National Assembly for Wales Cross-Party Group for Neurosciences Inquiry into the understanding of neurological conditions within Emergency Units Over 100,000 people are affected by a neurological condition in Wales, yet far too often staff at Emergency and Admissions Units and other non-specialist elements of the NHS in Wales, do not know how to identify the underlying symptoms of neurological conditions and fail to contact specialists. Read the full report in English or Welsh.
On 6th December 2010, the Government proposed to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a new ‘Personal Independence Payment’, and will begin to reassess all working age claimants in 2013-14. Key changes to the benefit will include:
The ‘care’ component of DLA will be replaced with a ‘daily living’ component, based on an individual’s ability to carry out ‘key activities necessary to participate in daily life’
The benefit will only be available to people with a long-term health condition or impairment, and there will be no automatic entitlements (except for those who are terminally ill)
A new objective assessment of need will be brought in, which is likely to involve a face-to-face meeting with an independent healthcare professional
All awards will be periodically reviewed
All payments will stop if an individual is in a hospital or a care home
The Department for Work and Pensions launched a consultation on the proposals the day of the launch. For more information go to: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2010/dla-reform.shtml
A new Equality Act came into force in October 2010. The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has created a series of guidance documents to help explain the Act and provide practical examples on how the law has changed. It currently has guidance for employers, workers, service providers, service users, education providers and students. A web based version of the guidance was launched in August. You can find out more about the starter kit by going to: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/new-equality-act-guidance/equality-act-starter-kit/
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has recently undertaken a review of the provision of complex, children's and specialist community equipment.
Additional work is now being undertaken to investigate the current provision of communication aids throughout Wales.
Communication aids are tools for everyday living. Some are low-tech, such as communication books and symbol boards. Others are high-tech electronic devices. These are often called `Talkers’, `Voice Output Communication Aids’ (VOCA for short) or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. All of these enable people who have no speech, limited speech or impaired speech to communicate their wishes and thoughts to others. In this survey we will call all devices (both high-tech and low-tech) `communication aids’.
A number of surveys concerning all aspects of the provision of communication aids have been devised in order to gain the views of all those involved and we would particularly welcome responses from service users and their families and voluntary sector organisations.
Voluntary and Third Sector Organisations were asked to complete and return a survey questionnaire by Friday 3 December 2010.
Service Managers, Education Departments and practitioners throughout Wales are in the process of being separately surveyed. WAG is also seeking the views of communication aid users and their families, and would also be very interested in short case studies highlighting any problems with the provision of communication aids and/or the difference that a communication aid can make to an individual. For further information on the surveys please contact Mary Morris on 01792 326564 or email@example.com
Sue Ryder Care New Publication: Palliative Care in Neurological Disease: A Team Approach A team of healthcare experts who work at and with Sue Ryder Care have published a book designed to increase knowledge and skills amongst care professionals. The book builds bridges between palliative and neurological end of life care and shares best practice. The book is available from Radcliffe Publishing www.radcliffe-oxford.com