October 2008

The first ever self-help relaxation DVD for deaf people who use British Sign Language has just been released in the UK. It is a collaborative effort between a number of health specialists, academics and a Bristol based Social Enterprise called EyeGaze. More...

Third Sector minister, Kevin Brennan, has affirmed the Government's commitment to PSA16 during a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services in Liverpool. He also announced the launch of the Socially Excluded Adults Public Service Agreement Community of Practice, in partnership with the Improvement and Development Agency.

The Government has responded to a CSCI review of the fair access to care services framework, which addresses inconsistencies in who gets support and sets out how to create a more transparent system. More...

BASE is seeking to recruit 2 people on a consultancy basis for an 8 month project which will run in South East England. The Action for Inclusion project is funded by the South East LSC and seeks to map and benchmark regional supported employment provision and broker a number of partnerships between further education and supported employment providers. Further details are on our jobs page.

A new pilot aimed at helping the parents of children in poverty get into work has been launched in ten Local Authorities. Parents will have access to Jobcentre Plus personal advisers in Children’s Centres to help them access work focussed services. The pilot will run in 30 children’s centres from January 2009. More...

BASE has submitted a response to the DWP's welfare reform Green Paper. It is available to members for viewing on our policy pages. More...

NHS Employers has been commissioned by the Department of Health to improve the numbers of previous mental health service users and people with severe learning difficulties in employment in the NHS. They are re-issuing an updated version of 'Mental health and employment in the NHS' which provides advice on the employment and support of previous service users and also on supporting staff who develop mental health problems whilst in service.

James Purnell has said that the increased funding for the Access to Work programme will be used to test new ways of helping people with mental health issues stay in work. In a speech to the Social Market Foundation, he said that support will be made available for people with mental health conditions either already in work and experiencing difficulty, or those about to enter employment, as well as for their employers. We're not yet clear how this adds to the curent programme but will be making enquiries.

Gordon Brown's reshuffle means a flurry of changes, particularly at Junior Minister level. There's a big shake up at the Department for Work and Pensions. Stephen Timms has moved from DWP to the Treasury and Mike O'Brien to the new Department for Energy and Climate Change. In come Tony McNulty and Rosie Winterton as Ministers of State. Junior posts are filled by Jonathan Shaw and Kitty Ussher. Anne McGuire has left DWP and will be sadly missed for the manner in which she has fulfilled the role of Minister for Disabled People.