Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Inspirational Leadership Leads to CQC Awarding Outstanding Rating

The Care Quality Commission has rated the quality of care provided by Woodbury Court in Laindon, Essex, as Outstanding.

Woodbury Court provides care and accommodation for up to 94 people who may need assistance with personal care and may have care needs associated with living with dementia.

Inspectors found staff were caring and compassionate and people were being provided with safe, responsive, caring, effective and well-led care. Woodbury Court was rated Outstanding overall, Outstanding for being caring, responsive and well-led and Good for being effective and safe.

Inspirationational leadership was cited as one of the reasons for the outstanding rating. With clear administrative and management systems in place, which staff understand and comply with.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with the 'My Day' section of people's care records. Staff had taken the time the document patient's life history and experiences, which provided staff with essential information on past experiences of the people they cared for. Inspectors reflected that “Care staff had taken the time to listen to people and their relatives and form a detailed account of people's life experiences, preferences and desires to help ensure people received person-centred care."

Jemima Burnage, CQC’s Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in the central region said “Our inspection team were really impressed by the level of care and support offered at Woodbury Court.

“The registered manager was an inspirational leader and provided clear leadership and management for the staff team. People were looked after by staff who all shared the provider's commitment to running a well-led service. The staff shared the provider's vision and values to ensure people benefitted from the best possible care.

“It was evident the staff went the extra mile in caring for people and strived to make sure people were happy and continued to have a meaningful life.

“One relative advised us that they had come back to the home due to the good care another relative had received. They added, "Dad wanted to come here, because they'd looked after my mum until her death, and he was impressed with all he knew about the place. They've not disappointed us with dad, and we always feel very welcomed when we visit."

“All of this meant people received a high standard of care, which is why it has been rated Outstanding.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said “The quality of care which our inspectors found here was exceptional and I am very pleased that we can celebrate the service’s achievements.

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

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Majority of the British Public Want More International Students

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the British public would like to see the same number or more international students coming to study in the UK, after discovering the contribution they make to the economy and the jobs they generate.

The findings were revealed in a new poll conducted by ComRes for Universities UK, based on the views of over 4,000 British adults.

Key Findings

  • After discovering the contribution international and EU students make to the economy and the jobs they generate, 73% of the British public would like to see the same number or more international students coming to the UK (24% say they would like to see more, on top of the 49% who would like to see the same number).
  • In relation to the UK government's immigration policy, only 26% of British adults think of international students as immigrants.
  • Two in three (64%) British adults think international students have a positive impact on the local economies of the towns and cities in which they study.
  • 58% of British adults agree that this economic contribution helps to create jobs.
  • 61% of the British public think that international students have a valuable social and cultural impact on the towns and cities in which they live.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of the British public agree that international students should be able to work in the UK for a fixed period of time after they have graduated, rather than returning immediately to their home country after completing their study.
Responding to the poll, Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: "It is clear that the positive economic impact of international students extends to all corners of the UK, and not only to London or one or two large cities. The poll shows also the public recognises the valuable social and cultural impact international students have in regions across the country."

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Authors Guide to Choosing Fan Events to Attend

Penguin Random House has been sharing its expertise with budding authors considering attending fan events to get their books in front of the buying public. Here are their top tips...

What to consider when choosing an event

  • Does the event have a proven track record of positive fan experiences? This can be assessed by looking at social media engagement on a show’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, as well as looking for general media coverage and pop culture buzz. 
  • How many attendees are expected? Has the show been growing or shrinking over time? 
  • Does the genre of the event align with the titles you’re looking to promote? 
  • What is the cost associated with attending the show? Is there a better use for your funds? 

Making the most any event

  • Be prepared to engage with enthusiastic fans at book signings but keep your line moving! 
  • If you’re comfortable, let fans take photos with you and remind them to tag you when they post on social media. 
  • Offer multiple methods of payment  -  Many show attendees are collectors and interested in buying convention exclusives, and attendees are generally willing to spend some money on something they love. In this day and age, customers expect quick and easy transactions when they make purchases. There are many platforms to process debit and credit card orders using a tablet or smartphone, inexpensive hardware such as a card reader, and a WiFi connection.
  • Experiment with non-book merchandise such as T-shirts and tote bags.
  • Speak on panels, sign books and engage with fans directly throughout the show. 
  • It’s all about buzz. A sneak peek into a new book or series is always a plus for attendees who love exclusives, so it can be very valuable to share an advance reading copy or chapter sampler of a new title with fans.
  • Consider using giveaways and competitions.

Digital email collection

Think about how you’re going to continue that relationship once the show is over.  Collect email addresses for newsletters via a tablet at events, conferences, and festivals. Send welcome notes via email to those who sign up.  

There are many easy apps on the market for you to use if you’re exhibiting at an event. Most of these apps require three simple steps: setup, capture, retrieval. Once emails have been retrieved, you can communicate with your fans directly.
Be sure to inform fans about the kind of information they are signing up to receive and get their consent. Have a small poster in your exhibiting space, or discuss with attendees how you plan on using their email addresses. 

Privacy is very important. Emails should not be used for any other purpose than what was consented to. 

Before you go...

Don't forget to promote your appearances via your social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Changes to the Way SMEs File Their Accounts with Companies House

Changes to UK company law removed the option for small companies to file abbreviated accounts for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2016.

If you’re a small company you now have the following 3 options for filing your accounts:

1.  Micro-Entity Accounts

You must meet at least 2 of the following:
  • turnover is no more than £632,000
  • balance sheet total is no more than £316,000
  • average number of employees is no more than 10
To file micro-entity accounts you need to sign-in to Companies House's WebFiling service and choose the micro-entity accounts type.

2.  Abridged Accounts

You must meet at least 2 of the following:
  • turnover is no more than £10.2 million
  • balance sheet total is no more than £5.1 million
  • average number of employees is no more than 50
Companies' House is constructing a replacement service for WebFiling that will enable you to file abridged accounts to Companies House.  This is expected to be launched by the summer.  During the transitional period there are two options for you to consider:
  • Use the Companies House-HMRC joint filing service (Visit HMRC to use the joint filing accounts service).
  • Use third party software - the more documents you file, the more appropriate software filing is likely to be.  You can view Companies House's list of approved software providers by following the link at the end of this post.

3.  Full Accounts with Companies House and HMRC

These joint accounts are suitable for small companies who are audit exempt and wish to file full accounts to both Companies House and HMRC.   You can also file your tax return with HMRC at the same time.

Further Information

You can view Companies House's updated guidance by clicking here.

Monday, 10 April 2017

CQC Takes Further Action Against Online Websites Selling Prescription Medicines

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken further action to protect people in England who are using websites to obtain prescription medicines.

The quality regulator has published inspection reports on four more providers, which detail examples of people being put at risk of harm, with insufficient checks on their identity, poor recording of their medical history and clarification of their symptoms, inappropriate medicines being prescribed, and lack of communication with the patient’s GP.

The CQC has used its urgent enforcement powers to suspend the registration of one of these providers, imposed conditions on two of them, and instructed the fourth to improve its practice.
  • Doctor Matt Ltd ( was found to be issuing prescriptions after taking as little as 17 seconds to review patient questionnaires. Also a patient was found to have been prescribed an asthma inhaler with no GP assessment to confirm asthma as their condition. CQC has suspended the registration of this service until the end of June. 
  • Frosts Pharmacy Ltd ( was found to be prescribing large quantities of asthma inhalers that were not in line with recognised best practice and without appropriate review, putting patients at risk of life-threatening exacerbation. The CQC has issued the provider with warning notices. 
  • White Pharmacy Ltd ( was prescribing a high volume of opioid-based medicines with no system in place to confirm patients’ medical or prescribing histories. CQC has placed conditions on the provider to restrict its prescribing of these medicines. 
  • i-GP Ltd ( was issued requirement notices instructing it to make improvements in a number of areas, including around ensuring it has a robust system in place to verify the identity of its patients. 
Last month, the CQC – alongside the General Medical Council (GMC), the General Pharmaceutical Council, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency – reminded those running these websites that they must care for people in a safe and effective way, which includes following professional guidelines like any other provider. At the same time, the CQC warned the public to act with caution when considering using these websites.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission, said: “It is understandable that people want convenient access to advice and medicines, but it is important that providers do not compromise on patient safety. We expect the same standards of quality and safety to be met as we would see in more traditional GP settings – this is exactly what people deserve.

“Online companies, and the people working for them, have a duty to protect the people seeking their support. They must follow relevant guidance and best practice to make sure that they know who they are communicating with, how medicines fit in with their medical history, and that their GP is made aware of any prescribing decisions.

“This might be a new way of working but the risks and responsibilities need to be understood and action taken in response. As the regulator of health and social care, we will continue to play our part in guaranteeing this.”

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Over 130 CQC Reports Published for GP Practices This Week

In the past week the CQC has issued over 130 reports on the quality of care provided by GP practices.

The overwhelming majority of those inspected received a Good rating (103 practices), eleven were rated as Requires Improvement, five as Outstanding and seven as Inadequate.

The total number of practices rated Outstanding is now 289. The total number of practices that have exited Special Measures is now 102.

To get to the heart of people’s experiences of care, inspectors always ask the following five questions of services.
  1. Are they safe?
  2. Are they effective?
  3. Are they caring?
  4. Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  5. Are they well-led?
For every NHS GP practice the CQC looks at the quality of care for the following six population groups:
  • Older people
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Families, children and young people
  • Working age people (including those recently retired and students)
  • People whose circumstances may make them vulnerable
  • People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia).
Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said "After reporting on more than 6,000 inspections we have found that most care is good – with over 200 practices now rated Outstanding. That means that over 1 million patients in England currently receive care from practices which we have rated Outstanding. What’s enormously encouraging is that our inspections are driving improvement – 90% of practices that we have re-inspected have improved since last October. Through their hard work and dedication, practices are making positive changes to the care they deliver."

“However, we still see evidence of too much poor care. Since we began inspecting GP practices in October 2014 we have found over 200 practices to be Inadequate. While this is a minority, this still amounts to over half a million patients in England who were not receiving the basic standards of care that they should be able to expect from their GP practice. I am glad to say that we have increasingly found that most practices that are placed in special measures use the support that is on offer to meet those standards.”

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Twelve New Enterprise Zones Launched to Support SMEs in the UK

Twelve new Enterprise Zones have gone live this week, helping to boost economic growth across the UK, from the north-east to the south-west.

These new zones are designed to support businesses, big and small, new and established, to grow. They offer business rates discounts and additional tax breaks, backed by a simplified local planning process.

Existing Enterprise Zones have attracted more than £2.6 billion of private investment and more than 700 new businesses, resulting in the creation of more than 29,000 jobs.

Each Enterprise Zone is unique, building on the strengths of each area. They support some of the country’s most vital industries including manufacturing, technology and renewable energy.

The zones going live include:
  • Northern Powerhouse 
  • M62 Corridor (Leeds City Region LEP) 
  • North East Round 2 (North East LEP) 
  • York Central (York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP) 
  • Midlands Engine 
  • Brierley Hill (Black Country LEP) 
  • Loughborough and Leicester (Leicester and Leicestershire LEP) 
  • South West 
  • Cornwall MarineHub (Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP) 
  • Dorset (Dorset LEP) 
  • Heart of the South West (Heart of the South West LEP) 
  • An extension to the West of England LEP Enterprise Zone 
  • South East and East 
  • Enterprise M3 (Enterprise M3 LEP) 
  • Enviro-Tech (Hertfordshire LEP) 
  • Newhaven (Coast to Capital LEP) 
  • North Kent Innovation Zone (South East LEP) 
  • An extension to the New Anglia LEP Enterprise Zone 
Businesses basing themselves in Enterprise Zones can access a number of benefits:
  • business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per business over a 5-year period
  • generous enhanced capital allowances (tax relief) worth millions to businesses making large investments in plant and machinery
  • 100% retention of business rate growth for the Local Enterprise Partnership, to enable them to fund development on the Enterprise Zone
Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said "Our modern Industrial Strategy is about creating the right environment for businesses to grow - Enterprise Zones are making sure this happens across the country.

These 12 new Enterprise Zones will help even more businesses to set up and grow. I’m confident they will build on the success we’ve already seen over the past 5 years."