Monday miscellany of news

Less by way accompanying commentary this time round, because the levels of acerbic acid have been depleted of late, and it’ll take until,ooh, the end of the week probably before they are replenished. Could be sooner, mark you, given this startling pronouncement from No.10. :A White Paper, due to be published in the next fortnight, will set out an automatic right for private sector bodies to bid for public work.
Interesting (to say the least)..Bit of flannel about the VCS, but really the intention is for the private sector to deliver public services, which is but a bridgehead to fully privatising public services, thereby destroying public service ethos and probably universal provision too.
Putting it bluntly, while the private sector is very good at many,many things, the one thing it consistently falls down on is any notion of universal provision.
If, as a society we decide that some services should be open to and equally accessible by each and every member of our society, then the private isn’t capable of delivering to all of those folk, be they the mail recipient in deepest Cornwall or in the Outer Hebrides, the patient with chronic and complex enduring needs, or the rural area missing broadband. Universality, in terms of whole population and whole of the nation (geographically) service is really rather alien to the private sector (bar the odd element tightly regulated and which was gifted state infrastructure via privatisation). Like it or not, there is considerable public and political attachment to the nation-state, and the concomitant demands of universality and equity, demands with which the private sector is uncomfortable and unacquainted, and for which a bounty is demanded, way more costly than state provision
The choice is simple: either we collectively ensure we all get served, or it’s dog eat dog. I prefer the former, with the state ensuring a minimum universal service of more than basic, indeed of good quality, paid for from taxation. Your opinion may differ.

Hokey-cokey-dokey, commentary over, soapbox packed away, on to other matters.

  • Please find attached (courtesy of PJ) a (practitioner’s) guide to working with offenders with a diagnosis of personality disorder. Interesting stuff, but interesting in a good, rather than an "Oh my giddy aunt" way).
  • Last week’s NSUN bulletin (and do join them/us as they are a good good bunch, who back the user and carer networks in the Nth East).
  • This week’s NSUN bulletin (no excuses not to join ’em now you’ve had a double whammy).
  • A stinging attack by the Govt’s own advisers over the controversial work capability test. (thanks to John Pring). No further comment from this quarter as plenty has already emanated.
  • Associated developments came last week in the form of the mixed blessings of a new Welfare bill. Link courtesy of Tim Bird takes you to the DWP briefing.
  • Next up, courtesy of Annie Bishop, is news of a RADAR event (and the docs are attached)

Radar, the Royal Association for Disability Rights, in partnership with Disability North will hold a regional Empowerment Forum for the North East region on the 19th April 2011. The Empowerment Forum will revolve around speeches and workshops on how to influence the commissioning of local services, planning and housing issues and all manner of local, public sector activity.

Date and Time: Tuesday 19 April 2011; 9:30am – 4:00pm

Venue: The Dene Centre, Newcastle

Keynote speakers will include Stephen Brookes MBE (Disability and Equality Consultant; NUJ disabled members council, TUC disability committee, CPS-community forum and hate crime panel) and Vidar Hjardeng (ITV journalist and RADAR Trustee).

This event is (as all our regional events are) about issues that are important to disabled people from the region. Radar wants local people (representatives of organisations that have an effect on disabled peoples lives) to discuss local issues.

To support the programme Radar has produced the Empowerment Guide, a publication on influencing local services. The purpose of this guide is to support, inform and enable disabled people, so that they feel empowered to influence local decision making processes by actively participating in the services they receive. Covered topics are: commissioning, health, housing and neighbourhoods, planning and social care. The guide also includes a general influencing toolkit providing information on the levers for change, on how to get actively involved, how to make approaches, how to present at meetings, how to respond to consultations, what rights exist with reference to all of this etc.

All disabled people and those involved in services and support are invited to attend

  • Now news from our amigos in Sunderland, who have got their group not only up and running (encouraged by some of us, and actually hands-on assisted by George, Denise and Sharon), but some publicity material too. Can we say a big hello to Voices Empowered, whose flyer is attached.
  • Ante-penultimately, courtesy of Maureen at NEMHDU and PJ is a super round-up of news and snippets, attached
  • Second last is the opportunity, only open to those in Washington, West Sunderland or Sunderland city wide for free training to become a health champion. Thanks to Helen (Clay) for getting the info over to us:

For more information on any of the FREE training courses contact Janice Ellison, Jackie Nixon or Julie Parker on 0191 529 7193 or email HealthChampion<

  • Lastly, do recycle the news contained in this, but do credit the NTWSU&C network,please. It’s not much to ask, but yet again, someone has sent in their newsletter some stuff that could only have been sourced from us in such a way as to give the impression that they were the fount of all information and had done the blinking sourcing and work themselves.You know who you are, so stop it.


Alisdair Cameron
LAUNCHPAD Team Leader,
NTWSU&C n/wk co-chair (with Mish Loraine)
(for network business: ntwsuc)

Offices 210 and 211,
Holy Jesus Hospital,
City Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,

Tel 0191 2330382 (personal mobile 07736074213)
E-mail launchpadncl

or alisdairscameron

working with personality disordered offenders DH Feb 11.pdf

voices flier 2.pdf

News and snippets feb 21st 2011.doc

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