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OPAAL e-bulletin: December 2015 
Welcome to the OPAAL e-bulletin for members

OPAAL Update

Experts by Experience contract
It’s great news that we’ve been named as successful sub-contractors in the CQC’s Expert by Experience programme. Information was recently sent out to all member organisations but in case you missed it you can find out more and access the Expression of Interest form here. Kath and Peter Stone our Financial Advisor will be presenting this opportunity to members at the next HUB meeting on Tuesday 15th December at Voluntary Action Islington in London between 11.00 and 4.30.  If you have not participated in an OPAAL Partnership Development Hub meeting before please contact Pamela Hill for further details. We aim to have identified all new delivery partners before Christmas 2015 and will enter into contracts with them in early January 2016. It is expected that this programme of work will commence 1st February 2016.
Partnership Development Hub
Kath and Peter Stone our Financial Advisor will be presenting the Expert by Experience opportunity to members at the next HUB meeting on Tuesday 15th December at Voluntary Action Islington in London between 11.00 and 4.30.  If you have not participated in an OPAAL Partnership Development Hub meeting before please contact Pamela Hill for further details.
Working Effectively in Partnership
That’s the subject of our next Partnership Development Hub training session. Training will be provided by Keri Harrison of Help & Care and Mike Pochin of Dorset Advocacy. Both organisations work together to deliver Dorset Macmillan Advocacy. Details of when the Hub meets and who to contact if you’d like to attend are noted above.
Older People’s Cancer Voices
We’ve released a series of short films bringing to life our programme of advocacy support for older people affected by cancer.  Our Older People’s Cancer Voices project, funded by Department of Health, supports older people affected by cancer to engage with health and social care professionals to raise awareness of the issues that are important to them, and to disseminate messages about the benefits of advocacy support.  This project is about amplifying the voices of older people affected by cancer so that health and care practitioners and commissioners see the value of advocacy.  You can access links to the four short films by visiting the Resources page of the OPAAL website at
”How to influence” toolkit
Our films also form part of the ‘how to influence’ toolkit that we’re designing together with partners Beth Johnson Foundation, Help & Care, I-CANN and Dorset Advocacy – if you have ideas for resources you would like to see in the toolkit, or if you think you have a good example of an ‘influencing decision makers’ story from your own work, you can help us by being interviewed over the telephone for a short case study.  Please contact Angela Broadbridge with your ideas.
Cancer, Older People and Advocacy (COPA)
Our COPA programme mid-term evaluation has been underway recently. It’s hard to believe we’re 18 months into our 3 year BIG Lottery/Macmillan Cancer Support funded project already. The evaluation is being undertaken by TwoCan Associates and the report will be available early in the New Year.

Law Commission Consultation
OPAAL responded to the Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Consultation. Our response was written following discussions with some of our members and tries to draw a focus to the issues we know our membership base are concerned about in relation to advocacy support for older people. You can access our response here.

Improving health literacy to reduce health inequalities
We’re delighted that a recent Public Health England report – Improving health literacy to reduce health inequalities – makes mention of the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy Programme when looking at the positive impact of peer support. Check out pages 42-45.
OPAAL website gets an update
Hopefully you’ll already have seen our newly refreshed and updated website. The site’s homepage features a fresh new look with user-friendly navigation and a crisper and cleaner design. Our aim is to make it easier for you to both use and to find things. We do hope you’ll enjoy our new site and will find it useful and informative. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please contact our administrator, Debbie Woodward via email
Raising the profile of advocacy through social media
Here at OPAAL we’re making a concerted effort to increase and improve our use of social media. We’re especially keen to use it to raise the profile of advocacy and of older people’s issues. For instance, if like us, you or your organisation use Twitter then do make as much use of the hashtags #advocacyworks and #olderpeople as possible. The more we all use them the higher the profile will be.
Support OPAAL this Christmas
Did you know you could be collecting FREE donations for us every time you shop online this Christmas? With easyfundraising you can raise on everything from turkeys to tinsel. Each time you buy online we receive a donation, why not sign up now!

In The News

Care Act advocacy hits the courts
The London Borough of Haringey was criticised for failing to provide an asylum-seeker with an independent advocate under the Care Act. The judge in the case said the requirement for an advocate in the Care Act "could not be clearer". More information on the can be found here
Care Act advocacy referrals “way below” expected level
Those of us involved in advocacy will not be surprised at recent reports which show that Care Act advocacy referrals are well below expected levels. Under the Care Act, councils are legally required to offer an advocate to anyone who has ‘substantial difficulty’ being involved in assessments, care planning, reviews and safeguarding cases and lacks a suitable friend or relative to represent them. Check out our Facebook page for more information.

Updated guidance on delayed transfer of care
NHS England has recently issued updated guidance on delayed transfer of care. It's interesting to note that the "guidance now places more emphasis on local collaborative solutions to any barriers as part of a wider picture of joint and integrated working (which is embedded in the Care Act)."
As well as the guidance, NHS England has also published the latest local statistics which you can check to see how your local area is doing

NICE guidelines on integrated care for older people
NICE have recently released a new set of guidelines calling on better integrated care for older people with a range of long term conditions. The guidelines encourage health and social services to work closer together to deliver high quality personalised care. One of the key recommendations is to ensure that older people who have social care needs as well as multiple long term conditions should have one named care person as their first point of contact. This is essential in providing continuity of care. These guidelines will affect over 6 million people a year.
National review of Adult Social Care complaints
The Local Government Ombudsman has produced its annual review of adult social care complaints. 55% of all complaints received were upheld and there was an 18% increase in complaints and enquiries received since 2013/14.

Commissioning Independent Advocacy under the Care Act 2014
The Advocacy Action Alliance’s monitoring report found:  63% of contracts for independent advocacy were for 12 months or less. Some local authorities that had not commissioned any Care Act advocacy in time for April 2015 required “nudging” by advocacy providers to set up a commissioning process. In the majority of reported cases (17 local authorities out of 21) the spend on independent advocacy was less than 60% of what the Local Government Association’s Care Act ‘Ready Reckoner’ had indicated it should be for 2015-16, and the average was less than 50%.
15 out of 29 responses reported that their contracts and contracts held by other organisations to provide advocacy had been reduced or ended since April 2015, suggesting a reduction in the provision of advocacy in many local authority areas.


Care Act advocacy training resources
A set of resources have been developed to support the training of independent advocates. It has been created to help training providers deliver training to equip the independent advocates in their roles under the Care Act 2014 and to support the vocation qualifications provided through City and Guilds. You can access the resources here.
Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2015- 2020
The National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, made up of statutory bodies including NHS England, the Association of Adult Social Services, charities and groups representing patients and professionals, has developed a framework for action in making palliative and end of life care a priority at local level. Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2015-2020, is aimed at local health and social care and community leaders and sets out six ‘ambitions’ – principles for how care for those nearing death should be delivered at local level. It builds on the Department of Health’s 2008 Strategy for End of Life Care.  
Electronic DBS checks
NCVO recently published a blog about the merits of dispensing with the old fashioned paper DBS check form and applying electronically. We think you’ll find it a really useful guide to how to go about DBS checks and how to ensure you’re doing it right.
Dementia and homecare: driving quality and innovation
A new report serves as a call to action to help people with dementia live well at home for longer. 'Dementia and homecare: driving quality and innovation', part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, presents a series of innovative practice examples from across the country. It also identifies ways to make these examples the norm. Dominic Carter, a policy officer with the United Kingdom Homecare Association and author of the report, considers why this work was required.
Starting the Conversation
Compassion in Dying has produced a booklet “Starting the conversation: planning ahead for your future treatment and care”. Aimed at supporting people to talk about their wishes for care and treatment with their family, friends and doctor, you can request a copy here
Evaluation highlights areas for improvement in long term conditions care
NHS Improving Quality has been working with the Ethnography Centre of Excellence to produce a series of videos exploring the lives of people living with multiple long-term conditions. While the majority of the population agree that “Britain’s national health service is one of the best in the world”, and half say “the NHS is the thing that makes them most proud to be British” an evaluation exploring the lives of older people living with multiple long term conditions has highlighted that the health and care system is not set up for their needs.

Better Endings - right care, right place, right time
Helping people to die with dignity, compassion and comfort is an important goal of any health service. Recent accounts have provided rich insights into some of the challenges for healthcare professionals trying to meet the needs of people at the end of life, ranging from reports of inequalities in access to specialist palliative care to skills and training gaps for general staff caring for the dying.
Better Endings is the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Dissemination Centre’s first Themed Review. It brings together evidence from the NIHR, focusing largely on the quality and organisation of care. The review aims to help those delivering, planning or using end of life services to ensure that the right care is delivered in the right place at the right time.
Transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs
SCIE guideline: new NICE guideline focuses on what should happen in hospital, from admission onwards and throughout someone’s stay, so that their discharge isn’t rushed or unplanned. The guideline, developed by the NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care - a partnership led by SCIE, ensures people with social care needs get the support they need to leave hospital and to prevent delayed discharge from care.

Worth a Look

Who will speak for me?
Ageing without Children’s national conference takes place on 26 January 2016: 9.45am – 4pm in Leeds. The conference will see the launch of the “Our Voices” report detailing the thoughts & experiences of people Ageing without Children. Aimed at people aged over 50 without children (by choice or not) and organisations working with older people it costs: AWOC members £40; members of the public £50; organisations £65.
Ageing Better
The Centre for Ageing Better has a new website. Find out more about the centre and what it does here
Lloyd’s Bank Foundation
The Lloyd’s Bank Foundation has recently reopened for funding applications. Under the funding programmes of Invest, Enable and Enhance. Invest provides longer term core or delivery funding for charities which meet the programme aim and are delivering clear outcomes as a result of their work; Enable provides shorter term grants to strengthen charities which meet the programme aim, helping them to deliver their mission more effectively and Enhance is a grants plus model offering an optional range of flexible, ‘in kind’ support beyond the grant offering a range of tailored support to strengthen the effectiveness of those we fund in reaching disadvantaged people.
U-SHED is a co-operative group formed by senior citizens for senior citizens. The website says: “USHED was formed by senior citizens for senior citizens to enable us to help ourselves and make life easier without relying on the government who seem unwilling to recognise us. By registering you become a member and we would hope to build an organisation where we can rise up and be able to offer senior citizens savings on everyday essentials and commodities. The funds will sit in a central "pot" and will be used to buy from source and subsidise services for members.
Registration forms will be available at GP surgeries, Post Offices, in newspapers and online.”

For additions to this bulletin, please contact Marie, OPAAL’s National Development Officer at:  

Copyright © 2015 OPAAL (Older People's Advocacy Alliance), All rights reserved.

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