Updated handbooks relaunched to support health and care professionals

Following their successful launch in September 2014, two practical handbooks on learning and intelligence have been updated based on input from users over the past six months.

Produced by national improvement body NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ), the Learning Handbook and Intelligence Handbook are concise, accessible e-books for individuals and teams working in health and social care. They are designed to meet the needs of busy professionals, referring them to key tools and resources to help drive service improvement.

When the handbooks were published in the autumn of 2014, they included a call for users to share their feedback with the developers. Six months on the valuable insights collected have been used to update and expand the content. Key changes include:

Hey George, here’s how to reduce pressure on A&E.

Good news is unlikely to be the order of the day come Budget Day with the challenges of balancing the books long-term facing the Treasury.
The exam question is how do you reduce the pressure on the NHS without breaking the bank? Increasing demand, not enough money – it is a well-rehearsed debate.

The Care and Support Alliance thinks it has an answer. More money spent upstream on social care will reap dividends from GP surgeries to Accident and Emergency units up and down the land.

The care system is on its knees. Cuts to social care have directly led to extra pressure on primary care as well as huge challenges for hospitals and other public services. As more and more of us need support, fewer and fewer of us are actually getting it.

Tom’s Rehabilitation Ascent

More than three years since a calamitous nightshift accident at work that resulted in a leg amputation, Tom Perry (35) from Great Ayton in Middelsborough is regaining his mobility and has even returned to his recreational activities of rock climbing and bouldering.
Thanks to his own determination, supported by the latest prosthetic technology, specialist rehabilitation and litigation services, Tom is literally back on his feet and determined to reach new heights, becoming a member of the GB Paraclimbing team on his rehabilitation journey.

Charity raises £30,000 at Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials

Sense, charity of the year for the 2015 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials raised £30,000 at the prestigious event last weekend. The charity that supports deafblind people joined equestrian fans to raise awareness and vital funds for the work they do across the UK.

Some of Britain's leading riders, including Olympian Nicola Wilson, leading equestrian trainer Christopher Bartle, former international show jumper Dame Emma Jane Brown, blind show jumper Karen Law and Paralympian Natasha Baker as well as TV Presenter Nicki Chapman lent their support to the charity for the event.

“Glass half empty” people could face a lonelier old age

People who see old age as a time of loneliness or expect to be lonely in old age are two to three times more likely to feel alone in later life.

Brunel University London found that expectations and stereotypes of a lonely old age are predictors of actual loneliness. In a sample of “not lonely” people over the age of 50 years old, a third expected to be lonely and a quarter agreed that old age is a time of loneliness.

Herts student shortlisted for national nursing award

A resident from Abbots Langley has been shortlisted for a national nursing award.

University of Hertfordshire student, Maria Walker of Hazelwood Lane, has been shortlisted for the Nursing Times Student Nurse of the Year Award for Learning Disabilities nursing.

The 45-year-old was nominated by the university, and is just one of eight nurses on the national shortlist. Maria is dedicated student and has an unshakable appetite for learning. She has been committed to her role as a caremaker and represents the University very well in this capacity by completing placements in hospitals, speaking at conferences and publishing in her field during her time here.

Game changing technology eliminates bed sores and saves hospitals £50,000 per month during four month trial

Simple-to-use device creates accurate diagnoses and slashes previously unavoidable waste while improving patient care

A handheld device that identifies pressure ulcers in the earliest stage of their development has saved two UK NHS hospitals more than £50,000 per month during trials. On wards using the SEM Scanner, developed by Bruin Biometrics, Inc. (BBI), no patients developed hospital-acquired pressure ulcers – commonly known as bed sores – during the four month trial period.


Are you eccentric?

A conference aimed at helping people affected by the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK will be held in Birmingham next month. 

The Eccentric Viewing (EV) conference will give eye care professionals the opportunity to hear from international experts on the technique which helps people with central vision loss to use their remaining vision more effectively.

It will be presented by the Macular Society, the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss, which affects more than 600,000 people in the UK. 


A new survey commissioned by the national charity Turn2us has found that, despite a recovering economy, 89% of people on low incomes with disabilities have seen no sign of their financial situation improving in the last year.

The survey found that in the last year, almost four-fifths (78%) have struggled to pay for food and other essentials, and nearly half (46%) say that their outgoings now exceed their earnings.


Hundreds of organisations and employees across the UK are supporting national Deaf Awareness Week this week by learning about disability awareness and promoting the benefits and improving services to their customers.

With one in six people in the UK suffering from some degree of hearing loss, organisations, particularly those with front line members of staff, are participating in the week-long campaign, which has been co-ordinated by the UK Council on Deafness.

The campaign aims to improve the understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.

New guidance for people getting a powered wheelchair

Based on a unique user survey1, Rica2 has published a new guide called Getting a powered wheelchair: a guide to help you choose3 - available free online and in print. The guide was written and published by Rica2 in partnership with the following national disability charities: Disability Rights UK, Muscular Dystrophy UK, Scope, Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and Whizz-Kidz.

The guide tells you how:

Charity art exhibition at Islington Museum

Material Memories, a textiles arts exhibition telling the unique personal stories of people with sight and hearing impairments from the local community is opening at the Islington Museum on 14 May.

For twelve weeks people with sensory impairments over the age of 50 worked together at the museum to design a patchwork quilt of memories. The quilters shared their stories and used fabrics, embellishments, print media, paints, and personal objects to mark the twists and turns of their lives.

Fereshteh one of the makers said:

“As a blind person I use touch quite a lot to connect with the world - I love using my fingers, it’s so comforting. Everyone has a story to tell and this project allows me to say it in my own language, weaving it into the community’s.”