Mental Health funding squeeze has lengthened waiting times, say NHS finance leads

Mental Health head sketch

Eight out of ten NHS trust finance directors say that funding pressures have led to longer waiting times for people who need mental health treatment, according to The King’s Fund’s latest quarterly monitoring report.

New analysis for the report also shows that despite NHS England meeting its commitment to increase its investment in mental health, nearly a quarter of mental health trusts recorded a reduction in income between 2016/17 and 2017/18. An analysis of mental health trusts’ financial accounts carried out for the report found that, while mental health trusts as a whole reported an overall increase in funding, 21 per cent recorded a reduction in income last year, up from 13 per cent between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Business Disability Forum highlights need for disability technology gap to be addressed

Business Disability Forum's CEO Diane Lightfoot

Responding to the recent publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, Business Disability Forum has welcomed the additional funding announced for GP and mental health services, while highlighting the ongoing technology gap found when accessing healthcare services.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum said: “The role that GPs and others in primary care play in supporting millions of disabled people and people with long-term conditions to stay in work often goes unnoticed. Yet for many people they make working possible, by helping them with the ongoing management of their conditions.

Disability sport heroes recognised at Active Essex Sports Awards 2018

Winners at Active Essex Sports Awards 2018

Disability sport heroes were crowned at an inspirational Active Essex Sports Awards 2018 which celebrated sporting achievements from grassroots to professional level.

Double Olympic gymnastics champion Max Whitlock was on hand to help recognise individuals and organisations that have made outstanding contributions to sport and physical activity in Greater Essex over the past 12 months.

Contributors and sponsors sought for charity app that aims to make public places more accessible

Contributors and sponsors sought for charity app that aims to make public places more accessible

Planning a visit to a shop, cultural attraction or any public place can be a challenge if you have special requirements such as a disability, young children or elderly relatives. A new disabled-run charity, See Around Britain, aims to take away the uncertainty with its vastly detailed, GPS-equipped website and free app, both of which offer essential accessibility information and photographs for hundreds of thousands of sites in the UK and Europe, from popular locations to lesser-known destinations. It also includes all types of travel: railway and Eurostar, buses and taxis, stations and airports: in short it is a 21st-Century Domesday survey of transport and places.

Mindfulness training could enhance weight loss programs in national efforts to tackle obesity

Man practising mindfulness

Mindfulness training may improve the effectiveness of intensive weight management programs, suggesting that it could be an excellent strategy for healthcare providers in preventing and managing obesity.

Researchers from the University of Warwick and the Warwickshire Institute for the Study of Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust have published their findings in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Individuals who participated in mindfulness training as part of an intensive weight management program lost more weight in six months than other program participants who did not attend mindfulness courses.

Global Business Leaders & Businesses Throw Support Behind Disability Inclusion Revolution

Global Business Leaders & Businesses Throw Support Behind Disability Inclusion Revolution

High profile global business leaders and companies have today committed to take accountability for disability inclusion in business, by supporting #valuable - a worldwide call to action for business to recognise the value and worth of the one billion disabled people globally. 

Founder of #valuable, Caroline Casey, commented:

“Disability inclusion is an issue that has been pushed to the sidelines of business for far too long. Momentum is now building and we have reached a tipping point. We’re delighted that the World Economic Forum have announced that the need to bolster inclusion of those living with a disability will be a main message at Davos in 2019.” 

Call for memorabilia and stories about disability sport

Cartwright Hall, where the memorabilia and stories about Paralympics and disability sport will be shared

In partnership with Bradford Council, an exhibition is coming to the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford this month which will feature memorabilia and stories surrounding the Paralympics and disability sport.

From modest beginnings in the late 1940s at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann encouraged wounded veterans to play sport as an aid to rehabilitation from spinal injury received from the battlefront. This led to local competitions, the Stoke Mandeville Games and in turn the birth of the Paralympic movement. Today, the Paralympic Games attracts national and international public support and interest.

 SpecialEffect receive early Christmas present from web specialists

 SpecialEffect receive early Christmas present from web specialists

Code Wizards who specialise in enterprise and solution architecture for their clients are delighted to have been able to donate their services to SpecialEffect, the charity that helps children and adults with disabilities integrate with their friends to play computer games.

Following a meet up at a recent UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) conference, the trade body for companies working in the video games and esports arena, Code Wizards met with SpecialEffect and found they could help them with an integration that they required on their website.

They expressed that they needed Twitch integration on their website to help push GameBlast, which is their event for raising awareness and funds by industry veterans and insiders stream their game play.

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Riding for the Disabled Association - RDA - is launching a ‘50 Faces’ campaign to highlight the fantastic achievements of its members, volunteers and supporters.

The focus of the campaign is on challenging preconceptions about disability, volunteering and equestrian sport, through the inspiring stories of people within RDA. 

These stories will then form an interactive collage of images, audio content and films, which will be used as a focal point for the RDA website and across social media platforms throughout its 50th anniversary year in 2019.

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People

Charity Distributes 5,000 Items of Winter Clothing to Homeless and Vulnerable People in Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester

Human Appeal, a UK Muslim-faith based charity, have announced that they have distributed 5,252 items of winter clothing to homeless and vulnerable people across Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow as part of their Wrap Up 2018 campaign. Human Appeal have asked members of the public across the three cities to donate unwanted coats for vulnerable people, such as rough sleepers and people living in shelters, and have collected a record breaking total. This is the third year that Human Appeal has run Wrap Up Manchester and the second year it has run Wrap Up Glasgow and Wrap Up Birmingham.

Blackwood House Opens Doors to Independent Living For the Future

Blackwood House Opens Doors to Independent Living For the Future

AN INNOVATIVE home which is set to be the model of how Edinburgh aims to help transform the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities has been unveiled for the first time. 

A working replica of the ‘Blackwood House’ was launched on 4 December at the Edinburgh Community Rehabilitation and Support Service in Longstone.  The home will provide a place for both customers and staff to test and feedback on the latest in technology enabled care within a realistic homely setting.

It is the first step in what is hoped to be the roll out of a number of the specialist properties in the city.

Bluebird Care launches national campaign to #SpreadASmile and tackle loneliness

Bluebird Care campaign

The Bluebird Care team have been encouraging people to help make someone smile throughout their day. At the start of November, they introduced the #SpreadASmile campaign, which invited their teams from across the country to document their acts of kindness on social media and encourage others to do the same. 

This campaign was set up to tackle loneliness and depression, which becomes more prevalent at this time of year, as we approach the festive seasons and people get swept up in the mayhem of Christmas.

Hightown Independence at Christmas: from care home to supported living

Hightown Homes Logo

An Aylesbury resident has moved out of a care home which supports people with learning disabilities, and into her own Hightown supported living extra care flat, just in time for Christmas.

Candy lived at a Hightown care home in Wendover (Buckinghamshire) for the last three and a half years. After growing more confident and becoming increasingly independent, she has moved into her own Hightown supported living extra care flat at The Elms in Aylesbury. 

Candy has already started decorating her flat to get ready for this festive time of year. She has a passion for collecting teapots and one of the perks of having her own flat is being able to display them in her new living room.

Outcomes First Group ranked No.1

Outcomes First Group - Children playing boardgame

Outcomes First Group - a leading specialist provider of care and education services to children, young people and adults with autism, learning disabilities, complex and social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs -  has been ranked number one in Ofsted’s Inspection profiles of the largest private and voluntary providers of children’s homes with 35% of its 45 homes rated ‘Outstanding’ and 65%  rated ‘Good’.  

The organisation operates a national network of award-winning Department for Education registered therapeutic care homes and special schools through its Hillcrest and Options divisions. 

Care Management Group sold to AMP Capital by Court Cavendish

Court Cavendish

One of the UK’s leading high-quality providers of social care to people with learning disabilities - Care Management Group (CMG) - has today been sold to AMP Capital by Court Cavendish. Rothschild & Co and Pinsent Mason were advisers to Court Cavendish in this process.

Court Cavendish - the specialist Health and Social Care turnaround company owned by Dr Chai Patel CBE FRCP was brought in to assist CMG back in 2008 at a time when CMG was on the verge of bankruptcy and struggling with business-critical issues including high debt levels and poor quality care ratings.

Visually impaired London student is overcoming accessibility challenges

Visually impaired London student

Visually impaired London student is overcoming accessibility challenges and achieving independence with cutting-edge artificial vision technology

"The OrCam absolutely gives you that key important word: independence"

Souleyman Bah is a student studying Business Management at the London School of Business. However, unlike most of his peers, Souleyman has degenerative eye condition which means that he has been losing his sight since he was a child.   

Epsom Charity has specially adapted toys for disabled children on sale for Christmas

little boy with adapted toy

Epsom design charity MERU now offers a range of toys adapted so that an accessible button or switch will work them, and they’re still available in time for Christmas, but all year round too!

Young children learn how the world works through play – especially cause and effect. A lot of early years’ toys involve squeezing the toy or pushing a button and having something happen.

However, for many disabled children, this can be difficult, as they don’t have fine motor skills or may have other impairments. 

Motability charity boss to go after extra bonus revealed

Motability charity boss to go after extra bonus revealed

The boss of Motability Operations is to step down by 2020 following criticism over his pay and a scathing review from the government's spending watchdog.

The report from the National Audit Office revealed Mike Betts was in line for an extra £1.86m bonus on top of already "generous" pay.

The firm operates the Motability scheme which provides wheelchairs, cars and scooters to disabled people.

Mr Bett's level of pay was described as "obscene" by MP Frank Field.

Mr Field, who chairs Parliament's Work and Pensions Committee, said it was "beyond appalling to learn that money that could have been used to improve the lives of disabled people will be lining his pockets instead".

Importance of taking part in activities when you have a disability

Activities when you have a disability

The term disability covers a wide range of conditions and impairments, but it can be anything which can affect a person’s everyday living. This can include mental, physical, cognitive or developmental impairments. 

It is important that people living with a disability have access to a wide variety of activities which help to improve their everyday quality of life. 


Physical Wellbeing

Physical exercise can be a huge challenge for someone who is living with a disability, and this is not just restricted to those with limited mobility. Exercise can seem like a daunting task which is why inclusive sports and activities should be offered widely in the community. 

Giving Peace Of Mind That Loved Ones Are In A Safe Environment

Kinderkey safe environment

The Bearhugzzz SpaceSaver Bed provides a soft, yet strong and safe environment for sleep, play and relaxation. Suitable for vulnerable children and adults, it is designed to accommodate the needs of people with autism, Angelman syndrome, epilepsy, challenging behaviour and multiple learning difficulties.

It can help to eliminate poor sleep patterns and provide safety for those who wake during the night. A major benefit is the bed’s ability to withstand vigorous behaviour, thanks to its soft padded sides which protect the user against injury. The steel walls are covered by soft foam with a waterproof, wipe- clean, antimicrobial fabric that is available in a range of beautiful patterns and colours.