Monday, 9 March 2009

National Voices - notice of Policy Initiatives

Week-ending 6 March 2009

1.  Personal Health Budgets update

DH is starting a pilot programme for personal health budgets, as a way of giving people greater control over the services they use. The pilots will build on experience internationally and in social care in this country. Further information on this, together with a general update on personal health budgets is available here.


2. Care and Support on Facebook

DH has recently launched a Care and Support Green Paper page on Facebook. The page is available here, providing users with the facility to watch videos, see pictures, read articles and share their thoughts in the run up to the publication of the Government’s Green Paper on the delivery and funding of care and support.


3. Government launches help for volunteers, charities and social enterprises

Government has pledged £42.5 million to help volunteers, charities and social enterprises deliver extra real help to those that need it most, during the global economic downturn. The action plan for the third sector, published by Minister for the Cabinet Office Liam Byrne, sets out a targeted package of support that includes measures to help hundreds of voluntary organizations, charities, and social enterprises step up advice, support and volunteering in the areas that need it most across the country. Further information is available here.


4. Self-management network for people with long-term conditions

The Talking Health Network is a collective of independent consultants experienced in all aspects of setting up, developing, promoting and supporting high quality, values based, lay led self-management programmes for people living with long-term conditions. Further information is available at provides more information about the Network along with details of Network members. If you are already involved in self-management interventions and would be interested in joining the Network, please email the administrator at



5. Independent review of NHS dentistry

As part of the independent review of NHS dentistry that is currently being carried out, the review team led by Professor Jimmy Steele is looking to engage as many stakeholders as possible. A page is available on the DH website which provides a background to the review and its objectives and how people can feed into the review via email.


Professor Steele is publishing his views on the review as it progresses. This information is available here:


The deadline for responses is 30 April 2009.


6. Kennedy study on valuing innovation

NICE has commissioned Professor Sir Ian Kennedy to conduct a short study on valuing innovation.  Please note that the call for written evidence has now been published on the NICE web site.  Key information about the study and the instructions for making submissions to it are available here.


7. NCT job vacancy

NCT (The National Childbirth Trust) is currently recruiting for the new position of Public Policy Officer - Transition to Parenthood. The role is responsible for developing and promoting NCT policy positions on issues concerning women and families in the transition to parenthood, specifically focussing on the health and social issues concerning pregnancy and birth and the social and emotional issues in the very early months of new parenthood, throughout the UK. The post holder will work closely with key policy representatives across the sector, and represent the NCT in discussions with central, devolved and local government bodies. The postholder will undertake a wide range of lobbying and influencing activities with the UK government to promote improvement in services and supports for parents of young babies with regards to maternity and parent and family support services.


For more information and application details visit

8. Diabetes UK opportunity

Diabetes UK is seeking a Project Manager to be responsible for user involvement in local diabetes care (2 years fixed term contract). Further information is available here.


9. Conferences & events


§  Living with a condition – Using research to identify realities

18 March 2009, London

11am- 12.30pm  

Location: Opinion Leader, 4th Floor Holborn Gate, 26 Southampton Buildings. London WC2A 1AH 

Opinion Leader and Naked Eye would like to invite you to a lunchtime seminar to share their thinking on how their latest range of innovative research methodologies are helping health charities gain a closer understanding of people’s needs and experiences.  The session will demonstrate how their bespoke methods are being used at different stages of the research process to understand different aspects of health behaviour, including exploring what people say they do and what they really do, and insight into the cultural issues that affect their day to day motivations and behaviours. The research methods are based on participatory approaches which support service users’ and carers’ identification of their key concerns and helps service providers to understand the realities of living with a health condition. Please RSVP to Simon Munro at or 020 7861 3228.


§  NSPF Learning Event - Information Governance

19 March 2009, London


DH will be running a Learning Event which will focus on Information Governance, the standards and the issues that affect organisations in the third sector. This event will be your chance to learn more about Information Governance requirements and to hear about work the Department is doing to support organisations to meet the standards. The event will take place in London on the morning of Thursday 19th March 2009 at Prospero House, Etc Venues, 241 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1GA.  Registration commences at 10.00am for a 10.30 start and the event will finish no later than 1.00 pm


A formal programme will be sent out nearer the time, however it would be useful to have your expressions of interest as soon as possible as only a limited number of places are available.  Normally only one application per organisation will be accepted however please advise if more than one person is particularly keen to attend.


Please register your interest in this event by emailing your name, organisation, email address and contact telephone number to:


§  Brave New World – The Next Decade in Health and Social Care

26   March, London


ACEVO’s Spring Conference this year focuses on what the future holds for health and social care services, exploring key issues such as world class commissioning in health, the personal budget holding agenda and the next steps for social enterprises


Further information and booking details are available here


§  Age Concern - Help The Aged Merger Conference

7 April 2009, London


One Voice:  Shaping our ageing society

This conference marks the joining together of Age Concern England and Help the Aged to form a single new charity dedicated to improving the lives of older people.  Aimed at those with an interest in public policy it will explore the issues which are shaping our ageing society. Further information is available here.




10. Members’ Activities


§  BHF Petition

The British Heart Foundation has launched its biggest ever petition and they urgently need your help to get as many signatures as possible! They are asking everyone to sign their petition for a new Government plan for heart health in England. Further information and the petition is available at or in your local BHF Shop in England.


§  Princess Royal Trust for Carers

The Princess Royal Tryst for Carers has created a document for the benefit of health commissioners and decision makers. The health case for supporting carers is available here, linked to the Action Guide for Primary Care. They are also calling for submissions of good practice in carer support in health settings – these are available here (click the “good practice” link)


§  Men’s Health Forum

MHF has just been announced as one of DH’s new Strategic Partners. Further information is available here.

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