- Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment
- More analysis on the Open Public Services White Paper
- Localism Bill Consultation responses
- Consultation on Housing Benefit Reform for Supported Housing
- More on NHS reform
- Social Care funding
- Open Public Services – White Paper on commissioning and public services
- The Work Capability Assessment –A Call for Evidence: Year 2 Independent Review July 2011
- Transport for All has joined forces with Age UK London and Greater London Forum for Older People to make using buses safer
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The government has published initial findings on the new Work Capability Assessment – which found most people were fit for work. A very large number also withdrew claims – given the time it is taking for assessments to be completed in some cases this is because people have recovered. Of those who have appealed against the assessment 40% have had the decision overturned. See the statistics on the Department for Work & Pensions website.
Dave Feast, Welfare benefits adviser, primarily for people with mental health issues, employed by Broadway, who is based at Anchor House with Bromley Mind Broadway is conducting a questionnaire on the local experience. He would like responses by 9th September email Dave Feast or call him on 020 8402 7340 for a copy of the questionnaire or email Stephen Blann for a copy to be returned to Dave Feast.back to top
The government recently published their plan for the future of public services, The Open Public Services white paper. NAVCA has a new briefing and analysis of this white paper and the implications for the voluntary sector.
There is also an analysis from NCVO.
The government's Right to Challenge is part of the Localism Bill currently before parliament. In short the Right to Challenge is a proposal that civil society organisations can express an interest in delivering a service and (if successful) force a procurement process to bid for the work. The government has consulted on the Right and has now published a summary of responses.
As part of the welfare reform programme the Government has issued a consultation on how it plans to change housing benefit for people in supported housing – people with additional needs who get mere than just housing from their landlord. This consultation is linked to wider welfare reform plans - the introduction of a universal credit and changes to housing benefit. The main change will be that rather than receiving higher rates of housing benefit , tenants of supporting housing will receive the same Local Housing Allowance ( the maximum for which is reducing) as everyone else but with additional payments to reflect needs. You can download the consultation here http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/supported-housing.shtml and the consultation closes on 9th October.back to top
- Choice and Competition
- Patient Involvement and Public Accountability
- Clinical advice and Leadership
- Education and training
You can see the Government’s response to the forum on the Department of Health website, where you can also see a summary. The Government has also published a timetable for change.
Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer at CLB has produced a briefing; read it on CLB website
You might want to see various other people’s analysis including
- NCVO’s response to the Future Forum report
- King’s Fund briefing on the Health and Social Care Bill amendments
- Read NAVCA's detailed analysis on the changes the government has announced and a Briefing on Changes to local health commissioning
Kings Fund and NCVO have issued a joint publication the voluntary and community sector in health -Implications of the proposed NHS reforms which provides a useful analysis as well as some ideas that voluntary organisations can follow up – and recommendations on how GP consortia and others can make the most of the sector.
Following the report the Department of Health has produced proposals on developing the NHS Commissioning Board. The board is a national body that will both be responsible for more complex commissioning decisions and also fund and hold to account local commissioning consortia. The proposals give some indication of how the board will operate in practice.
As well as the ongoing NHS reforms the government received the Report of the “Commission on Funding of Care and Support” - to be known as the Dilnot report after its chair. Among the recommendations in the report are:
- Individuals’ lifetime contributions towards their social care costs should be capped. After the cap is reached, individuals would be eligible for full state support. This cap should be between £25,000 and £50,000.
- The means-tested threshold, above which people are liable for their full care costs, should be increased from £23,250 to £100,000;
- National eligibility criteria and portable assessments should be introduced to ensure greater consistency; and
- All those who enter adulthood with a care and support need should be eligible for free state support immediately rather than being subjected to a means test.
The report comes in several parts and accompanying background documents.
You can download:
- The report
- Conclusions and recommendations in a presentation layout
- An Easy Read version of the report
- A volume of evidence and analysis
- A volume of supporting documents on research carried out by the commission
The commission have also produced a pamphlet for distribution to the general public setting out the issues and what the proposals will mean.
Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer at CLB has produced a briefing on CLB website.
The government will now consider the report and announce what it intends to do about its recommendations. In the meantime here some others’ views:back to top
The government has now published a white paper on the future of procurement and delivery of public services. A White Paper is a document setting out proposals the government intends to make law, and is much more definite than a consultative Green Paper. This White Paper had been expected in March, following a very short consultation on a Green Paper over Christmas.
The White Paper sets out the government’s approach to public services by applying five key principles:
- Choice – wherever possible we will increase choice
- Decentralisation – Power should be decentralised to the lowest appropriate level
- Diversity – Public services should be open to a range of providers
- Fairness – We will ensure fair access to public services
- Accountability – Public services should be accountable to users and taxpayers.
You can download the White Paper from the cabinet office website. As part of the consultation, the government has set up a special open Public Services website. The website has different sections for people who work in public sector, charities and voluntary sector, business and for the public to comment.
Stephen Blann, Policy & Networks Officer at CLB has produced a briefing; read it on CLB website
You can also read NCVO’s initial commentback to top
From Department of Work & Pensions website:
“As part of his second independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, Professor Harrington has launched a call for evidence. He is particularly interested in views and evidence about:
- the implementation of this Year 1 recommendations and the impact they are having
- what, if any, further work is required in future reviews, and
- the face-to-face assessment
This call for evidence is aimed at organisations and individuals who have information that is relevant to how the Work Capability Assessment is operating and what further changes, if any, are needed to improve the process.
The call for evidence
- Work Capability Assessment – Year 2 call for evidence (135KB)
While general evidence about the WCA is not excluded, we would ask that, where possible, you focus your response on addressing the specific questions in the call for evidence. The questions are introduced in Part 2 of the main document. They are also listed in this separate response document.
- Response document – Work Capability Assessment – Year 2 call for evidence (102KB)
You can respond using the response document or replyin your own way.
Please send your responses or queries by email or post to
firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline 16 September 2011
Background information is available here - www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/back to top
Research from Age UK shows that every day, 800 older people fall on a bus. Many of these passengers fall because of unsafe bus driving. Activists from across London have been surveying their local buses, documenting how frequently drivers drive off without waiting for passengers to be seated. Sometimes, drivers accelerate away from the stop without waiting for passengers to find a seat.
Guidance from Transport for London (TfL) is clear: – drivers should wait until everyone is seated before moving off. Bus companies are increasingly using Telematics technology to encourage smoother driving – which is more fuel efficient, as well as being safer and more comfortable for passengers.
Most bus drivers do drive with consideration. Some drivers however are still driving away before passengers are safely sitting down, and putting people at risk.
Transport for All will use the results of the bus survey to lobby TfL to improve its bus driver training schemes and encourage safer driving. Just one fall on a bus, or fear of falling, can put someone off using buses and leave them isolated at home. It’s estimated that around 25 people every day fracture their hip as a result of falling on buses. The cost to the NHS of a hip fracture is about £10,000.back to top