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

OPAAL Update

We’d like to proffer our apologies for the long delay since our last bulletin. This has been due to internal staffing difficulties. As many of you may know Marie has now reduced her working hours due to family circumstances. We’re working hard to recruit a short term replacement to cover until at least the end of 2015. This opportunity has been opened to members with a deadline of this Friday. Watch this space for further information.
New OPAAL Trustees
Following a recent recruitment drive we’re absolutely delighted to welcome new Trustees Jonathan Tobutt, Sue Hobbins and Caroline Moretto. They were co-opted in June and will be formally elected at our AGM in September. Jonathan has written a post for our blog and hopefully Sue and Caroline will introduce themselves on the blog very soon. We look forward to welcoming further Trustees in the weeks to come.
OPAAL Members Day
This year’s Members Day takes place on Tuesday September 22nd from 9.30am until 4pm. It will be held at AgeUK, Tavistock Square, London and we have a really interesting line up for you. The agenda this year includes: Introducing the New National Advocacy Action Alliance; New Outcomes Framework Research; Effective Partnerships across the Advocacy Sector; Older People without Children. More information and a booking form is available here.
OPAAL mapping exercise
We recently began a mapping exercise of our membership and want to thank those of you who have so far responded. The more responses we have the better able we are to say we represent the older people’s advocacy sector. If you haven’t yet had time to complete the survey then please click here.

Letter to Jeremy Hunt MP
Kath recently wrote to Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health. In her letter Kath aired the concerns of the advocacy sector about the ad hoc nature of the commissioning process of independent advocacy services under the Care Act 2014. If/when we get a response, we’ll let you know.
OPAAL Partnership Development Hub
The Hub last met on 7th July and next meets on December 15th. In July we had a free pre-meeting training session provided by Sian Payne of the Lesbian & Gay Foundation alongside Jonathan Tobutt, new OPAAL Trustee, on making services accessible to older members of the LGBT community and on LGBT issues and caring. Keep an eye on the Events page of our website where we’ll confirm what training will be available ahead of the December meeting.
Cancer, Older People and Advocacy programme (COPA)
We now have a total of 13 advocacy organisations working as delivery partners on this national programme. Advocacy in Barnet became the most recent addition. Funded regionally by Macmillan Cancer Support they are currently setting up their service recruiting peer advocates and supporting older people affected by cancer in the London Borough of Barnet. This phase of the programme is now at capacity but we’re hopeful that another Foundation Programme will be set up during 2016 to further expand this work.
Research & Development Partners
As part of our COPA work we’ve recruited a number of member organisations to be Research & Development Partners. These partners are feeding back on materials and resources produced as part of COPA. We hope to be in a position to set up a new COPA Foundation Programme during 2016. If that’s successful then R&D partners will get first option to join the Programme with a view to receiving OPAAL support to submit future funding applications to join COPA as prospective delivery partners. If you’re interested in your organisation becoming an R&D partner then please get in touch with Marie to discuss.
Older People’s Cancer Voices project
Work on this project has commenced with the filming of a series of case studies which tell the story of cancer advocacy; these case studies will support the development of a ‘how to influence’ toolkit – we aim to learn what works best when influencing commissioners and health and social care professionals to refer to and fund independent advocacy for older people affected by cancer.  Films will be released in early Autumn. 
We are very keen to hear from members who might have interesting case study material relating to building relationships with commissioners, both in health and social care, please contact Angela Broadbridge at if you have an experience to share.
Sanofi: Train the Trainer
Our project partners are currently recruiting Train the Trainer volunteers and a training programme is being developed – we will be recruiting and training older people affected by cancer to become trainers able to talk to health and social care professionals about how independent advocacy supports older people affected by cancer.  The films being produced as part of the Older People’s Cancer Voices project will be used as part of this training.

In The News

Law Commission’s consultation paper, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty
The consultation paper reviews the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in England and Wales. The aim is to replace DoLS with a straightforward and accessible legal framework which provides appropriate safeguards for people who lack capacity whose care or treatment is becoming restrictive. The provisional proposals in the consultation paper represent the Law Commission’s initial view about how the law should be reformed. The consultation period will run from 7 July until 2 November 2015.
Measuring Advocacy Outcomes
Led by Kate Mercer, Kath now sits on the Steering Group of a new Esmée Fairbairn funded project to develop an outcomes framework for Advocacy. Aimed at helping advocacy provider’s evidence good practice, and assure commissioners and our service users that organisations are delivering good outcomes for people, the project will create tools that advocacy services can use to measure the quality and impact of an advocacy service. More information can be found here.

Survey launched: Is the NHS Standard Contract a barrier to commissioning voluntary sector organisations?
Some voluntary sector organisations say they find the NHS Standard Contract a barrier to having their services commissioned by the NHS. Consequently NHS chief, Simon Stevens, committed to exploring a shorter version of the NHS Standard Contract for low-value contracts, in the NHS Five Year Forward View
Regional Voices, working with NHS England, is carrying out a survey to help understand specific issues which organisations have experienced in using the NHS Standard Contract. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes and will close at 10am on 27 July.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
We are delighted to report that OPAAL member Advocacy in Barnet has won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Read more about this wonderful award and what they’ve done to deserve it here.


Dementia from the inside
A new SCIE film takes an innovative approach to what it might feel like to live with dementia. It features the voice of a woman who has the condition, and the viewer gets a view of life from her perspective. The film’s incidents and memories are based on true experiences gathered from people living with dementia.
MCA: Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) in light of the Supreme Court judgment
In March 2014, the Supreme Court issued a judgment on deprivation of liberty, which clarified what may constitute a situation whereby someone can legally have their liberty taken away. The judgment has a big consequence for those people working in the area of mental capacity. SCIE has produced two new films and an updated “At a Glance” briefing which should help those professionals in the frontline, and others.
Practical guide to engaging with clinical commissioning groups
Compact Voice has issued a guide aimed at helping voluntary sector organisations to engage with CCGs. The first part of the guide provides an overview of CCGs and how they fit in with other NHS bodies, and should be particularly useful for voluntary organisations that are less familiar with health commissioning. The second part sets out some practical tips to help voluntary organisations engage with and influence CCGs.
Practical guide to engaging with health and wellbeing boards
Health & Wellbeing Boards set the strategic health and wellbeing priorities for the local area and help guide the work of the local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); they are therefore important bodies for voluntary sector organisations to engage with. The first part of this guide, aimed at those who are less familiar with the health commissioning landscape, gives an overview of how HWBs work, what they are responsible for and who is involved in their work. The second part of the guide focuses on practical tips to help you engage with HWBs.
Guidance to support advocates in challenging decisions or actions with or on behalf of individuals
Advocacy organisation VoiceAbility has commissioned a new publication aimed at providing advocates with guidance on challenging decisions. Knowing the best way to challenge decisions is not always straight-forward. There is rarely just one way to do this and it is important that people and their advocates know what the options are and the pros and cons of each. Until now there has been no comprehensive Guidance to assist advocates in fulfilling this duty.
BIG Lottery Funding Advice blog
BIG Lottery recently launched a new series in funding advice blogs. If your organisation is considering applying for funding, BIG’s funding officer Richard McMullen has all the top tips you need to complete your application to the highest standard.
Cultural awareness improves dementia care for South Asian minorities
Dementia does not discriminate based on country of origin, but services to improve the lives of people with the condition can unintentionally do so. While more people than ever in the UK are receiving a diagnosis and getting the right information to help them to cope, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities are underrepresented in dementia services and are routinely missing out. The Alzheimer's Society is developing tailored programmes to support families from different cultures. Further information is available here.
The Debenham Project
Debenham is a picturesque village in Suffolk. Since 2009 it has developed a unique approach to the care and support of older people and, specifically, the carers of people with dementia.
This is based on a collaborative social movement where the community has taken responsibility for the welfare and support of older people. It grew from conversations between an inspirational group of local people who were committed to improving things for their community united by the common mantra of: “If it is not good enough for my mother, it is not good enough.”
The Debenham project relies on volunteers with around 150 people giving freely of their time. The list from which help is galvanised is impressive: the local County and District Councils, the local NHS, charities such as Sue Ryder and Age UK, businesses and a plethora of local organisations.

Worth a Look

Funding available for innovations to improve health care  
The Health Foundation has £1.5 million available for up to 20 teams to test and develop innovative ideas to improve health care delivery in the UK.  As part of its new Innovating for Improvement programme, they are looking for projects that aim to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care. Each team will receive up to £75,000 of funding, over 15 months, to support the implementation and evaluation of their health care innovation project. The deadline for applications is 12 noon, 4 August 2015. Interested? Click here.
Priorities for dementia care: funding, research and integration
Westminster Health Forum is holding a seminar on January 19th, 2016 in Central London on the above topic with confirmed speakers including Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, NHS England; Dr Charles Alessi, Chairman, NAPC and Senior Advisor and Lead on Dementia, Public Health England; Paul Holmes, Director for the South, Health Education England; Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Society; Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Social Policy and Director, Personal Social Services Research Unit, The London School of Economics and Political Science; Dr Matthew Norton, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector - Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission. For more information click here.
Learn about important case law at the Advocacy Conference 2015
Advocates can use developments within case law as an effective tool to support service users to challenge decisions and achieve the best outcome(s).  But keeping up to date with court rulings and changes in guidance can be onerous and confusing. Peter Edwards, the hugely informative and entertaining international human rights speaker, will examine significant case law developments to enable mental health and mental capacity advocates to remain one step ahead, and where appropriate, face the challenge of being a litigation friend. For more information on this year’s conference which takes place on Thursday 15th October in Birmingham click here.
Dunfermline Advocacy: Friendship Changing Lives
A new promotional film about advocacy 'Friendship Changing Lives' has been released. It aims to raise awareness of the work Dunfermline Advocacy carries out in communities across West Fife. The film premiered at a red-carpet screening at Dunfermline Odeon on Tuesday 2 June 2015. This coincided with the announcement of Dunfermline Advocacy’s Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
Latest GP Patient Survey results
The latest GP Patient Survey (GPPS), which seeks the views of over two and a half million people every year about their experience of GP services and NHS dentistry, has now been published. The data included in this publication was collected in two waves during July to September 2014 and January to March 2015.

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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