Applications sought for the High Sheriff’s Community Intergration Awards

OCF is currently seeking applications to the High Sheriff’s Community Integration Awards. The awards are grants of up to £5,000, given for work that brings together diverse communities of people. In addition to the grant, successful projects will be recognised at an annual awards ceremony hosted by the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. The closing date is Friday 8th September at midday.

The High Sheriff’s Community Integration Award is a grants round within Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Delivering Impact programme. Grants are offered for initiatives that bring together communities usually divided by ethnicity, age or social background.

Read the full eligibility criteria on our website

We would like to encourage new groups or collectives to apply to this grants round, even if you have never applied to OCF before. Along with OCVA, we are happy to work with you to help you complete the grant application form and collect the necessary documents.

If you are a larger, established charity, please do also pass this opportunity on to smaller local social or community groups in your networks. We are keen to reach new communities with this funding.

We would encourage eligible groups to start an online application to this fund ASAP. You can apply here.


Annette Ahern Office Admin and Governance 01865 798666

Report – State of care in Mental Health Services 2014 – 2017

Please find attached report on the state of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017. The report combines evidence from our inspections and findings from our role monitoring use of the Mental Health Act, as well as analysis of data from other sources. This rich resource of information means we now know more about the quality of mental health care than ever before.

CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.
Some of the key findings are:
–          68% of core services provided by NHS trusts were found to be good, with 6% rated as outstanding. Among independent services, 76% were rated as good or outstanding (72% good and 4% outstanding).  
–          Some services performed particularly well, especially community services for people with a learning disability or autism and community services for older people.  
–          In addition, services that needed to improve have made real progress when they have taken on board our findings and committed to tackle problems proactively and learn from others.  
–          However, there are a substantial minority of NHS trust and independent services that need to improve the quality of care they provide. Thirty-nine per cent of NHS trusts were rated as requires improvement as at 31 May 2017, as did 23% of independent services. And a very small number were rated as inadequate: one NHS trust and three independent services.
The report identifies several areas of concern:
–          Concerns about ‘locked rehabilitation wards’  
–          Great variation between wards in how frequently staff use restrictive practices and physical restraint to deescalate challenging behaviour  
–          The impact of staffing shortages  
–          Poor quality clinical information systems  
–          Commissioning of crisis care services
You can find more information on our website here
Samuel Wallace
Senior Regional Public Engagement and Involvement Officer
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
CQC | 151 Buckingham Palace Road | London | SW1W 9SZ
Tel: 07747455180

Can you help stroke study?

We are a team of researchers based in the University of Oxford, at the Centre for Health Service Economics and Organisation (CHSEO). We are planning to seek funding for a study of post-acute stroke care in England. We understand that early supported discharge, rehabilitation and other forms of care and support after acute care for a stroke is very important for the quality of life of stroke survivors and their families. Yet there is a lack of evidence on post-acute stroke care relative to evidence on acute stroke care.

The Health Foundation is currently inviting research proposals on the use of national clinical audit and patient registries to improve the quality of UK health care. One of three themes on which they are seeking proposals is reducing variation: ‘using national clinical audit and registries to explore variations in metrics of clinical quality to support policies for improvement’.

We plan to investigate:

1. How capacity, workload, waiting times and other characteristics of providers of post-acute stroke care vary by region, deprivation and other characteristics of the areas they serve;

2. How outcomes for providers of post-acute care vary by their characteristics such as the nature of the care they offer, their capacity, their staffing, and their training for stroke survivors and their families;

3. Whether the outcomes for providers of post-acute care are correlated with deprivation and other characteristics of the areas and patients they serve;

4. What factors are correlated with outcomes of post-acute stroke care by commissioner (Clinical Commissioning Group) such as their expenditure on stroke care, access to different forms of post-acute care, and deprivation of the area they serve;

5. The barriers to improving outcomes of post-acute care and changes in policy and practice which could facilitate improved outcomes;

6. What further data on outcomes of post-acute care do providers collect or could they collect for a future audit and/or future research study.

The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) conducted in 2014-15, in addition to its ongoing clinical audit, an organisational audit of post-acute care. This collected data from commissioners (CCGs) on the post-acute stroke care they commission and from providers on the nature, capacity, staffing and other aspects of the services they provide. The clinical audit collects data on the level of disability (modified Rankin score) of individual patients at discharge/transfer from acute care and at 6 months. We plan to treat the change in modified Rankin score between discharge/transfer and 6 months as an indicator of outcomes.

Our study will involve statistical analyses of these SSNAP audit data together with other data, especially Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on local populations. It will also involve Interviews with a sample of around ten providers of post-acute care.

We would be most interested to hear your views on our planned research proposal. We would especially welcome comments on specific issues and questions relating to post-acute stroke care on which you consider it would be particularly helpful for the NHS to have better evidence to inform decisions in the interests of improving patient care and patient experience. We would be happy to receive comments by email, to If you would prefer to give comments on the phone please request this. Responses by 21 July would be especially helpful but responses after that date would also be valuable.

Most services meet the ‘Mum Test’ but there is still too much poor care, finds CQC

Most services meet the ‘Mum Test’ but there is still too much poor care, finds CQC

While the majority of services are safe and of a high quality and many are improving, too many people across England are living in care homes and receiving care and support in their own homes that is not good enough. Without a proper recognition of the importance of adult social care and a renewed commitment to quality, the numbers of people affected by poor care could increase and have a profound impact on their lives.

In a national report, published today (Thursday 6 July 2017), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that over three-quarters of adult social care services are currently rated as Good (77%, 16,351) and 2% (353) are currently rated as Outstanding.

CQC has found that strong leaders – both at provider and registered manager levels – play a pivotal role in high-performing services, where a strong vision and person-centred values inspire staff, encouraging a culture of openness and transparency. Staff members are capable, confident and caring and are focused on supporting people to live the best lives they can.

However, CQC has found considerable variation with nearly a fifth (19%, 4,073) of services being rated as Requires Improvement and 2% (343) as Inadequate.

This is the first time that such focused analysis on a national scale has been possible following the formal introduction of CQC’s new regulatory regime for adult social care in October 2014, with expert-led, specialist inspections that focus on what matters most to people using services – are they safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led? CQC then rates services as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate so that the public and providers are clear about its judgements.

Since then, CQC has carried out over 33,000 inspections of around 24,000 different services – many more than once. These include residential homes, nursing homes, care in people’s own homes, Shared Lives schemes and supported living services.  These are vital services for thousands of people, young and old, who may be living with a physical disability, learning disability, autism, dementia and/or mental health conditions.

CQC found the adult social care sector performed best in how ‘caring’ its services were, with 92% being rated as Good and 3% as Outstanding in this key question. In these services, CQC found staff building meaningful relationships with the people who they care for over time and treating them with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.

Safety is where CQC has found its greatest concerns, with 23% of services being rated as Requires Improvement and 2% as Inadequate in this key question. Issues uncovered by CQC include ineffective systems and processes for managing medicines or determining staffing levels, which can result in people not getting their prescribed medicines, call bells not being answered, and home visits being rushed or missed.

CQC has used its inspections and ratings to help providers of adult social care understand the specific areas where improvements are needed, to hold them to account to make these necessary changes, to celebrate best practice and to help people to make informed choices about their care.

Already, CQC’s actions are driving improvements in care for people. Of the 686 services that were originally rated as Inadequate and have been re-inspected, more than four in five (81%, 553) improved their overall rating. However, this does still mean that nearly a fifth of services have not improved and further action is required.

CQC has not seen the same rate of improvement in services that were rated as Requires Improvement initially, where only 56% of the services eventually improved to Good, with others failing to improve and some deteriorating.

Worryingly, 26% of the services that were first rated as Good and have been re-inspected have deteriorated. While these are a small proportion of services that were originally rated as Good, it shows that providers cannot always sustain this level of good practice within their services and that as a whole; the sector continues to be fragile at a time when more people are expected to need its services.

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission, said: “When CQC began to transform its regulation of adult social care in England, I asked my staff to consider whether every service they were inspecting was good enough for their Mum or anyone they loved. The ‘Mum Test’ has guided our work ever since and made sure that we always focus on the people who are most important – people who use services, their families and carers.

“Having carried out over 33,000 inspections of around 24,000 different services, most of the adult social care sector is meeting the Mum Test, providing safe and high quality care that we would be happy for anyone we love, or ourselves, to receive. This is thanks to the thousands of dedicated staff and providers who work tirelessly to ensure people’s care is truly person-centred and meets their individual needs.

“However, there is still too much poor care, some providers are failing to improve, and there is even some deterioration.

“It appears to be increasingly difficult for some providers to deliver the safe, high quality and compassionate care people deserve and have every right to expect. With demand for social care expected to rise over the next two decades, this is more worrying than ever.

“Last October, CQC gave a stark warning that adult social care was approaching a tipping point. This was driven by more people with increasingly complex conditions needing care but in a challenging economic climate, facing greater difficulties in accessing the care they need.

“While this report focuses on our assessment of quality and not on the wider context, with the deterioration we are seeing in services rated as Good together with the struggle to improve for those with Inadequate and Requires Improvement ratings, the danger of adult social care approaching its tipping point has not disappeared. If it tips, it will mean even more poor care, less choice and more unmet need for people.

“The announcement in the Chancellor’s budget statement of £2 billion additional funding over the next three years is welcome but even more welcome is the promise of a Government consultation this year, which hopefully will lead to a long-term solution to support good quality, person-centred adult social care, both now and into the future.

“Quality must be at the heart of the long term reform of social care in England. CQC will continue to keep its relentless focus on quality with regulation becoming more targeted, risk-based and intelligence-driven over the next few years. But we cannot do it alone. Everyone must play their part in making sure quality matters and that adult social care services provide care that we would all be happy to use.”

Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said: “This report recognises that there is a lot of great care provided by committed leaders and staff through high quality services to people in care homes and in their own home.

“Our recent 2017 budget survey shows that whilst extra funding is very welcome, it doesn’t meet increasing needs and costs, that 74 per cent of directors report that providers face quality challenges and that 69 per cent of councils had experienced provider failure or returned contracts.

“The risk of adult social care approaching its tipping point is still real and we will focus on re-doubling our mutual efforts to ensure that the quality of care doesn’t deteriorate and that older and disabled people and their families get the reliable, personal care they need and deserve.”

#StateofSocialCare #QualityMatters

Only a week to go until M.A.D week!

M.A.D. website

twitter: @madweekoxon
facebook: M.A.D Week (@madweekoxon)
instagram: @madweekoxon

OCVA are working in collaboration with Volunteer Link-up as part of an innovative partnership with Bartholomew School in Eynsham. The pilot project, which goes by the name of M.A.D. (Make a Difference) Week, involves 60 of the schools’ Year 12 students. The students will be spending the week beginning 10th July with a local charity, community group or social enterprise on placements which have been designed to be empowering. 10 organisations in West Oxfordshire are part of the pilot which aims to build lasting connections between students and members of their local community and a commitment from students to organisations that will extend beyond the week itself.

Students listen attentively as the 10 organisations pitch for their support in MAD Week

The students have played an active role in selecting the organisation they would like to volunteer for in July. All students attended an information event at school in which they heard from all 10 organisations as part of a mass speed dating activity. The students listened to a 5-minute pitch from each organisation and subsequently recorded their preferences. The students have now met with their chosen charity in an initial planning session in school. This was an opportunity for groups and students to get to know one another, identify strengths and areas for development and generate ideas for the week.

During MAD Week the students will be given responsibility for undertaking research, running events and engaging service users; enabling them to develop the core competencies and soft skills demanded in an increasingly competitive job market; whilst their energy and fresh perspective will help charities to reach a younger audience and encourage them to reflect on their current ways of working. We believe this to be the first week of its kind in Oxfordshire and are excited about the potential to develop this model in future years – working with other Oxfordshire schools and charities to make an even bigger difference in the county.

OCVA will be working with a team of 6 students for the week whose role is to capture the activity as it unfolds. The students will be developing their own website and Facebook page, appearing on BBC Radio Oxford, writing press releases and producing a short film to showcase the highlights from the week. Links to material produced by the student reporters will be made available from this page in the build up to and during MAD Week.  If you are a school or community group with questions about the organisation of MAD Week and plans for its development in Oxfordshire in the future, please contact Emily Shaw (Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator) on 01865 251946 /

M.A.D website

twitter: @madweekoxon
facebook: M.A.D Week (@madweekoxon)
instagram: @madweekoxon

Oxford City Farm’s Crowdfunding Campaign is LIVE!

Oxford City Farm’s Crowdfunding Campaign is LIVE!

 Oxford City Farm wants to bring all the proven health, social and environmental benefits of city farming to our urban community.

We have just taken on a 40 year lease on a piece of derelict land in East Oxford (just off Cornwallis Rd, OX4) and thanks to our lovely volunteers we have already made some real progress. We have growing spaces, a polytunnel, bee hives, and for the last few months some pigs-on-loan from a local farmer!

But we need to raise significant funds if we are to realise our vision of a free to access space where people of all ages and backgrounds can learn to grow and have fun together, through hands-on experiences with farm animals and food production.

Through this Crowdfunding Campaign we hope to raise £12,000 to bring water and electricity onto the site – two essentials for moving the project forward. We will be able to scale up our community growing, install toilets and handwashing facilities and be in a position to look after animals permanently on the site!

If we exceed our target it will mean we can do even more!

We have got some great rewards including generous donations from local foody businesses, lovely experience days and fair trade organic tea towels and tote bags with beautiful designs on.

Please share the campaign far and wide!

Oxford City Farm Team

Chance to become a governor of your local ambulance service

Chance to become a governor of your local ambulance service
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is looking for governors and we are encouraging people to put their names forward as candidates at our autumn 2017 election.
This is a fantastic opportunity if you are interested in the future of local health services, in particular of your ambulance service, to make a difference.
Our Governors have an important role: as well as collectively holding the Board of Directors accountable for our performance, they also ensure that the interests of the Trust’s members are taken into account.
You must be 16 or over and reside in (or have a connection with) one of our four counties (Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire).
Vacancies to be filled are as follows:
Berkshire x 1
Buckinghamshire x 3
Hampshire x 3
Oxfordshire x 1
Governor workshop
We recommend that you attend our Aspiring Governor Workshop event.
There will be the opportunity to learn more about the election process and how to fill in your nomination form, along with lots more information on being a governor. Details are as follows:
Thursday 6 July 2017
Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury RG14 2DR
To book a place, please email by Monday 3rd of July.
Attending the workshop doesn’t mean you have to stand for election as a governor afterwards, the session will be for you to find out if you might be interested in the role.
If you are unable to attend the workshop but wish to register your interest please email
Monica Moro ACIM | Membership, Engagement and Marketing Support Officer
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust | 7-8 Talisman Road | Bicester | OX26 6HR | Tel: 01869 365126 (Switchboard 01869 365000) | Mobile: 07788 418915 | | |Twitter – follow us @scas999

Thames Valley 111 contract award SCAS

Alliance led by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust awarded the contract for new Thames Valley 111 Integrated Urgent Care Service ‘The new front door to urgent care’

Patients across the Thames Valley will be opening a new front door to urgent care services from September 2017.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has been awarded the contract for the new Thames Valley 111 telephone service by the 10 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the Thames Valley. SCAS leads an alliance set up to deliver the service, which also includes Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The alliance brings together the relevant skills and expertise from local NHS providers needed for patients to access a wide range of medical disciplines.

Thames Valley 111 will now offer patients a seamless 24/7 urgent clinical assessment and treatment service – bringing together NHS 111, GP out of hours and other clinical advice, such as dental, medicines and mental health.

A team of clinicians will be available on the phone when needed, and will be linked into a new NHS Clinical Hub – a group of healthcare professionals who can help get patients the right care, at the right time, in the right location.

A thorough and rigorous procurement process took place involving clinicians, specialists and NHS managers from across the Thames Valley in the decision-making.

The focus was on selecting a provider which will work across all CCGs to support the development of an integrated 24/7 care service on a local basis.

Sam Burrows, the senior responsible officer for the procurement process, said: “We are pleased to announce that the Thames Valley 111 Partnership, led by SCAS, has been awarded the contract. This is an exciting time and one which is going to improve patients’ experience by getting people to appropriate care more efficiently by this integration of urgent care services.

“We undertook a comprehensive procurement process, which included engaging with clinicians, patients and members of the public to identify issues, address them and design a new integrated urgent care service which will revolutionise the experience for those calling 111. The Thames Valley region will be an early adopter of this new approach which will be rolled out throughout England by 2020.

“During the summer of 2015 the 10 CCGs in the Thames Valley undertook widespread public engagement with key stakeholders, as well as a review of feedback from existing users of the current 111. This gave us a picture of patient experiences and desired improvements to NHS 111, as well as gaining an understanding of public knowledge of urgent care services.

“I would like to thank all those local residents, stakeholders and clinicians who took the time to give their views and feedback during the engagement process. Your valuable contribution will help shape this integrated service and confirms our commitment to ensuring that patients are at the heart of the services we commission.”

Philip Astle, Chief Operating Officer at SCAS, said “We are delighted to be at the heart of these exciting developments of the NHS 111 in the Thames Valley. SCAS has a strong track record of working with healthcare partners to deliver outstanding care to the people of the Thames Valley, and this transformation of NHS 111 will enable us to build on that record.”

A detailed mobilisation plan is now being implemented; working towards the launch in September 2017.

The national Commissioning Standards for Integrated Urgent Care published in 2015, describe an ambitious model of care for the future in support of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review. Commissioners across Thames Valley are committed to delivering a regional service that meets the full potential of these standards.



Didcot Garden Town proposed delivery plan consultation

We’ve published details of a new consultation which seeks feedback on the Didcot Garden Town proposed delivery plan.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have set out how they will manage expected growth for the town to include new roads, schools, shops, leisure facilities and more green spaces to support the additional homes already granted planning permission.

M·E·L Research, an independent market research company, is undertaking the consultation on our behalf.

To view the proposed delivery plan, appendices and take part in the consultation please visit

You can access the online survey here

We strongly advise you read the proposed plan before making comments.  Responses to the consultation can be submitted and received until midnight 31 July 2017.  All comments will be handled anonymously unless submitted on behalf of groups or organisations.

If you prefer to view a paper copy of the document, copies of the proposed delivery plan appendices and consultation forms are available to view at the following venues:

• South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB

• Vale of White Horse District Council, Abbey House, Abbey Close Abingdon, OX14 3JE

• Didcot Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot, OX11 7HN

• Didcot Library, 197 Broadway, Didcot, OX11 8RU

• Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NE

• Didcot Wave, Newlands Avenue, Didcot, OX11 8NX

Yours sincerely,

Gerry Brough
Interim Head of Development and Regeneration
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council