Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tuition Fees could reach £10,000 a year by 2020

Tuition Fees at some universities could reach £10,000 a year by 2020.

A new study, by the Independent Commission on Fees, warns that the Government should be “extremely wary” of major increases or lifting the fee cap entirely, citing concerns about the impact on students and the taxpayer.

Tuition fees were trebled to a maximum of £9,000 a year in 2012, with students starting to repay government loans once they are earning £21,000.

In his budget earlier this month, Chancellor George Osborne announced further reforms to the system, including allowing universities offering high quality teaching to increase their fees in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The Commission calculates that, based on compound interest at 3% from 2017/18, this move could mean that fees at some institutions reach £10,000 in five years time (by 2020/21)

The new poll published by the panel suggests that many teenagers are worried about how much they will have to pay to gain a degree. More than 1,000 UK sixth-formers were surveyed for the poll. 78% say they are very or fairly concerned about living costs as a student, 68% concerned about tuition fees and 58% worried about repaying loans after graduation. 

The research published by the Independent Commission on Fees raises serious concerns about the current student loans system. While, the planned changes to fees and to student financial support are likely to have far-reaching negative effects on students from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

If you are a student and would like help making your essays or dissertation the best it can be, visit the Words Worth Reading Ltd team

Source: Huffington Post
Image: j.o.h.n Walker, Flickr


Care home in Cheshire rated as inadequate and put into special measures

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told the provider of Alsager Court Care Home with Nursing, in Alsager that they must make urgent improvements in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people living there.
During an unannounced inspection of the home in May this year, inspectors found that the registered providers were failing to provide care which was safe, effective, caring, well led or responsive to people’s needs.
Under CQC’s programme of inspections, all adult social care services are being given a rating to help people choose care. Overall, CQC has rated Alsager Court Care Home with Nursing as Inadequate and placed the home into special measures.
Source: cqc.org.uk
Image: Michael Cote, Flickr

Singapore and the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cyber Security Cooperation

Singapore and the United Kingdom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cyber Security Cooperation during David Cameron's visit to Singapore on Wednesday.

This MOU, signed between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom, says the two bodies will work together to ensure a secure cyberspace that supports innovation as well as economic and social development for both countries.

The MOU covers a number of key points, including cooperation between Computer Emergency Response Teams, cooperation and exchanges to enhance cyber security incident response and the funding 5.1 million Singapore dollars for cyber security academic research over three years.

The aim of the memorandum is to build a safe and reliable cyber space through enhanced research, talent development and information exchange.

Source: www.xinhuanet.com
Image: baddog, Flikr

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

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

Here in the WWRL office we have been working hard with our healthcare clients helping them to complete mid-year IG audits. It is deadline season for students so we have been working with many post-graduates to help them get the most out of their essay and dissertation writing. Despite the busy month, our Managing Director Sam has done a fantastic job raising money for SMA Support UK. This month she took part in a 13km run in aid of the charity, which is very close to our hearts.

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.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Talawa Theatre looking for script submissions

The UK's leading Black British theatre company is looking for scripts from new writers.
 
Talawa is expanding its opportunities for stage writers, which include Talawa Writers' Programme (three new commissions and a range of development opportunities), Talawa Firsts (a season of scratch performances) and Studio Firsts (research and development weeks for theatre makers).

The current submission window is for scripts by new and emerging Black British playwrights.

All scripts will be read and writers will receive feedback.

The submission window closes on 31 July.

Win tickets to Gladfest 2015


Gladfest 2015 returns with its three-day event at the UK’s only Prime Ministerial library, from Friday 4th September – Sunday 6th September 2015.

The event features authors including Michel Faber, Patrick Gale, Sarah Dunant and Richard Beard. Two highlights are talks by Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist, and Alice Oseman, 20-year-old author of Solitaire. And, for the first time ever, Gladfest will host a full programme of activities for young people including the So You Want to be an… Actor, Director & Scriptwriter events as well as storytelling and discussions on Shakespeare and Roald Dahl.

There are more than 20 talks and workshops taking place across the three-day literary festival as well as music, singing, crafts and delicious home-cooked food at the Food for Thought CafĂ© and the library’s famous Gladstone Cookies. There will also be lots of inspirational workshops for would-be writers from how to review your own work to how to be creative, and even how to inject fear and loathing into your writing!

To help celebrate the event, Writing Magazine has five pairs of tickets to give away, one for each of the following events:
  • Alice Oseman, Solitaire on Saturday 5th September at 10am
  • Michel Faber, Reflections on Saturday 5th September at 1pm
  • Richard Beard, Acts of the Assassins on Sunday 6th September at 11.30am
  • Simon Grennan, Dispossession: Adapting Anthony Trollope on Sunday 6th September at 2.30pm
  • Robyn Cadwallader, What use is historical fiction? on Sunday 6th September at 4pm

**To enter, simply send your full name and address by email to: lauren.beharrell@warnersgroup.co.uk by the 5th August, stating which event you would like to attend. Winners will be selected at random and contacted after the closing date.**

Story source: writers-online.co.uk

Calling all writers of short film scripts

Encaptivate is looking for a 2-4 page script to develop for production

Scripts should focus on two characters in one loacation and ideally shoud address one or more of the following themes: resilience, loyalty, passion, anger and loss.

A script/s will be selected and the writer paid £350 for the work and usage rights for the script to be turned into a film.

Encaptivate is a Scottish drama production company.

Submit the script, a 100-word synopsis and a 200-word biography to Encaptivate by the closing date of 24 July.

CQC news - summary update

A number of news updates were published yesterday for those providing health and social care services across England. These news updates were published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC):

The CQC's approach to inspecting general practice is working, but there is more hard work ahead
The CQC's inspections of general medical practice are going on at pace. Since October, they have inspected 1,100 general practices across the country and have found strong evidence that the vast majority of practices in England are providing a good standard of care to their patients. They have found examples of Outstanding practices serving very deprived communities, including one focussing on the homeless. They have also uncovered different models of delivering care including social enterprises and nurse led care.

Right here, right now: mental health crisis care review
The CQC have recently published their review of mental health crisis care, Right here, right now, which outlines the quality, safety and effectiveness of care provided to those experiencing a mental health crisis. It found that, while there are many examples of good crisis care, too many people had poor experiences because services were not meeting their needs.

Children and young people survey
The CQC have published the findings from their first national children’s and young people’s survey. Nearly 19,000 people took part in the survey. Two national reports – one for adults and one for young people – are available to read on the CQC's website. Trust-level reports have also been sent to each hospital trust who took part, and the CQC has encouraged  trusts to use this opportunity to engage with children and  young people, via social media channels.

5,000 adult social care services now rated by CQC

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have announced that they have now rated almost 5,000 adult social care services across the country, and that 58% of those services were judged to be Good and Outstanding – and that some of those that are rated as Good will also have some Outstanding features.

The Care Quality Commission state that they are initially responding to risks and concerns, and so the early ratings released may show a higher proportion of poor care than will be found overall once all 17,000 care homes across the country have been rated (which will be by September 2016).

In addition, the CQC's inspection programme has changed and the inspections themselves are now more thorough, generally involving a greater number of "inspectors" and really 'getting under the skin' of the service. Therefore, some previously compliant services may now find they are being rated as Requiring Improvement or Inadequate.

For full support with the preparation for CQC registration or compliance visitation, please visit the Healthcare Section of the Words Worth Reading Ltd's website.  

Monday, 20 July 2015

CQC inspectors publish ratings on 27 London adult social care services

In the past week the Care Quality Commission has published a further 27 reports on the quality of care provided by adult social care services across London.

Following recent inspections, 17 of these care homes and homecare agencies have been rated as Good, 9 have been rated Requires Improvement, and one has been rated Inadequate.

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

Segun Oladokun, CQC's Head of Adult Social Care Inspection in London, said:
“We should all be confident that our local social care providers will deliver safe, effective, compassionate and high quality care. Where we find that this is the case, we give a rating of Good, or Outstanding.

"If we find that a service requires improvement, we will expect them to deliver a full plan setting out how they will address the issues that have been identified. We will share our findings with local commissioners, and we will return in due course to check that the required improvements have been made.

“For services found to be Inadequate, we will consider taking further action in order to protect the health and wellbeing of local service users.”

Full reports on all 27 inspections are available on the CQC website.

Adult Social Care services by local authority area and rating:

  • Resource Centre and Respite Service, Brent:  Good
  • Community Options Limited - 73 Repton Road, Bromley:  Good
  • Evergreen Lodge, Croydon:  Good
  • The Gables, Greenwich:  Good
  • 2 Headstone Lane, Harrow:  Good
  • 694 Pinner Road, Harrow:  Good
  • Sitwell Grove, Harrow:  Good
  • Romford Care Centre, Havering:  Good
  • Quality Caring Limited, Hounslow:  Good
  • Daryel Care, Islington:  Good
  • Octavia Housing - Miranda House, Kensington and Chelsea:  Good
  • Uplands Care Home, Lambeth:  Good
  • Floron Residential Home for the Elderly, Newham:  Good
  • Cambridge Nursing Home, Redbridge:  Good
  • Bluebird Care (Richmond and Twickenham), Richmond upon Thames:  Good
  • Community of Refugees from Vietnam - East London, Tower Hamlets:  Good
  • Admiral House - London, Wandsworth:  Good
  • Holt Road, Brent:  Requires improvement
  • Jays Homecare Limited, Brent:  Requires improvement
  • Care Outlook (West Wickham), Bromley:  Requires improvement
  • Eversleigh Residential Care Home, Bromley:  Requires improvement
  • London Cyrenians Housing - 40 Charleville Road, Hammersmith and Fulham:  Requires improvement
  • Oakleigh House Nursing Home, Harrow:  Requires improvement
  • Manley Court Nursing Centre, Lewisham:  Requires improvement
  • MCCH Society Limited - 25 McRae Lane, Sutton:  Requires improvement
  • Aspen Court Nursing Home, Tower Hamlets:  Requires improvement
  • Tower Bridge Care Centre, Southwark:  Inadequate

CQC joins the 'Call to Action' Dementia Words Matter campaign

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has signed up to an important campaign to show the health and social care regulator’s commitment to best practice in the use of language when talking or writing about people living with dementia.

Jointly led by The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (deep) and the Dementia Action Alliance, the campaign has created a special guide – Dementia Words Matter – written by people living with dementia that sets out the words and descriptions they would prefer are avoided by the media and other organisations.

Chief Executive at CQC, David Behan, said: “Using language like 'a person suffers from dementia' perpetuates fear and stigma and is completely at odds with the aspirations of people living with dementia. They tell our inspectors that they want to live well and be supported to do so.
CQC has a vital role in making sure that people receive care that is safe, effective, compassionate and high quality. We know how important language is in ensuring that care is respectful and person-centred.

“Sadly, this understanding is not always shared by the media or other organisations. I am pleased that CQC is supporting this campaign. I hope we can encourage others to reflect on the language they use when talking about people with dementia and be more positive.”

Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Andrea Sutcliffe, added: “Often when I speak at conferences I am privileged to share the stage with people telling their own personal stories about what living with dementia is really like either for themselves or a loved one.

“It is clear from their stories that life does not end where dementia begins. I firmly believe the power of words has a crucial part to play in supporting people living with dementia to lead the meaningful and fulfilling lives they want and deserve.”

Words Worth Reading Ltd will also be exploring how we can support the Dementia Words Matter campaign, and embed these principles in our own writing. 

Time is running out for entries to the Social Worker of the Year Awards

Social workers have four days left to put themselves forward for the 2015 Social Worker of the Year Awards. The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 24 July.

The awards are open to social work teams and practitioners in England and include 17 different categories across children’s and adult services.

James Rook, managing director of the awards’ headline sponsor, Sanctuary Social Care, said: “If you have a colleague who goes above and beyond the call of duty, nominate them for an award before it is too late and help them receive the recognition they deserve.”

The winners will be announced on Friday 27 November at an awards ceremony in London. To enter download an entry form from the social work awards website.

Damning inspection report for Sunderland

Ofsted’s chief inspector has written to the education secretary calling for quick “remedial action” in Sunderland council’s children’s services after a damning inspection report.
The watchdog found a corporate failure by senior leaders and managers that left children and young people at risk.
During the inspection, 21 children’s cases were referred back to the local authority by inspectors requesting action be taken to ensure children’s needs were met. This was one out of every 10 children’s cases looked at by inspectors.

Deterioration

Services in Sunderland had “significantly deteriorated” since it was rated good in 2012, inspectors found. Poor practice had been identified by two independent reviews last year and there is a voluntary improvement board and plan in place.
However, the report stated that, “these measures have not had a discernible impact on improving practice or outcomes for children and young people”.
An Ofsted spokesperson said chief inspector Michael Wilshaw’s was so concerned about the report that he wrote to education secretary Nicky Morgan to, “highlight the serious weaknesses in care and protection given to vulnerable children in the area, and to request that swift remedial action be taken”.
Nick Whitfield, chief executive of Achieving for Children, which runs children’s services for Kingston and Richmond, has been appointed by the secretary of state as the children’s commissioner for the council.

Fundamental shortfalls

Frontline practice was criticised for “fundamental shortfalls” across children’s services and social workers were criticised for not consistently following safeguarding procedures.
“Assessments of children are often absent or incomplete and those seen by inspectors were mostly poor. A ‘Back to Basics’ training programme, introduced to improve front line practice, has only just started and is yet to show impact,” the report said, and it also criticised high caseloads leaving workers unable to provide effective support to children.
The number of unallocated and unworked cases was of serious concern, Ofsted said, as 122 cases were held within the multi-agency safeguarding hub for five months without progressing.

Potentially unsafe

“Children are left in circumstances that are actually or potentially unsafe without their needs or the level of risk being assessed or action taken”, the report said.
Sunderland council is too slow to take appropriate legal action to safeguard children, and once children do become looked after there are further delays in finding permanent homes for them. Care leaver services are “seriously lacking”, Ofsted said, with issues around poor quality planning and a lack of appropriate housing.

Increased spending

Leader of Sunderland council Paul Watson accepted the findings of the report, and said work is underway to improve safeguarding.
“While the report makes for difficult reading, Ofsted have acknowledged our absolute commitment to improve safeguarding and that we had already begun to take action to address many of the issues they have highlighted,” Watson said.
“Despite spending cuts of £170m in the last five years and the need for a further £100m savings in the next three, we have increased the amount we spend on safeguarding and invested a further £5.4m to address some of the concerns we have identified.
“We have also increased the number of social workers significantly to help deal with rising demand and we are investing in training and development so we can recruit and retain the best staff to get the best outcomes for children,” Watson said.

Story taken directly from communitycare.co.uk

Children's social workers face double assessments

A new test is being developed by a KPMG-led consortium, to assess the abilities and standards of newly qualified social workers. This new test will not replace the existing assessed and supported year in employment scheme for newly qualified practitioners, the government has confirmed. Indeed,
social workers will also need to sit a pass/fail test to get Approved Child and Family Practitioner (ACFP) status in order to work with children in a case-holding role. Employers have not been clear how this new test will fit with their current assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) programmes.

The current model of ongoing line manager assessment and  decision at the end of the year will continue, separately from the ACFP test.

At an event earlier this month organised by Skills for Care (the body which has government contracts to support employers to deliver the ASYE), the Department for Education indicated that ministers are considering whether to adopt a framework of moderation of ASYE decisions, as outlined in the knowledge and skills statement for adult social workers.

The assessment of adults’ social worker’s first year will be subject to internal reviews at stages through the year, with regional and national moderation of decisions.

Online case scenarios
Further details of what the ACFP test will look like were also given at the event. Analysis, decision-making and critical reflection on case scenarios via an online platform will form a key part; a direct practice observation element is at a less advanced stage in development.

The tests will be trialled with 1000 practitioners at different career stages over the coming months and are expected to be completed in March 2016.

A further consultation will then be completed on implementation details – for example whether it will be mandatory, who it will cover and whether people are able to retake it.

The government announced last year that children’s social work would be dominated by a new set of professional standards for all levels of the profession – this would include the approved child and family practitioner status, a supervisor status and a practice leader status.
Each is to be assessed by a pass/fail test and a statement of knowledge and skills will be produced for each level.

At the Skills for Care event, a spokesperson for the Department for Education announced that statements for the practice supervisor and practice leader statuses are currently in a pre-consultation stage with principal social workers.
The Department of Health is also considering the introduction of a practice supervisor status for adults social workers but there are no plans bring in the other accreditation levels.

Story source: communitycare.co.uk

Sunday, 19 July 2015

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

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


We have been working with healthcare clients to help them begin preparing for their Information Governance internal audits.  We have also been busy working alongside a number of students, proofreading dissertations and thesis, so they are ready for submission dates and the end of the academic 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.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Students on payday loans drastically increase



Student debt has seen a record increase, according to Future Finance, a student financing organisation. After speaking to 1,000 students (500 undergraduates and 500 postgraduates), the organisation found that nearly 27 per cent of those students have racked up debt with a payday lender. 

Surprisingly, when compared to a similar survey conducted - just weeks ago - by Save the Student, a student financial advice website - this figure has already gone up by 3 per cent.

Incurring late payment charges

From the 27 per cent of indebted students, ten per cent owe between £501 and £1,000. An alarming 92 per cent have incurred late payment charges while 54 per cent revealed that they always incur late payment charges.

Does not solve the problem

Brian Norton, CEO of Future Finance, believes that the increase in higher education course fees and the limited financing resources available have caused students to make bad financial decisions. He said: "Resorting to very high interest, short-term lending does not solve the problem. In fact, it can actually make things much worse if you are unable to pay the balance back on time." (www.independent.co.uk, 15 July 2015)

With the average loan at £7,469 and £10,030 for an undergraduate and a postgraduate, respectively, Future Finance has proudly announced that it has approved 1,179 loan applications (over 53 per cent) last month. Although the organisation has loaned £8.5m since 2014, it is now lending just over £1m every month. This is only set to increase even more as the budget gets tighter and the student grants transition to student loans.







Image by Simon Cunningham, Flickr (Photo credit: Lendingmemo.com)

Epilepsy now most common in people over 65

An article from telegraph.co.uk reported that nearly a quarter of people being diagnosed with epilepsy are aged 60 and over. The over-65s are now the most common age group to suffer from epilepsy. The life threatening condition, which affects 1 in 103 people, does not have to start during childhood and can occur at any time in someone's life.


Epilepsy Action has given the telegraph.co.uk guidelines for people that experience a first-time seizure. It is useful to keep a note of the seizure, such as the date it happened, how long it lasted and how you were feeling before. Using this information, a specialist can ascertain whether you have epilepsy or a different medical condition. If possible, bringing a person that witnessed the seizure along with you to your appointments can also help. 


In spite of the risk of epilepsy that the over-65s are facing, there is a shortage of geriatricians that specialise in epilepsy. What's more, is it has become more difficult to diagnose epilepsy in the over-65s that have pre-existing illnesses, for some of the elderly that live on their own and have no one else to witness the type of seizure they had, and the fact that there are several other medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms to epilepsy. 


For more information on what to do if you have seizures, or to learn about the signs of someone having a first-time seizure, Epilepsy Action outlines this further on: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/goodlife/11620974/Over-65s-are-most-at-risk-of-developing-epilepsy.html


Bookers Corner Writing Competition July 2015

Bookers Corner is running a free entry writing competition for the relaunch of its website. Writers have a deadline of midnight 31st July 2015 to send in their manuscripts, and the first winner's prize will have their work published on their website (http://www.bookerscorner.co.uk), with the view of it being in a future anthology. The details are as follows:


Entry fee: Free

Rules: All manuscripts must be in font size 12 with double spacing.

Theme: Any theme of up to 2,000 words

1st prize: Story published on Bookers Corner's website with the view of it being in a future anthology (no set date for this).

2nd prize: Story published on Bookers Corner's website.

3rd prize: Story published on Bookers Corner's webiste.


Send your manuscript to info@bookerscorner.co.uk and the results will be published on 17th August 2015. Winners will be notified by email.



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Dentists Call for Urgent Action to Prevent Tooth Removal in Children

Doctors and dentists are calling for urgent action to reduce the number of children needing to have rotten teeth removed under general anaesthetic in hospital. 
Nearly 26,000 children, aged five to nine, were admitted to hospital in England in 2013-14, an increase of 14% from 2011, with tooth decay.
The Royal College of Surgeons says many hospitals are reaching "crisis point" managing the number of children.
The government says children's dental health has improved in the past decade. But Prof Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons' dental faculty, believes more needs to be done.
A report by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) published earlier this year showed tooth decay was the most common reason five to nine-year-olds were admitted to hospital.
The report says there may be several reasons for this rise in treatment, including children not seeing a dentist until it is too late or more children not brushing their teeth properly. It is tragic that over 90% of the cases are preventable.
Image: Partha S Sahana, Flickr

'Go Set a Watchman' sells 105,000 copies in the first day

There have been doubts and criticism surrounding the decision to publish Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee's second novel. The book has sold more than 105,000 copies in its first day on sale in the UK.
William Heinemann, the UK publisher of Go Set a Watchman, announced the figure, which covers both print and ebooks in the UK, this morning. 
Book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan does not generally release first-day sales figures, although in 2007 it revealed that JK Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowshad sold 2,652,656 copies in the UK in just one day. More recently, sales in the UK of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol reached 551,000 print copies in its first five days on sale in the UK and EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey sold over 664,000 in one week in 2012. 
When a book dominates the news like this, it reminds us just how important literature and reading is to all of us. 
The novel has generated many reviews and unearthed critics. Everyone will have an opinion about the story and the fact that those familiar and heroic characters have been altered, when we step 20 years into the future.