Blog Archive

December 2012

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    Birmingham brings Christmas to homeless people

    Steve Bedser, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:Christmas should be a special time for children throughout the city but that's sadly not always the case. That's why council staff and volunteers organise Christmas parties every year to make sure these children don't completely miss out on the festive fun. They play party games and of course get to meet Father Christmas.Top managers...

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    Labour MPs warn benefit cap will hit poorest working families

    Earlier this month, George Osborne announced that increases in benefit payments would be capped below the rate of inflation for the next three years, saying that he would make sure the welfare system is "fair to the working people who pay for it", and not just those "living a life on benefits".Iain Duncan Smith said:Labour has been totally irresponsible. They play games and oppose every single...

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    Further Cuts to Adult Social Care

    The figure for 2013-14, which does not take inflation into account, comes on top of estimated cash reductions of 3.3% in 2012-13 and 4.7% in 2011-12, and as pressures for services are high with 2012 being a record year for applications for care proceedings.The government revealed that councils in England would face spending reductions of up to 8.8% from April, with an average cut of 1.7%.Local...

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    Decrease in Homeless in Scotland may be undone by Cuts

    In contrast to England, homelessness has been falling in Scotland in recent years with Scottish Government figures released in October showing there had been a 13 per cent drop in homelessness applications in the country to 10,395 in the second quarter of this year from the same period last year.The Scottish Government mainly attributes this success to its statutory target of ending homelessness...

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    Drug user dies after contracting Anthrax

     Six of the cases have occurred in the UK, including four in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales.The HPA said the source of the infection is presumed to be contaminated heroin, but it is "unclear" whether the British cases are linked to the European outbreak, which has affected drug users in Denmark, Germany and France.Anthrax is a bacterial infection and is primarily a disease of...

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    Help get Healthwatch up and running

     The key functions of Healthwatch will be:The government has allocated funding for two years, and BVSC are hoping to get the organisation established by 1st April.BVSC are looking to hear your thoughts to ensure HealthWatch Birmingham becomes a strong and effective consumer champion and service deliver.They would like advice on:Please complete these questions here...

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    Awards of £50-250k for social investors!

     The programme offers intensive support, powerful connections and match funding to help early stage social ventures raise investment to 100 organisations.In the 2013 cohort, they will be offering ambitious social entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with an expert team to raise investment in their ventures.Working in partnership with three well-known social investment intermediaries, ClearlySo,...

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    Online Advice Network for Charities

    The service is a portal on the commission's website to help charities find the "best fit" umbrella body for their needs as well as to encourage more charities to access the help available to them.This comes after the Charity Commissions Strategic Plan 2012-2015 says it will cut down on offering guidance to individual charities and move away from being the first or only point of advice. This is...

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    Direct Payment Pilots fail to collect 8%

    6,220 tenants across Great Britain were paid directly in the six projects and 92 per cent of rent was collected on average overall, meaning arrears were around double the normal figure. The year-long projects are testing direct payment of housing benefit ahead of the roll out of universal credit next October.Universal credit, which combines a number of benefits into one monthly payment, will be...

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    Join the Dignity in Care Campaign

    The Dignity in Care campaign was launched in November 2006 has over 40,000 registered Dignity Champions. They are part of a nationwide movement, working individually and collectively, to ensure people have a good experience of care when they need it. They include councillors, staff at all levels in NHS and social care, volunteers, service users, their carers and members of the public.The...

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    Disproportionate Cuts for Disabled People and Carers - Speak out Now!

    Pat Onions launched Pat's Petition a year ago to alert people to the losses disabled people will face with the planned changes to benefits. The petition demanded a review of the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families.  She called for a Cumulative Impact Assessment.The campaign has prompted the Labour Party to devote an...

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    Charities Withdraw Placements as Disabled are Added to Work Scheme

     The Work Programme is the workfare scheme which offers "tailored support" to people who have been out of work for a long time.Those who fail to co-operate with the periods of work experience arranged for them could have their benefits cut, and adding people receiving Employment and Support Allowance to this has brought anger and criticisms.Charities such as Age UK, the British Heart Foundation...

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    No Second Night Out Scheme is Extended

    News of the expansion emerged as Mr Johnson admitted he is going to struggle to hit a target of ending rough sleeping by 31 December. In the tendering document, for the initial stage of bidding, the Greater London Authority noted a rise in rough sleeping, and so as a result of the increase in demand, both hubs have had to close on a number of occasions.The NSNO project will end as a pilot on 31...

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    Consistent Problems for Detainees

    The two inspectorates interviewed a total of 81 detainees to establish the factors relevant to the decision to detain or maintain detention, and the impact that detention was having on them. They also analysed files, including locally held immigration files and the main UKBA filesInspectors found that in most cases, the decision to detain was defensible and properly evidenced and most were...

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    Mutual Public Service set up for adult health and social care

    The new organisation, which will give customers and staff a greater say in how services should be run, will see over 500 council staff transferred into the Separate Legal Entity.Executive member for adult social care and health, Brenda Dowding, said:Service users really want quality. The proposed mutual is saying quite clearly it will be founded on the principle of competing on quality and not...

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    "2 million would be better off refusing work with Universal Credit"

     Couples with children are likely to be among the hardest hit by the changes to the benefits system, which are being rolled out across the UK from next year, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.The warnings result from the fact that the more people work, the more they pay in tax and national insurance, and the more they will lose in means-tested benefits under the plans.The Prime...

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    Universal Credit Redrafted - But is it Enough?

     The new regulations that were published in the summer listed only three categories of eligible charges for services, and left a large area of charges uncovered.Following criticisms from landlords and the Social Security Advisory Committee, an additional category has been added, and they now include payments for the up-keep of communal areas, to maintain a good standard of accommodation, for...

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    Schizophrenics receive inadequate care

    The first ever national audit of schizophrenia care in England and Wales, led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, revealed that just 29% of people with schizophrenia received a full physical health check for risk factors such as cardio metabolic disease.This is in spite being more at risk of premature death from heart problems.The audit compared NHS data on the care offered to over 5,000...

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    Streetlink urges you to report a rough sleeper

    The project was set up and funded by the Communities and Local Government department, as research has shown 48 per cent of all adults said they feel guilty when they see a rough sleeper and don't know the best way to help and 46 per cent would welcome an easy way to take action.The service has been set up by Homeless Link, who say that more than 2,000 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on...

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    Under 25s Benefit Cut Not Ruled Out

    David Cameron first mentioned a blanket cut of housing benefit for under 25s this idea earlier this year, and it was then confirmed as an option for welfare reforms by Chancellor George Osborne at the Conservative Party conference in October.These have since been mentioned in passing by other Conservative politicians with exemption critia, and over all have received many objections.When under 25s...

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    Charities Hit Hard by Cuts

    252 senior workers in charities of all sizes were surveyed between 18 September 2012 and 1 November 2012.Nearly half of the executives surveyed said they were using reserves to cover income shortfalls in the past 12 months and more than a quarter said they had cut front-line services, with one in four making staff cuts.The survey has found:CAF has launched a new campaign last month with the NCVO...

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    230,000 households will be paying first council tax bill

    They may only have to pay a relatively small amount, but financial advice groups say it will add to the pressure already on their services.The Welsh Government claims the regulations are designed to avoid a postcode lottery on the amount of benefits households receive, and will allow councils to continue to provide the means tested benefit in the next financial year, starting April 2013.The...

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    Big Lottery Fund gives £200m in local awards

    Residents, charities and community organisations in the selected deprived areas are asked to form partnerships to decide local priorities and establish a long-term plan to tackle them over the next decade.This is the third set of awards fiven out as part of the Big Local awards, and proclaimed to be the largest ever investment in localism as 50 areas are given the final Big Local awards...

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    Negative register of Adult Care Staff

    Since the Winterbourne View case has highlighted a forgotten area of redulated monitoring for vulnerable people, a way to regulate poor care has been at the forefront of the government's priorities to prevent abuse in circumstances such as this.The social work regulator has published a policy statement setting out its intentions and proposals for regulating the adult social care workforce in...

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    Charity Finance Group give £5000 funding

    Adrian Randall was one of the founding members of the Charity Finance Group. As he passed away this year, CFG are awarding a prize of £5000 to a charitable group to put towards a transitional activity of their choice.Applicants are invited to submit ideas for new approaches and new ideas in the field of charity finance, including creative solutions to tackling problems and issues which have been...

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    Benefits Squeezed Even Tighter in Autumn Statement

     The main cut to benefits is all working age benefits, including tax credits and child benefit, will go up by 1% a year, less than the rate of inflation, for the next three years.This is as Osborne announces austerity measures will be extended to 2018 as he is set to miss key debt-reduction targets, which could result in the loss of the country's AAA credit rating.Osborne said:I think people...

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    Latest Developments on Benefit Cap & Direct Payments

    One of the details of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Statement that didn't get a mention in the news coverage is paragraph 2.66. It would mean little to most people; however; the words "Housing payments for those in supported exempt accommodation will be disregarded for the purpose of the benefit cap" has great significance for the housing support & social care sector.This will be...

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    Emergency Hospital Beds would be avoided with Better Social Care

    Annual figures on hospital performance published by the NHS watchdog Dr Foster found hospitals are so full, with most hospitals over 90% full for 48 weeks of the year, that staff are struggling to keep patients safe.And yet 11.9% of hospital beds were emergency admissions that could have been avoided if their conditions were better managed and should have been treatable out of hospital.The report...

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    Housing Benefits Cuts make Families Homeless

    It highlights how reforms to welfare and housing, particularly cuts to housing benefit, are already having a negative impact on society. It is contributing to making more people vulnerable to homelessness, especially as it is combined with the continuing economic downturn.Crisis think there is much worse yet to come, and young people and families with children will continue to be the worst...

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    New protections for when care providers fail

    This highlights things like unsustainability or where quality of care is being compromised for financial gain.Following the consultation, Norman Lamb announced that the government will be introducing a regulation of major care providers, and if this is failed there will be plans for a well-managed exit.This is following a year of poor care cases in the media, such as the collapse of Southern...

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    Rise in Abuse Alerts shows Improvements in Safeguarding

    The report, Abuse of Vulnerable Adults in England 2011-12: Experimental Statistics show that 41% of all concluded cases were substantiated abuse, which is physical, sexual, emotional, financial, discriminatory or institutional abuse or neglect had been found on the balance of probabilities. This has risen by 13% since the previous year.Ccare staff are the most common perpetrators of the abuse,...

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    Localism will fail without work between Govt and Local Institutions

    Acting on Localism: The role of housing associations in driving a community agenda, looks at the act and specific case studies, to examine the localism changes one year on from the introduction of the Localism Act.The report, published by ResPublica with Chester and District Housing Trust, found that many communities do not have the resources for the opportunities that the Localism Act creates....

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    Need Investment in Social Workers instead of Further Cuts

    The College of Social Work has been aiming to ensure the role of social workers is maintained, and The Business Case for Social Work with Adults highlights their concerns form more investment in social work,In a joint parliamentary briefing with Age UK tomorrow (4th December), they will show that spending on older people's social care is falling, and this year's spend has fallen half a billion...

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    Social enterprises are turning away from public services

    The report is commissioned by Social Enterprise UK, and calls for urgent action to strengthen the Public Services Social Value Act to create more transparent markets. Public service contracts should take into account ‘additional social value’ when being drawn up, the report finds.It says that charities and social enterprises are being pushed out of public sector markets, despite their...

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    Charities urge Osborne not to cut benefits for the poorest

     Charities and campaigners have urged Osborne not to penalise the poor, especially with inflation rises making living costs even higher.This comes as he announces that current austerity measures will have to continue until 2018, as well as a report on budget control showing that he is likely to miss his target set for getting the debts under control, which he has admitted on the Andrew Marr show...

How to fund Housing Support and Social Care Services "Alot of information in a short time, good for me because I travelled a long way. So I feel the journey was worthwhile." C.T - People First Dorset

 

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