Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Please follow the link to access important resources just published on

  • VP now delivery plan
  • Health action planning and health facilitation guidance
  • Easy read Health action planning and health facilitation guidance
  • Basic Guidance on commissioning easy read information
  • Contact details of national director
  • Contact details for regional VP now programme leads
  • Key priorities and action documents for health services, partnership boards and local authorities
  • The VPST team structure.



Thursday, 19 February 2009

A Rough Guide to Personalisation

Personalisation: a rough guide

By Sarah Carr

Published: October 2008

This guide aims to tell the story so far about the personalisation of adult social care services. It is intended to set out the current understanding of personalisation at a very early stage of implementation, exploring what personalisation is, where the idea came from and placing the transformation of adult social care in the wider public service reform agenda.

Key points

The report contains the following key messages and recommendations:

  • By identifying and transferring knowledge about good practice, SCIE has a special role to play in transforming adult social care services.
  • Person-centred planning and self-directed support will need to become mainstream
  • It will ultimately mean universal services such as transport, housing and education are accessible to all citizens.
  • The personalised system will need to be cost-effective and sustainable in the long term.
  • Approaches to early intervention and prevention need to develop further so that people are encouraged to stay healthy and independent.
  • The social care workforce will need to acquire new skills.

This powerpoint presentation is based on and complements SCIE's 'Personalisation: a rough guide' publication. It can be used for presentations and training and can be tailored to the particular requirements of the event, audience or sector. There is also a PDF verison.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Personal Health Budgets

Lord Darzi announced in his Next Stage Review of the NHS  that the Department will launch in 2009 a pilot of personal health budgets, as a way of giving patients greater control over the services they receive and the providers from which they receive services.  The pilots will draw on the experience of other health systems and in social care. 

Personal budgets sit in a spectrum of policies of personalisation, which also includes choice and care planning.  As the Prime Minister said in the preface to the Next Stage Review:

‘We need a more personalised NHS, responsive to each of us as individuals … giving us real control and real choices over our care and our lives.’

The Personal Health Budgets project team is working to develop the outline for the pilot scheme and in doing so is working with a wide range of people. We want to hear from anyone who would like to share their experiences in this area and help shape the project. We are particularly interested to hear from organisations, users or carers who are already trying out personal health budgets.

Personal health budgets: first steps

In January 2009 the Department published Personal health budgets: first steps. This document sets out the principles of personal health budgets, reports on early lessons and invites expressions of interest in the pilot programme.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

There are a number of documents providing guidance on the implementation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS), including:

A leaflet providing a brief general introduction to the MCA DOLS and has been specifically designed for care homes and hospitals to help staff understand what the MCA DOLS will mean for them and for their service users

to download the leaflet follow this link:

Draft deprivation of liberty safeguards standard forms  made available  in order to facilitate best practice, training and preparation in advance of April 2009, when the deprivation of liberty safeguards come into effect.

These forms are not to be used for making applications for deprivation of liberty authorisations, since they are not the final version that should be used for operationalising the safeguards procedures.

The forms can be adapted but, if used in unedited form, they help all those involved in the safeguards processes to fully meet the requirements of the deprivation of liberty safeguards legislation.

to download the Draft forms follow this link: 


NHS Constitution Published

The first NHS Constitution for England, a landmark in the history of the NHS has been created through a collaborative approach of consultation, discussion and research with NHS Staff as well as patients, public and stakeholders.
The Constitution represents a commitment that all staff should have rewarding and worthwhile jobs, with the freedom and confidence to act in the interest of patients. 

To do this, all NHS staff need to be:

trusted and actively listened to
treated with respect at work, 
have the tools, training and support to deliver care, 
and opportunities to develop and progress.
The NHS Constitution enables for the first time details as to what staff, patients and the public can expect from the NHS. 

It sets out the purpose, principles and values of the NHS, as well as bringing together a number of rights, pledges and responsibilities for all staff and patients. 

You can read the Constitution and associated documents by following this link: 

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Valuing People Now - New vision for people with learning disabilities

Published 19th January 2009

People with learning disabilities will be supported in every aspect of their lives, from housing and health to employment, Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson announced today.

'Valuing People Now - A Three Year Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities' presents a new vision for improving services for people with learning disabilities across health, housing, employment and community care services. It follows a comprehensive consultation involving more than 10,000 people.

Improving training, commissioning of services and strengthening local structures to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities, are fundamental elements of the Strategy.

Key aims include:

* ensuring people with learning disabilities get the healthcare they need and the support they want to live healthy lives;

* supporting more people with learning disabilities, including those with more complex needs, into paid work;

* ensuring people with learning disabilities have the choice to have relationships, become parents and continue to be parents; and

* giving people with learning disabilities opportunities to study and enjoy leisure and social activities.

Progress will be reviewed annually. A new national Learning Disability Programme Board and Regional Boards will ensure the strategy works, share good practice and provide a forum for stakeholder groups to discuss progress and concerns.

To download Valuing People Now click here

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Autism and Employment Study

Understanding autism and employment is important for people with autism, Asperger syndrome and other conditions on the autism spectrum, as well as for their families.


Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, want to find out about the emotional, physical and financial impacts on people with autism spectrum disorders and their families.


They would like to hear from people who are:


  • an adult with a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder

  • a parent of a person with a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder.


The questionnaire will take 20-30 minutes.



Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Friday, 19 December 2008

Seasons Greetings

Have a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2009

Refocusing the care programme approach: Policy and positive practice guidance

Following the national consultation, Reviewing the Care programme Approach (CPA), and having considered the issues identified, this guidance updates policy and sets out positive practice guidance for trusts and commissioners to review local practice to refocus CPA within mental health services.

Mutual Caring Project: Supporting older families who are looking after each other

Lots of people with learning disabilities live at home with their older family carers, usually their mum or dad, brother, sister or grandparents.  Although their carers still do lots to look after them, lots of people with learning disabilities do a lot to help look after their older carer too.  When everyone is looking after each other, this is called ‘mutual caring’.
Lots of people don’t get the help they need when they are carers.  Lots of workers don’t realise that mutual caring is happening in older families.  Lots of people do not realise that people with learning disabilities can be carers too. 
There are many things people can do to support older families where mutual caring is happening.  This project aims to raise awareness about mutual caring and the different things that people can do to support older families. 

Download - [944 KB]Introduction
Download - [527 KB]Part 1: Am I a carer?
Download - [1.37 MB]Part 2: What are my rights?
Download - [1.09 MB]Part 3: Having a carers assessment?
Download - [701 KB]Part 4: What help can I get?
Download - [1.40 MB]Part 5: Getting ready for my carers assessment
Download - [403 KB]Part 6: Guidance for supporter

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A hard rain's a gonna fall...

LightDrops is an umbrella that uses the piezoelectric effect of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) to transform falling rain into electricity, which is then used to light LEDs installed on the umbrella's underside. The heavier the rain falls (and the harder it hits the umbrella), the brighter the light shines.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Thought for the day.......


"Wherever an inferiority complex exists, there is a good reason for it" - Carl Jung, 1943

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Peanuts - my "git" list

Local authority support for adults with autism

As part of the National Autistic Society (NAS)  I Exist campaign, all local authorities in England were asked if they have a system in place to record the number of adults with autism in their area and if, in line with Department of Health guidance, they have appointed a named individual or team with responsibility for autism. 

With the support of thousands of campaigners who have contacted their local authority to raise these demands, the NAS have now received a response from over two thirds of local authorities.

A table has been produced this week and progress is indicated according to the following key:

  • green indicates progress in the area in question
  • amber indicates a recognition of the issues and a willingness to address these
  • red indicates no evidence of progress in the relevant areas
  • purple indicates that the NAS have not yet received a response from the local authority.

Follow this link to see how your local authority has been rated

Monday, 8 December 2008

Peanuts - I weep...

Clear Thoughts Website


This is a great new Website that has been developed to cover lots of topics relating to mental health for people who have a learning disability.

It will try to make the information as easy to understand as possible.

This is a website for three groups of people.

1. People who have a learning disability

2. Their families and carers

3. Professionals and those supporting people and families

to access the website follow this link


This website also comes with Browsealoud. This means you can hear the words on the website. Follow this link for more information Browsealoud page.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Thought for the day.......

"It is thus that a few rare lucid well-disposed people who have had to struggle on earth find themselves at certain hours of the day or night in the depth of certain authentic and waking nightmare states, surrounded by the formidable suction, the formidable tentacular oppression of a kind of civic magic which will soon be seen appearing openly in social behavior."

Antonin Artaud 1947

Commissioning specialist adult learning disability health services - Good practice guidance

Good practice guidance on the commissioning of specialist adult learning disability health services for adults.

Consideration has been given to assist in responding to shortcomings identified in these services in recent Healthcare Commission reports including those into abuse in Cornwall and Merton and Sutton.

Within the current environment of separating out purchaser and provider arms of PCTs services are currently debating who should employ specialist learning disability staff - another health provider, mental health trust, social services, social enterprise....

The report states that:

"Specialist learning disability health staff are most likely to be employed within the local NHS, with those not in in-patient settings, operating as part of, and being accountable within, a multi-disciplinary structure such as a community learning disability team (CLDT) that is led or jointly led by the local authority. 


Employment within the NHS alongside other health professionals is important in order to maintain appropriate clinical governance, professional development, relationships and learning from colleagues working in other specialisms and to avoid recruitment and retention problems. However, day-to-day operation within a multi-agency framework is essential for the achievement of good person centred outcomes.  Being recognised as part of the NHS is particularly important for staff working to promote access to mainstream primary care and acute hospitals in order to facilitate day to day working relationships with NHS colleagues."

To download the report

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

VIEWPOINT - published by MENCAP

Viewpoint - the learning disability magazine

Viewpoint is the UK’s leading learning disability magazine, published by Mencap. It captures all the news, campaigns and best practice from the world of learning disability.

Viewpoint is published six times a year. An audio version of the magazine is available on CD – available free to people who have a learning disability.

Pulse, Viewpoint's arts and leisure supplement, comes free with the issue, three times a year.

Read the latest stories, download the latest issue or read past issues by clicking on the links below:

Viewpoint - November/December 2008Viewpoint – read the latest issue


Pulse - Autumn 2008Pulse – the arts and leisure supplement