Thursday, 29 January 2015

Mark Zuckerberg's 'A Year of Books'

The billionaire Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, started a book club 'A Year of Books' on 2nd January this year. So far, the club has had over 250,000 likes.

Zuckerberg has invited others to read a new book every fortnight, the books chosen are about other cultures, beliefs and history. Some of the authors will take part in an online discussion on the Facebook page.

Image: Ian Wilson, Flickr

The January edition of the Words Worth Reading Ltd newsletter is now available to download

The January edition of the Words Worth Reading Ltd newsletter is now available to download.
We would like to wish all of our customers a very happy new year.  We start the year with some exciting news; we will be relaunching our bid writing service, tailoring it to focus specifically on independent healthcare services and the voluntary sector. We have also been busy this month helping our healthcare clients to prepare for their Information Governance audits and submissions.
To get the latest news about business, healthcare, writing, student life, and to find out what the Words Worth Reading Ltd team have been up to, download this month's newsletter from our website by clicking here.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Chocolate Frog competition for Schools!

Bloomsbury has launched a competition for schools to win a workshop with Harry Potter jacket illustrator Jonny Duddle as part of Harry Potter Book Night, which will take place on the 5th February.

To win the workshop, pupils must design a new "chocolate frog" card. The cards, which feature moving pictures of famous wizards and witches, are a feature of the novels, making their first appearance in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, where they are given away with chocolate frog confectionery.

The winning pupil will also receive a hardback set of the new editions of Harry Potter and a signed Jonny Duddle print. Six runners-up will win a paperback set of the books and a signed print.

More details are on the website and the closing date for entries is the 6th February.

More than 8,500 groups, including bookshops, schools and community groups, have signed up to take part in Harry Potter Book Night by downloading a pack of games and activities.

In the UK, the Reading Agency’s Chatterbooks reading groups are hosting an event, as are 240 Brownies and 80 Girl Guides groups.

Waterstones Picadilly is hosting a party with Duddle, writers Damian Kelleher and Laura Dockrill, and the team behind the online fan site Pottermore.

Story source:

Charity’s social care scorecard outlines “calamitous” cuts to older people’s care

Older social care is in “calamitous, quite rapid decline” according to Age UK, a leading charity which has drawn together existing figures to provide an overall picture of the system.

Age UK has brought together and analysed the previously published figures and research on social care spending and the number of older people receiving care, to create what is being referred to as a social care “scorecard”.

Age UK’s charity director, Caroline Abrahams said she believed the scorecard laid bare the “devastating” realities of the state of the care system, by pulling together stark figures from 22 separate datasets.

She said: “Policymakers owe it to the public, older people especially, to confront the crisis in social care and its consequences.

“Above all, this scorecard makes clear that for any policymaker to acknowledge the need for investment in the NHS while omitting to mention social care is not good enough.”

To read the full story, please see the website:

Increasing numbers of vulnerable people protected

More people than ever before are being protected by Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, part of the Mental Capacity Act that protects the rights of adults in care homes and hospitals who lack mental capacity to make decisions about their care.

In a report published today, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) look at the implementation of the safeguards since they were introduced in 2009. Applications to use the safeguards over this period rose from 7,200 in the first year, to 13,000 in the year ending in March 2014. The report also shows how this rise has increased significantly since March 2014 when the Supreme Court clarified that a person lacking mental capacity to consent is deprived of their liberty if they are both not free to leave, and under continuous supervision and control.

The CQC welcome this rise in applications as it shows willingness among providers to protect the rights of individuals, and encourages external scrutiny of their care when a vulnerable person might be deprived of their liberty.

The CQC's recommendations from the report are:
  • Local authorities continue to consider the use of advocacy for all those subject to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
  • Local authority leads for the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards create good working relationships with their local coroners. This is likely to be of great benefit to ensure that a consistent message is given to providers and so that they can work together in dealing with the considerable extra activity as a result of the Supreme Court judgment.
  • Local authorities and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) providers work together to enable IMCAs to carry out their role to support the person or their unpaid Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) to challenge an authorisation to the Court of Protection when it is the person’s wish, whatever the IMCA’s views on the rightness of the authorisation.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on the London Welbeck Hospital, Marylebone

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has published his findings on the standards of treatment and care provided by the London Welbeck Hospital, Marylebone, following a Care Quality Commission inspection in October.

The hospital, in Welbeck Street, is one of the first independent hospitals to be inspected under CQC’s new methodology which asks whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well led.

Findings from the inspection have been published on the CQC website:

CQC found that staff were caring and treated patients and their relatives with dignity and respect. Patients who spoke to inspectors were positive about their care and treatment.

Admissions were organised in a timely way which led to minimal delays for patients, and where complaints had been made these had been handled in a timely way. Staff were encouraged to develop professionally, and staff spoke positively about the support they received from management.
CQC also found, however, that the hospital was not monitoring outcomes for patients who had undergone elective surgery. Procedures and treatments were not reviewed against national clinical guidelines, and while patients received information about their treatment there was no evidence that this was referenced to best practice.

The provider, Welbeck Health Care Limited, did not have a documented vision and clinical strategy to support innovation and the growth of the service.

CQC identified two areas where the trust must make improvements:
  • The hospital must ensure there are arrangements in place for the care of level one patients and ensure all staff are aware of these arrangements.
  • The hospital must consider the risks of anaesthetic assistants drawing up anaesthetic drugs before the theatre list commences, taking into account best practice.
CQC also identified an area of outstanding practice. Inspectors noted that the quality of the hospital’s response to patient complaints was of a high standard.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“People deserve to receive treatment and care which is safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs, and well led.

“When we inspected the London Welbeck Hospital, we saw that staff were caring and compassionate in their dealings with patients, and patients praised the treatment and care that they received. We also, saw, however, that some improvements were needed.

“We will return in due course to check that those improvements have been made.”

The Ridgeway, Romford, rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission has rated the quality of care provided by The Ridgeway, a supported living service in Romford, Essex, as Outstanding.

The Ridgeway, which provides supported living services and support with personal care to people with learning disabilities and complex needs, is one of the first care services to receive the top rating under CQC’s new approach to inspection.

During an unannounced inspection of the service, run by Care Management Group, in July, CQC found that staff had the skills, knowledge and experience they needed to support people effectively. This included understanding their communication needs and supporting them to make choices about the food they wanted to eat and the activities they wanted to take part in.

People told inspectors that they were supported to be independent, and inspectors saw that they were active in the local community. Everyone living at the service had been supported to find part time employment. Some were also involved in local volunteering, including campaigning on learning disability issues. The provider organised social events which brought together people living at the service and their friends and relatives.

People living at the service told inspectors that staff understood their needs, listened to them, and made them feel valued. Care plans were detailed, and people and their relatives were involved in making decisions about the support they received. People and their relatives knew the management team and told us they would feel comfortable raising concerns if they needed to. Staff told us their managers were approachable.

A full report has been published on the CQC website today:

Sally Warren, Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care in London, said:

“We found that The Ridgeway was providing an outstanding service to people it supported and the team there should be extremely proud of the work they do.

“What really struck us about this service was the level of personalised support that people received, from staff who had the right skills and who treated people with great kindness. People told us they liked the staff who supported them, and one relative told us the care that their loved one received was second to none.

“People should always be cared for by services that are safe, effective, caring, responsive to their needs, and well led. I’d encourage other providers to read this report, and the others we have published on services we have rated Outstanding, to see what they can learn.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said:

“The quality of care which our inspectors found here was outstanding and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the achievements of this service.

“An outstanding service is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment. I would like to thank and congratulate everyone involved.”

Source: Press Release,

Monday, 19 January 2015

CQC's commitment to equality in the workplace recognised by Stonewall

Leading gay, lesbian and bisexual rights charity Stonewall has recognised CQC's commitment to equality in the workplace by placing it in the top 100 UK employers in the Stonewall Equality Workplace index for the first time.

The top 100 list is based on the results of Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index 2015, the eleventh published by the charity. The index is based on a range of key indicators which include a confidential questionnaire of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, with over 9,700 participants. This consistently revealed that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall's Top 100 exhibited higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty. CQC has been placed 94 in the index, a rise of 17 places from a ranking of 111 last year. Over 800 employers took part in the index.

David Behan, Chief Executive of CQC said:
"We know that people perform better when they can be themselves. Staff who can be open about themselves are more likely to enjoy going to work, form honest relationships with colleagues, will be more confident and, ultimately, more productive. This is as true for us as it is for the services we regulate. I have no doubt  that people who are comfortable at work will deliver better care.

"We are pleased to have progressed and been named in Stonewall's top 100. This outcome reflects a sustained programme of work and continued activity around the LGBT agenda by our network and senior leadership within the Commission. I want to thank all involved for their continued hard work."

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and senior sponsor for the LGBT Network in CQC, said:
"I am incredibly proud of the continued activity by the network to promote the LGBT agenda. Equality, diversity and human rights are at the heart of everything we do as a regulator.

"In a world where two thirds of LGBT people who go into care go back into the closet when they do, our work in promoting  LGBT equality becomes more important than ever."

John Scott, chair of CQC's LGBT network, said:
"As a network, and as an organisation, we've worked incredibly hard to promote equal rights in CQC, and making it into the top 100 is testament to that. We'll keep working hard to make CQC an even better employer for LGBT staff in the future."

Simon Feeke, Director of Workplace Programmes at Stonewall, said:
"The Care Quality Commission and every single employer who secured a position on the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2015 list performed remarkably this year. Competition has never been fiercer and the new criteria this year has pushed all of the Top 100 to work harder than ever before."

For further information on the Workplace Equality Index visit,  or follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook using #WEI2015.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals asks people to tell him about the care provided by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the services provided by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the trust.
The trust is being inspected and given an overall rating under radical changes which have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission and it will be given an overall rating as a result of the inspection. The formal inspection of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will start on 11 February 2015.

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced last year that he will lead significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical and other experts including trained members of the public.

To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will hold a listening event at the following venue on Tuesday, 10 February 2015:
  • Oasis Wellness Centre, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, PO6 3LY at 6:30pm
People are being encouraged to attend the listening events to tell the team about their experiences of care from the past year and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future as well as find out more about the inspection.

Sir Mike said:

"The new inspections are designed to provide people with a clear picture of the quality of the services in their local hospital, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting the many hospitals providing good and excellent care.

"We know there is too much variation in quality – these new in-depth inspections will allow us to get a much more detailed picture of care in hospitals than ever before.

"Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, hospital managers and patients at the trust. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have received care at the trust, or anyone who wants to share information with us. This will help us plan our inspection, and so help us focus on the things that really matter to people who depend on this service.

"This is your opportunity to tell the team what you think, and make a difference to the NHS services in the local area."

Sir Mike's inspection team is expected to look in detail at eight key service areas: A&E; medical care (including frail elderly); surgery; intensive/critical care; maternity; paediatrics/children’s care; end of life care; and outpatients.

A full report of the inspectors’ findings will be published by the Care Quality Commission later in the year. The trust will be one of the first to be given one of the following ratings: Outstanding, Good, Requires improvement, Inadequate.

Special measures to help GPs improve

Under proposals announced by the CQC on the 15th January 15, all GP practices rated Inadequate by CQC inspectors will be placed in special measures and offered support to help them improve.

The CQC has been working with NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners to develop a pilot programme of intensive support for those  practices they've placed in special measures. They have now updated their plans for how they will deal with GP practices providing inadequate care and they are asking for feedback on their proposals before finalising their approach for April 2015.

The CQC began rating GP practices in October 2014. They are proposing that when they rate a practice Inadequate overall that it will automatically be placed in special measures. This will give the practice access to a package of support from NHS England. If its rating has not improved within a year, they will cancel its registration. When this happens, NHS England will ensure that patients of the practice will still have access to GP services.

The CQC first announced that they were introducing a special measures regime for GP practices in August 2014. Since then, they have been working with their partners to develop their approach and test it in early GP inspections.

Special measures will work alongside the CQC's existing powers. If they have serious concerns about a GP practice, they will take immediate action to make sure people get safe, high-quality and compassionate care.

Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2015

It has been announced that The Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2015 will take place in Melbourne, Australia, in partnership with the University of Melbourne.

The flagship conference, which brings together senior university, government and industry leaders in one of the most prestigious gatherings in the world, will take place from 30 September to 2 October 2015. It will feature the exclusive launch of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.

Phil Baty, editor at large and Rankings editor for Times Higher Education, said: “Not only is Melbourne one of the greatest cities in the world, it is also home to one of the greatest universities in the world. The University of Melbourne is consistently ranked as the number one university in Australia, and it is of course a real leader in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. So we have the perfect setting, and the perfect host, to build on the success of our 2013 World Academic Summit in Singapore.

“The summit brings together outstanding global thought leaders from industry, government, higher education and research to explore the fundamental role that world-class universities play in pushing the boundaries of our collective understanding and fuelling the future knowledge economy. The event offers unparalleled opportunities to network, share experience and set the agenda for the global future of higher education and research,” said Mr Baty.

He added: “I am particularly pleased to be hosting the launch of the 2015-16 THE World University Rankings exclusively at the Melbourne summit. The global rankings have never been more prominent in global higher education strategy and the summit will be a unique opportunity to engage with the data, to unpick the methodology and to examine the results’ trends at the very moment of their worldwide release.”

Glyn Davis, the University of Melbourne’s vice-chancellor, said: “Melbourne prides itself on its position as a knowledge city, so it is only fitting that THE would choose our city as the first Australian city to hold its summit.

“Repeatedly ranked as the World’s Most Liveable City, Melbourne will provide an ideal backdrop for industry leaders to meet to consider global issues in higher education and research and to forge or renew partnerships with leading institutions,” he said.


Radio 2's 500 Words story-writing competition is back!

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show’s 500 Words story-writing competition returns to Radio 2 for a fifth year in 2015.

500 WORDS asks children aged 13 and under up and down the UK to put pen to paper to compose an original work of fiction using no more than 500 words.

Children will be able to submit their stories via the entry form on the 500 WORDS website at Detals of how to submit stories and how to become a volunteer judge were discussed on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show this morning.

The competion promotes literacy among children, encouraging them to explore their creativity through writing and reading, providing them with a wealth of tips from published writers and other resources to support their learning.

As well as these online tips and tools, Radio 2 will be beaming 500 WORDS into classrooms around the country, as Chris Evans will be holding a special Story Laboratory which will be available to watch on the website from Thursday 22nd January at 8:15am.

Every single story submitted will be read by a brilliant, book-loving army of librarians and teachers from around the UK. The Reading Agency are back on board, to shortlist the Top 50, and the competition's panel of best-selling authors return to Radio 2 HQ in early May to pick three medal winners in two categories: 5 - 9 years old; and 10-13 years old.

The top 50 authors will all be invited to the 500 WORDS Final on Friday 29 May to hear the winners announced live on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New article for download on website

The Words Worth Reading Ltd team have added a number of new articles to our free downloadable articles section of the website. The latest to be added this January is a summary of the regulatory responsibilities held by the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC). The article expands further on the four principle responsibilities of the NMC, namely;

1. Protecting the health and wellbeing of the public.

2. Setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses and midwives.

3. Ensuring that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date, and uphold the professional standards of the NMC.

4. Implementing clear and transparent processes to investigate nurses and midwives who fall short of the NMC's standards.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Poetry development scheme: Faber New Poets 2014 / 15

Applications are invited from emerging poets for the scheme, which includes pamphlet publication, mentoring and financial support

The Faber New Poets scheme, run by Faber and Faber with Arts Council England, exists to encourage new writers at a crucial point in their career. It is open to unagented poets who have yet to publish a first collection or pamphlet. Four new poets will be offered the opportunity to develop their work under the scheme.

To apply, poets should submit 16 A4 pages of poems and a cover sheet including confirmation that the poet has not yet published a pamphlet or first collection. Only email submissions will be accepted.

The closing date is 30 January.

Story source:

Win books for school with World Book Day

James Patterson has donated £50,000 to the new World Book Day Award, which offers schools the chance to win books

The award will be split over two years. This year, the winning school will receive £10,000 of books to transform their libraries. The second prize winner will receive £5,000 of books, and three runners up will each win £3,000 of books.

Each school may submit one entry, which should be a response to the statement 'why we can't live without books.'

‘Far too many children are in danger of living their lives without books,' said James Patterson.

'Reading is one of the building blocks of life and can take you to another world. It only takes one good book to create a lifelong reader – even kids that have trouble reading can usually find something they gobble up. World Book Day is a brilliant way to introduce kids to new stories and authors.

‘Right now we need places where kids can go and talk about books – and libraries are those places. Children have a fundamental right to libraries in schools and a right to access to books that will interest them.’

The closing date is 30 January.

Crime writing competition

The CWA's prestigious competition for new crime writers is open for entries until 31 January

The Debut Dagger is aimed at writers who have not previously had a full-length novel published commercially.

The first prize is £700, and although winning the CWA Debut Dagger is not a guarantee of publication, agents and publishers have signed more than two dozen winners and shortlisted entrants in the 15 years of its existence.

Entrants should submit the opening of a crime novel up to 3,000 words and a synopsis.

There is a fee of £25 per entry. The closing date is 31 January.


Writing Edinbugh - a new writing competition

The Palimpsest project is running a competition for work inspired by Edinburgh

Writers are invited to create a piece of prose fiction inspired by Edinburgh's rich literary history and/or its geography and urban development, with the starting point being a map or a text. All styles and genres are acceptable, but each submission must be prose fiction under 3,000 words.
One winner will receive £250 and their work will be published online as part of the Palimpsest project, which is a collaboration between literary scholars, computer scientists and information visualisation scholars to create an interactive website exploring the multi-layered literary city.

There isn't an entry fee attached to the competition and the deadline for submissions is the 30th January 2015.

Story source:

Sunday, 11 January 2015

NMC to introduce model of revalidation by end of 2015

In order to further enhance public protection, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will be introducing a model of revalidation across 2015. A variety of stakeholder engagement events have been held across the UK to enable the NMC to do this effectively.

Revalidation is the process by which nurses and midwives will be required to demonstrate how they are continuing to remain fit to practice. Revalidation will take place every three years, at the point at which a nurse or midwife would normally renew their registration with the NMC.

This revalidation approach aims to protect the public, increase public confidence in nurses and midwives, and help those on the NMC register meet the standards set by the Council.

The revalidation process will demand that nurses and midwives declare that they have practiced for 450 hours throughout the last three years and that they have completed the required amount of continuing professional development (CPD). These CPD requirements will be reviewed, and the definition of suitable CPD activity is still to be clarified.

In addition, revalidation will require that a nurse or midwife receives third party confirmation that they are fit to practice. Nurses and midwives will also be required to show that they are reflecting and learning from feedback received, in order to improve or confirm personal practice.

The NMC states that they aim to make the revalidation process flexible so that it applies to all nurses and midwives in all scopes of practice.

Source, NMC wesbite

Nursing and midwifery rules, standards and guidance updates from the NMC

There have been a number of important updates to guidance issued by the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) which have an impact on nurses and midwives, in terms of ensuring that these professionals continue to meet the requirements of practice. Updated guidance are listed below:

Raising concerns: Guidance for nurses and midwives (2010). Revised and accredited by the Plain English Campaign. Now also available in Welsh.

Standards for the preparation of supervisors of midwives (2014).

Standards and guidance on the requirements for those who first apply for registration more than five years after being awarded an approved qualification (2014).

Quality assurance framework for nursing and midwifery education (2013).

All latest updates can be found at

Friday, 9 January 2015

Prudhoe Medical Group is rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Prudhoe Medical Group in Prudhoe, Northumberland to be Outstanding following an inspection carried out in October 2014.

Inspectors found that the practice was providing an innovative, caring, effective, responsive and well-led service that meets the needs of the population it serves.

A full report of the inspection has been published today:

Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, all England’s GP practices are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The report on Prudhoe Medical Group highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice, including:

Individual care plans had been developed for 160 patients and a screening programme to detect early signs of dementia had been in place for two years.

The practice used computerised tools to specifically identify those patients with complex needs so that staff could ensure their needs were appropriately met.

Inspectors saw excellent examples of close working partnerships with other health and social care professionals, which included multidisciplinary team meetings twice a month to discuss the needs of high risk patients, for example those with end of life care needs.

The practice proactively reached out to the local community. For example GPs working at the practice, in partnership with the practice’s Patient Participation Group, had held awareness raising events for the public to highlight the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

There was an open culture within the practice and staff were actively encouraged to raise concerns and suggestions for improvement. There was a strong working ethic of collaboration and support across the staff team as a whole and a common focus on improving outcomes for patients.

Sue McMillan, Deputy Chief Inspector of General Practice in the North said:

“It is clear that Prudhoe Medical Group is providing an effective and well led service which is a real asset to the people living in this part of the North East.

“Feedback from patients was overwhelmingly positive and many commented that staff went above and beyond their level of duty.

“We found that the practice displayed an excellent understanding of the differing needs of their patients and acted on these needs in the planning and delivery of its services.

“Staff demonstrated a commitment to help support patients to live healthier lives and drive continuous improvements in the outcomes for patients.

“All of this hard work pays off in making a real difference for their patients – which is why we have found this practice to be Outstanding.”

CQC warns Sue Ryder that they must improve standards of care at Sue Ryder – Birchley Hall

The Care Quality Commission has formally warned Sue Ryder stating that they must make urgent improvements at Sue Ryder – Birchley Hall in Billinge, Lancashire.

The warning follows an unannounced visit by inspectors to the care home on 17 September 2014 which was carried out to follow up on improvements required at a previous inspection. Inspectors found that the residential home was failing to provide care which was safe, effective, responsive or well led; and all four of the national standards reviewed by the inspection team were not being met.
A full report detailing the findings from the inspection has been published on the CQC website this week.

Inspectors identified a number of concerns, for example:

The care home did not have suitable arrangements in place for obtaining the consent of people to the care and treatment provided for them.

People living at the home had not been involved in making decisions about their care and treatment options, and information about people’s personal preferences was not always included in their care plans.

People’s privacy and dignity were not always respected and people who were living with a dementia were not supported to make independent choices about how they wished to spend their day or what food they would like to eat.

Care plans were not being regularly updated to reflect people’s changing needs. This meant that staff could not accurately care for residents whose requirements had developed.

The service did not have an appropriate or effective system in place to monitor or access the quality of service that people receive. There was no consistent managerial presence at the service.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North said:

“We found the care provided at Sue Ryder Birchley Hall fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide. We have told the home that they must take action to address the issues we identified.

"While staff demonstrated a kind attitude and many people living at the home and their relatives told us they were happy with the care they received, we saw that people’s care was not being planned effectively and actions were not being taken to deliver care that met people’s assessed needs.

"The residents receiving care at Sue Ryder – Birchley Hall are entitled to receive services which are safe, effective, compassionate, well led, and responsive to their needs and it is unacceptable, that the provider has allowed standards at the home to deteriorate in this way.

"We are monitoring Sue Ryder – Birchley Hall very closely in liaison with the local authority to ensure that people receiving care are not at risk of immediate harm, and we will return in due course to check that improvements have been made.”

CQC requires immediate action to improve the standards at Harriets care home

In a report published today, CQC inspectors identified a number of repeated concerns following an inspection of Harriets care home based in Workington.

The inspection was carried out in November 2014 in order to follow up on improvements required at a previous visit in August 2014.

At this latest inspection CQC found improvements had been made to ensure the safe administration of medication, however concerns remained in relation to care and welfare, cleanliness and infection control and the provider’s ability to assess and monitor the quality of service.

Overall, inspectors found that the care home was still failing to provide care which was safe, effective, responsive or well led.

A full report detailing the findings from the inspection has been published on the CQC website this week.

Inspectors concerns included:

Care plans were poor. There were gaps in the records to tell staff how to meet people’s individual needs, and in some cases instructions included in care plans were not being followed. Risk assessments for people living in the home had not been reviewed and updated following incidents and injuries.

Robust and effective systems were not in place to ensure the prevention and control of infection. A recent outbreak of an infectious illness had placed people living at the home and staff at risk.

Appropriate cleaning materials were not available and a corporate policy for decontamination of the home could not be located upon the inspection team’s request.

The service did not have an effective system to monitor the quality of service being provided.
Debbie Westhead, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North said:

“We found the care provided at Harriets fell a long way short of what we expect services to provide. We have told the home that they must take action to address the issues we identified.

“While we did see some caring interactions between staff and people living in the home, the poor standards of care planning and safety issues we identified needed urgent attention. "The residents receiving care from Harriets are entitled to receive services which are safe, effective, compassionate, well led, and responsive to their needs.

"We have shared our findings with Environmental Health and Public Health England, We are continuing to monitor Harriets very closely in liaison with the local authority to ensure that people receiving care are not at risk of immediate harm.

“We are considering the need for further action against the service– although we cannot discuss the nature of that action any further at this stage for legal reasons.”

Chief Inspector of Hospitals recommends Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust is placed in special measures following Care Quality Commission inspection

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust is placed in special measures after a Care Quality Commission inspection resulted in it receiving an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’.

The trust was judged as ‘Inadequate’ with regard to whether services were safe, caring and well-led. It was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ for whether services were effective and responsive.
Inspection teams had particular concerns about Accident and Emergency and medical care. Critical care, maternity and outpatients were all judged as good.

The inspection team included doctors, nurses, midwives, hospital managers, trained members of the public, and a variety of specialists.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said:

“We have given the trust an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’ and I have made a recommendation to the Trust Development Authority (TDA) that the trust is placed into special measures. We have informed the TDA of the breaches and it will make sure these are appropriately addressed and that progress is monitored through the special measures action plan.

“Our inspection at Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust highlighted a number of serious concerns, surrounding staffing and risks to patient safety particularly in the A&E department and medical care. There were substantial and frequent staff shortages in the A&E department. There were a number of other areas of concern, some of which related to the way in which the trust is led and run. This is the first time that CQC has rated a trust inadequate for ‘caring’.

“Our findings highlight the significant failings at Hinchingbrooke hospital. They are not a judgment on the role of the private sector in the NHS or on franchise arrangements. Where hospitals are failing to promote good care, we will say so regardless of who owns and runs them.

“Inspectors also found some examples of good practice at the trust, but changes are necessary and the trust faces a number of challenges to ensure it meets the required standards.

“We have told the trust what action it now needs to take.”

The inspection highlighted serious concerns and CQC has told the trust it must improve. The areas for improvement include:
  • Providing safe care for children in A&E. A lack of paediatric cover within the A&E department and theatres meant that the care of children in these departments was, at times, potentially unsafe.
  • Making sure call bells are answered promptly. In particular, we saw some patients who did not have call bells within reach; a patient told inspectors they had soiled themselves waiting for assistance. We were told that the response of nurses to call bells was routinely poor at night time.
  • Ensuring that patients’ had their food and drink needs were met. On the first day of our inspection we saw drinks out of reach of patients. We told staff, who moved the drinks closer, but the next day we saw the same problem.
  • Ensuring patients’ needs are met. Six patients told us they had experienced delays in receiving pain relief. They believed this was because there were not enough staff on duty.
  • Leadership. Both the Circle management team and the trust board told us that the other was responsible for holding the trust’s executive team to account.
  • We identified serious concerns on Apple Tree Ward. When we raised this with the ward leadership team, they did not wish to raise it to a higher level, or through their reporting of concerns. CQC inspectors informed the executive team of the concerns. In other parts of the hospital we found staff wishing to care for patients in the best way, but unable to raise concerns. One nurse told inspectors: “We are always told to do incident forms, but who has the time and nothing changes, therefore we don’t do them”. Staff said trust policies and procedures to protect patients and staff were not effective.
Inspectors found examples of good practice at the trust, including:
  • Good care in maternity and critical care which focused on patients’ needs and met national standards.
  • The support chaplaincy staff gave to patients and hospital staff was outstanding.
CQC inspectors and analysts spent five days at the hospitals in September 2014. The inspection included unannounced inspections on 21 and 28 September which followed three consecutive days of inspection from 16 September which had been announced. We undertook a further unannounced inspection on 2 January 2015. This showed improvements in some areas but further improvements are needed.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Publication of controversial novel is still to go ahead

The controversial new novel by Michel Houellebecq, which portrays a France where a fictional Muslim party wins the French election in 2022, will be released in the UK in September.
The book has been featured on the cover of this week’s Charlie Hebdo magazine. 
 In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on the French magazine which left 12 dead, publisher William Heinemann said that its “publishing plans remain unaltered” for the forthcoming English translation of Houellebecq’s book. 
Writers around the world, including Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk and Art Spiegelman, have condemned the violence, putting their names to a statement from PEN American Center which calls for renewed efforts to protect “those working on the front lines of free expression” and describes the attack as “an attempt to inhibit the free flow of ideas”. 
Source: The Guardian 
Image: Walt Stoneburner, Flickr

Latest reports on GP Practices published this week

The Care Quality Commission has published 50 reports on the quality of care provided by GP practices in different parts of the country.
Since the inspections by specialist teams, 42 of the practices have been rated as 'Good', one has been rated as 'Outstanding', and seven have been rated 'Requires Improvement'.
Under CQC’s new programme of inspections, all GP practices in England are being given a rating according to whether they are safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.
Image: Medill DC

The December edition of the Words Worth Reading Ltd newsletter is now available to download

The December edition of the Words Worth Reading Ltd newsletter is now available to download.
In the Words Worth Reading Ltd office, we have been getting into the spirit of Christmas by hosting a Christmas Jumper Day in aid of SMA Support and Save the Children. We have also been busy preparing for our healthcare client’s submissions to the IG Toolkit. We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  
To get the latest news about business, healthcare, jobs, writing, student life, and to find out what the Words Worth Reading Ltd team have been up to, download this month's newsletter from our website by clicking here. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Latest guidance from Monitor on complying with Integrated Care requirements

On the 5th January 2015, The Healthcare Regulator, Monitor, updated guidelines on complying with the requirements that focus on Integrated Care.

The guidelines assist providers and commissioners of healthcare services, and health and wellbeing boards to comply with their integrated care obligations.

The document also explains the relationship between these obligations and the other rules that Monitor enforces.

The document can be downloaded here

How new out-of-hours models could improve emergency care

Pressure on over-crowded A&E departments could be reduced if patients requiring out-of-hours urgent care were encouraged to see a GP based in or near the hospital first, according to Monitor.
(story taken from website)

'The regulator believes the NHS may be able to reduce attendances at A&E and provide better services for patients if it was able to adapt aspects of the model of out-of-hours emergency care used successfully by the public health service in Holland.

This is one of the suggestions from an investigation into how other comparable health systems overseas are meeting the challenge of delivering higher quality care at lower cost.

After studying aspects of healthcare in 7 other countries, Monitor concluded that no other single comparable system offered a way to deliver consistently higher quality care at lower cost than the NHS across the board. The NHS was the least expensive with spending per head per year at $3,659, significantly lower than the average of $6,087 for the countries Monitor studied.

However, the report identified that there are 3 specific service models in use abroad that might be able to offer benefits if used more widely by the NHS:
  • patients who need urgent treatment at night or weekends first contacting an out-of-hours GP, based in a specialist clinic that is often co-located with an A&E department. Fewer than half the number of patients per thousand (around 120 per year) in the Netherlands attend A&E compared with England (around 278 per year). This already happens, for example, in Cambridgeshire where patients undergo a triage from a qualified nurse and can access out-of-hours GP services, some of which are co-located in A&E.
  • a 3-tier network of maternity care with more structured links between maternity and paediatric services and agreed protocols for transfers. Under this approach the lowest-risk mothers-to-be give birth close to home, while higher-risk patients are treated at more specialist units, for example with neonatal intensive care beds or facilities for premature babies. The NHS already uses this sort of “risk-tiering” approach in services like stroke and A&E, but the report says the NHS could learn from the experience of Stockholm in Sweden, and Ontario in Canada.
  • patients who have complex care needs, but live in rural areas, using technology such as video links to access highly specialist care from the kind of expert doctors that might not be available at their local hospital. This is happening in areas such as Surrey, where a telestroke service currently operates.
David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, said:
"The NHS is already delivering care in innovative ways but we need continually to be looking for examples of good care at home and abroad, and adopting them as fast as possible.
"Implementing new models of care is central to the Five Year Forward View and this report sets out some practical examples of how other health systems are addressing similar challenges."
Professor Terence Stephenson, Chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said today:
"The NHS is not alone in facing the challenges of delivering higher quality patient care at lower cost. The NHS is already delivering innovation, but Monitor’s report provides a welcome insight into how other comparable health systems abroad are meeting this challenge.
"This is a useful contribution to the wider debate about how the NHS needs to change."'

Monday, 5 January 2015

A third of NHS contracts awarded to private companies

In December 2014, The BBC online produced the following news story on the latest picture of healthcare provision across England;

'A third of NHS contracts in England have been awarded to private sector providers since the service was reorganised in 2013, figures suggest.

The information comes from a Freedom of Information request made by the British Medical Journal.
Of 3,494 contracts awarded by 182 Clinical Commissioning Groups in England between April 2013 and August 2014, 33% went to the private sector.

The government says the data is misleading.

It's unclear how much the contracts were worth because the CCGS would not disclose this information citing commercial sensitivities.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "Official NHS accounts show that use of the private sector amounts to only six pence in every pound the NHS spends, slowing the rate of increase to just one penny since May 2010.

"Charities, social enterprises and other providers of healthcare play an important role in the NHS, as they have done for many years."
Slow creep

The investigation looked at different types of contract to provide NHS clinical services, including those awarded to a single provider without an open tender, those awarded via a competitive tendering process, and those awarded to multiple providers under Any Qualified Provider - a government policy that opened up a wide range of community-based NHS services to different providers from outside the NHS.

Private sector providers were most successful at winning contracts awarded via competitive tender - 80 compared with 59 won by NHS providers.

The total value of all the contracts investigated was £10bn. Around £8.5bn worth of contracts went to NHS providers, £690m to voluntary and social enterprise providers and £490m to the private sector - 5% of the total.

Private firms were also more likely to win smaller contracts on an Any Qualified Provider basis, for services such as diagnostics, audiology, and podiatry in the community.

Critics say the results are evidence of privatisation of the NHS.

The government denies this.

The vast majority of care continues to be provided by NHS providers, it says.

And although controversial, private sector involvement within the NHS is not new.

Dr Jacky Davis of Keep our NHS Public said doctors were being forced to tender out all work, and big corporations were best placed to win these contracts.

Dr Mark Porter of the British Medical Association said: "These figures show the extent of creeping privatisation in the NHS since the Health and Social Care Act was introduced. The government flatly denied the Act would lead to more privatisation, but it has done exactly that.

"Enforcing competition in the NHS has not only led to services being fragmented, making the delivery of high-quality, joined-up care more difficult, but it has also diverted vital funding away from frontline services to costly, complicated tendering processes."

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "These figures blow apart Jeremy Hunt's claim that 'NHS privatisation isn't happening'. It is happening and it is happening on his watch.

"The NHS of the future demands more integration. The problem with this Government's policy is that it's taking it in the opposite direction, towards more fragmentation.

"These figures show what is at stake at the coming election. David Cameron's Government is stealthily hiving off NHS services without the permission of the public."'

source: - accessed 5th Jan 15

Care Inspectorate Scotland speak out following external review of organisation

The following Media Statement was published by the Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate on Saturday 20th December 2014;

'Our staff do a superb job protecting vulnerable people across 14,000 care services. We are asking staff to work in different and new ways so we can protect the public better and help poor services improve their quality of care. Such big changes can be difficult. 

'We want to support staff, so asked independent experts to survey views. Some results are encouraging – staff are passionate, enjoy their work, and are committed to the organisation with very low turnover – but there are areas where we will improve too.
'Staff want to see better internal communication about the changes we are making, be more involved in decisions, and understand how big changes in the care sector will impact on them. I am absolutely committed to working closely with trade unions to address these issues and we are agreeing an action plan with our staff.'

source:, accessed 5th Jan 15

Care Inspectorate Scotland look to improve Learning Disability Services

On the 22nd December 2014, the Care Inspectorate for Scotland published information on their website, outlining the fact that, in order to support excellent practice in services for individuals with a learning disability, they will further develop their approach to delivering scrutiny and improvement to services providing support to adults with a learning disability during 2015/16. This will build on the awareness work that the Care Inspectorate undertook during 2014/15 with care homes for adults with a learning disability around the Keys to Life strategy and the Winterbourne View recommendations.

During 2014 the Care Inspectorate inspectors raised awareness of these important documents by asking a number of key questions about the strategy and the report of care home managers. The purpose of this work was to support services to implement the recommendations. From April 2015, the Care Inspectorate will be conducting an Inspection Focus Area around the Keys to Life as part of planned scrutiny and improvement. This will focus on people's experience and outcomes and how their rights are promoted and protected. This will take place across services for adults with a learning disability. Separately, a small cohort of 36 care homes for adults with a learning disability will be inspected in a new way as part of their review of scrutiny and improvement.

The Inspection Focus Area

The Care Inspectorate's future work around the Inspection Focus Area will take the form of inspectors asking a series of improvement focussed questions to generate and identify good practice and to report on where key principles relating to Keys to Life have been met, including enabling a safe and open culture and equal access to healthcare. This will start during the self assessment. At the subsequent inspection, inspectors will follow-up any outstanding requirements and then the focus will be on Keys to Life against all four quality themes, using these quality statements:

Care and support
1.1 and 1.5 We respond to service user care and support needs using person centred values

Environment (care homes only)
2.1 and 2.3 The environment allows service users to have as positive a quality of life as possible

3.1 and 3.4 We ensure that everyone working in the service has an ethos of respect towards service users and each other

Management and leadership
 4.1 and 4.3 To encourage good quality care, we promote leadership values throughout our workforce

The inspection will draw evaluations (grades) in the usual way, using the scale from unsatisfactory - excellent. Inspectors will ask care homes to complete the self assessment which will be available from mid February 2015 and will notify managers through the eform system when it is available. This must be completed by the end of March 2015 as the information will be used to inform inspections of services.

New type of inspections - a test of change

The Care Inspectorate is currently testing new types of inspection to support the proportionate, risk-based approach and see if different inspection types can better support improved outcomes for people using care services. In approximately 36 care homes for adults with a learning disability which are evaluated as being good, very good or excellent, the Care Inspectorate propose to conduct shorter, thematic inspections. These will not hinge on particular quality statements, but will examine more broadly the way that the care home is implementing the Keys to Life policy under each of the four quality themes (care and support, staffing, environment, management and leadership). The inspection will follow up on any outstanding requirements, and the reports will be much shorter and more accessible. The Care Inspectorate will not draw evaluations (grades) for these inspections. If, however, the inspector is concerned by any aspect of the care they see during the inspection, they may revert to a more traditional inspection.

Source:, accessed 5th Jan 15