This page shows public news of interest to BIOS members AND visitors.
  • 21 August 2014 7:11 AM | Anonymous

    All Together for the NHS - Campaign Day 1st September

    All Together for the NHS is a joint campaign co-ordinated by the TUC (which BOSTU is a member of), bringing together unions from across the health sector.

    Why are we campaigning?  At our meeting last week, unions involved in All Together for NHS agreed to jointly promote a campaign calling for more investment in a quality workforce for the NHS.

    The All Together for the NHS campaign believes that the public deserves a quality NHS with staff that are well motivated and properly rewarded for the vital work they do, with a health service that has enough staff to ensure patients are safe and with a workforce that is properly trained and equipped to deliver quality healthcare in the 21st century.

    The government is seriously under-funding the NHS at a time when demand is rising. Recent figures from the Kings Fund show that spending on the NHS will fall from 8 per cent of GDP in 2009 to 6 per cent by 2020. This is an unprecedented reduction in resources.

    NHS workers are being asked to bear the brunt. Five years of pay restraint has hit our members’ hard, leaving morale at rock bottom. Not only that but we share concerns highlighted by Monitor and NHS Employers that the government’s pay policy is not sustainable at a time when the economy is picking up. Staff will vote with their feet or lose the good will to continue providing the many extra hours of free staff time on which the NHS depends.

    We want ministers to properly fund the NHS to ensure that our health service workforce is rewarded for its dedication, hard work and excellence and that the NHS is able to recruit and train the brightest and best workforce that our patients deserve.

    Monday 1st September – Campaign Day

    As part of the campaign, we are encouraging members to take part in a day of social media and campaign activity on Monday 1st September. The aim of this day is to keep a focus on the issue of funding and pay in the NHS and to highlight our on-going campaign for fair pay for NHS workers.

    Activity on the Day  We are asking members to take photos of themselves and their colleagues, at work, using our ‘NHS workers deserve a pay rise’ prop and then put them up on Twitter on email them directly to us.

    Simply print out the prop, which you can find here: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economic-issues/industrial-issues/public-sector/all-together-nhs/nhs-workers-deserve-pay-rise

    Write a simple message about what fair pay means for you and why you need a pay rise.

    Then take a ‘selfie’ or group photo and post it up on Twitter, with the hashtag #NHSPay

    Alternatively, you can email it directly to  phadley@tuc.org.uk







  • 20 August 2014 8:40 PM | Anonymous

    The BIOS Scientific Conference 2014 is now well underway and taking place 20/21 August at Glasgow Caledonian University.

    See pics of posters exhibition and start of Prof Anita Simmer's address on Amblyopia and Dr Graeme Williams on Ocular Myasthenia.

    Any others to share? How about from Gala Dinner? Or from the walk around Glasgow?

  • 15 August 2014 5:09 PM | Anonymous

    With over 165 people expected, the professional and social programme is going to be buzzing with excitement and stimulation.

    If you are going to the conference Tweet, Facebook and Email pictures and comments as the social and scientific programme unfolds:

    Delegate information pack Delegate_info_pack_SciConf_Glasgow_August 2014.pdf

    Programme Glasgow Conference Programme Aug2014.pdf

  • 11 August 2014 11:29 AM | Anonymous

    Pay Review Body Side-lined

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has written to the NHS Pay Review Bodies, confirming that they will not be asked to make recommendations on a pay award for Agenda for Change staff, or for NHS-employed doctors and dentists, for 2015/16.

    He states that the Government believes that the case for continued pay restraint across the public sector remains strong.

    The Government will follow the same approach to national pay that was implemented in 2014. 

    The NHS Pay Review Body may be given a remit to consider further reform of national pay and conditions later in the year.

    Good news for Wales

    However, better news in Wales with Living Wage initiative and one-off payments for agenda for change staff announced http://www.wales.nhs.uk/news/33213

    The living wage announcement is part of the wider pay deal for NHS staff in Wales which also includes:

    • A one-off payment of £160 for all NHS staff under Agenda for Change contracts (those staff other than doctors and dentists), excluding very senior managers, plus incremental pay progression for eligible staff when it is due;
    • No pay uplift for very senior managers for 2014-15;

    The BOSTU will be asking members what they feel about this and other issues and what forms of industrial action, if any, they would consider.

  • 06 August 2014 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    HCPC launches council recruitment drive

    HCPC to appoint four new Council members

    The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is seeking to appoint three lay members and one registrant member to its Council.  The appointments are expected to commence from 1 January 2015.

    As a UK-wide regulator, HCPC is encouraging applications from individuals across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  As there is a requirement that each of the four countries in the UK is represented on the Council, the HCPC is also seeking to appoint individuals to at least two of these roles who live or work in each of Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Council members play a key role in setting strategy and policy and ensuring the HCPC fulfils its statutory duties and responsibilities. They also act as ambassadors for the HCPC representing the Council’s public protection role. To see more about the role, watch the film from our existing council members: http://youtu.be/HO8-0tJsdgg

    The closing date for completed applications is 5pm on Friday 12 September 2014.

    For further information about the appointments and the role of the Council please visit: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutus/council/councilappointments/ or contact Claire Amor, Secretary to Committees, on 020 7840 9710 or email appointments@hcpc-uk.org


  • 25 July 2014 10:22 AM | Anonymous


    The march starts 16/8/14 in Jarrow and will follow in the footsteps of the 1936 Jarrow Crusade and we arrive in Parliament 6th September 2014. That's 300 miles, 3 weeks and 23 towns with 21 rallies with numerous visits to NHS hospitals etc on route. A huge task hence this email asking for support to plug the march and a request to unions for support and to ask they participate in anyway they can. Please note a number of feeder marches are also being organised!

    The 999 Call for NHS campaign group consists of a local group of mums from my home town in Darlington we are not affiliated to any organisation or party. 

  • 18 July 2014 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    News release

    Friday 18 July 2014

    HCPC registrants now require professional indemnity arrangements

    All Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registrants except social workers in England* must now have appropriate professional indemnity arrangements in place as a condition of registration.

    Michael Guthrie, Director of Policy and Standards, commented:

    “The majority of our registrants will already meet these requirements because they will be indemnified either through their employer, a professional body, union or defence organisation, directly with an insurer, or a combination of these.

    “However, it is important that registrants ensure that they have cover in place that is appropriate for their practice. We have produced guidance called Professional indemnity and your registration to help registrants understand the new requirement, which can be downloaded from our website.”

    In the future, the HCPC will ask registrants to confirm they meet the requirement by completing a professional declaration when renewing or registering. However, this will not happen until the necessary amendments to the HCPC’s Rules have been made. The HCPC will continue to update on the progress of these.


    * Social workers are separately regulated in each of the four countries and social workers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be unaffected by our proposals.

    Notes to Editors:

    1. All media enquiries to Angie Scarlett-Newcomen on + 44 (0)20 7840 3480 or email press@hcpc-uk.org  

    2. The requirement is a result of new legislation, the Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014, introduced as part of the UK government’s obligations under European Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patient rights in cross-border healthcare.

    3. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

    4. Professional indemnity and your registration can be downloaded at: www.hcpc-uk.org/publications/brochures/index.asp?id=883  

    5. Further information on the requirements and FAQs are available here: www.hcpc-uk.org/registrants/indemnity

    6. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/protectedtitles  

    Arts therapists
    Biomedical scientists
    Chiropodists / podiatrists
    Clinical scientists
    Hearing aid dispensers
    Occupational therapists
    Operating department practitioners
    Practitioner psychologists
    Prosthetists / orthotists
    Social workers in England
    Speech and language therapists

  • 18 July 2014 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    This month in PV we will be asking your views on whether the 6 Cs of Compassion in care should apply to Orthoptists, Assistants and Technicians as well. What do you think?



    You can email, Tweet or FB us


    Twitter @FollowBIOS

    Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/BritishIrishOrthopticSociety

  • 09 July 2014 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    The BIOS has been flagging particularly at its Dream Team events that the Better Care Fund - set aside to assist with integration of health and social care in England - means no new money.

    This Health Service Journal article takes the story forward a step demonstrating that “the better care fund is well intentioned but with no new funding, it is papering over the cracks of deteriorating NHS finances and social care budget cuts.”

    Better care fund bailout for acute trusts is agreed

    Better care fund cash will be used to compensate acute hospitals when local integration initiatives fail to reduce emergency admissions, the Department of Health has announced.

    This modification was set out this week by the DH and the Department for Communities and Local Government following a ministerial pledge last month that an element of “risk sharing” would be incorporated into the initiative.

    The plan follows widespread fears from NHS providers that they would be placed at financial risk if the integration project did not lead to lower hospital admissions. NHS England is also said to be worried about ensuring local better care fund plans are financially sound.

    Under the fund, £3.8bn will be placed under the joint governance of clinical commissioning groups and local councils. Of that sum, £1.9bn of it will come from a new topslice of local CCG commissioning

    The new arrangement will ensure £1bn of this remains within the NHS, and will depend upon performance against a planned cut to accident and emergency admissions. In each area a set amount of the fund will be initially held back, based on the value of savings that are planned to be generated through reduced emergency activity.

    Local targets to cut A&E activity will be agreed by councils, CCGs and NHS England area teams.

    The DH has not set a firm national target, but HSJ understands the minimum expectation will be a 3.5 per cent cut in A&E admissions in 2015-16. If achieved, this would equate to savings nationally worth £400m.

    Under this scenario, if plans are successful and savings are achieved through falling A&E activity, the money will be released to be spent on integrated care as they deem appropriate. If A&E activity does not reduce, the money held back will be used to pay for it. The remainder of the £1bn not dependent on A&E activity will also have to be spent within the NHS on non-acute services.

    Older woman and younger woman, nurse, smiling at each other

    The move is intended to help ensure more joined up community health and care services ‘for some of our most vulnerable citizens’

    If every area set a target of 3.5 per cent reduction in A&E, that would leave £600m to be spent within the NHS.

    The changes represent an evolution of the performance-related element of the fund originally set out by ministers, which would have seen some of the funding held back if local areas failed to demonstrate improvement on a range of performance measures. That regime was scrapped last winter when ministers decided it would be “inappropriate” to take money away from areas struggling to make improvements. The new arrangements ensure that there are no financial penalties, but will direct the money to hospitals where necessary.

    Richard Humphries, assistant director for policy at the King’s Fund said: “This announcement is a sign of growing anxieties within government as the NHS heads towards a financial crunch in 2015-16.

    “The better care fund is well intentioned but with no new funding, it is papering over the cracks of deteriorating NHS finances and social care budget cuts.”

    He added that the changes will ease fears among NHS providers, but will add to the strain on councils.

    “Sticking plaster solutions will not deal with the significant challenges facing social care, nor will they address the growing funding pressures facing the NHS.

    Unless significant additional money is found, patients and service-users will bear the cost as services are cut and quality of care deteriorates.”

    The DH has also said today that 80 per cent of better care fund plans were on target to significantly improve local services through integrated care.

    The local better care fund plans are still being assured. However, 14 have been identified as being “fast tracked” for more rapid development, so they can act as examples to everywhere else. These are:

    • Dudley
    • Hammersmith and Fulham
    • Kensington and Chelsea
    • Westminster
    • Greenwich
    • Leeds
    • Liverpool
    • Nottinghamshire
    • Reading
    • Sunderland
    • Rotherham
    • Torbay
    • Warwickshire
    • Wiltshire

    Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Local authorities and the NHS are making excellent progress in developing plans that will give patients better, joined up care and allow hospitals to focus on treating the people who really need to be there. The plans are packed full of ideas and show that strong partnerships are being forged with different teams like never before.

    “Successive governments have talked about bringing the NHS and social care together for decades – this is the first, transformative step to making that a reality.

    “We will continue to nurture and support the development of these plans to deliver our shared ambition so that every part of the country provides better care for patients closer to home.”    

    Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “This marks an important step in ensuring more joined up community health and care services for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and we will now be working closely with our partners in local government and the local NHS and many others to ensure the rigour of the local planning matches the scale of the transformation we all want to see. The NHS will widely welcome this collaborative approach.”

    The Foundation Trust Network welcomed the changes, but chief executive Chris Hopson added: “Significant risk still remains. Local areas are being asked to plan for a 3.5 per cent reduction in emergency admissions in 2015-16  when last winter, the mildest in a century, admissions rose by 4 per cent and trusts are reporting similar, if not greater, increases for the first quarter of 2014-15.

    “We have less than 300 days to put the new patterns of care in place to deliver these reductions. Whilst some plans have been produced in collaboration with providers, many of our members also tell us that they are still not fully involved in this planning process.”

  • 27 June 2014 12:04 PM | Anonymous

    NHS England is pleased to announce the appointment of Suzanne Rastrick as Chief Allied Health Professions Officer.

    Suzanne will take up the pivotal role in September, taking the lead in developing the vital contribution from the 12 allied health professions (AHPs) to further improve the commissioning and services provided by AHPs to achieve better outcomes for patients after illness and injury. 

    She will work alongside colleagues both within and outside of NHS England, as the senior adviser to the Department of Health on AHP matters, as well as representing England’s health professionals on the international stage

    Suzanne qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) from Oxford in 1986 and began her career in the acute hospital sector.

    She was one of the first allied health professionals (AHPs) to hold a substantive Director of Nursing post. She has also been Chief Executive of a Primary Care Trust Cluster, and has a Non-Executive portfolio in the commercial and not for profit Housing Sector and sits on a number of national groups.

    Since 2013, she has played a prominent role in clinical commissioning, as Interim Chief Executive of NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group during its shadow form, followed by Director of Quality.

    NHS England’s National Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “Suzanne has a proven track record in representing the allied health professions and in commissioning. Her appointment will help to keep AHP expertise at the heart of our services and provide a firm focus on the delivery of patient-centred care.”

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