Friday, 25 November 2011

Helpful little NMC training tools!

The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) has recently publicised its latest training toolkits that are perfect for all staff members who work within a health or social care setting.

Completing these toolkits is also a great way to demonstrate to the Care Quality Commission that your health or social care organisation is complying with the training requirements set out in their essential standards.

Take a look at the safeguarding toolkit here:

And a diversity toolkit can be viewed from here:


PayPal to create thousands of jobs in Ireland

As reported on

Global online payments giant PayPal is the firm behind the plan to create around 1,000 jobs in either Dundalk or Limerick.

The company is assessing available office buildings in both centres before deciding where to locate the new enterprise.

PayPal has ruled out the former Quinn Direct office block in Navan because of the absence of a large skilled workforce in the town and its proximity to Blanchardstown where the company and its parent eBay already employ around 1,600 people.

PayPal is the global leader in online payment solutions. It was founded in 1998 and has 123 million customers in 103 markets worldwide.

Its Blanchardstown office, which serves as the European headquarters, will not be affected by the opening of a further office in either Dundalk or Limerick. The company has several options for buildings in both centres. The final decision is expected to be determined by the availability of a skilled workforce to roll out the new operation.

The buildings being considered in Limerick include the former Dell plant at Raheen which once housed 1,900 workers.

Politicians from all parties are continuing to canvass for the PayPal call centre to be located in their constituencies. Though Limerick has been designated a priority region for investment, the IDA has only managed to secure 300 new jobs for the area over the past year.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard is shortly to decide whether to locate a new office block of 9,290sq m (100,000sq ft) on part of its site at Ballybrit in Galway or on the opposite side of the racecourse in the IDA park at Parkmore where two other software companies, SAP and Fidelity, are also based.

HP plans to lease the building from one of a number of developers pitching to design and build it. The American company has designated its Galway software centre as a global centre of competency for cloud computing. Its property adviser is Paddy Conlon of CBRE.

Need a hand with your application forms, CVs, Cover Letters or interview prep? Take a look at the services offered by Words Worth Reading Ltd.

Burgess archive contains wealth of unseen material

Left to the Anthony Burgess Foundation by the writer's widow Liana, the archive contains an expanded lexicon of Clockwork Orange slang and an unseen opera libretto

An article in The Observer revealed that more and more previously unseen Burgess material is coming to light as the archive is explored. It has already been found to contain the libretto and score of an opera about Leon Trotsky and an unmade TV series about Atilla the Hun, as well as additions to the vocabulary of Nasdat, the argot spoken by the droogs in A Clockwork Orange.

Last week, five song lyrics written by Burgess were performed in Manchester for the first time as A Clockwork Operetta. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange.

You can read the full article at
Thanks to writers-online for alerting us to this piece

Home care services are the next healthcare providers to be targeted by the CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to carry out a themed inspection programme of home care services. The programme will help the regulator develop new ways to ensure these services meet the essential standards people have a right to expect and that people are being treated with dignity and respect.

The programme will start in April 2012 and will cover about 250 providers of domiciliary care services. It will run alongside CQC’s planned reviews of these services and focus on three outcomes:

  • Respecting and involving people who use services
  • Care and welfare of people who use services
  • Supporting workers.

CQC inspectors will be joined by professional experts and ‘experts by experience’ – people who have a personal experience of using home care services.

The programme will be supported by an advisory group, with members drawn from a range of organisations including the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Age UK, the United Kingdom Homecare Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

As well as producing an inspection report for each agency we visit we will also produce a national report that sets out what we have found about quality and safety in these themed inspections.

These inspections follow a pilot programme of 30 inspections of domiciliary care services, where CQC has been trialling different methods to make sure inspectors clearly hear the views of people who use the services and their families.

CQC Chief Executive Cynthia Bower said: “Home care is one of the most difficult areas of care to monitor. Often the people who use home care services find themselves in vulnerable circumstances and the operation of home care is not as transparent as care in hospitals and other sectors because the interactions happen behind closed doors in people’s homes. That is why we want to focus on this sector of social care in this way.

“We know decisions made about commissioning are critical to those who provide and receive home care. External issues such as pressures on council budgets and the desire of people to remain in their own homes as long as they can, create challenges for those providing services, and may increase risks of unsafe care. This underlines the need for us to thoroughly analyse service delivery in this area.

"Alongside these issues, we share the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s concernsdue to be highlighted in its report published tomorrow. In this programme of reviews we will focus in part on dignity and respect, the safeguarding of people in vulnerable circumstances, and how well supported and trained home care staff are to undertake these most important care tasks. We have chosen these outcome areas as they are “gateway” issues that lead us into examining a range of rights based issues."

"We will use a range of ways of checking up on these services, including going into people’s homes, contacting people who use services and their families, talking to local groups who represent the users of home care services, and we will also ask people to fill in questionnaires."

A spokesperson from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said: “We believe this move by the CQC could be an important first step in addressing some of the concerns raised by our inquiry into home care, being published tomorrow. It reveals disturbing evidence that the poor treatment of many older people is threatening their human rights and concerns about how threats to these rights are detected. We look forward to being part of CQC’s advisory panel."

ADASS president Peter Hay added: "I am glad that CQC has taken on this important task at a time when every penny in the inspection pot has to be made to count, and when a number of recent and current reports indicate the urgency of the matter. ADASS wishes the Commission well in this significant and timely enterprise."

Age UK charity director Michelle Mitchell commented, “We welcome CQC's decision to carry out this themed inspection of home care services. As the EHRC has demonstrated, there needs to be greater public scrutiny over a service delivered behind closed doors to some of the most vulnerable older people in our society. Age UK will be supporting the CQC and believe this inspection programme will help to ensure that that high quality care, dignity and respect for those needing the service will be at the heart of all domiciliary care."

Run or own a home care service? Let Words Worth Reading Ltd support you in your preparation for the CQC visits. Speak to one of our CQC experts today.

Dental Provider told by CQC to improve standards

On the 17th November 2011, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released the following press release in relation to the fact that CQC inspectors have told West Street Dental Practice in Congleton, Cheshire that it is not meeting essential standards and that it must improve.

"Inspectors have identified major concerns about standards in six outcome areas. These are: the care and welfare of people who use services, cleanliness and infection control, safety, availability and suitability of equipment, requirements relating to workers, staffing and supporting staff.

"The report concludes patients using this service may not have received effective, safe and appropriate treatment.

"It also details that the practice does not comply with requirements on cleanliness and infection control. Inspectors could not find evidence to show denture work was disinfected before fitting. Bags of clinical waste were overfilled and split and stored near clean items, which could have led to cross-contamination.

"Inspectors also found people may have been at risk of harm from equipment that was not fit for purpose with an x-ray machine in poor condition and no device installed to prevent mercury from getting into the waste water system.

"There were also insufficient staff with the right knowledge, experience, qualifications and skills, the report continues, which means patients may have been at risk of not having their health needs met.

"By law, providers of certain adult social care and health care services have a responsibility to make sure they are meeting essential standards of quality and safety. These are the standards everyone should be able to expect when they receive care.

"CQC regional director Sue McMillan said: "What we found at this practice is extremely concerning and we’re confident any patients using this service would share our concerns.

"This is the first time we’ve had major concerns about a dental provider, with this group only recently having come under regulation by the CQC. It is cases such as these that show the value of regulation.

"The provider must improve or may face enforcement action, which could include a notice of proposal to cancel registration.""

Need support with ensuring that your dental practice is conforming with the CQC standards? Take a look at our website to see how Words Worth Reading Ltd can help.

CQC responds to The Guardian's damning article

On Tuesday 15th November 2011 The Guardian posted a story about the Department of Health’s (DH) capacity review of CQC. Words Worth Reading Ltd also featured an article on the same capacity review last week. The Guardian's article suggests that the review is urgent and prompted by concerns about CQC’s performance. According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), this is not the case.

In response to The Guardian's article, the CQC published the following statement:

"All of the DH’s arm’s length bodies will have an annual capacity review, including CQC and Monitor. The reviews were announced by the Department’s Permanent Secretary, Una O’Brien, on 22 September.

"The story also repeats a number of claims and issues that have been well publicised previously and about which we have been careful to set out the facts and clarify misunderstandings.

"As well as sensationalising the DH’s capability review of CQC, the Guardian’s story contained a number of errors and ‘imaginative’ interpretations of facts.

You can read the CQC's response to specific issues at the following website:

For help and support with CQC compliance, documentation or assessment, speak to one of WWRL's CQC experts

Friday, 18 November 2011

'Advance Fish Farm' to boost jobs (yes really!)

FISHING groups and the IFA have all welcomed the Government’s plans for a groundbreaking IDA-style "advance fish farm" site off the west coast to attract investment and create up to 500 much needed jobs.

The concept is to develop a deep-sea salmon fish farm, which could be worth up to €14 million annually to the local economy. A fish farm of this type would be a first for Ireland.

Working in tandem with the Marine Institute and BIM, the Department for Agriculture, Marine & Food is to investigate a number of sites off the west coast as possible locations.

Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive and chairman of the Federation of Irish Fishermen, said the fishing community welcomes any initiative that will create extra jobs in coastal areas.

Mr O’Donoghue said: "We welcome not only the news, but we also welcome the way that Minister Coveney has gone about this initiative in firstly talking with all the major stakeholders.

"We understand that this is a totally new concept in fish farming. I don’t think the first one will be off the Donegal coast. It will probably be further down the coast. If the first one is a success, there will probably be more down the road."

Based in Killybegs, Co Donegal, Mr O’Donoghue said that fishermen in the region would want to ensure that any new venture like this doesn’t have any knock-on effect on traditional fishing activities, such as the nets along the west coast. However, after meeting Mr Coveney, fishing groups said they were happy to see the project proceed.

Mr Coveney said: "This project is a major jobs initiative in the aquaculture sector which has the potential to create very significant sustainable jobs in vulnerable coastal communities."

The initiative has also been welcomed by IFA president John Bryan, who said that aquaculture in Ireland has huge potential for development, exports and job creation, but has been hindered by EU directives and national bureaucracy which has seen the licensing system come to a virtual halt.

Mr Bryan said: "The industry welcomes the new approach whereby the state is applying for the licence, ensuring all legal and environmental concerns are addressed, and then franchising the operation to a successful bidder under a contract ensuring the highest standards are maintained.

"Ireland’s reputation at home and abroad for the finest quality farmed seafood is renowned and the sector has put huge efforts into carving out a high-value niche through certification and quality schemes with BIM. The biggest frustration for IFA members right around the coast has been that under the stalled licensing system, they are not allowed to produce what the market demands."

IFA aquaculture executive secretary Richie Flynn said emigration in coastal areas had returned with a vengeance since these areas had been doubly hit by quota cuts in wild fisheries and the economic downturn.

Mr Flynn said: "A project such as this will see the return of opportunities for young people. We should export fish, not jobs.

"While moving forward with the new state licence initiative, Minister Coveney should keep in mind the hundreds of inshore fish and shellfish farmers who have been waiting for years for renewals and new sites, many of whom have built up Ireland’s aquaculture sector from nothing to a thriving business employing 2,000 people today."

Thanks to the Irish Examiner (18th Nov 11) for this little story!

CQC goes under the spotlight

This article has been taken from the website

The watchdog responsible for overseeing NHS hospitals and care homes is being urgently investigated by the Department of Health over a series of alleged failures that could have risked patient care.

DoH officials and NHS bosses have acted after mounting concerns about the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC's chief executive, Cynthia Bower, spent last Thursday morning being questioned by Una O'Brien, the health department's permanent secretary, before a team of Whitehall officials descended on the watchdog's headquarters in the City that afternoon.

The inquiry coincides with investigations by the National Audit Office and the Commons public accounts committee.

In September the prime minister endorsed a damning report by the health select committee on the CQC, which accused the regulator of neglecting its core duty of scrutinising patient care in favour of bureaucratic "registration" of care providers. Within the NHS many have serious doubts [as to] whether the CQC is now fit for purpose.

The CQC's alleged shortcomings have forced the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, to consider yet another overhaul of NHS regulation. The CQC, set up by Labour in 2009, regulates the NHS, social care and mental health, with a mandate to oversee 20,000 hospitals, care homes and treatment clinics.

Bower, who is paid more than £195,000 a year, was formerly chief executive of the NHS West Midlands' strategic health authority, where she was responsible for supervising the performance of Stafford hospital. A critical report is expected early next year from a public inquiry into a scandal at the hospital, where poor care led to hundreds of needless patient deaths between 2005 and 2008, and how it went undetected for so long.

The Guardian has established that:

• The CQC misled parliament in its annual report, overstating the number of inspections and reviews of the NHS, independent healthcare and adult social care sectors it carried out. Rather than the 15,220 "inspections and reviews" it claimed to have undertaken in the year ending March 2011, it has now admitted to the DoH that the correct figure is 7,368.

• There has been rising disquiet over the CQC's "light touch" regulation. Until May 2011, when BBC's Panorama exposed the scandal of abuse at Winterbourne View, a private hospital for people with learning disabilities, the CQC had launched just one investigation. By contrast, its predecessor, the Healthcare Commission, completed 16 investigations in five years. After the BBC's story the regulator launched two investigations into NHS hospital trusts.

• One of the first acts under Bower's leadership was to disband the investigations team – because, in the words of the then chair Barbara Young, it was being used to "bayonet the wounded on the battlefield". The decision caused consternation among NHS bosses, who feared that failing to expose and publicise examples of poor care would encourage complacency.

• Senior CQC staff who disagreed with the board say they felt marginalised and complained of a culture of fear, underlined by the "language of witch hunt". There has been an exodus of staff who have been gagged to prevent them from speaking about the CQC. In 2009, employees wrote to senior managers complaining about what they saw as a "bullying culture", following which a senior executive left. The letter warned of the "potential impact of the proposed reduction in inspection frequency for … adult social care services".

In 2010 an internal staff survey showed just 16% of staff felt the regulator was well managed, only 14% had confidence in the decisions made by the executive board, and 8% felt change was well managed. One analyst, Rona Bryce, told the Mid Staffs inquiry that she was told she could have been "suspended" after she analysed the evidence provided under oath by her boss at the CQC, Richard Hamblin.

Heather Wood, who led the inquiry into hundreds of deaths at Stafford hospital, left the CQC last year and had been gagged from speaking out about her time there. However, under subpoena to the Mid Staffs inquiry, Wood warned that under the current regulatory set-up "the investigation [into Stafford hospital] would almost certainly not have taken place".

Officially, the DoH inquiry into the CQC is a "pilot of a new annual performance and capability review" of its many quangos. In reality, ministers have been greatly concerned that the regulator is not seen as a toothless watchdog after a series of damning reports saw patient care become a key issue for the public.

The DoH said it was "essential that the ... CQC is performing to the highest possible standards. We are currently carrying out a review to ensure that it is doing the best it can to protect patients. The findings of the review will be made public in the new year."

Ministers became alarmed in June when Panorama exposed the scandal of abuse at Winterbourne View. After the disturbing footage was aired it emerged that the regulator had failed to investigate claims made by a whistleblower, Terry Bryan, who was apparently so exasperated by the CQC's inaction – he was told when he rang up that the inspector was on holiday – that he took the matter to the BBC.

The regulator has argued that it is not adequately funded. The three previous regulators it replaced had over 3,000 posts, whereas the CQC began life with just under 2,100 in 2009, a cut of 30% in the workforce.

The CQC has asked the government for £15m to fund a new regime, including a 15% jump to in boost to its 800-strong inspection workforce.

A spokeswoman for the CQC said: "The review has been openly discussed with CQC stakeholders and staff and we have found it an extremely helpful process."

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

2011 Costa Book Awards shortlist released

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

It’s unique for having five categories: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book.

The winner in each category receives £5,000, and then one of the five winning books is selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year, receiving a further £30,000, and making a total prize fund of £55,000. The Costa is the only prize which places children's books alongside adult books in this way.

The Costa Book Awards started life in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards. From 1985 they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2006, when Costa Coffee took over ownership from Whitbread.

The 2011 shortlist was announced yesterday. The candidates for each of the categories are strong this year and include; Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending and Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens: A Life.

Why not enlist the support of Words Worth Reading Ltd to write your next adult or children's book!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Prometric create jobs in Dundalk

As reported by

Up to 150 new jobs are to be created over the next three years in Dundalk, according to the chief executive of the company involved, Prometric.

Speaking at the formal announcement today, Michael Brannick said that the company had chosen Dundalk for a variety of reasons, including its location and workforce available to the company.

Prometric is establishing a global test development service business. The company already has a staff of around 75 in Ireland and is expected to start recruitment immediately for the Dundalk facility.

''Our decision to invest in Ireland allows us to expand our employee base globally, work in closer proximity to many of our customers and to provide test development services virtually around the clock," said Michael Brannick, president and CEO of Prometric.

"Over the past several years we have made considerable investments expanding in Asia with good result. Making additional investments in Europe makes just as good business sense, as we operate a growing and global company,'' he added.

"This announcement by Prometric is very significant for Dundalk and will provide excellent employment opportunities in the North-East region,'' commented IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O'Leary.

''Ireland is experiencing strong growth in international business services - a key target area in IDA's strategy which is contributing significantly to Ireland's impressive export performance," he added.

Meanwhile, US company Landesk Software also announced this morning that it is to create approximately 15 new jobs with the establishment of an international financial services centre in Dublin.

IDA Ireland is also assisting the company with the new jobs.

Words Worth Reading Ltd can help all job seekers with CVs, cover letters, application forms and interview preparation.

US Laureate appointed

Philip Levine is best known for his poems that centre on working class lives and day-to-day issues. At age 83, he has now succeeded WS Merwin as the US Poet Laureate.

Born in Detriot, Levine was employed as a young man in an automobile factory, a setting that provided the backdrop for much of his later work. After studying poetry at night school, he gained a Master of Fine Arts degree and went on to lecture at California State and New York Universities.

The US Poet Laureate serves from October to May, and receives a cool £22,000 for the fulfilment of the role.

Interested in writing poetry? Visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website to find out how we could help.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Wuthering Heights film captures essence of the book

On general release from today, Arnold's new adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel has been praised for capturing the book's harshness

Arnold is a director known for Red Road and Fish Tank: uncompromisingly gritty evocations of contemporary life. Her version of Wuthering Heights strips away the polite conventions of period romance to convey the elemental rawness of Bronte's original. In her hands, Heathcliff, played by Solomon Glave and James Howson, is a runaway slave found by farmer Earnshaw in Liverpool, and the main focus of the film is on the childhood relationship between him and Cathy (Shannon Beer and Kaya Scodelario).

What do you think? Does it capture the essence of the book?

Keith Richards wins prize for his biography

The legendary rock'n'roller has been awarded the Mailer Prize for Distinguished Biography

Mr Richards accepted the award, presented by Bill Clinton, at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday night, wearing shades, a red headband and a flowing scarf printed with skulls. 'This is one for the books, if you get my drift - you hacks,' he joked.

Life has sold over a million copies.
Fancy writing your own biography? See how WWRL can help

CQC demands ambulance trust take action to improve

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Cheshire Ambulance that it must improve services following a recent review of compliance.

The review concludes that the provider is not meeting one or more essential standards.

Inspectors identified major concerns in the management and storage of medicines, record keeping and the provider’s monitoring of the quality of its services.

Inspectors also found the provider was using unsafe and unsuitable equipment and didn’t always have enough suitably trained staff.

The provider has submitted an action plan to show how it intends to become compliant. Inspectors will return to ensure improvements are made.

CQC regional director Sue McMillan said: "Private and charitable ambulance providers are new to regulation by the CQC.

"This means that we can now help ensure this group of providers, some of whom have worked in isolation in the past, are meeting and aware of required levels of safety.

"Finding and acting on issues such as those in this report will help ensure people using private and not-for-profit ambulance services are adequately protected from the risks of unsafe treatment.

"By law, providers of certain adult social care and health care services have a responsibility to make sure they are meeting essential standards of quality and safety.

"We have told Cheshire Ambulance where it needs to improve and our inspectors will follow up to ensure those improvements are made. If we find that the service does not make progress, then we will consider further action."

Words Worth Reading Ltd are experts in preparing organisations for CQC registration and compliance.

Farnborough Care Home closes

The Care Quality Commission's investigation into Melbury House care home, which was falling short of the essential standards of quality and safety, has led to the organisation voluntarily canceling its registration.

Checks were carried out in response to concerns that were identified regarding the health, safety and welfare of people who used the service.

Subsequent to the CQC visits, the provider, ACH of London LLP, applied to voluntarily cancel the registration of this location and has now closed.

Key findings

The results of the Care Quality Commission's initial investigation show:

  • health and social care professionals had concerns about how prospective residents were assessed prior to admission to the home.
  • a number of staff had not undertaken essential training for their roles.
  • monitoring of the quality of service provided was ineffective.
  • people lacked confidence that risks to their health, safety and welfare were not properly reported so that action could be taken.

About the investigation

The CQC conducted two visits to Melbury House in August 2011. Inspectors observed how people were being cared for, talked with people who use services and staff, checked the provider’s records and looked at records of people who use services.

Need support with your CQC registration or compliance assessments? Speak to one of our CQC experts today.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

NHS pledges to inform customers on Information Technology issues

As per Department of Health Press Release, 8th Nov 11

The Department of Health today [8th Nov 11] announced a number of initiatives to support the NHS as an informed customer for IT, ensuring that local decision-making about procuring new systems delivers value for money for patients.

A joint initiative with eHealth Insider (EHI) will give NHS local commissioners and Trusts free access to information on the systems and suppliers installed across the NHS, providing detailed insight into the systems options available to them, applicable standards, and the feedback of real users. Accessible via the EHI website the information will provide the opportunity for NHS Trusts to give their feedback on suppliers in relation to provision of systems to support patient care.

EHI Intelligence reports will now include the following:

  • Details of key clinical and administrative systems used within all Trusts and PCTs.
  • Details of PC, laptop, notebook and smartphone device quantities in use by individual NHS organisations.
  • A facility to allow users to rate the systems and suppliers that they use.

Raw data about systems in use within the NHS will also be published on the CFH Website and This means other information intermediaries can use the data to provide different insights to support the NHS as it continues to develop its capacity to exchange and provide information.

The Department of Health is additionally working with the Government Procurement Service on a pan-government supplier information database (SID4GOV) which will be a useful reference point for those involved in procuring and evaluating system suppliers.

Intellect, the trade organisation for IT suppliers, is actively working with the Department of Health to develop these initiatives, as part a joint plan to develop a healthy and vibrant market, and to build confidence in the wider use of IT as benefiting patient care. The initial version of the joint plan has also been published today.

Katie Davis, Managing Director of Informatics at the Department of Health, said:

“We are committed to providing the NHS with the insight it needs to take the right decisions in sourcing systems in the future. By making our own core information on our use of IT available for others to add their own expert insight and value, we have made a major step forward in providing the necessary information – for free – to all NHS customers. Furthermore, we hope that this transparency will send a clear signal to the supplier community that the NHS IT market is open for business”.

GCS Wellbeing Week initiative gets immediate results

A recently implemented initiative, GCS’ Wellbeing Week, set out to raise awareness of health within the workplace and has had an immediate impact.

Whilst most notable in the diagnosis of long-term GCS employee Angela Dunn’s condition as a diabetic, the 25-minute health checks, provided to all GCS employees, turned up other interesting results, including early indications of poor glycaemic control noticed in other staff.

Nutritional therapists provided individual recommendations for modifications in diet and lifestyle, which have already led to increased energy levels and better work performance.

Wellbeing Week was arranged in collaboration with Precious Health Ltd, who declared in a report that, with regard to workplace wellbeing programmes, “the way forward for SMEs is epitomised by GCS”. In addition to the health check-ups, all GCS employees received eye tests and head and shoulder massages. The health-conscious attitude has even spilled into the reception area, where a large bowl of continually replenished fruit has since become a mainstay.

As a direct result of the enthusiasm stemming from Wellbeing Week, GCS Running clubs have been started across the UK offices.

SocialCV now indexing more than 105 million individuals

Is it possible to map the global workforce?

The SocialCV thinks so. It's taken more than four years of development and required running more than 10 billion online records through a semantic processing engine but TheSocialCV has indexed more than 100 million professional profiles and has mapped more than 200 million professional interactions.

The company looks at status updates across more than 50 social media sites to identify data useful for recruitment to build a profile of a potential job candidate.To do this, it had to solve the 'java problem' -- if someone mentions 'java' are they talking about the programming language, the coffee bean or the island. 'Once we've determined the context of key words, we then have the challenge of trying to determine how an individual relates to them," says company CEO, Howard Lee. "If they're talking about Java, do they drink it, prefer it to other beans, or are they a barista? We can then assign Java as an interest or a profession. We then have to do this more than 30 million times a day.'

To make it a commercial product, WorkDigital worked with world leading recruitment companies representing more than 35,000 staff to test tool and currently sells the product on a seat-license basis. Genius!

CQC to protect residents of a new care home in Dorset

On the 2nd November 2011, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released the following press release relating to care provided in a nursing home in Dorset:

The Care Quality Commission is taking action to protect the safety and welfare of people living in a new nursing home at Gillingham in Dorset.

In a report which is published today, CQC inspectors identify a series of concerns found at Gillingham Grange. CQC is working closely with Dorset County Council to ensure people are not at immediate risk of harm.

Inspectors found that the provider, European Care (Gillingham) Limited was failing to meet eight government standards of quality and safety, covering care and welfare, nutrition, staffing, staff training, suitability of equipment, safeguarding arrangements and the monitoring of the quality of service provided. By law, providers of care services must ensure that they are meeting all standards.

Inspectors have made four unannounced visits to the nursing home since a number of concerns were raised in July under Dorset's safeguarding procedures.

Gillingham Grange has stopped new admissions. Dorset County Council has been visiting twice a week and CQC has continued to monitor the home to ensure that the 12 people living there are protected and that there are no further admissions to the home. CQC has a range of legal powers it can use to protect people.

At the end of last week CQC inspectors went unannounced to the home to check again. They found that there have been improvements but some more work still needs to be done.

The report which is published today on the CQC website lists a series of concerns found during inspections in July and August. Concerns can be found below.

Meeting nutritional needs

Inspectors found that the home was failing to provide people with adequate support to enable them to eat and drink what they needed or to take action where malnutrition was suspected. In July, records showed that five of the residents had lost weight. One man who had been admitted for respite care lost approximately seven kilograms in 10 days, after missing meals and being offered the wrong food, even though the home had been told about his specific needs to help him eat. Families of two people had started to come in to the home to help feed their relatives.


The providers had not ensured that there were enough staff on duty to meet the dependency needs of people. Even after concerns were raised about the care and welfare of people at the home, the company reduced staffing further. During the review they increased staffing levels again, but there was an over reliance on agency staff and frequent occasions when there were not enough people to cover the rotas. Staff told how they frequently had to leave people who were anxious or distressed because another person needed support.


The report says that some equipment was not suitable to meet people's needs or promote their comfort and independence. Inspectors said that while some people were nursed on pressure relieving mattresses others did not have the equivalent pressure relieving cushions for their chairs. Some people were being nursed in bed and had recurrent falls from bed because they did not have the recommended specialist chairs that would enable them to sit out of bed and leave their rooms. Some people had bedrails without cushioned bumpers so they risked, or had sustained, injuries to limbs.

Care and welfare of people

Inspectors found that the planning and delivery of care did not meet people's individual needs. Proper steps were not being taken to ensure the welfare and safety of people living in the home and there was evidence of deterioration in people's health and wellbeing.


There had been recurrent safeguarding alerts about the care and welfare of people living in the home. The home was failing to recognise potential abuse or respond appropriately to allegations. Staff were not completely clear about what constituted abuse and how incidents should be managed.

Ian Biggs, Regional Director of CQC in the South West said: “The standards of care we have found at Gillingham Grange were worrying.

"We saw several people who were mentally frail, but physically mobile, yet they were not always supervised and so they were at risk because they were not given the help and attention that they obviously needed to protect them from harm.

"Families have told us that they saw that staff were very busy running around, but despite this the company cut back on the staff available. The failure to help people with their food and drink is alarming but it is even more disturbing when you consider that many of the residents are frail, vulnerable people who are the least able to draw attention to this.

“We need to ensure that people living at these homes are not at any immediate risk of harm, which is why we have been working closely with Dorset Council and monitoring this home closely.

“We have received an immediate undertaking from European Care that they will not admit more people to this nursing home while these improvements are being addressed. We will continue to monitor this service very closely to ensure this happens.

“Our inspectors have already returned to Gillingham Grange. At our most recent visit on Friday 28 October we found that improvements had been made. We will inspect again in the near future and if we find that the home is not making progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers on behalf of the people who live there.”

Pilgrim Hospital needs to display greater improvements

On the 1st November 2011, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed that their latest Linkinvestigation into United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has revealed that improvements have been made at the hospital, particularly to strengthen frontline management and leadership. However, the CQC feel that further progress is still required.

This latest investigation focused on the areas of concern that the Care Quality Commission raised about Pilgrim Hospital in February and June 2011.

Although the hospital has now made positive changes relating to leadership and the way it manages risk, the CQC feels that it still needs to significantly improve patient experience and staff training.

Key findings

The results of the Care Quality Commission's investigation show:

  • complaints were made due to poor care and clinical errors.
  • patient experience was not adequately monitored.
  • dependency on locum staff resulted in cost implications.
  • NHS East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) and NHS Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) failed to identify risks.
  • cultural issues throughout the trust strongly hampered improvements.

The CQC have made 21 recommendations that the trust must deliver. They will monitor the trust's progress through unannounced inspections.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Crisis requires creative writers

Crisis have put out a call for creative arts volunteers in London to facilitate inspiring workshops for homeless people over Christmas.

Specialist arts volunteers who would feel confident in leading creative sessions, including creative writers, are urgently needed.

Crisis welcome around 2,000 homeless guests in nine centres during the Christmas period (23 December to 29 December). Volunteers are asked to commit to two shifts.

For more information, visit or telephone 0300 636 1000.

Terry Pratchett's latest breaks 2011 sales record

In the first three days following its release on 13 October, the 39th Discword novel sold 54,687 copies in UK retail outlets.

This figure makes it one of the fastest-selling adult fiction titles since records began. The only authors to top him for initial sales are Dan Brown's 2009 The Lost Symbol and Thomas Harris' 1999 Hannibal.

In the next issue of Writing Magazine, Terry Pratchett talks at length to editor Jonathan Telfer about writing, his landmark 50th novel and why he wouldn't want to win the Booker.

Click wins employment award and gains some well deserved kudos!

The Clink Charity’s excellence in the recruitment of people from diverse backgrounds has been championed at the Springboard Excellence Awards 2011 with presentation of the esteemed Diversity in Employment Award.

The award is fitting recognition of The Clink Charity’s ongoing campaign to fund food preparation and service skills training initiatives for serving prisoners and to promote the value to society of employing ex-offenders into roles within restaurants, hotels and other skilled hospitality professions. For offenders who have wound up in prison through poor judgement and displaced morals, rehabilitation can be the difference between total life transformation and re-offending. Many former inmates experience considerable difficulty reintegrating into society because of the attitudes of others.

The stigma of imprisonment and long absences from work on CVs has a tendency to put employers off hiring former prisoners, exacerbating social exclusion and increasing the risk of a return to crime. As a charity, The Clink is making significant strides to engaging with the industry and in partnership with The Clink’s generous and committed ambassadors, Vic Laws and Giorgio Locatelli, together with other valued supporters, industry connections are being brought through the doors of the restaurant and invited to enjoy The Clink concept first-hand. We think that's just, well, fabulous.

Free recruitment Webinars!

Reading-based Recruitment Software company 2LS has announced free recruitment Webinars!
The first 25 minute session will be held on 23rd November, focussed on the subject of properly qualifying a vacancy, will be an invaluable crash course in ensuring a successful first step in any recruitment process.

Delivered by recruitment training expert Ross Williams, the Webinar will be lively and thought-provoking, with time for questions and answers to finish. The development of the 2LS Webinar series comes following the recent release of the 2LS Recruiter’s Toolbox, a collection of free recruitment tools including an online recruitment calculator and the 24 page Recruiter’s Book of Checklists.

The 2LS Vacancy Qualification Webinar will be held at 12.30pm on the 23rd November. To register free for the event, please go to

Unbound Books the way forward?!

Have you heard of unbound books? The idea of unbound books it that authors and readers decide which books get published. On the Unbound site, authors pitch their ideas directly to readers. If readers like what they read, they can pledge their support to help make the book happen. Everyone who supports an author before they reach 100% of the funding target gets their name printed in every edition of that book.

There are a number of levels against which readers can choose to pledge their support. The level they choose denotes what they receive once the book is completed; i.e. a signed copy of the book, or an invitation to the book launch. Every level includes a digital version of the book and immediate access to the author's shed while they write the book, and supporters of projects that don't reach their target receive a full refund.

Unbound is a new way of connecting with writers. Most of the writers on the site are well known, others will appear there for the first time.

What's different is that instead of waiting for authors to publish their work, Unbound allows readers to listen to their ideas for what they'd like to write before they even start. If you like their idea, you can pledge to support it. If the website hits the target number of supporters, the author can go ahead and start writing (if the target isn't met readers can either get their pledge refunded in full or switch their pledge to another Unbound project).

It is a fantastic idea for readers and writers alike!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Country pub poets called!

Vintage Inns are holding a competition, judged by Anderw Motion, for poets to co-author an eight-line poem celebrating country pubs

The competition is inspired by Andrew Motion's poetry for Vintage Inn's latest press campaign about rural pubs.

Poets are asked to enter lines for the poem via a poetry competition tab on Vintage Inns' Facebook page. Andrew Motion will chose the best line submitted each week, which will then be added to the poem and uploaded ready for the next line. Each winner will get a famed copy of the eventual poem, and a meal for four with wine at a local Vintage Inn.

The poem so far reads:
The muted brilliance of autumn leaves
The wind’s deep voice soft-tickling the trees

Weekly submissions close on Thursdays at 5pm. The competition is currently running, and closes on 5 December.

To enter, go to:

More CQC inspections on dignity and nutrition

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have today announced that they will be inspecting a further 50 NHS hospitals and 500 adult social care services as part of their work on dignity and nutrition.

The original Dignity and nutrition review took place between March and June 2011. The Care Quality Commission reviewed 100 NHS hospitals using teams of CQC inspectors, practising and experienced nurses and Experts by experience.

The 50 NHS hospitals that will be inspected next year will be a combination of hospitals that raised concerns during the original review and a new sample of other locations.

The CQC will also look at dignity and nutrition in 500 care homes around the country. These inspections will start early next year and they hope to involve people with experience of these services. A national report is planned for the autumn.

We will publish more details about these inspections shortly, as information becomes available.