Archive for January, 2013

A new website has been launched aimed at augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users, parents, carers and professionals, which brings together evidence and information to improve support and services for people with speech difficulties.

The website, www.AACknowledge.org.uk, has been developed by Communication Matters, an organisation that supports children and adults who need AAC.

Communication Matters hope that AACknowledge will increase awareness of relevant evidence through a bibliography of published research into AAC. Shaped by the AAC community, the website presents case studies, frequently asked questions, factsheets, glossaries, summaries of articles in plain English and links to other sources of information helping people who use AAC and the people supporting them to make informed and independent choices about support needed.


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‘Everyday Choices’ – Reporting child abuse to the NSPCC helpline


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The Burden of Ageing – Not

January 24th 2013 – Rob Greig

The area of government policy that has continually depressed me the most (and I’m talking successive government’s here) is that around older people and ageing. What we at NDTi call the ‘demographic dialogue’ of public policy and the media creates a culture whereby older people are seen as a problem and a burden on society.

Read almost anything from government policy, think tanks or the national press and you will see older people being described negatively. They are ‘bed blockers’ in hospitals, creating a ‘financial precipice’ in public finances and the cause of a pension system crisis that means younger people will have to work longer. Older people are portrayed as being the cause of problems that government and society have to address.

I beg to differ. There are three fundamental flaws in this perception of older citizens:

1. It sees older people as primarily passive recipients of services provided by the state or wider society, denying or even discouraging their capacity to continue to give to the communities around them.

2. The service and cost modelling is substantially based on an assumption that we will do the same in the future as we have done in the past – rather than explore more innovative options that could change the financial parameters

3. It conveniently appears to forget the contributions that people have made to society, through their work, taxes, caring and creativity. Is it too old fashioned to still think that society may have some obligation in the form of ‘pay-back’ time that should argue against using the language of burden?

To read more   http://www.ndti.org.uk/blog/the-burden-of-ageing-not

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Dignity Action Day 1st February 2013

Dignity Action Day #DAD2013 is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people who use care services.

To know how click this link http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Dignity_Action_Day/

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In his first blog as Think Local Act Personal Director, Dr Sam Bennett sets out what lies ahead for the Partnership and transforming care and support in 2013.

“For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy

Two weeks into a new job is always an interesting time. Just long enough to start feeling comfortable in your new surroundings and to have developed a “feel” for the role. Not quite long enough to have met everyone and to understand their viewpoint. Not at all long enough to have taken the key decisions that will shape the year ahead.

Except that in this instance, it has felt rather like accelerated learning. I already know the members of our small, core team well and understand how incredibly lucky I am to have such inspiring and talented colleagues. I have previously worked with a number of the National Co-production Advisory Group, the fantastic people who guide and shape our work through their own lived experience. And I have had an early opportunity to think widely and critically about TLAP’s future with the members of our dedicated Board. Add to this my excitement at working towards a vision I feel passionate about and have been involved with in one way or another for the best part of a decade, and you can imagine why I already feel my feet are well and truly under the table!

One thing that is already clear is that 2013 will be a hugely challenging year for social care and a pivotal one for TLAP. The partnership agreement that marked our launch is only two years old, but reflecting on it last week, it was startling just how much has happened in this short time.

We have had a new care and support White Paper, which helpfully reconfirmed the policy commitment to personalisation and community-based support (including identifying TLAP as a key delivery partner!). There is a draft care and support bill that will be incredibly important for the sector as it works its way through the pre-legislative scrutiny phase and answers relating to future funding are even more critical in their absence now than two years ago. We have witnessed a scaling back of regulation and a new emphasis on sector-led improvement. There have been high profile failures in the social care market with Southern Cross and the appalling scandal at Winterbourne View both driving further important changes. There is the ongoing, radical reform of the NHS and the emergence of Health and Wellbeing Boards as the key mechanism for improving outcomes across the system, and all of this in the context of the deepest budget cuts in public services in a generation.

For these and many more reasons, it was important for the TLAP Board to take stock and look forward to 2013 with a critical eye. If the Partnership is to remain energising and enabling, we owe it to our Partners to reassess our objectives and understand how to make the greatest impact from our contribution.

We did this last week by looking in detail at our vision set out in the Partnership agreement and further described in Making it Real. We then thought together about our priorities and ways we can most effectively work towards them. While this is the start of a process, rather than a completed task, I thought I’d share three of my own reflections at this early stage because some important things were immediately apparent:

1. The vision of personalisation and community-based support is as vital now as it has ever been. While the landscape continues to change, this unifying goal is worth striving for and TLAP can play an important role in charting progress, promoting authenticity and integrity and sharing learning about what works in transforming care and support in challenging times. Making it Real in particular will continue to be a high priority for us in 2013.

2. Any organisation with the word “local” in its title must work doubly hard to ensure there is a tangible impact for people and communities from our work. While this is challenging within our limited resources, we will be working on several fronts in 2013 to strengthen our influence and usefulness beyond the national sphere. If the success of several regional TLAP programmes delivered by our Partners in 2012 is anything to go by, this will be a space worth watching over the coming months.

3. Co-production is our strength and will remain integral to our work, both through the example we set to others and in the delivery of our programme. Working with the Board last week suggests some important new developments here, with aspirations to model co-production through Health and Wellbeing Boards and a renewed commitment to Building Community Capacity planned for 2013. It is abundantly clear that the more we succeed in making co-production real in local areas, the better chance we have in our other endeavours.

Finally, I want to share my admiration and the inspiration I draw from the organisation I have joined. TLAP exists only through the commitment, goodwill and human capital of its many Partners – measured in the many hours and the generous support they each bring. Our Partners encompass a variety of different perspectives that are perhaps not always the most obvious bedfellows. Yet there are clear values and a genuine drive that we all share – the drive to have a positive impact on the lives of people with care and support needs, their carers and families.

In our Board meeting last week we worked in pairs to develop an “elevator pitch” for TLAP, a short and punchy sound bite that describes what we stand for and do. Here are my two favourites:

“We are a group of people and organisations who are making choice, control and active citizenship real, so that people with care and support needs have good support and good lives.”

“We are a voluntary partnership which includes everyone and is like a movement. It starts and ends with me as an individual, in the place I live, with the people I love, with the things I need and the life I want to achieve.”

These encapsulate why I can think of no better place to be to support the next crucial phase of social care transformation, and why I feel sure that together we will not miss the future, but will do everything we can to shape it for the better.


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Works in Progress [WIP]


Update on Work In Progress…

Supervision Skills [for seniors/managers new to supervising or requiring a refresher]. Almost finished. Am waiting to hear the outcome of the consultation on the Government’s proposals for reforming the system for regulating healthcare workers and social care workers. Should hear end of Jan 2013.

Making the Most of your Supervision [for new staff]. Finished.

Safe Handling and Administration of Medication. Finished.

Safeguarding and Protecting. Finished.

Communicating Effectively [for all staff]. You may recall I was asking for a different name to that of my other book on communication ‘Effective Communication’ and thank you for all your suggestions. I have decided to turn the title around and call it ‘Communicating Effectively’. This is nearly finished.

Common Induction standards [for new staff.] I have written two thirds of this.

Person Centred Planning [for staff working with people with learning disabilities, older people inc End of Life Care]. Have written two thirds of this.

Health and Safety in an Adult Care Setting. [for all staff]. I am thinking that the title should include ‘Health’, Health and Safety in an Adult Care and Health Setting. What do you think?

What Standards to expect in a care/nursing home. To be started in March 2013.

What Standards to expect in a hospital. To be started in March 2013.

What Standards to expect when receiving care at home. To be started in March 2013.

Suzan www.spcconsultancy.com

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A few questions if you use e-learning:

How do you know that the person named is the person using the computer?

Some e-learning packages allow learners to attempt questions several times/until they get them right. What are your thoughts on this?



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A woman with severe learning disabilities should make her own choice about whether to continue with her pregnancy because she has the capacity to decide, a High Court judge has ruled.

The ruling means the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will not have to undergo an abortion. The case had come to court after concerns had been expressed that she did not have the capacity to make the decision, and it might be appropriate for the court of protection to intervene and decide on her behalf. But Judge Mr Justice Hedley said people who lacked capacity in some aspects of their lives could still make “deeply personal decisions”.


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Ms Ward died after falling out of sling her two carers weren’t trained to use

Care home staff waited for 40 minutes before calling an ambulance after a 100-year-old dementia patient fractured her skull in a fall.

Great-grandmother May Ward, who was described as being ‘full of life’, was being lifted in a hoist from a chair to her bed when she fell 5ft and hit her head, an inquest heard yesterday.

Instead of immediately calling for help, [the two carers] lifted her on to her bed and changed her bloody clothes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259736/Her-death-disgrace-Family-condemn-failings-led-badly-trained-foreign-carers-dropping-100-year-old-great-grandmother-May-Ward-sling.html#ixzz2HYt8g3oj

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Whistleblowing isn’t snitching or stabbing a person in the back-it’s your job!

If you don’t report it they may not realise that what they are doing is wrong.

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