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SpeakOut funding (March 2016)

The current contract for UCLan to run SpeakOut is coming to end at the end of March.  CQC and UCLan are currently in conversations about what this might mean going forward, but both CQC and UCLan are keen to find some ways in which we might each be able to continue to work with you all in the future.  We have achieved some great things over the years and together we form a really strong and coherent network of groups that span across a range of so-called ‘hard to reach’ or ‘seldom heard’ communities.


It is likely that SpeakOut, or something like it, will be re-procured in the future, although it may not be UCLan that ends up co-ordinating and facilitating it and future work programmes may also look different.  We are working hard with CQC in order to try to clarify their intentions and also to see whether some form of interim arrangement might be achieved so that SpeakOut does not lose momentum in the immediate future.  


Whatever happens, rest assured that we will hold SpeakOut together in some shape or form so that members can tap in to the resources of one another and continue to communicate with each other about ideas.


We will keep you updated as to the outcomes of discussions with CQC in due course.  

In the meantime, you might like to reflect on what some of our members have said about the work they have been involved in with us.

2015 SpeakOut Conference Report (March 2016)

The 2015 SpeakOut Conference took place in Leeds last November.  Check out the conference pages to see the report and download the presentations and table discussion notes.

CQC Strategy Review - Have Your Say! (Feb 2016)

The Care Quality Commission is seeking views on its plans for the next five years as it further develops its approach to regulation. CQC has changed the way it works over the past three years and in its consultation document Shaping the future, it sets out a vision for the future regulation of health and social care.  You will find a copy of the document here.

We have also produced a powerpoint that summarises the main points in order to make it a bit more accessible.  You can download it here.

You can respond to the consultation directly through a CQC  web form or by email CQC at  You can also tweet CQC your thoughts at #cqcstrategy.

Alternatively, it you prefer you can email us at  and we will pull together a response on behalf of our members. The consultation is open until 14 March. CQC will formally respond to the feedback provided when it publishes its strategy in May this year.

First Utility Foundation is Accepting Applications for First Round of 2016 (Feb 2016)

UK registered charities that are working with vulnerable families and children, older people and disabled people can apply now for funding for projects that address at least one of the following areas:

  • Changing the lives of the UK's most vulnerable families and children for the better.
  • Improving the quality of life for older people.
  • Making life better for people with disabilities.

The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting initiatives that can demonstrate a track record in reaching marginalised communities and/or delivering innovative solutions to alleviate suffering.

There are two levels of funding:

  • General Support grants for core costs range from £3,000 to £10,000.
  • Flagship grants for specific projects are up to £20,000 per year.

The funding will not cover capital projects. There is a two-stage application process. The deadline for initial applications is 29 February 2016.  Further details are here.

New Code of Conduct For Handling Sensitive Information - Consultation Open (Feb 2016)

CQC are consulting on the new code of practice for handling sensitive and confidential information across all areas of their work. You can see their proposals and make any comments here.

Lloyds Bank Foundation Open Round 2 of Enable Grants Programme (January 2016)

The Foundation, which has moved from a rolling grants programme to a grant rounds approach, is accepting applications for Round 2 with a deadline of 4 March 2016.

Enable is a small/short grants programme intended for charities that have identified clear development needs. Enable funding aims to help organisations deliver their mission more effectively. Grants are available up to a total £15,000 over two years. Charities and charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) in England and Wales can apply as long as they are working with people experiencing multiple disadvantage at one of the critical points in their life.  Applicants must be working with people who are 17 years or older and experiencing at least one of the following:

  • Have been abused or are at risk of abuse.
  • Are victims of sexual exploitation.
  • Are ex-offenders or those at risk of offending.
  • Are long-term unemployed.
  • Are leaving care.
  • Are homeless.
  • Have learning disabilities.
  • Have mental health and wellbeing issues.
  • Have addictions.
  • Are isolated and vulnerable.
  • Have severe financial difficulty as a compounding disadvantage.

The only exceptions are young people who are under 17 years of age and young parents or looked after children and disabled young people moving into independent living.  More details are available here.

How To Becone An Expert By Experience (January 2016)

Further to the news item below (Decemebr 2016), details have now emerged about how you can become and expert by experience.

Experts by Experience are people who have personal experience of using or caring for someone who uses health, mental health and/or social care services that are regulated by CQC.  The primary role of an Expert by Experience on inspections is to speak to people using services and their family/advocates.  They may either do this face-to-face or on the telephone depending on the service to be inspected.  They may also observe how the service is delivered and speak to staff. Experts by Experience inspection findings are used to support the inspectors’ judgments on services and can also be included in inspection reports. Experts by Experience will also participate in other CQC activities such as assisting in training Inspectors and other CQC staff, and taking part in working groups.

Remploy and Choice are looking for the following:

  • People in the early stages of dementia
  • Family carers of people with dementia
  • Older People who use regulated services
  • Family carers of older people who use regulated services
  • People who have a learning disability, people who have a dual diagnosis of learning disability and mental health, people with Autism
  • People who have a physical and/or sensory impairment
  • Family carers of people who have severe learning disabilities and/or behaviour that is considered to be challenging
  • People who have experience of using mental health services
  • People with experience of detention under the Mental Health Act
  • People who have experience of using substance misuse services
  • Children and young people who use health, mental health or care services, or are family carers
  • Family carers of children and young people who use health, mental health or care services
  • People who have recently used maternity services

Anyone interested in becoming an Expert by Experience for Remploy should visit or contact

Anyone interested in becoming an Expert by Experience for Choice Support should visit or email  or telephone 0207 261 4107. 

Engagement Tips #4 (January 2016)

Huddersfield Women's Centre offer advice on engaging women with histories of mental health problems in this short video. 

What Do People Want From Primary Healthccare In 2016 (January 2016)

Healthwatch have just published the findings of a survey detailing the problems people face trying to access GP care and the key things people would like to see change.  The most common problems were: trying to get an appointment; not feeling listened to; and not have enough information to make the decisions that they needed to make.  Specific groups (for example older people) also faced some specific challenges.  People also said that they wanted to be able to play a bigger role in looking after their own healthcare.  You can see the results of the survey here.

People's Postcode Trust - Changes Announced to Small Grants Programme (December 2015)

Since 2009, the People’s Postcode Trust has awarded over £11 million to 1600 projects across Great Britain. Starting in 2016, the Trust will be changing the remit of its Small Grants Programme, with two rounds opening to all constituted voluntary and community organisations, registered charities, social enterprises and community interest companies in England, Scotland and Wales.

As the People’s Postcode Trust’s mission is to try to make the world a better place, applications will now only be invited for projects that focus on the following themes:

  • Prevention of poverty.
  • Healthy living initiatives.
  • Upholding human rights.
  • Facilitating reconciliation projects which help disadvantaged or at-risk groups.

Examples of projects which may fit within the Trust’s new criteria include:

  • Training programmes to boost skills and opportunities for disadvantaged people, including volunteer training programmes aimed at providing skills to the long-term unemployed.
  • Projects that tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour and homelessness, including projects aimed at at-risk young people or young people leaving care.
  • Projects that support at-risk families, providing and early intervention to help tackle family breakdown.
  • Programmes that improve the physical and mental health of disadvantaged groups, enabling them to live more fulfilling lives.
  • Programmes that promote human rights and empower disadvantaged groups enabling them to create a better life for themselves.
  • Provision of services around domestic violence centres or refugee advice centres.
  • Projects that bring different groups of people together in a way that promotes understanding of differences and promotes justice, including programmes that promote migrant rights and help groups integrate into new environments.

Grants range from £500 to £20,000 for those in Scotland and England, and up to £10,000 for those in Wales, and can be used for:

  • Purchase of capital items and equipment.
  • Staffing/training costs of up to 50% of total amount requested.
  • Running costs of up to 20% of the total amount requested.
  • Volunteer expenses up to 25% of the total amount requested.
  • Marketing costs of up to 10% of the total amount requested.
  • Building renovations that have an ecological or wider impact on the services an organisation can provide.

The first round is due to open on 1 May 2016 with a deadline of 31 May 2016. The second round will open on 1 September 2016 with a deadline of 30 September 2016.  Click to view further information about this newsflash

Engagement Tips #3 (December 2015)

SpeakOut member Imtiaz Naqvi from Bradford Association of Visually Impaired people offers advice on engaging the people with sight impairments in this video.

CQC Award New Contract For Experts By Experiecne Programme (December 2015)

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has awarded contracts to two organisations to run its expended Experts by Experience programme across England from the 1st of February 2016. 

Experts by Experience are people who have experience of using care services. They take part in CQC's inspections of health and social care services and on visits to monitor the use of the Mental Health Act. They are also involved in work around designing CQC policy and co-production work when looking at changes to the way that CQC inspects services.

During inspections, they spend time talking to people who use the service and observing the environment. They have first-hand experience of receiving care so they know which questions to ask to get as much information from the visit as possible.

CQC currently work with around 500 Experts by Experience.

Following a competitive tender process, CQC has awarded the contracts to:

  • Remploy – to recruit, support and manage the involvement of Experts by Experience in CQC’s North, South and London regions
  • Choice Support – to recruit, support and manage the involvement of Experts by Experience in CQC’s Central region.

For further information contact CQC:


Map Squads Bubble Club Wins DSC Social Change Award (December 2015)

SpeakOut members Map Squad the proud winners of the DSC Social Change Awards category for Every day impact for long lasting enterprise 2015.  Well done to everyone involved!!!  You can see a clip of the award ceremony here.

Intercom Trust Become Latest SpeakOut Members (December 2016)

SpeakOut is delighted to welcome the Intercom Trust as the latest SpeakOut members.  With offices in Exeter, Redruth, Salisbury and Bournemouth, Intercome Trust support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across the South West peninsula

Monthly CQC News Bulletin (December 2015)

CQC's monthly news bulletin is here.

East Notts Travellers Association Join SpeakOut (November 2015)

SpeakOut is delighted to welcome the East Notts Travellets Association as members.

Engagement Tips #2 (November 2015)

SpeakOut member Rabbi Simon Grant from Binoh offers advice on engaging the people from the Orthodos Jewish Community in this video.

CQC and Healthwatch Publish Joint Report On Working Together (October 2015)

This is the first of three joint CQC and Healthwatch England briefings to support improvements in how CQC and local Healthwatch work together to make people’s voices count in health and social care regulation. It provides examples of how local Healthwatch have gathered and reported on people’s experiences of care to inform CQC inspections, and how CQC inspection teams have used this information to inform their inspections of NHS hospital, ambulance, community and mental health services. The examples show how working together can make a difference to the quality of local regulation and support improvement in people’s experience of health and care. They may also act as a helpful starting point for discussing local working arrangements. 


SpeakOut Members Boost CQC's On-Line Community (September 2015)


Following the news item last month, 55 people from SpeakOut have signed up to join CQC's on-line community.  There's still time for you to join.  Clck here for more details.


Engagement Tips #1 (August 2015)

SpeakOut member Karnail Sodhi from the Asian Disabled Assocaition offers advice on engaging the South Asian community in this video.

Join CQC’s Real-Time On-Line Community To Help Make A Difference (August 2015)

The Care Quality has established a real time on-line community to allow members of the public to input in to its proposals and suggest ways in which things could be improved.  Find out more and register to take part here. Your feedback will be used to inform how CQC works.  New tasks are run every two weeks with a turnaround time for feedback of between seven and fourteen days.

Care Improvement Works: Free Resources to Support Service Improvement (August 2015)

Care Improvement Works is a new online tool with a wealth of resources that are designed to support providers of adult social care in England to improve and develop.  Developed by Skills for Care and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) the resources have been mapped on to the Care Quality Commissions inspection questions around safety, effectiveness, responsiveness, caring and leadership.

You can access all of the resources for free here.

CQC’s Monthly Newsletter (July 2015)


See the latest news from the Care Quality Commission including an update on how CQC will inspect substance misuse services.  This was a piece of work that SpeakOut groups contributed to.


CQC’s Healthwatch Bulletin (June 2015)


The Care Quality Commission’s latest bulletin for Healtwatch providers takes a critical look at end of life care.  It also contains information about the experiences of service users facing a mental health crisis.


National children’s hospital survey finds most children have good experiences of care – but highlights inequalities for those with specific needs (July 2015)


The results of Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) first survey in England to get views of children and teenagers about their hospital care have been published. The experiences of almost 19,000 children and young people who stayed in hospital overnight or were seen as a day patient reveal that the majority of children and young people said they were happy with the care received, thought staff did everything possible to control their pain and they understood the information given to them by staff.


However, children with physical or learning disabilities, or mental health needs reported poorer experiences of care than those without.


Want to know more about how to get involved in CQC inspections?  (June 2015)

The latest CQC newsletter contains information about you can get more involved in CQC inspections of local hospitals.  Click here to find out more.


CQC’s Monthly Newsletter (May 2015)


See the latest news from the Care Quality Commission including details about the latest plans to expand the experts by experience programme from November of this year.


SpeakOut welcome new members (May 2015)


SpeakOut is delighted to welcome Apna Ghar Minority Ethnic Women’s Centre and Humber All Nations Alliance as the latest new members.  Based in South Shields, Apna Ghar is run by and for women from minority ethnic communities and provides advice, information and support around a range of issues, including housing, immigration, legal services, employment and health.  Humber All Nations Alliance promote the well-being of Black and minority ethnic communities throughout Hull and the Humber by providing a range of bespoke services and by providing advocacy and representation in decision making contexts.


CQC’s Healthwatch Bulletin (April 2015)


The Care Quality Commission’s latest bulletin for Healtwatch providers outlines the new regulations and responsibilities for CQC and provides details about its programme to improve integrated care for older people.


Is It Stalking? (April 2015)


This animated film (Is it Stalking?) from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust  will help you identify what stalking looks like so you can manage it.  If you don't have a workplace stalking policy - you can find tips and guidance here.


Two new guides published on evaluation and spread to support quality improvement work (April 2015)


The Health Foundation have published two new guides to support service improvement.  Evaluation: what to consider, has been inspired by people who asked the Health Foundation questions about how to approach evaluation of quality improvement in health care. The answers provide practical information on the most commonly asked questions.  The guide is intended to assist those new to evaluation by suggesting methodological and practical considerations and providing resources to support further learning.


Using Communications approaches to spread improvement, introduces key concepts about spreading health care improvement work and examines the evidence about the role communications can play. The guide is intended for those actively engaged in health care improvement work and who want to explore how to best engage the right people to spread and share their findings.


New Duty To Display Ratings (April 2015)


As of today (1st April) providers of health and adult social care services are obliged to display their ratings publicly.  You can keep abreast of this and other news in CQC’s monthly newsletter.


Free On-Line Training for SpeakOut Members (March 2015)

Understanding the health and social care environment is a flexible on-line training course acreditted by CERTA.  And it’s free for SpeakOut members.  Find out more about the content here.


New Easy Read Leaflets (March 2015)


A number of SpeakOut groups have recently been involved in helping CQC to review the information that it provides for the public.  A new version of a leaflet telling members of the public what CQC does has now been produced in Easy Read taking account of what many of our members said.  You can view it here.


New members (March 2015)


SpeakOut is pleased to welcome East Sussex Community Voice, Bromley Learning Disabilities Day Services Quality Checkers, Self Advocacy in Lancashire (SAIL) and PAGER (Pensioners Action Group East Riding) as members.  East Sussex Community Voice…  Based in Bridlington, PAGER offer information and advice to people over 50.


The New NHS (March 2015)


Confused about how the NHS in England is currently made up, who is who and who does what?  The Kings Fund have produced a short animated film to give you a whistle stop tour of where the NHS is now - how the new organisations work and fit together – and explains that our new system is as much a product of politics and circumstance as design.  You can view it here.


CQC update for local Healthwatch (March 2015)


CQC’s latest update for Healthwatch includes its response to the Kirkup report in to the failings at Morecamble Bay hospitals and announcements about its new upcoming programme of inspections and how to have your say.


It also includes information for people who are thinking about using hidden cameras - or any type of recording equipment - to monitor someone's care.

Aimed at families, carers and people who use health and care services, the information sets out some of the things you can consider if you are thinking of using recording equipment, as well as explaining other steps you can take to raise your concerns. You can download CQC’s information about using surveillance to monitor care here.


New programme of inspections announced (Feb 2015)


CQC has announced its programme of inspections for July 2015.  The providers to be inspected in are:


Acute Trusts


  • Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust


Acute and Community Trusts


  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Mental Health Trusts


  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust


Mental Health and Community Trusts


  • 5 Borough Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


You can share your experience of using these (or any other healthcare service provider for that matter) by calling 03000 61 61 61.  Alternatively you can, or use  CQC’s online form.  


CQC’s Monthly Newsletter (Feb 2015)


See the latest news from the Care Quality Commission including guidance on using hidden cameras to monitor care, the latest on GP inspections and the annual report on the workings of the Mental Health Act here.


CQC Update on GP inspections (Feb 2015)


The Care Quality Commission has published a further 63 reports on the quality of care provided by GP practices.  53 of the practices have been rated as Good, one has been rated as Outstanding, seven have been rated Requires Improvement and two have been rated Inadequate.  You can find out details about which GP’s were inspected and how they were rated here.


CQC Monthly Newsletter (January 2015)


See the latest news from the Care Quality Commission including an update the new obligations on providers to display their ratings publicly here.


CQC's commitment to equality in the workplace recognised by Stonewall (Jan 2015)


Leading gay, lesbian and bisexual rights charity Stonewall has recognised CQC's commitment to equality in the workplace by placing it in the top 100 UK employers in the Stonewall Equality Workplace index for the first time.


My Life My Choice Launch New Film (Jan 2015)


SpeakOut members My Life My Choice have launched a new film telling the story of self advocacy in Oxfordshire.  You can view it here.


Deprivation of Liberty Safegaurds (Jan 2015)


CQC has just published its latest annual report on the workings of the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS), which are meant to protect and balance the rights of people when they may be held or treated against their will.  You can view a copy of the report here.


The report recommended that:


  • Local authorities continue to consider the use of advocacy for all those subject to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
  • Local authority leads for the MCA and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards create good working relationships with their local coroners. This is likely to be of great benefit to ensure that a consistent message is given to providers and so that they can work together in dealing with the considerable extra activity as a result of the Supreme Court judgment.

  • Local authorities and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) providers work together to enable IMCAs to carry out their role to support the person or their unpaid Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) to challenge an authorisation to the Court of Protection when it is the person’s wish, whatever the IMCA’s views on the rightness of the authorisation.



NHS crisis ‘inevitable’ without extra funding (Dec 2014)


The NHS needs another £2bn of funding in the next year if it is to avoid financial crisis, the King's Fund health thinktank has warned.  Read more here.


Clegg launches mental health taskforce (Dec 2014)


A new taskforce for mental health made up of cabinet ministers from across the coalition government will examine how to improve services for patients.

The group will look at how mental health services for young people can be improved; welfare and employment issues and helping people back into work; and how to improve crisis care to prevent people with mental health problems ending up in police cells and prisons.  Read more here.


My Life My Choice launches campaign film in support of national ‘Who Benefits?’ campaign (Nov 2014)


My Life My Choice has today launched a film as its contribution to the national ‘Who Benefits?’ campaign.  ‘Who Benefits?’ was originally formed by leading charities Crisis, Gingerbread, MIND, Macmillan Cancer Support, and The Children’s Society to give a voice to the millions of people who have been supported by benefits at some point in their lives.  ‘Who Benefits?’ will be publicising the film nationally.


My Life My Choice believes that recent national media and politician rhetoric labelling benefit recipients as scroungers has started to erode some of the important gains made by the disability movement over the past 20 years.  In this 5 minute film, funded by OXFAM, people with learning disabilities challenge some of the myths surrounding the current benefits debate and ask the viewer to join in a positive conversation.  The film can be viewed here.


SpeakOut member wins award (Dec 2014)


Imtiaz Naqvi, a founder member of the Bradford Association of Visually Impaired People, was among a handful of people to pick up a community star award in Bradford.  Read more here.

What standards can you expect? (Nov 2014)


Find out about the standards that you can expect from hospitals, GP’s, dentists, care homes and care that is provided in your own home here.


International Community Organisation of Sunderland (Nov 2014)


SpeakOut is pleased to welcome the International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) as new SpeakOut members. To view all of our members click here. To apply to become a member, click here.


Why is the NHS so bad at responding to complaints? (Nov 2014)


Susan Maddock, Labour parliamentary candidate for Torbay claims there are four core barriers.



Mental health still 'Cinderella' service (Nov 2014)


Mental health remains the Cinderella of public health issues as it still does not get the attention it deserves from policymakers and there is too little focus on preventive measures, it has been claimed.



NHS bosses call for ‘radical upgrade’ of services (Nov 2014)


The NHS requires a radical transformation in the way care is provided if it is to meet the health challenges of modern society and ease the financial strain on the service, a major report has concluded.


Healthwatch Bulletin (Oct 2014)


CQC’s latest bulletin for Healthwatch is available here.


New Handbooks for Inspecting Services Published (Oct 2104)


CQC has published new handbooks for GP’s (including out of hours services), adult residential care and home care services. These guides set out the process by which providers will be inspected and will help them to understand what is expected of them.


A comprehensive report of GP out of hours services, which SpeakOut groups contributed to, has also just been published. You can download it here.


The New System For Regulation (Oct 2014)


Over the past year CQC has been consulting on new proposals for regulating and inspecting health and social care services in England. A number of SpeakOut groups have been centrally involved in this. The consultation report has now been published and can be accessed here.


CQC is changing the way they will regulate and inspect services - with some of the most significant changes being around how they will now rate services. This new system for rating will highlight where care is outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate enabling people to compare and choose services.


The three Chief Inspectors have produced a short video to introduce these changes which you can view here.


Easy Read Documents Available From CQC (Oct 2014)


The Care Quality Commission has made a number of key documents available in Easy Read format. These include:


About CQC

What standards to expect from regulation of NHS hospitals

What standards to expect from regulation of care homes

What standards to expect from regulation of home care

What standards to expect from Drs

What standards to expect from dentists