January 2012

The Third Sector Research Centre has produced a working paper about the Work Programme. The third sector delivering employment services: an evidence review is written by Christopher Damm and reviews the involvement of third sector organisations within employment services.

Bournemouth Borough Council is inviting expressions of interest in the future use of the Dorset Enterprises supported employment factory. Please see the attached document for details. Please email your expressions of interest responses, as set out in the brief, to tim.branson@bournemouth.gov.uk Further background information about the factory and its current operation is available via www.dorsetenterprises.com and www.deckchairsuk.com

2020health has produced a report that looks at work as a health outcome. The report contains a range of recommendations for local authorities, Public Health Directoirs, Health & Wellbeing Boards, Health services and employers.

The National Audit Office has produced a report into the Work Programme. The report identifies risks that the Department for Work and Pensions will need to manage well if value for money is to be achieved.

Rethink Mental Illness has been asked to support a legal case concerning the Work Capability Assessment process for Employment and Support Allowance. They are keen to help seek any improvements to the system for people with mental illness. They are therefore looking for case studies which could be considered by the court as examples where the WCA has disadvantaged people with a mental illness, and could potentially do so for others.

1) They are looking for individuals who have in the past 12 months:

There was an interesting article in the Guardian about personal budgets. Both Simon Duffy, pioneer of personal budgets and former Director of In Control, and Mike Oliver, founding member of the UK disabled people's movement, have rejected personal budgets and personalisation as the right policy for the future.

Charities involved in the Work Programme are not being adequately shielded from financial risk, according to a survey of over 100 voluntary sector sub-contractors released by NCVO.

The NDTi has published a short discussion document and launched an on-line discussion forum about the interface between the NHS Payment by Results (PbR) systems and the implementation of personalisation in mental health services.

A group of charities has issued a call to Government to pause the Welfare Reform Bill. The statement reads as follows:

We are calling on the Government to pause the Welfare Reform Bill and carefully consider its reform of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The Welfare Reform Bill which will implement these proposed reforms is now in the final stages of its Parliamentary passage but the details of how the reform would affect disabled people has not been fully investigated.

Citizens Advice has undertaken a detailed analysis of the accuracy of WCA reports. They examined, in-depth, reports collected from clients applying for ESA across the country, identified before they attended their initial WCAs.