Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Book deal shows scribbler on the roof's lofty ambition

Taken from the Independent online...

Once, you would have had to scale buildings to read his scribblings, hidden among slates and beams. Now William Letford, a roofer who pens poetry on joists and tiles, has brought his work down to earth.

Letford – who has hidden 30 of his poems in roofs in his hometown of Stirling, central Scotland – will have a wider audience after signing a book deal.

Explaining why he chose roofs for his work, he said: "I love the idea of it not being seen for so long, then discovered along with the measurements and the pencil marks. "I don't sign them and don't take note of where they are. I didn't plan any of them and and apart from the people I was working with, nobody knew they were up there.

"Many of them are on the joists, where builders traditionally leave their measurements, so I know they will survive. Others are between tiles in the roof voids. I wouldn't imagine any of the poems have been found. You would have to be taking apart the slates or roof to reach them. In 100 years or so it will be incredible if somebody stumbles across them."

He started writing poems as a youngster, his confidence boosted after a teacher forwarded his work to poet Roger McGough. "In primary school my teacher asked the class to write poems and liked mine so much that she sent it to him," Letford said. "He wrote back and at the bottom of his letter wrote, 'Keep writing' in capital letters and with exclamation marks. That moment tied me to it. It told me I could do this."

His first book, Bevel, out next November, has a building theme. The Scottish Book Trust, which gave him a new writer's award in 2008, has called him "one of the most striking and original voices in modern Scottish writing".

Chef scores Christmas No 1

The final gifts under the tree have been unwrapped and it seems the nation is preparing to cook up a storm in 2012 with Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’ securing the number one on the Christmas Book Chart.
The collection of recipes celebrating "the essence of British food, done properly", sold 59,156 copies in the seven days until 20 December, making it this year's Christmas No 1 and giving Oliver his now traditional yuletide spot on top of the UK's book charts. The celebrity chef also took the slot last year with Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, a title that spent 32 weeks at number one, as well as in 2001 with Happy Days with the Naked Chef and in 2005 with Jamie's Italy.
But Oliver's offering wasn't enough to sate the nation's appetite for food this Christmas: Jamie's Great Britain was one of three cookery titles in the Christmas top 10, book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan has revealed, along with fellow television chefs Lorraine Pascale's Home Cooking Made Easy in fourth and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg Every Day in eighth.
"Being No 1 two years on the run is an incredible achievement," said Jon Howells of Waterstone's on Oliver's securing of the top spot. "Jamie has had a lot of competition this year, but ultimately he's a tough act to beat. Of course, this week's sales are likely to be higher than last week's, so it will be interesting to see which title dominates. It may be some time before we know which title really sold the most over Christmas."

Why not write your own best selling cookery book with the help of Words Worth Reading Ltd?

Words Worth Reading launch CQC Training Services

The Care Quality Commission independently regulates all health and social care services in England, ensuring that care provided by hospitals, dentists, ambulances, care homes and services in people’s own homes meet government standards of quality and safety. The Care Quality Commission began operating on 1 April 2009, replacing three earlier commissions: the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. Words Worth Reading are launching a new comprehensive training service that covers all the required areas specified by the CQC. These include Equality and Diversity, Consent, Safeguarding, Information Governance and Records Management.

For more information, training co-ordinators can contact Catherina Dunphy on 01245 707580 or email

In addition to this complete training service Words Worth Reading are also extending their CQC Registration and Compliance services to incorporate General Practice (GPs) and Home Care Providers.

For support with CQC registration and compliance, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Jo Shapcott wins Queen's gold medal for poetry

As published by the Guardian online...

The poet Jo Shapcott, who began the year by winning the Costa book of the year award for her collection Of Mutability, has ended 2011 by being named the latest recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Decided by a committee of "eminent men and women of letters" selected by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the medal is given for either a body of work or for an individual poem, and counts among its previous recipients WH Auden, who took it in 1936, Siegfried Sassoon and John Betjeman. Shapcott was chosen for her body of work, including Of Mutability, which traced the poet's experience of breast cancer, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Duffy called the award "the true crowning" of a career which has seen Shapcott take the National Poetry Competition twice, the Commonwealth poetry award and the Forward prize. The poet laureate praised the "calm but sparkling Englishness" of Shapcott's poetry, which she said "manages to combine accessibility with a deeply cerebral engagement with all the facets of being human – alert to art and science, life and death".

"Her peers will be very proud and happy for her today," added Duffy. The medal was established in 1933 by George V at the suggestion of John Masefield, then poet laureate. It shows the crowned effigy of the queen on one side, and on the reverse an image of Truth holding the flame of inspiration. Shapcott, who turned down a CBE in 2003 over her concerns about the Iraq war, will be presented with the medal by the Queen next year, said Buckingham Palace.

Financial cuts deny students valuable career advice

Taken from the Guardian online...

Pupils are being denied careers advice at a time of record youth unemployment, schools are scrapping projects to help the neediest children catch up on their reading, and teachers of music, art and sport are losing their jobs, a Guardian investigation into the impact of cuts on education reveals.

The education secretary, Michael Gove, claimed last year that the government was "protecting the frontline", and the coalition says schools and colleges will manage to save £1bn between now and 2014 just by trimming back-office functions.

However, research by the Guardian indicates that shrinking budgets are already significantly reducing the range and quality of education on offer to all pupils across England, from toddlers to teenagers. Even schools in deprived neighbourhoods are having to make swingeing cuts, despite receiving the pupil premium, which this year has equated to an extra £488 for each child who receives free school meals.

The Guardian spoke to scores of associations representing education workers and requested figures from councils through the Freedom of Information Act. In schools, colleges and neighbourhoods, the Guardian found cases illustrating what the associations said was happening. The investigation shows:

• At a time of record youth unemployment, thousands of school careers advisers are being laid off and many others are having their hours cut, leaving teenagers to finish school and college without official guidance on their next move.

• Headteachers are cutting music, art and sports teachers and the hours pupils spend in these lessons. At some schools, budgets for these subjects have been slashed by up to 80%.

• Schools are ending or cutting funds for an initiative lauded by researchers that offered one-to-one tuition for pupils falling behind in reading, writing and maths.

• A grant that pays for sixth formers to receive help with their university and college choices and take part in debating and drama clubs has been severely cut, with some institutions receiving a quarter of what they got last year.

• After-school clubs and school holiday play schemes are closing or under threat, creating havoc for working parents and those with limited budgets for childcare.

• Millions of pounds have been stripped from funds needed by local authorities to repair school buildings, just when the number of children starting school is due to rise by 10%. In some parts of the country, councils have just over a quarter of what they had to spend last year.

• A poll for the Guardian showed 43% of schools had to cut one or more subjects, courses or services. The Key, a national education support service, questioned 1,516 teachers and headteachers. Just over a quarter said they had closed a school club, while 11% said they had reduced their sports budgets. A further 8% had cut music classes.

The Institute of Career Guidance is warning that careers advice for young people is "becoming extinct". Unison, the trade union that represents careers advisers in education, has found that thousands have been made redundant and many others have had their hours cut.

Constrained school budgets and the end of the Connexions service mean pupils are being denied face-to-face help and instead being directed towards websites. At one secondary school in Kent that the Guardian spoke to, only teenagers with special needs are to be given careers advice. One in five 16- to 24-year-olds are out of work in the UK, and advisers fear a further rise in the number of young people not in education, employment or training.

Art, music and sports teachers are losing their jobs or having their teaching hours and budgets cut. The National Society for Education in Art & Design, which represents art teachers in the UK, said the subject was "staring into the abyss".

Langdon Park school in Tower Hamlets, east London, a specialist sports college, had its sports grant cut by 80% this year. Music services in Hounslow, west London, and Bolton have been hit by 10% cuts to central government grants this year. The services provide teachers, instruments and free tuition.

At one secondary school in Cheshire, the head of music has been made redundant and the two youngest year groups are, as of this year, taught music for only one hour every fortnight, rather than every week.

Teenagers from low-income homes are likely to suffer the most from a 75% cut to the entitlement funding grant, which helps sixth-formers to receive pastoral care, take part in debating and drama clubs and receive help with their university and college choices. Yet headteachers argue that the grant gives sixth-formers a more rounded education and something to discuss on their university applications.

The Guardian's analysis shows schools are ending or reducing one-to-one tuition for pupils falling behind in reading, writing and maths. Researchers have proved that the initiative accelerates pupils' progress and gives them confidence. A survey for the Guardian showed 91 of 1,516 teachers and headteachers had ended or cut the scheme. Hertfordshire county council said fewer schools in its area were now giving one-to-one tuition. They were concentrating on smaller group work instead.

The Department for Education says schools still receive their grant for one-to-one tuition, but it is no longer ringfenced and can be spent on other areas.

Thousands of nurseries, children's centres, after-school clubs and holiday play schemes are closing. The manager of a play scheme for children from Peckham and Dulwich in south London said she was finding it nearly impossible to secure a grant to continue. After-school clubs are having to close because parents can no longer afford the fees.

Funds to repair school buildings have been dramatically cut, despite the fact that the construction firm Laing O'Rourke says the condition of most schools has deteriorated in the last five years and many buildings are past their life expectancy.

Responses to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Guardian reveal that Warrington council's funds for repairs to its children's services buildings have dropped to £4.6m from £17.2m last year. Stockport's funds have fallen to £8.7m from £20m between 2009-10 and 2010-11. In some parts of the country, such as Stockton-on-Tees, more than a third of the school estate is in urgent need of repair.

The government says it is now focusing on addressing "urgent maintenance needs and meeting demographic pressures". The chancellor, George Osborne, has allocated an additional £600m for school buildings.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, warned that the cuts uncovered by the Guardian would lead to "England's long tail of under-achievement getting longer". She feared the most vulnerable would suffer the most and fall further behind. Gove had been disingenuous in assuming the frontline would be protected, she said.

An education department spokeswoman said spending on schools had been "relatively protected". She said it was up to headteachers to make the decisions they think are best for their pupils. "It is important that schools should be able to make savings on procurement and back-office spending in order to invest resources in teaching and learning." Schools with the most deprived intakes were likely to see real-terms increases in funding, she said.

However, a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found just 5% of primary schools and 2% of secondary schools would see a real-terms increase.

If you're a student or a job seeker, check out the services that will benefit you on the Words Worth Reading Ltd website.

Millhouse care home told to improve services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Mr and Mrs N Frances that they must take immediate action to improve services at Millhouse care home in Faversham, Kent.

When they visited the home in October,inspectors found that the provider was failing to meet 13 of the essential standards of quality and safety, covering dignity and rights, care and welfare, consent, nutrition, cross agency working, safeguarding, cleanliness and infection control, management of medicines, safe surroundings and equipment, staffing, risk management and record keeping. By law, providers of care services must ensure that they are meeting all the essential standards.

Millhouse provides care and support to up to 24 older adults with dementia. The report, which is published today by CQC, follows an unannounced inspection of the home. CQC has been working with Kent County Council to ensure people living at the home are not at risk of immediate harm.

Among CQC’s concerns were:

  • Respecting people’s rights: Inspectors found that some people were not supported in making choices, such as what they ate and when they rose in the morning, and that their privacy was not always respected.
  • Consent to care and treatment: Inspectors found that there was no evidence that people living in the home had been consulted on, or assessed as to whether they had mental capacity to make decisions regarding their care. Inspectors found that people living in the home were having their movements restricted; for example, the lift was wedged open on the ground floor at night to prevent its use.
  • Cross agency working: Professionals from other agencies told inspectors that the home did not always co-operate well with them. People living in the home were not supported to receive safe and co-ordinated care.
  • Management of medicines: Inspectors found that the administration of medicines was poorly managed. Medication had been prepared and placed into unlabelled pots before it was dispensed, leading to serious risk of people being harmed by being given the wrong medication.
  • Safeguarding people from abuse: Inspectors identified little recognition within the home of how to support people with diminished capacity or how to deal with issues around deprivation of liberty. There had been a significant number of accidents in the home, primarily falls, and there was no formal system for monitoring these or for looking at ways to reduce risk.
  • Staffing: Inspectors found that appropriately trained staff were not always on duty to meet the needs of people living in the home. Staff told inspectors that there were not enough people working in the home, especially in the mornings and evenings.
  • Monitoring of service provision: Inspectors found a lack of processes to monitor care quality. Safety checks took place, but the extent to which actions identified were taken was not apparent. There was no monitoring and management of risk of falls.

Ian Biggs, Deputy Director of CQC in the South, said:

“When our inspectors visited Millhouse in October, they found that 13 of the essential standards were not being met. This is completely unacceptable, and could not be allowed to continue.

“Staff at the home told our inspectors that there were simply not enough people working there to complete all the tasks that needed to be done. Management of medicines was of serious concern, as was the level of appropriately skilled staff available at certain times. These aspects were so worrying that we told the providers that they must take immediate action to remedy them.

“We also told the home to provide us with a written action plan showing how they will comply with the standards, which they have done. Inspectors will return to the home to check on progress in the near future.

“We will continue to monitor Millhouse closely, and will not hesitate to use our legal powers to ensure the safety and welfare of the people living there if we need to.”

If you need support with your CQC registration or demonstration of ongoing compliance, why not speak to a Words Worth Reading Ltd expert today?

SQS creates 20 new jobs in Dublin

Software testing and quality consultancy SQS Software Quality Systems is creating 20 new jobs in Dublin. This latest expansion will see its workforce increase by almost 20pc to more than 120 employees.

The firm, which has established offices in Dublin and Belfast, is now looking to fill positions for experienced software quality engineers, software testing managers, performance engineers and software test analysts. In addition, SQS also runs a graduate recruitment programme involving overseas training at its South Africa training centre in Durban.

Operating in Ireland since 2002, SQS Ireland has continued its organic growth in Ireland due to increasing demand for independent, outsourced managed testing services with specialist skills.

There is now widespread acceptance that quality testing is a necessary strategic investment in any IT project and choosing the right people to carry out the work is critical.

SQS delivers software quality services to a range of customers in Ireland, including major financial institutions, telecommunications companies, Government bodies, high-tech and gaming.

“It is very much driven by the business needs and pipeline of activity that we are gearing up for in 2012," SQS Ireland managing director Phil Codd said about the expansion plans.

“These latest jobs being created by SQS Ireland are high-end specialist roles and will ideally suit professionals already working in the sector or those looking to transfer their relevant skill sets into a growth industry," Codd said.

For the 2010 financial year ended, SQS Software Quality Systems AG generated sales of €162.9m.

Thanks to Silicon Republic for this news story!

Children's poetry 'grows up'

As published by Writer's Forum...

Cambridge University has appointed Morag Styles to what is thought to be the first Children's Poetry Professorship. 'Poetry is an intense form of language', says Styles. 'It can be simultaneously personal and universal. It enlarges the sympathies, helps us understand ourselves better, gives us the pleasure of vicarious experience and offers us insights about being human.'

The teaching of poetry in primary schools has been in decline in recent years, and Styles hopes to redress the balance. 'I'll continue to promote this special field in every way that I can by campaigning for it as an excellent subject for academic research, by helping teachers gain confidence in teaching it in school, by working alongside children as they read, write and perform poetry, and by striving to improve poetry's status internationally by recognising it as a rich source of nourishment and amusement for the young, something that will last them all their lives.'

Why not give poetry writing a go? Words Worth Reading Ltd's editorial, proofreading, mentoring and ghost writing services can all help!

New collection of short stories to be produced

A group of writers have joined together to create a collection of short stories. Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After is a varied collection of stories from writers who between them have had hundreds of short stories published in women's magazines in the UK and around the world.

The idea for the book came from the successful 'A Story A Fortnight' writing group which brought the writers involved together in a project that has inspired and supported them in their short story writing.

For more information see
Why not use the support services offered by Words Worth Reading Ltd to help you create your own collection of short stories?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bord na Móna to create clean technology jobs

Bord na Móna is to create 91 jobs as part of a €6m research and development investment over the next three years with the support of Enterprise Ireland.

The new jobs are part of the company's ongoing innovation programme, which has also seen the creation of 20 jobs for high-tech positions in Bord na Móna.

Enterprise Ireland is supporting the work of the company's innovation division in a number of number of high technology growth areas such as clean technology, carbon reduction and growing media.

Bord na Móna today also announced a new strategy to collaborate with and mentor start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises in the Midlands region and have appointed an outreach development manager.

'The R&D strategy will help this important company to transition from a domestically focused traditional company into a significant internationally focussed, innovative business. Its success will contribute to our broader aim of enhancing Ireland's innovation profile and creating high-value jobs," commented Enterprise Ireland's chief executive Frank Ryan.

Thanks to for this story!

Prometric create jobs in Dundalk

Test development and delivery solutions provider Prometric has announced 32 jobs at its new headquarters in Dundalk, Co Louth.

The new jobs are to begin in January at the company's test development solutions operational headquarters in the Finnabair Industrial Estate in Dundalk.

“Last month we announced our decision to locate in Ireland, and now we look forward to opening our facility with a new team who will be instrumental to our growth strategies for innovation,” said Prometric’s president and CEO Michael Brannick.

“Partnering with local companies and suppliers, including Lafferty, Structure Tone and Bushells, has helped us achieve our aggressive deadlines to establish a base for our test development global operations.”

Prometric now employees 50 people in Ireland and expects that number to increase to 150 over the next two to three years. The company plans to focus on bringing new methodologies, technologies and standards to improve test development economics.

For support with CVs, Resumes, Cover Letters, Application Forms and Interview Prep, head to the Words Worth Reading Ltd website.

Brought to us by Silicon

First Fictions festival launched

Starting on 20 January, the independent, Sussex-based publisher's new festival celebrates first novels

A weekend of events taking place at the University of Sussex, First Fictions will look at various aspects of first novels from Jane Austen to those as yet unwritten. Participating writers include Nicholas Royle and Ian Rankin. The festival will also include the announcement of the winner of Myraid Editions' first-ever compettion for a first graphic novel in progress. The winning author or team will have their work published by Myriad Editions in 2013.


'Women in Publishing' Winner Announced

Leila Dewji, who set up Acorn Independent Press with her brother Ali just over a year ago, has won Women in Publishing's New Venture Award

Acorn is a digital-age self-publishing company which provides editorial, design and publication services including ebook conversion, marketing and PR. Acorn also launched the first Bromley Literature Festival, a community event which innovatively showcased Acorn authors.

'This has been a crazy year,' said Leila. 'We've worked very hard to get Acorn off the ground. When you start a new business you never quite know how your first year is going to go, especially in an emerging market, but we've had lots of lovely surprises and built relationships with some amazing authors and agents alike. This is the perfect way to round off our first year.'

CQC looks for improvements at Sheffield Hospital

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have told Alpha Hospitals (NW) Limited in Sheffield that it is not meeting essential standards and that it must improve.

Inspectors have found that the psychiatric hospital is failing to comply with seven of the government’s standards of quality and safety. By law, providers of health and care services must ensure that they are meeting all standards.

CQC has given the provider, Alpha Hospitals (NW) Limited, 14 days to produce plans to show how it intends to achieve compliance.

Inspectors visited the hospital in November as part of their routine schedule of planned reviews. They spoke to staff and patients on all three wards.

The report, published on the CQC website, highlights two main areas of concern:

Care and welfare of people who use services:

Inspectors concluded that patients were not always receiving safe and effective care, and their needs were not always met. One patient had been prescribed a particular medication - but it was not available when she needed it.

Inspectors said that there were some rules in place within the hospital that appeared to be unnecessarily restrictive. All patients were subject to a physical search when leaving and returning to a rehabilitation ward, and each patient's room was routinely searched on a monthly basis. Some patients had complained about the search procedures.

Safeguarding people who use services from abuse:

Inspectors found that patients were not always safeguarded from abuse or the risk of abuse. There was evidence that some incidents and allegations within the hospital had not been referred to the local authority safeguarding team as required. Staff lacked accurate knowledge and understanding of safeguarding referral procedures.

CQC has also indentified concerns with five other standards:

  • The provider does not have adequate arrangements in place for patients to practise their faith.
  • Patient's health and welfare needs are not always met as there are not sufficient numbers of the right staff.
  • Patients do not always benefit from safe, quality care because effective assessment and monitoring of care does not take place.
  • Patients do not always have their comments and complaints listened to or addressed effectively.
  • Patients's personal records are not always accurate or fit for purpose.

Jo Dent, Regional Director of CQC for Yorkshire and Humberside, said:

"Patient's views about the treatment they received at Alpha Sheffield were mixed. While some patients told us that they liked the staff and felt that they did a good job, others found there were too many rules in place.

“We have particular concerns about the hospital's arrangements for dealing with safeguarding concerns. None of the staff that we spoke with understood the procedure for referring safeguarding concerns to the local authority.

“When we checked records relating to incidents of restraint, we were told of two occasions where the patient had been administered rapid tranquilisation, but a doctor had not been called in. No one could explain why. Patients' complaints were investigated by the provider, but they were not referred to the local authority as they should have been.

"We have asked the hospital to provide a report that says what action they are going to take. We will continue to monitor Alpha Hospitals (NW) closely and will return to check that improvements have been made."

For support with CQC registration and compliance, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd website.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Information Governance Transition Guidance

A series of documents forming transition guidance for NHS bodies has emerged from discussions at Board meetings about the proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill and feedback to the NIGB (National Information Governance Board) from healthcare and information governance professionals about the changes that were being implemented in anticipation of legislative changes.

The guidance is intended to support organisations in maintaining good information governance during the transition to new organisational structures. Its purpose is to identify information governance issues and risks, understand their potential impact and provide guidance on how they can be addressed.

The NIGB recognises the need to be responsive in times of change and therefore welcomes feedback.

The guidance can be downloaded from

Latest WWRL newsletter out now

Fancy a little read this chilly Monday morning?

Take a look at the December edition of the Words Worth Reading Ltd Newsletter! This month we look at the Guardian versus the Care Quality Commission, and the latest from the Costa Book Awards...

Find us at!

Animation company to create 30 new jobs in Ireland

An award-winning Irish animation production company is to create 30 new jobs.

Kavaleer Animations said they needed to create the new positions "to keep up with their international workload".

The jobs will be added throughout 2012.

Kavaleer has worked with Sesame Street, Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt and Disney.

CEO and Founder Andrew Kavanagh said: "It’s amazing to think that what started out in 1998 as a hobby has developed into something this big over the past decade."

Kavaleer is twice nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award, a British Animation Award and has won four Digital Media Awards. Their film work has been selected by over 100 international festivals over the past 10 years.

Kavaleer co-produced (with Belfast’s Straandlooper Productions) a preschool series called 'Lifeboat Luke' which was set in and around the small fictional seaside community of Donaghadoo.

This was followed by their own pre-school series aired on RTÉ Junior 'Garth and Bev', a cartoon about time-travelling siblings who lived long ago in harmony with nature.

The series has been sold to a number of territories including the UK (CBeebies), China, Portugal, America and Australia.
Fancy applying? Take a look at Words Worth Reading Ltd's Resume, Application Form, Cover Letter, and Interview Support services

Thanks to for this little story!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

CQC releases guide on whistleblowing

The Care Quality Commission's quick guide has been written for health and care professionals that need to raise a concern about their workplace. It gives helpful advice on speaking out about poor care and what protection individuals will have from the law if they do.

Download the quick guide from to find out more about whistleblowing and what happens after you contact the CCQ.

The Care Quality Commission's had support from various organisations including the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in developing the guide and telling NHS staff about it. They will be working with the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work to target social care providers and their staff.

More about whistleblowing

If you have a concern about your place of work, the first thing you should do is speak to your line manager or other management. If however, you feel unable to, then you can follow your own organisation’s whistleblowing policy or contact the Care Quality Commission instead.

All whistleblowing concerns are logged and tracked by the CQC's trained team in their Customer Services Centre. Your information will be passed to the local inspector for your service who will decide what to do next.

You can raise concerns anonymously but this means that the CQC won’t be able to get in touch or give you any feedback about the action they have taken.

Cynthia Bower, Chief Executive of CQC, says, "Health and care professionals have a responsibility to raise concerns if they believe that patients or people who use services are being put at risk. The first course of action should be to raise these concerns within your organisation - but if you feel unable to, or if your voice is not being heard, there are other options open to you."

Second Mental Health Act Report is published by the CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published their second annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA). The report, which covers the year up to March 2011, puts a strong emphasis on a renewed call for better care for patients whose rights have been restricted under the MHA.

Since the CQC's formation in April 2009, they have been responsible for monitoring the use of the MHA in relation to those patients detained in hospital or receiving supervised community treatment. They publish a report every year using the findings of their MHA Commissioners, who visit wards and meet with patients to ensure that the legal powers are being used correctly.

This year’s report highlights:

  • Lack of patient involvement in the care planning process
  • Patients' capacity to consent was, in some cases, assumed too readily by doctors
  • Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) and the legal powers available to providers are widely misunderstood, even among mental health professionals
  • Examples of unnecessary restrictions placed on patients such as denying access to the internet or their rooms and listening to their phone calls.

The report, along with summaries of key findings, is available now on the CQC's website (

Young writer looks set to break a world record

Eleven-year-old author Talal Al Zaber has not only achieved publication with his book Anthony's Adventures but he's also looking to earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the 'youngest science-fiction writer in the world'.

Anthony's Adventures follows a young boy on his travels in space, and involves meetings with aliens and a mission to save the Earth. The book was published in 2010 by the Saki Publishing Club in his native Bangladesh. The young writer now lives in Luton and was inspired to write by his passion for science, sci-fi and reading books from his local library.

The book ends with a cliff-hanger and Talal already has plans for Anthony's Adventures to become a series.

Why not write your own science fiction story? Words Worth Reading Ltd can help you every step of the way!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Patient Surveys: Intrinsically linked to CQC compliance

The Secretary of State for Health has asserted that ‘nobody wants to be in a position where they treat patients but don’t know what results they achieve’. In response the NHS outcomes framework puts patient surveys at the centre of how quality of care will be measured in the NHS.

Patient surveys provide feedback which enables providers of health care to evaluate patient views, learn from them and improve the levels of satisfaction and experience that their services deliver and the reputation they build. In its early publications on the authorisation process for the emerging GP led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) the department of health has identified the ‘meaningful engagement with patients, carers and their communities’ as a key assessment area. This should include ‘mechanisms for gaining a broad range of views then analysing and acting on these. It should be evident how the views of individual patients and how the voice of each practice population will be sought and acted on’.

Patient surveys are not new. They have been used in the health service sector for many years. However the NHS outcomes framework emphasis is on how the surveys can be used to improve future performance in the delivery of quality of care. This in turn directly impacts on the levels of patient satisfaction and experience.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), in its role of improving the standards of health and social care, approves and regulates individual providers – both new and existing – against a set of core standards. This includes ensuring that the views of patients, their carers and others are sought and taken into account in designing, planning, delivering and improving healthcare services. The vehicle of choice in this and other area of the core standards, as emphasised in the operating framework, is the patient survey.

On its own the use of the patient survey is insufficient to demonstrate compliance. The survey gathers the data. The analysis and subsequent actions that result from the analysis is what demonstrates compliance to the CQC and other regulatory bodies. This involves an in depth knowledge and practical hands on experience in the management and manipulation of data and the ability to produce well structured, articulated and meaningful reports.

With its has many years of analytical and report creation for health care services and a proven track record in working with organisations to help them achieve CQC and other regulatory compliance status, Words Worth Reading is well placed to provide a survey to solution service for all would be and current providers of health care.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Job expansion for airline staff in Ireland

ABU Dhabi-based airline Etihad has recorded its strongest-ever forward bookings for its service from Ireland -- even as rival Emirates gears up to compete with it in January.

Etihad's head of HR, Ray Gammell, said the airline competes with Dubai-based Emirates "all over the world" and said he believed Etihad's presence here over the past four years has embedded the brand in Ireland, particularly via its GAA sponsorship.

Mr Gammell was speaking as Etihad holds an open recruitment day in Dublin today. The airline will hold further recruitment days in Cork and Belfast early next year and reckons it could hire as many as 200 staff as a result. It's seeking to fill vacancies for pilots, cabin crew and management roles

Most of the positions will be based in Abu Dhabi and the airline already employs 90 people in Dublin, in ground crew and line maintenance. Etihad flies 10 times a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi.

It expects between 65pc and 75pc of its passengers to be transiting onwards to Asia and Australia. About 70pc of Etihad's traffic from Dublin is transiting to those destinations. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are just an hour's drive apart.

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Knitwear company announces new jobs in Ireland

A craft and knitwear company has announced the creation of 150 jobs in Westport, Co Mayo.

Carraig Donn Ltd says it has been able to expand its operations due to the growth of its export markets and the development of its online retail sales.

The family-run craft business started in 1965, when the late Padraic and Maire Hughes and their 13 children began producing knitwear for the tourist market.

Now the company is a market leader in the field employing 300 people.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described Carraig Donn as an outstanding example of an indigenous Irish family business which has become a major international success story.

He said it was particularly significant because it married traditional skills with the growing online market for Irish fashion and craftwear.

Director Vincent Hughes said the traditional market, which had shrunk in recent times, has begun to grow again especially in the US and there is a big demand for handmade craft and fashion wear.

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Information on London GPs now available

The public and patients in London are now able to access information about how their GP are performing against a set of agreed standards. The 22 standards, developed by NHS London, with London wide Local Medical Committees working with doctors, nurses, GP staff, NHS managers and the public, include such things as childhood immunisations, cervical screening and patient satisfaction.

London is the first city to bring a set of standards for GP practices that represent the minimum patients should expect from their GPs. The transparency the system provides will enable patients to find out how their GPs are performing against the standards and for GPs to be able to see how they compare with their colleagues in order to drive continual improvements in primary care.

Each GP practice will have its own webpage which can be customised to showcase their work and keep the public informed of clinics and services, as well as enabling patients to provide feedback. Patient groups can also get involved by providing information about support groups and services which can be publicised on the webpages. Practices which already have websites can create a link to the page.

For help and support with your performance analysis, speak to the Words Worth Reading Ltd healthcare team today.