The most recently added news is always displayed at the top of the page

TVSCN New Website

The Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network (TVSCN) launched its website in October 2014. To visit the website and learn about the networks being supported and work that is underway click: HERE


The Royal College of Psychiatrists – findings of the 2014 National Audit of Schizophrenia (NAS). Pub: 9th October 2014

Whilst 88{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of people using mental health services said they were, overall, satisfied with their care some key concerns have been identified: less than 1 in 10 providers fully met standards relating to carer’s expectations and only a third of people with schizophrenia reported  that their physical health needs were being well managed. Prescribing and information about medication are also sub-optimal in some areas. To read more about how the audit was conducted click: HERE To read the executive summary click: HERE


Care Quality Commission ‘State of Care 2013/14’

The CQC has just published its state of care report. The report covers adult social care, hospital care and primary care. They report finding much good practice but also wide variation in care quality and safety. To read the report or a summary click: HERE


Low Vitamin D levels and Osteoporosis Risk in People with Intellectual Disability (Sept 2014)

A study by Oxford University Department of Psychiatry and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has shown that patients with intellectual

disabilities (ID) have almost twice the rate of vitamin D deficiency than the general population (77.3{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} v 39.6{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b}). The difference was even more

prominent in Summer, when the most severe degree of vitamin D deficiency was found in 34.5{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of the 150 ID patients but only in 0.7{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of the

192 control subjects. These findings implicate insufficient exposure to sunlight, the predominant factor in vitamin D production. With low levels of vitamin D

calcium absorption is compromised and osteoporosis can result. This study partially explains the high fracture rate in ID patients.

The investigators note that inexpensive treatments, such as colecalciferol (Vitamin D3), are safe and effective in restoring normal vitamin D levels.

Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiency should become standard care for people with intellectual disabilities.

A similar strategy may be required in other psychiatric populations who spend excessive time indoors and are also at risk for fractures.

The full paper published in the British Journal of Psychiatry can be read here:

Vit D deficiency in people with ID

Research and Support for Siblings

Are you or anyone you know affected by having a brother or sister with psychosis?  There’s help out there as part of research into mental health.

For details look at, follow @ESiblingProject on Twitter or visit the following Facebook page:

For any questions regarding the research study please contact in the research team.


Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network – Website now live.

The Network’s website can now be visited HERE . On the site you will find details of the networks being supported and an outline of current activities and aspirations


Alzheimer’s Society good practice guide

Optimising treatment and care for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia: A best practice guide

This evidence-based guide is for health and social care professionals, designed to help improve treatment and care of the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.  The guide and supporting documentation can be downloaded HERE


Making our health and care systems fit for an aging population

Published by the King’s Fund earlier this year this report provides a framework and tools to help health and care service leaders improve the care they provide or commission for older people. The document can be downloaded HERE


Mental Health Foundation Report published

Social contact, peer support and self-help can positively benefit people with dementia. For further information click HERE


How technology could help monitor and treat mental health conditions  –  The Guardian”  12th August 2014.

‘Technology has the potential to make significant and cost-effective contributions to mental healthcare…..  The global mental health movement emphasises low-cost and easy-to-use mental health interventions, but errs by assuming that this excludes technological solutions.’ To read the article click HERE


Mental health care technology: collaborate, share, improve

Dr. James Woollard Clinical Fellow to Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health at NHS England explores how technology may change how mental health services are provided:

‘If information is power, technology and the internet provide us with an opportunity to empower everyone to manage their health more effectively.’ To read the article click HERE


BMJ Blog – Depression and technology  –  can it help?

Mental health, specifically depression, has been in the media spotlight recently due to the untimely death of Robin Williams. It has sparked discussion of how mental healthcare could be improved to reduce the likelihood of such tragedies. One area that has the potential to make significant and cost-effective contributions to mental healthcare is technology.  To read Claire Bower’s blog click HERE


Adult ADHD awareness campaign with Screens in the Wild – Neurodevelopmental theme

The project is aimed at the use of multimedia and gaming to raise public awareness of Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
The Screens in the Wild (SITW) initiative has previously deployed a network of four public touch-screens in urban places. The SnappyApp ADHD web-app (another MindTech project) is being translated for presentation on to the SITW platform. The attention test is being redesigned, with the input of a commercial graphics design company. Read more HERE


Cost Effectiveness of Assistive Technologies

Stirling University has published a literature review of the cost effectiveness of assistive technologies in the dementia care arena. The report can be read: HERE


 Web-chat service launched for men who are depressed or in crisis

The male suicide prevention charity, the Campaign Against Living  Miserably (CALM) have announced the launch of a free web-chat service offering support, information and signposting to services for men who are depressed or in crisis.  The web-chat can be accessed on the CALM website: HERE


Mental Health Foundation Report published

Social contact, peer support and self-help can positively benefit people with dementia. For further information click HERE


Young Dementia UK

YoungDementia UK  is a fairly new website aimed at supporting the more than 17,000 people in the UK with young onset dementia.  Currently their events and face to face support are only available to people in Oxfordshire.  Ultimately they plan to use their knowledge and experience of young onset dementia to help others across the UK as there are many people with limited or no access to young onset dementia specific support.   To visit the website click HERE


Right to know campaign (Alzheimer’s Society)

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Right to Know campaign wants to see more people receive a diagnosis and make sure everyone diagnosed is fully supported afterwards.


Developing a national framework for local commissioning of community based support for people with learning disabilities

NHS England has asked Sir Stephen Bubb, the Chief Executive of charity leaders network ACEVO, to chair a steering group to develop                recommendations for the development of a national framework for local commissioning of community based support for people with learning disabilities. This will specifically respond to the pledge set out in the Winterbourne View Concordat.  For more information click HERE

New App from National Museums Liverpool is especially suitable for people living with dementia

The ‘My House of Memories’ app allows the user to explore objects from the past and share  memories with others. It can be used by anyone, but has been designed for, and with, people living with dementia and their carers.

You can browse through objects from across the decades, brought to life with multimedia, supporting reminiscence about a range of every day objects, from school life to sport. Objects can be saved to an individual memory tree, memory box or memory timeline. Personal profiles can be created for   different people, so that they can save their favourite objects and look at them again.  For more information about the ‘My House of Memories’  click HERE


NICE Dementia Overview

This on-line resource provides links to everything that NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has produced regarding supporting   people to live well with dementia (including diagnosis, treatment and support). The pathway also points to NICE recommended interventions and     practice including NICE guidance and quality standards plus audit, training and commissioning tools. To view the pathway click HERE


Curriculum for Dementia Education developed by the Higher Education Dementia Network

The Curriculum for Dementia Education will help higher education and training bodies ensure that their courses address the knowledge and skills base that health and social care staff need to care for people with dementia.   To download the Curriculum you have to register on line HERE


Making a Difference in Dementia – Nursing vision and strategy

Published by the Department of Health and endorsed by Health Education England and the NHS Commissioning Board, this vision and strategy for    dementia care, describes how every nurse can make a difference to the care of   people with dementia.  The strategy document can be downloaded HERE


A New guide has been launched by the Mental Health Foundation to help youth workers promote good mental health with young people

The guide, “How to promote mental wellbeing in youth work practice”, is aimed at youth organisations working with young people throughout the UK and is designed to help them embed effective mental wellbeing improvement practices. It is being supported by a series of training workshops involving young people who participated in the Right Here programme.   For more information on the Right Here project click HERE


Alzheimer’s Research UK to fund £100m of dementia research

The Defeat Dementia campaign is ARUK’s contribution to the global movement to defeat dementia.

The funding will contribute towards:

  • Stem Cell Research Centre, supported by the Alborada Trust, as one of the first new developments emanating from Defeat Dementia.
  • A network of Drug Discovery Institutes, both in the UK and Europe.
  • A ground breaking £20 million Global Clinical Development Fund aimed at accelerating the testing and adoption of promising new treatments .
  • A new Prevention Fund to challenge the scientific community to answer the biggest questions in prevention, seed-funding the very best ideas.

For more information click HERE


Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) funding winner to develop on-line talking therapies

SBRIs are government awarded funding schemes to support innovation and the development  of new solutions to public sector challenges.

Mayden applied for the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) challenge that had a particular focus on making a difference to people with mental health issues.

Having won the SBRI Healthcare award, Mayden will spend the next six months testing the feasibility of a secure, cloud based hub for online psychological therapy. Should this prove successful, Mayden will progress – with the SBRI’s ongoing support – to develop a prototype to connect NHS services managing patients in need of psychological therapy, with therapists over the internet.  For more information click: HERE and HERE


Meeting Centre Support Program

The Netherlands MCSP model may soon becoming to the UK after the University of Worcester has been awarded EU funding for their MEETINGDEM project.  During the last 10 years, many regions in the Netherlands have set up Meeting Centres where people with dementia and their caregivers can receive support.

These Meeting Centres are based on the Amsterdam Model, developed by the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam in the 90’s. Currently more than 60 Meeting Centres are spread across the Netherlands. They integrate different types of support and offer a wide range of activities, collaborating with health and welfare services. People with dementia can participate in recreational and social activities and can access a range of  experiences such as reminiscence. Their informal caregivers can attend information meetings, discussion groups and get assistance with practical, emotional and social problems.  More information about the Netherlands model can be found HERE and for information about the Worcester research look HERE


Dementia Research Case Studies

The UK Clinical Research Network Study Portfolio contains a long list of past and present research projects relating to dementia and associated  conditions. The long list can be clicked on to reveal a short summary of any particular study with its finding and there are links to sources of further information. The case studies can be found HERE


Think Local Act Personal (TLAP)  –  Making it Real for People with Dementia

TLAP is a national partnership spanning local and central government, the NHS, social care,  private and independent providers and people with care needs. For more info click: HERE. Making it Real for People with Dementia has been developed to provide help and advice on how Making it Real (i.e. thinking locally and acting personally) can work in practice for people living with dementia, their families and carers.  The work was developed with a cross-sector steering group of experts including carers and people with care and support needs, and representatives from over 20 organisations including My Home Life, UKHCA, Skills for Care, Dementia Action Alliance, Alzheimer’s Society and older people’s leads in councils.  The document can be accessed HERE


NICE Guidance on offering talking therapy to those at increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia

People considered to be at increased risk of developing psychosis should be offered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as opposed to antipsychotic medication, according to updated guidelines from NICE. (CG178)


Dementia awareness resource

The Knowledge Team has prepared a document sharing material that will be of interest to those wishing the raise the awareness of dementia amongst non-specialist health and social care staff.  The document describes a number of projects taking place across the south of England and also identifies an extensive array of existing online resources that could be utilised. The document can be found in the Mind & Body Resources section of our website HERE


Gamification as a means of delivering psychological support

There is a lot of discussion of this topic at the moment . Some useful insights can be found HERE (what it is) and HERE (an example of use)


BBC Health Report on a study published in the Lancet re talking therapies

‘Schizophrenia  –  talking therapies moderately effective’ but only available to 10{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b}  of people with the illness.  Click HERE for more information


New guides to improve workforce development launched by Skills for Care

The publications offer a comprehensive framework for the social care workforce to provide consistent high quality social care and support which promotes the mental health and wellbeing of people who need care and support. The guide to good practice follows in the best traditions of work from the Foundation in providing practical support and solutions and is based on real life examples that have been developed by getting the views and experiences of people with care and support needs, carers, and people working in social care. The publications can be downloaded here: Common Core principles to support good mental health and wellbeing in adult social carePrinciples to practice  –  implementing the common core principles

To participate in a National Skills Academy survey regarding this work follow this link HERE


The online world of social media and gaming can support the wellbeing of young  people, according to the results of an innovative project in Scotland published 28th March.

The findings of Project 99 indicate that digital methods can bring significant benefits when used as part of a wider approach to promoting health and wellbeing. Most importantly the work shows that young people are able to identify their interests and needs, to develop ideas that public services can take on. The digital and offline lives of young people are seamless and the project has cast more light on the realities of growing up in a connected world.  Through a series of workshops and local group work, 15 to 21-year olds shared their own experiences – positive and negative – about the way they use technology. Health services can play their part too, the findings suggest, by recognising that using technology in mental health is something young people expect.


Winterbourne View Review: Good Practice Examples

This document was produced as a consequence of the Department of Health review into Winterbourne View and how children, young people and adults with learning disabilities or autism who also have mental health conditions or behave in ways that are often described as challenging are supported across England. Stakeholders reported that although there were many examples of good practice which illustrate the good work that can and is being done in local areas, there is some difficulty in disseminating the good practice. This good practice example document pulls t ogether a number of good practice examples sent in by stakeholders and people who use services across England. To read the full document, click  HERE

Webex 18th February 2014: How Oxford based research is helping to solve the challenge of dementia

On 18th February, Claire Burley from OxDARE (Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research), shared her experience of how Oxford based researchers are working collaboratively across University departments and NHS trusts on dementia and ageing research. Claire also answered questions from the audience.

The WebEx was  supported by Pfizer Ltd under a medical education goods and services contract.

Claire BurleyClaire Burley – Biography

Claire’s role as Cognitive Health Research Facilitator at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford is to support the activities of the Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research (OxDARE) group.

She completed a BSc in Psychology and then went on to do an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience at University College London. She has held research and assistant clinical psychologist posts for the older adults’ services, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Claire has worked on various projects and facilitated clinical groups aiming to improve care for people living with dementia. These experiences have collectively led her to this exciting role.

OxDARE’s aims are to bring together Oxford’s diverse dementia research and clinical community for the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.  Currently they are organising workshops to promote links between basic and clinical research in the area of cognitive health, and activities to engage the general public with scientific research.

If you missed the event there is an opportunity to view the presentation and listen to the recording:-


Nutrition and Dementia (Feb 2014)Nutrition and dementia

The ‘Nutrition and dementia’ report explores  research regarding the role of nutrition in the  life of people affected by dementia.

The report reviews dietary factors that might increase or decrease the risk of onset of dementia in later life. It describes actions that could improve the nutrition of people with dementia with both better dietary content and  an improved environment which encourages the intake of the offered diet.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), supported by a grant from Compass Group, commissioned researchers Professor Martin Prince, Professor Emiliano Albanese, Dr Maëlenn Guerchet and Dr Matthew Prina from the Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care at King’s College London to produce the report. The full report can be read here:- nutrition-and-dementia


New Dementia Prevalence calculator (Feb 2014)

Clinical Commissioning Groups are being invited to register their interest in testing the new version of the Dementia Prevalence Calculator which is being made available via the Primary Care Web Tool at  (you need to be a registered user).

Version 3 of the Dementia Prevalence Calculator will be both more refined and easier to use with many of the data limitations of the previous version addressed. The tool will be launched in March 2014.

2013 IAPT report

National Audit of Psychological Therapies 2013

The second report of the National Audit of Psychological Therapies (NAPT) has found some improvements in services offered to patients in England and Wales – but identifies several areas of ongoing concern.

Although there have been reductions in waiting times since the first report in 2011, there is still wide variation in performance between services. Some psychological therapies are being provided by therapists who do not have specific training to do so, and older people with anxiety and depression are less likely to get the help they need.

The National Audit of Psychological Therapies – commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP) and carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement – aims to evaluate and improve the quality of treatment and care received by people with anxiety and depression. The second round of the audit collected data from 220 psychological therapy services across England and Wales, including 4,661 questionnaires from therapists, 14,587 questionnaires from patients, and 122,812 anonymised individual case records. The audit measured ten standards, including patient satisfaction, effectiveness of therapy, waiting times and number of treatment sessions offered.

Key findings from the second report include:

  • There have been encouraging improvements in waiting times for assessment and starting therapy. 92{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of patients needing psychological therapy were assessed within 13 weeks (compared to 85{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} in the first report) and 91{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} started treatment within 18 weeks (compared to 85{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} in the first report). However, a minority of patients still have unacceptably long waits, and only two-thirds of patients thought they had a reasonable wait to start treatment.
  • Older adults continue to be under-represented in psychological therapy services, meaning they risk not getting the help they need.   17{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of services still have a policy that excludes older people, despite new legislation aimed at eradicating this practice.
  • Although a large majority (79{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b}) of patients received a type of therapy that was in line with NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance, less than a third (31{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b}) of those receiving high intensity therapy for depression or an anxiety disorder received the minimum number of sessions recommended by NICE. Of those who did not receive the recommended number of sessions, 43{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} recovered, 14{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} made reliable improvement but did not recover, and 43{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} neither recovered nor made reliable improvement. Concerns about the number of sessions were also highlighted by patients with only two thirds reporting that they were receiving the right number of sessions.
  • Four out of every five therapists had completed formal training in at least one therapy and were working under supervision. However, over a third of therapists delivering therapies including family therapy, interpersonal therapy, couples therapy, cognitive analytic therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, and arts psychotherapies are doing so without having received any formal training.
  • Encouragingly, 80{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of patients were happy with their experience of therapy and 82{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} felt they had been given enough choice over the time of their appointments.

To Read the NAPT report click here: NAPT-Nov-2013


Personalised Dementia Information Prescriptions

The project to develop Personalised Dementia Information Prescriptions builds upon an Oxfordshire based initiative called Dementia Web.dementia web

Dementia Web is a national website supported by a well-established charity, Guideposts Trust, which provides care, support, activity and information for vulnerable children and adults.

In May 2012 Dementia Web launched a national 24 hour 7 day per week telephone helpline, recognising that many people could either not access the internet or that complex or emotional needs could not always be met on-line. Call handlers found there were gaps in the information that callers had available to them and a number of common issues emerged that made it  difficult for them to deal with calls effectively. The most significant of these was that callers had either never been given or had forgotten important information that may have related to the person’s care or condition. This raised the need for timely, specific and personalised information. For more information click: HERE


‘Themed’ Dementia care review

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced plans to inspect more than 150 care homes and acute hospitals to review how people with dementia are cared for in England.

The review will focus on:

  • how people living with dementia are supported to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
  • how effective care can reduce admissions to hospital from care homes and avoid unnecessary lengthy stays.
  • how care services can work together when there is a need for people to move between services.

CQC is asking patients and carers to share their experiences.

To find out more click: HERE

Improving GP coding of dementia in London

This project aimed to find out whether it is possible to raise diagnosis rates through undertaking an exercise to ‘clean up’ dementia coding and records at GP practice level. The hypothesis was that problems in GP coding may be contributing to the reported dementia diagnosis gap. Read more »


A report describing the benefits of diagnosis dementia has been produced by the Dementia Action Alliance in association with the Department of Health

The report shares a wide range of stakeholder views and offers practical examples for GPs and CCGs wishing to improve their early diagnosis rates. The report describes how timely diagnosis can be a win-win for the patient, their carer and health care services. The full report can be read here: BENEFITS_OF_TIMELY_DEMENTIA_DIAGNOSIS

Improving dementia care –  online course

The Dementia Services Development Centre is offering a new course ‘Improving dementia care’. This 15 week distance learning course is for care practitioners looking to improve their knowledge and practice in the field of dementia care.

Students become part of an international, multi-disciplinary community of students and academics, committed to creating change and improving dementia practice and the experience of people living with dementia.

For information contact Lesley Guthrie on or 01786 467746

For an application form click : HERE 

The course starts on 31st January 2014 and costs £640.


Free Learning Opportunity for Primary Care Health Professionals

Psychological Perspectives in Primary Care (PPIPCare)

The programme has 6 short (30, 60 or 90 minutes) teaching modules (the PPiPCare Toolkit) which covers techniques and frameworks for enhancing primary care consultations as well as 3 longer (half day) teaching modules for more in-depth skills development (‘10 minute CBT’ Master Classes). Details below.

Where IAPT staff have been trained up to deliver PPiPCare (in the old South Central area), sessions are delivered FREE by specially trained, local IAPT/ Talking Therapies staff and adapted to local needs.

The modules have been selected by GPs and written by experts in the field, including Professor Christopher Martell, Professor Stephen Rollnick, Professors Nezu and Dr. Lee David who developed the ‘10-Minute CBT’ concept.

For further information: Handout PPiPCare October 2013

A summary of our 26th September Dementia Community of Interest Launch is now available: HERE


World Alzheimer Report 2013  has been published recently

Key recommendations are:

  • All governments should make dementia a priority by implementing national plans
  • Systems should to be in place to monitor the quality of dementia care in all settings – whether in care homes, hospitals or in the community
  • Autonomy and choice should be exercised at all stages of the patients journey, giving prominence to  the voices of people living with dementia
  • Health and social care systems should be better integrated and coordinated to meet people’s needs
  • All caregivers should be adequately trained
  • Systems should in place to recognise and reward informal carers – the unpaid work of family caregivers should be  properly valued
  • Care in care homes is a preferred option for a significant minority but for the majority care at home is their first choice and costs are comparable.
  • Care homes will remain an important component of long-term care. The quality of care provided should be monitored using both clinical and more patient focused measures

The report can be downloaded here: WorldAlzheimerReport2013


Up date on the progress on Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia

Click HERE for copy of the report


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