing a standardised surgical safety checklist written by the WHO and recommended by the NPSA.

On 14 July, the inspection team returned to the hospital to check that the required improvements had been made, and to observe 12 operations.

This time they found that surgical safety checks were being carried out in a satisfactory and consistent way. Staff said that since undergoing training on how to use the full checklist they felt more confident, and better placed to challenge and ask questions.

Unsuitable or damaged equipment had been replaced, the trust had also developed improved systems to monitor the quality of its services and brought in an external consultant to review practice in all its theatres.

Amanda Sherlock, CQC Director of Operations, said that there had been a significant improvement to patient safety.

"On our first inspection we saw numerous examples where surgical safety checks were not being carried out properly within the operating theatres. It is critical that these key checks are completed without exception; failure to do them properly increases the risk to patient safety.

"As an example, we noticed that the way swabs were collected and counted varied between operating theatres. This puts people at risk because staff who move from one theatre to another will be unfamiliar with each system and so are more likely to make mistakes.

“Our latest inspection told a completely different story. The trust has now introduced the standardised surgical safety checklist across all its theatres and we saw 12 examples where the surgical safety checks were being carried out in a satisfactory and consistent way. All 12 ‘sign in’, ‘time out’ and ‘sign out’ checks were carried out using a formal process, and they were clear and comprehensive.

“Staff told us that introduction of the checklist and the associated training programme had meant a real change which has added important value. Staff we spoke to were now aware of the never events that led to these changes being put in place and understood there had been a theatre safety issue.

“I am satisfied that the improvements in education, consistency of approach and communication has created an environment where patient safety is much improved and where best practice can develop."

Need help with your CQC registration or support to ensure that you are able to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the CQC Essential Standards of Care? Speak to one of the Words Worth Reading Ltd CQC experts today.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Fancy getting paid up to £6000 to set up your own recruiting business AND doubling your commission?

CNA International is offering five recruiters £1000 a month to cover the major costs of setting up a new recruitment business in an industry sector of their choice.

CNA business partners take between 60-87.5% commission, more than double the industry average. The package also includes full training, ongoing support, use of the Pertemps group’s successful business systems, a phone and a PC. Covering business start up costs allows new business partners to focus on earning money from day one, giving ambitious individuals the opportunity to build their own sector specific head-hunting business. As you develop the business there is the opportunity to convert to Senior Partner, own a CNA business in a sector of choice and take home 87.5% of billing. Current Senior Partners generate a net-profit averaging £100,000 a year with one CNA Senior Partner topping £600,000. A Senior Partner package would usually require an investment of £30,000. However CNA are urgently looking for recruiters to start generating large amounts of income at this lucrative time in the market.

Why not take a look at their website to see if this opportunity would work for you?

Visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website to find out more about the job seeker services we offer.

CQC publishes mental health survey results

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has undertaken a mental health survey which collected the experiences of over 17,000 people who received care in the 65 NHS mental health trusts in England between July and September 2010.

The results of this survey are now available. The vast majority of participants said they:

  • were listened to and that they had trust in their health and social care workers.
  • could contact their care co-ordinator if they had any problems with their care.
  • were given an out-of-office contact number for emergencies.

The results show however, that there is still room for improvement.

  • Less than half of participants understood their care plan.
  • More than a quarter of participants weren’t told about the possible side-effects of taking their medication.
  • Thirty-one per cent of participants had not received any support for their physical health needs, although they would have liked it.
  • Forty-seven per cent of participants said their mental health or social care worker had not discussed talking therapy with them in the past 12 months.
The survey also took the views of people who received care under the Care Programme Approach (CPA).

The CPA provides services for people who have complex mental health needs and who require the support of more than one agency.

Forty-two per cent of all participants had received care under the CPA, and of those who felt like they needed extra support with day-to-day living:

  • Thirty-five per cent said they had not received help with finding or keeping work in the past year.
  • Twenty-seven per cent said they had received no help with finding or keeping their accommodation.
  • Twenty-seven per cent said they had not been given any help with financial advice or benefits.

Monday, 8 August 2011

CQC demands residential college improves care standards

A number of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors visited Treloar College near Alton in Hampshire throughout May, June and July 2011 as part of the registration and compliance assessment process. They found that the college was failing to meet nine essential standards of quality and safety.

Treloar College is a term time residential further education establishment providing care for up to 163 students with physical and learning disabilities.

The CQC found that Treloar College was not meeting nine essential standards of care and had major concerns in five areas.

Care and welfare

Inspectors found that students’ care plans did not include all of their needs. They also found that the lack of communication between different care staff around the college meant that the students' care needs were not co-ordinated or kept up to date.

Safeguarding people

Inspectors had concerns that staff were not taking all reasonable steps to protect these vulnerable young adults. They found that staff had not always followed college procedures appropriately, and some incidents had not been reported correctly or in a timely manner. As a result, this placed students at Treloar College at considerable risk of harm to their health and welfare. Students were not adequately protected because the college failed to report and respond appropriately to allegations or concerns.

Management of medicine

Inspectors found gaps in medication records, medicines given with no guidance as to when or how to give them properly and medicines that were not labelled correctly. Some staff supporting students to take medicines had not received training in the safe use of medicines. The College failed to protect people who use the service against the risks associated with the unsafe use and management of medication.

Assessing and monitoring the quality of service

Inspectors found that students were not protected against the risk of inappropriate or unsafe care because the system for regularly assessing and monitoring the quality of the service did not identify inadequate practice. The staff responsible had not taken the actions to address any failures until outside agencies brought these to their attention. Inspectors found that the college had not identified risks relating to the health, welfare and safety of the students.

Notification of other incidents

Inspectors found that CQC was not always notified of events or incidents without delay. This meant that students could not be confident that important events that affect their welfare were reported to us. Delays to notifications can mean that the Commission cannot take urgent action if required.

CQC Regional Director for the South East, Roxy Boyce, said: “The care at Treloar College has fallen far short of the standards students at the college have a right 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. We have given Treloar College 14 days in which to respond and to tell us the action they will take to improve.

“The onus is now on Treloar College to resolve these issues as soon as possible in order to protect the students and provide the right level of care. If they fail to do so, we have a range of enforcement powers we can use to ensure that standards are met.”

CV-Library’s Jobs are ‘LinkedIn’ all Directions

CV-Library’s clients are increasing their exposure and sharing all of their job adverts on LinkedIn.

The world’s largest professional network has been labelled as a threat to job boards but the company CV-Library has embraced their services in order to improve their own. By closely integrating themselves with LinkedIn, recruiters using CV-Library can now automatically share all job adverts on LinkedIn as status updates.

When clients upload a new job advert they have the option to automatically share all further job postings on LinkedIn or submit them individually. The new software means recruiters only need to enter their LinkedIn login details once in order to save time.

The next step for CV-Library’s social posting function will be Twitter status updates and Facebook job sharing; together these social networks will increase clients’ exposure immensely and target a different, often harder to reach, audience. Candidates are also associating their LinkedIn profiles with CV-Library to allow recruiters and employers a deeper insight into their professional experience; rather than just the traditional CV approach.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

NHS sets out to improve complaints system

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is just one of eight NHS bodies that has recognised the need for an improved system of capturing patients’ complaints.

A better system needs to be created that enables relevant NHS bodies to gain meaningful and comparable information. It is said that this would significantly help to drive improvements in health care and strengthen the quality of services for everyone.

Other bodies alongside the CQC that have agreed with this include:

  • NHS Information Centre
  • Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • Department of Health
  • NHS
  • Monitor
  • National Voices
  • National Association of LINks members

All of these bodies will work together to identify trends and themes of risk, and will act on them.

Together they will also provide the NHS Information Centre with practical and technical support to bring about necessary changes to the complaints system.

Heyer claims Cartland was a plagiarist

Decades-old allegations of plagiarism from historical novelist Georgette Heyer have only just emerged...and they are directed at Barbara Cartland.

Heyer, who wrote over 50 successful historical novels, prided herself on the strength of her research. Barbara Cartland however was rather less fastidious but much more prolific, famously producing over 700 novels before her death in 2000. But within those 700 novels are some similarities to Heyer's work, according to letters from 1950, due to be published in October in Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller by Jennifer Kloester.

'Fair enough', states, 'you write 700 books, there are bound to be some similarities to existing ones, one might reason... and then you learn that Cartland wrote of Sir Montagu Reversby in her 1949 novel Hazard of Hearts, five years after the character Sir Montagu Revesby appeared in Heyer's Friday's Child.'

Learning from a fan that similarities between her novel These Old Shades (1926) and Cartland's novel Knave of Hearts (1950), Heyer wrote to her agent: 'I think I could have borne it better had Miss Cartland not been so common-minded, so salacious and so illiterate.

'I think ill enough of the Shades, but, good God! That 19-year-old work has more style, more of what it takes, than this offal which she has written at the age of 46!'

Heyer went on to suggest that rather than accurately research for herself, Cartland simply appropriated historical detail from her books. 'She displays an abysmal ignorance of her period. Cheek by jowl with some piece of what I should call special knowledge (all of which I can point out in my books), one finds an anachronism so blatant as to show clearly that Miss Cartland knows rather less about the period than the average schoolgirl.'

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Universities predict that student numbers will fall

The Guardian reported yesterday that more than half of England's universities expect to be teaching fewer undergraduates next year, due to the increase in tuition fees.

Following the MP vote to increase tuition fees which took place in December 2010, more than a third of English universities will charge £9,000 as their standard fee.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England, which distributes money to universities on behalf of the government, requested institutions' financial forecasts for the next three years.

The analysis undertaken demonstrates that 56 universities are anticipating a drop in the number of full-time undergraduates they take from the UK or the European Union next year. On average, universities expect a 2% fall.

Just under a quarter – 24% – expect an increase and a fifth anticipate no change.

The report reveals that universities expect the number of students from outside the UK and the EU to rise between 3% and 6%. A dozen universities expect their income from overseas students' fees to go up by more than 100% in real terms between 2009-10 and 2013-14. Of these, three anticipate a more than 200% rise.

But the funding council warns that the sector continues to operate on "very fine margins" which make insitutions vulnerable to "small changes".

It says universities will be in a "financially sustainable position" in the medium term, but some "will need to generate better financial results in the longer term".

The report also warns universities not to rely too heavily on predictions of student demand and says that the main financial strength of the sector "remains in a small number of institutions".

"There is no certainty over the likely level of student numbers in the future," it says. "We are aware that institutions have developed contingency plans to deal with changes in income."

CQC releases report on controlled drugs

Yesterday the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its fourth annual report on the safer management of controlled drugs regulations.

The Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations 2006 were introduced in January 2007, placing responsibilities on organisations to make robust arrangements for the safe handling of controlled drugs and also to investigate all reported concerns and share these findings with others. These regulations were introduced in response to the Shipman Inquiry.

The latest report, released yesterday, illustrates that there has been progress, with many instances of good innovative practice in the management of and sharing of concerns of controlled drugs. The CQC highlights that it is important that steps are taken to ensure this progress is maintained and the benefits of effective partnership working are not lost during the changes under way in primary care trusts (PCTs).

The CQC went on to make the following recommendations.

  • Chief executives and accountable officers should continue to keep the safe management of controlled drugs a high priority on their organisation’s agenda during the reorganisation of the NHS to ensure that the gains in safety made over the past four years are not lost.
  • Chief executives and accountable officers should ensure that Controlled Drugs Local Intelligence Networks (CD LINs) have robust working arrangements and are fit for purpose and adequately prepared for the transition.
  • Non-designated bodies should also be encouraged to participate more in the information-sharing process to ensure that intelligence-gathering is thorough and complete, capturing information from all sources.
  • All professionals and providers of care, whether practising in the NHS or independent sector, should take account of best practice guidance that is published by relevant professional bodies and agencies, and all sectors should be made aware of the document, 'Drug Misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management', and that it applies across all sectors.

Cynthia Bower, CQC's chief executive, said: “We all know that the NHS is going though a period of change at the moment, however it is vital that the excellent work carried out by health services demonstrated in this report isn’t neglected during this time of change.

“The regulations require relevant health care organisations to have an accountable officer who is responsible for monitoring controlled drugs. They also require providers, regulatory bodies and agencies to share information and investigate serious concerns and I would urge all health care providers to maintain focus on this important area.”

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Poundland announces hundreds of new jobs

The discount retailer 'Poundland' will open six new stores in Ireland by next March, creating 180 jobs, in the company's first expansion outside the UK.

The company says it could open up to 50 stores in Ireland over the coming years.

The Irish stores will be called Dealz, as its fixed-price format will be 'adapted' for its European outlets, giving the retailer flexibility to vary its prices.

Poundland sells both well-known brands and own label products at low prices.

The company says it will stock Irish, locally sourced milk, eggs and crisps in its new Irish stores.

Poundland currently has 347 stores in the UK.

The first four Irish stores will open by early October, with two more to follow by next March, in suburbs of Dublin and Cork.

Poundland's expansion has been supported by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which took a 75% stake in the company in a £200m deal last year.

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Youth Offending Teams improve their contributions to healthcare

A joint report between the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation (HMI Probation) was published on Friday 29th July 2011. The report demonstrated that children and young people who offend are more likely to receive the health services they need following improved working by youth offending teams.

‘Re:Actions, the third review of healthcare in the community for young people who offend’ looks at how Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) help provide health services to the children and young people they work with.

The report found that access to and management of health services for this group of individuals have improved since the last review was completed in 2009.

The review assessed whether young people had their physical, emotional and mental health needs assessed on contact with YOTs, as well as their need for alcohol and substance misuse support programmes.

It also looked at how YOTs work with health partners and how well children and young people’s health needs are provided for as they move in and out of the criminal justice system.

One of the most notable changes is that YOT boards now include a health worker and nearly all YOTs have a service level agreement with their respective PCTs.

Primary care trusts' (PCTs) financial contribution to YOTs has also increased from 3.4 per cent in 2008 to an average of 5.4 per cent of the overall YOT budget.

However further progress is still required. YOTs are still not planning and integrating offending services with health services enough and the physical health needs of the children and young people they work with are still not always sufficiently assessed.

Insufficient numbers of YOTs are monitoring how effective support from health services can be, meaning they’re not always learning what works well for future planning or justifying the money they’re spending on health services.

There remain problems with services such as alcohol or substance misuse programmes or mental health support being provided consistently when children and young people move between a secure setting and the community and from young people’s services to adults’ services.

This is important because the young person’s contact with their support programme can stop altogether, and the programme thus fails to have any positive impact.

On behalf of CQC and HMI Probation, CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: ‘Children and young people who offend are more likely to need community-level health support, such as assessment for mental health or learning disability services, alcohol or substance misuse services, but are often one of the hardest groups to reach.

‘This report shows YOTs are now challenging the misconception that young people’s health needs are a GPs responsibility. We know where youth offending workers can provide a holistic assessment of young people’s health needs and develop support programmes to support these needs, this can in itself help to address offending behaviour, providing immense benefit to the young person, their future and to their local community.

‘We’re delighted to find considerable improvements in this review but concerns remain that they’re not hampered by future cuts made in relation to the economic climate.’

This review uses evidence collected from 19 inspections, case assessments by HMI Probation from its regular inspections of youth offending work, and questionnaires returned from around 50 per cent of all the 140 YOTs in England.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Potter fans can win a sneaky preview of new website

Harry Potter fans can win a sneak peak at J K Rowling's Pottermore website, currently in beta before it goes live in October, by entering the Magic Quill contest that runs until 6th August 2011.

Each day this week, a clue to finding the Magic Quill will be placed on the Pottermore homepage. Each clue will refer to a different Harry Potter book. For a chance of winning early registration to the site, solve the clue and add the answer to the end of the URL, which will then take you to the beta registration page. Finding the Magic Quill does not guarantee access to Pottermore as only a certain number of places are allocated per day.

The site will be open to all from October.

Fancy writing your own fantasy book? Let Words Worth Reading Ltd help you along the way!

CQC takes urgent action at Care Home in Herne Bay

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported on Saturday that they had taken legal action to protect the safety of residents at Sea View Lodge care home following serious concerns about people’s welfare.

The CQC made an urgent application to Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on 8 June to cancel the registration of Sea View Lodge with immediate effect. The court granted the order for cancellation, although the owner of the care home subsequently appealed. Following the withdrawal of this appeal on the 27 July 2011, the provider’s registration now remains cancelled and the owners can no longer offer care services at Sea View Lodge.

The CQC has worked closely with other agencies responsible for monitoring care, particularly Kent County Council (KCC), which funds many people’s care and has a responsibility to investigate safeguarding concerns. KCC has found alternative placement for the remaining eight people who were living at the home.

Roxy Boyce, Regional Director for CQC in the South East, said: “We acted quickly to protect the safety and welfare of people at Sea View Lodge as soon as staff came forward with their concerns.

“All services must meet essential standards of care and we will take action where services are failing people.

“Closing a care home is never a decision taken lightly. These are places where people live and which they consider as their homes. But 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.”

For support with your CQC registration and ongoing service compliance, speak to one of the Words Worth Reading Ltd healthcare experts.