Thursday, 26 February 2015

LVSC health update - January 2015

February 2015

Dear colleague,

Welcome to the January / February 2015 edition of our monthly health e bulletin bringing you news from LVSC, Regional Voices (of which LVSC is a constituent member), the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England.

Ebulletins regularly include information from the voluntary & community sector (VCS) in London.
Where relevant, ebulletins also contain policy related news about London - e.g. from the Greater London Authority, NHS England (London region), Health Academic Science Networks, etc.

If you wish to discuss any items to be included in future bulletins, please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards


Sandra van der Feen

Policy Officer, LVSC


LVSC news


At your fingertips: datasets and indicators training by Public Health England

Public Health England has developed a number of tools which display suites of indicators for different aspects of health and wellbeing using software called fingertips. These profiles are a rich source of indicators across a range of health and wellbeing themes and have been designed to support JSNA and commissioning to improve health and wellbeing, and reduce inequalities.

Date: 2nd March from 9.30am to 12.30pm (registration from 9am) – organised by London for All
Venue: Voluntary Action Islington

More information and registration

For the 2nd March training, you can also contact Deirdre McGrath at LVSC for further information

ALTERNATIVE DATE: 27th March from 10am – 1pm (registration from 9.30am)

Venue: Voluntary Action Islington.

Please note that this date is reserved for voluntary & community sector (VCS) and  Healthwatch reps on the Health & Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) even though the wider VCS sector that would like to influence and /or is working with HWBs  the Boards can also register.

For the 27th March training, please contact Sandra van der Feen, LVSC for more

More information and registration for 27th March

Objectives of the training:

  • To develop an understanding of the broad range of indicators and datasets available within the fingertips tools
  • To be able to use the tools to understand how local authorities compare with others and what has happened over time.
  • To be able to export the dataset behind the tools and use locally

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The Social Value Act – Are we there yet? London for All

The Public Services (Social Value) Act became law in April 2012. The Act places a requirement on commissioners to consider economic, environmental and social benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process starts. But what is meant by 'social value' and what are the implications for VCS and the people they work with?

Date: 25th February 2015 9.00am  to 1pm
Location: Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road, London, N1 9JP

More information and registration

This half day event will look at:

  • The requirements place by the Act on commissioners of public services
  • What is social value and how can it be measured?
  • What impact has it had on service delivery and on public and VCS organisations?
  • What are the opportunities for VCS organisations to improve services for the people they work with?
  • Due to high demand for places on our training courses, we can only offer one place per organisation.  

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Directory of health and wellbeing forums in London

LVSC has produced a short health and wellbeing forum directory. This document is not intended as a comprehensive directory of health, wellbeing, care and related forums in London. However, pending capacity, we aim to add other specialist interest forums where they exist, including carers, learning disabilities, drugs & alcohol, women & men's health, Deaf and disabled People, homeless people and others. At the present time, the page for older people only includes the Greater London Forum for Older People.

The directory currently comprises Health & wellbeing, Equality, faith/interfaith, mental health, BME and LGBT forums.

This directory is aimed at:

  • VCS organisations that want to find out what is happening around health and care in different boroughs.
  • VCS organisations which seek to find out how forums can help influence and inform health policy & commissioning including Health & Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
  • National and regional organisations that deliver services in local areas and wish to be better informed about the health and care needs of local communities, patients and service users.
  • Organisations that aspire to inform general and special interest groups about national, regional and /or local policies and strategies.
  • Commissioners, including local authorities that intend to actively inform their policy and /or commissioning intentions through co-production and collaboration with local VCS forums.
  • Academic institutions, health science and clinical networks that seek to co-produce with VCS organisations and /or collect evidence and VCS qualitative data to inform their research..

If you have any suggestions on how to improve on and add to the current sections, please let us know by contacting Sandra van der Feen, Policy Officer at LVSC

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London news

Team Up volunteering programme

Team Up is an exciting, innovative volunteering programme sponsored by London's Local Education and Training Boards, which identifies health and well-being projects within voluntary & community sector organisations  and matches doctors and dentists in training and healthcare students to these projects. The projects are supported by public health registrars who act as 'buddies' to the teams, providing advice and support.

The aim of Team Up is to broaden educational experiences for trainees and students, promote closer working between the NHS and community organisations and, ultimately, help to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged Londoners.

Team Up 2014 was a great success: ninety trainees and students took part, working with 16 community organisations to complete 20 health development/improvement projects. The majority of projects involved the design and delivery of health education sessions for a wide range of vulnerable target groups. Team Up are looking for new opportunities for Team Up 2015, as they would like to have wide spread of projects across all the boroughs of London.

If you have an idea for a health and wellbeing project that you feel would be suitable, Team Up would love to hear from you. The projects can focus on any area of health and wellbeing. Previous projects have included creating a signposting database for the elderly, self-care workshops for the homeless and nutrition and health sessions for children from asylum seeing and refugee families. The projects need to be sustainable; therefore, it would be worthwhile considering how you could embed the project into your organisation. It would be for your organisation to decide how many volunteers would be appropriate for the project. Team Up envisage the projects starting around the end of August/beginning of September and lasting for a period of 3-6 months.

If you feel that your organisation could benefit from having a Team Up project team, or would like to discuss Team Up further, please get in touch by emailing or phoning 0207 862 8639. 

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London Healthy Workplace Charter Awards

In November, the Greater London Authority Healthy Workplace Charter celebrated the achievements of 21 organisations who were accredited in 2014. There are now 44 accredited organisations, covering 139,000 employees. Watch these videos and find out how the charter has helped workplaces.

LVSC is a member of the London Healthy Workplace Charter Advisory Group. If you are a voluntary & community sector in London and are interested in finding about more, contact, LVSC in the first instance.

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Shape better community and social care services in London

Can you help NHS England (NHS E) London, to shape better community and social care services across the capital? NHS E London are asking service user groups, volunteer groups and local authority leaders to take part in an online conversation.

NHS E (London) is trying to improve the way health and care services in the community work.  This is the health services that are based outside of hospital settings, in clinics and who provide care in people's homes.   

If your groups have experience of these services, they would really like to hear what you think.

Sign up and join the conversation
The online conversation opens on the 21st January 2015 and closes on the 12th February 2015.
To join a focus group or for any other enquiries please contact:  

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Recruiting patients for a new diabetic user panel  

NHS England (London) are currently re-designing the way diabetic eye screening services are delivered across the capital.  They are now looking for people interested in this area to be part of a new user panel which will meet up to 4 times to help shape redesigning the service. According to NHS E, this is is an exciting opportunity to influence the way services across London are delivered.

If you would like to help shape diabetic eye provision across London or want to request a role description please telephone: Matthew Cruice on 0113 8070 401 or email him at:

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National news

NHS Improving Quality (NHSIQ) has launched the NHS Change Day 2015

NHS Improving Quality (NHSIQ) has launched the NHS Change Day 2015 and they are asking as many individuals, teams and organisation to get involved.

NHS Change Day is a grassroots movement of hundreds of thousands of health and care workers, patients, carers, volunteers and members of the public. NHS Change Day records and encourages the great changes that are being made within health and care.  

  • NHSIQ says that if each of us makes one small change, together we can change how the world works! Anyone can make a change for the better and can make a change to improve health and care.
  • NHS Change Day supports these people by celebrating and sharing their actions, so that they can then inspire others.
  • Change Day supports innovative campaigns and ideas by building connections and communities of support.

On Wednesday 11 March they will celebrate these changes for the better on NHS Change Day!

NHS Change Day presentation

More information about Change Day

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Kings Fund – election tracker

As we enter election year, let the Kings Fund tracker keep you up to date with the health debate.
The resource aims to make sense of how health and social care issues are shaping the political landscape in the run-up to the election. The King's Fund general election home page has a timeline of different political announcements around health and social care, giving an independent assessment of the issues raised. For instance they've just added a commentary on Labour's 10 year plan for health and care  - which includes a large role for health and wellbeing boards as a "single commissioner" and a continuing focus on integrated care.

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Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund

The Department of Health's 'Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund' is now open.

The IESD Fund provides funding from one to three years to support proposals in the health and care field. The available funding is limited and to be successful, organisations will need to have a clear focus in their applications on how their proposals would support and drive forward new ideas, disseminate and replicate excellence or undertake strategic developments in voluntary sector capacity and/or capability in health and care.

The Fund is open for applications for projects to start in September 2015 or later; the Department of Health cannot accept applications after the closing date, which is at Noon on 27th March 2015 (PLEASE NOTE that an initial registration and eligibility process must be completed by Noon on 13th March 2015).

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New funds to kickstart joint working with NHS and councils this winter

The government has found new funds to encourage more joint working between councils and the NHS.

In a bid to ease the pressure on the NHS during the current cold snap, the Department for Communities and Local Government and Department of Health have released an extra £37 million for councils to get people home from hospital more quickly and stop them from being admitted in the first place.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has this week provided £12 million to help join up health and social care services so that there aren't delays for people who can be safely discharged and to avoid people needing to go to hospital in the first place (perhaps because of falls or flu).

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Integrated health and social care programme expanded

The programme to promote innovative ways of joining up health and social care has been extended to eleven new areas.

The aim is to make health and social care services work together to provide better support at home and earlier treatment in the community to prevent people needing emergency care in hospital or care homes.
In London, Camden has been added to the programme as a new integrated care pioneer area
To read more, visit the government website.

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'Be Clear on Cancer' campaign highlights links between heartburn and cancer

A national 'Be Clear on Cancer' campaign has been launched this week urging people to visit their doctor if they have heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more, as this can be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer.

The campaign launch coincides with results of a new survey commissioned by Public Health England, which reveals only 1 in 2 people (55%) would visit their doctor if they had heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more.

According to the survey findings, 59% of respondents did not know that heartburn could be a sign of cancer with just 15% saying they were certain that it is a symptom.

Another symptom highlighted by the campaign is that of difficulty swallowing food. Here the survey found that 70% did not know food sticking in the throat could be a sign of cancer, and just 13% of those surveyed said they were sure it is a symptom.

See the rest on the government website 

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Resources & information

How to talk about Human Rights

HEAR member and partner Equally Ours have undertaken extensive research into what works and what doesn't when trying to communicate positive messages about human rights in your work and to the public. As a result they have produced a really useful guide 'How to Talk about Human Rights'- the full guide and a handy one page summary are available here.

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Practical guide to healthy ageing published

NHS England in partnership with Age UK have published a new Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing, to help people improve their health and general fitness, particularly those aged 70 or over with 'mild frailty'. The guide covers the main risk factors for older people living at home, which if proactively managed, can help people stay well for longer and improve their quality of life.

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Working Together for Health Equalities

Date: 25 March 2015, 10am-4pm
Venue: Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, EC1A 3EA

  • How does the intersection of different characteristics impact on health inequalities?
  • What are equalities groups and organisations in London doing to help lessen these inequalities?
  • How are they working with the public sector and how can all sectors work better together?

An exciting and stimulating programme showcasing innovative and creative ways in which the London voluntary sector is working with peers and with the public sector to tackle inequalities in health and why it matters.

Speakers include Professor Tracy Reynolds, University of Greenwich; programme includes storytelling, film and more!

Please email for a free place, including your name, organisation name, postcode and any access or dietary needs

This event follows on from the LVSC and London for All highly successful health equalities event last October, and aims to take further some of the recommendations and themes from the event.

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ACEVO Spring Health and Social Care Conference 2015

Tuesday 3 March 2015 - 09:00 — 17:00
Venue: 30 Euston Square, London, NW1 2FB

With less than two months before the General Election, the three main political parties come together at the ACEVO Health and Social Care Conference 2015 to discuss their plans for the sector and respective visions for health and social care in the UK.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from high profile speakers and network with delegates from across the sector and Westminster.

Speakers include:

  • Jeremy Hunt - Secretary of State for Health
  • The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP - Shadow Secretary of State for Health
  • The Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP
  • Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England

More informatin and booking details or contact the events team on    

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ABOUT REGIONAL VOICES This e bulletin is published monthly by LVSC as the London region member of Regional Voices.

Regional Voices Logo

Regional Voices champions the work of voluntary and community organisations to improve health, well-being and care, across England. Regional Voices is a partnership of nine regional networks. Together, we directly connect to over 25,000 voluntary and community organisations. Our coverage is broad, deep and well-established. Our vision is for a society where voluntary and community organisations are connected with decision-makers at all levels, able to influence policy and improve community health, care and well-being through better services.

Regional Voices partnership is hosted by Involve Yorkshire and Humber,Registered charity number 1127119   |   Company registration number 6752034

London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC)

Registered charity number 276886   |   Company registration number 1395546

We try to check all the information in this bulletin and the web sites it links to, but we cannot accept responsibility for the contents of the websites and articles or guarantee their validity. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind.

Telephone: 020 7832 5830   |   Email:   

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.