Department of Health

Helping People Live Better for Longer

The Department of Health has published a new guide setting out its role as the “steward of the health and care system”. The guide, ‘Helping People Live Better for Longer’ also explains the Department’s relationship with its various “Arms-Length Bodies” such as the Care Quality Commission, NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Public Health England.


The Department of Health announces £4m to improve the way diseases are diagnosed

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will share the funding across four NHS organisations in London, Leeds, Newcastle and Oxford. These places will seek to become national centres of expertise called NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives.

NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operatives will aim to bring together a wide range of experts and specialists from across the NHS and industry, including clinicians and other healthcare professionals, patients, NHS commissioners and researchers and will investigate a number of different clinical areas:

Department of Health expands scheme to support NHS staff

The scheme, called Schwartz Center Rounds, allows NHS staff to get together once a month to reflect on the stresses and dilemmas that they have faced while caring for patients. Robert Francis QC specifically pointed to the positive impact of Schwartz Center Rounds in his report. The Department of Health has announced a grant of almost £650,000 over the next two years to the Point of Care Foundation to expand the scheme.

Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund 2013 to 2014, Department of Health - deadline 8 July 2013

Application form, guidance and criteria for voluntary sector organisations working in partnership with the NHS and local authorities to apply for funding to improve hospital discharge arrangements for the homeless are now available.


Government launches care comparison website

Information intended to help people choose, compare and comment on residential care homes and home care services is now available on NHS Choices.

The new care profiles aim to provide the most comprehensive source of information on care services.

Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme

The 21 voluntary sector organisations that will be part of the new Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme for 2013/14, have been announced by the Department of Health.

The Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme has been running for four years and aims to bring together a range of voluntary sector organisations to use their expertise to inform and shape national policy.

New health focus for libraries

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) has announced that four 'universal offers' will be rolled out nationally to create an integrated approach to library services in England and Wales.

The four service areas covered are health, reading, information, and digital and the new national approach aims to clarify what the public should be able to expect from their library.

Other initiatives announced include the introduction of the first national books on prescription scheme in association with the Department of Health.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust: Decision by Secretary of State

The Secretary of State for Health has published a notice of his decision in relation to South London Healthcare NHS Trust following a report produced by administrators.

Hospitals to share in funding to improve birthing environments

A £25 million fund to improve birthing environments will be shared by more than 100 hospitals.

A range of projects will benefit and several older maternity hospitals will be refurbished, as well as funding for a larger number of simple measures.

Department of Health seeks views on NICE standards to improve quality of social care – deadline 26 April

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb has launched a 12 week consultation to establish a full set of NICE quality standards and guidance for social care.

The Department of Health is seeking ideas from care users, their families and carers, service commissioners, care providers and front line staff to help decide on future topics for NICE guidance and standards.

The role of NICE in driving up the quality of social care is outlined in The Caring for our Future White Paper.


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