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

OPAAL Update

Welcome to OPAAL’s newest recruit
Pamela Hill has joined OPAAL as National Development Officer to job share with Marie McWilliams until the end of March 2016. Pam started on 10th August and will work 14 hours a week concentrating on the Partnership Development Hub as well as COPA Research & Development work and Quality Standards. Watch out for an introductory blog post from Pam on our blog next week.
Members’ Day fast approaching
This year’s Members’ Day takes place on Tuesday 22nd September. We have a range of interesting speakers including Toby Williamson from NDTi who will be introducing the new sector representing Advocacy Action Alliance. Members unable to attend will be able to find all presentation on our website by the end of the week after the event.
Thanks to OPAAL’s retiring Trustees
It’s OPAAL’s AGM on September 22nd and we say a sad farewell to some long serving Trustees who have left us over the last 12 months. Many of you will know Roger Newman, Les Bright, Linda Tester, Lizzie Feltoe and Louise Hughes. We thank them for their hard work on behalf of OPAAL and the advocacy sector and wish all of them good health and happiness in the future.
New Trustees for OPAAL’s Management Committee
We told you in our last bulletin about our 3 new Trustees, Jonathan Tobutt, Sue Hobbins and Caroline Moretto. We’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming a further 5 new Trustees, Catherine Wood, Wendy Nash, Dorothy Hodgkinson, Colette Isaaks and Kim Taylor. All have been nominated to stand as Trustees and will be formally elected at the AGM. Watch out for biographies of all new Trustees on our Facebook page over the coming weeks.
Older People’s Cancer Voices films
Film editing for the Older People’s Cancer Voices films is going well and feedback is both positive and highlighting improvements and lots of ideas for filming in years 2 and 3.  We hope to have the films available for OPAAL members to use via a link on the Resources page of the OPAAL website. We’ll let you know as soon as they’re uploaded.
Train the Trainer
Angela, OPAAL Development Officer, has developed a Train the Trainer package to support volunteers to deliver the Older People’s Cancer Voices films. She has trialled use of the materials with I-CANN volunteers. I-CANN is an OPAAL member and delivery partner in the Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme. This was positively received and trainers reported that they enjoyed the session.  Angela is using a co-production model to ensure volunteers are comfortable delivering training so some of the materials will be re-worked each time it is delivered to fit volunteer’s needs and wishes. Watch out for further updates in future bulletins.
Cancer, Older People and Advocacy (COPA)
The COPA programme is currently running to capacity with advocacy support being provided to older people affected by cancer in 12 areas in England and 1 in Wales. Delivery partners are busy recruiting, training and supporting older people affected by cancer to support their peers. You can keep up to date with what’s happening in the COPA programme via our blog.
OPAAL’s Partnership Development Hub
As mentioned above, Pam Hill has now taken over responsibility for the Partnership Development Hub and its meetings. The next Hub meeting takes place in London on Tuesday 15th December when Mike Pochin of Dorset Advocacy and Keri Harrison of Help & Care will be presenting on “Effective Partnership Working” during the pre-meeting training session. If you’d like to know more or would like to come along then please do get in touch with Pam.
Letter to Jeremy Hunt MP
You may recall from our last bulletin that Kath, OPAAL’s Chief Executive, wrote to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt raising concerns about the commissioning of Care Act advocacy. Kath duly received a response from Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care at the DH. We thought you’d like to know that the concerns raised have now been shared with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services’ Care Implementation team as well as with the Care and Support Reform Programme Board.

In The News

Delay in implementation on cap on care costs
You will be aware that changes were due to come into force in April next year but in the light of concerns expressed by the Local Government Association (LGA) and many other stakeholders about the timetable for implementation, the Government decided to delay implementation of the cap on care costs system, including changes to the means test, until 2020. You can find the letter from the Government to the LGA explaining this decision here.
Consultations launched into voluntary sector role in health and care
The Department of Health’s review of its grant programmes for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector is underway and it’s important that the advocacy sector gets its voice heard. Two consultations have been launched: one specifically seeking views on the role and effectiveness of the government’s current ‘voluntary sector investment partnership’ suite of grants, and the second taking a broader look at the current state of partnership working, and how closer collaboration could be fostered. 
Thousands have died after being found fit for work
Statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that during the period December 2011 and February 2014 2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found they were found fit for work. For more information click here
Right Place, Right Time Commission on transfer of care
Former Care Minister Paul Burstow MP wrote in the Guardian: “Let me let you in on a secret: winter is coming. Sure as night follows day the NHS will be in the headlines as A&Es and hospital wards fill up and valiant staff struggle to deliver the right care to people in the right place at the right time.” He recently chaired the commission launched by NHS Providers, the national organisation of NHS foundation trusts. The Commission will deliver a report this November that offers practical approaches, drawing on good practice in health, local government, social care and housing, and supports its members to tackle the causes of delayed transfers of care in all settings. More information can be found here.
Care dispute highlights lack of clarity over personalisation
The Guardian carries the story of the dispute between Cheshire East Council and a disabled young man who wanted to use his direct payments to employ his mother for 76 hours a week for his care and for support with social activities. The local government ombudsman (LGO) has now ruled that Cheshire East has been wrong to cite working time regulations, which limit the average working week to 48 hours but which offer the employee an opt-out. It has told the council to reconsider the matter, “balancing choice and risk”.
Gift Aid donor benefit rules
HMRC have been considering the donor benefit rules on an informal basis for the last year and have now moved to a more formal review. A consultation on simplifying the Gift Aid donor benefit rules has been published and will run until 9 October 2015.
Fundraising Regulation
The Commons Select Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs is holding an inquiry to look at call centres raising funds for charities. The inquiry is focused on four key areas:
The extent and nature of practices adopted by call centres raising funds for charities and the impact on members of the public, particularly vulnerable people
The Government’s recently proposed legislative changes on this issue
How charities came to adopt these methods, and how they maintained proper governance over what was being done on their behalf
The leadership of charities and how their values are reflected in their actions and activities.
Human Rights Tour 2015
The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) is holding community education and debate days across the UK between 2-16 October, as part of the 15 Days of Action to mark the 15th Anniversary of our Human Rights Act. The BIHR Human Rights Tour is a unique, but much-needed, space for the community to come together and find out more about what the Human Rights Act is, what it means for each of us and our democracy, and what the future holds for the protection of universal human rights here at home. At a time when powerful voices are talking about unravelling our protections, BIHR’s Human Rights Tour provides an opportunity for people to find out more, get informed and to be heard. Launching on the Human Rights Act’s 15th Anniversary, the 2nd October there are full-day, half-day and evening events. For more information click here.


Peer support for people with dementia
The Health Innovation Network, the Academic Health Science Network for South London, has published a report proving that the positive social value of peer support groups for people with dementia, their carers and volunteers can be far greater than the investment.
Safely home: What happens when people leave hospital and care settings?  
Healthwatch England’s report poses a challenge to the health and social care sector to take action now to improve people’s experience of leaving services. Why has this not happened to date? They believe that because there has been no single body responsible for this issue, there has not been the leadership to tackle poor discharge from health and social care services.
Right here, Right now
Care Quality Commission (CQC) has produced a report after reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of care provided to those experiencing a mental health crisis. They sought to understand whether people were being offered the right care, at the right time, and if they were being given the information they needed, as well as what they felt about the attitudes of those providing help, care and support. Their findings show that there are clear variations in the help, care and support available to people in crisis and that a person’s experience depends not only on where they live, but what part of the system they come into contact with. 
What am I afraid of?
A short documentary film highlighting the views of some of the LGBT 'baby boomers' whose life stories began during and just after World War II. 
Their experiences of how society has perceived them over the years now colours their expectations and fears about when they may no longer be in full control of their lives.
The essential Trustee
The Charity Commission has published its updated guidance “The essential trustee” and an updated version of the shorter trustee guide Charity trustee – what’s involved?
The guidance breaks down the trustee’s role into six clear duties, and explains the legal requirements that trustees must meet. However there is also a stronger requirement on trustees to follow good practice, in order to operate effectively and comply with their duties.
NICE guideline on ‘Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers’
The final scope and equality impact assessment for this NICE guideline have now been published along with all the stakeholder comments that were received during consultation and NICE’s responses to those comments.
Previous OPAAL bulletins
Did you know that you can access previous OPAAL bulletins on our website? Click here

Worth a Look

National IMCA Conference
There are still some places available for the IMCA Conference to be held on 12th November 2015 in Derby. Whether you are a new IMCA or a more experienced IMCA, this one day conference provides the opportunity to update your knowledge related to your role, get answers to questions about practice, policy and law and offers a chance to network with others to share best practice, solutions and experiences. The delegate rate is £85. For details and to book click here
CCG bulletin
NHS England’s weekly bulletin is aimed at clinical commissioning group (CCG) leaders and staff and is the primary communication channel between NHS England to CCGs. Each week, the bulletin features the latest news, guidance and updates from NHS England and the wider health and care system, relevant to CCGs. To register to receive the bulletin click here
NHS England Community Grants
NHS England is seeking to make grant awards to showcase good practice around patient and citizen participation in healthcare. They will be awarding a number of small community grants to not for profit organisations who can tell the story of their patient and citizen engagement work in a creative and interesting way.  This can be in a wide variety of ways; videos, photo or audio books, leaflets and posters, graphics or other formats.  Grants are available of up to £1,000 each, the total funds available are £10,000. Applications should be submitted to by the closing date of 12 noon on 28 September 2015.
Heart Matters
The British Heart Foundations’ Heart Matters is a free magazine that supports people who have a heart condition and helps reduce people’s risk of cardiovascular disease, by providing information and support about treatment and medications, plus information on healthy eating, being active, mental wellbeing etc.
Ageing without children
What do people Ageing without Children worry about most? How does it feel to not be a grandparent? What services do people Ageing without Children think will help them the most? Is the term “elder orphan” an acceptable label? AWOC has 3 upcoming workshops designed to help organisations understand the extent and nature of the issues facing people ageing without children, discuss the reasons, assumptions and myths about why people arrive at later life without children and think about ways organisations and services can be more Ageing without Children friendly.

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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