National Initiatives

Neuroscience R&D Technologies Conference

The 3rd Annual Neuroscience R&D Technologies Conference is to be held on 28 and 29 September 2017.

Venue: Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow, London. The conference aims to focus on sharing technological advancements and future challenges in pre-clinical neuroscience research where experts from the pharma industry and research institutes will discuss the latest technologies in neuroscience R&D.

More information:


Building for Equality Report

25th April 2017 Women and Equalities Select committee, chaired by Maria Miller MP, published its report into access for disabled people to the built environment.

View Building for Equality report

The committee’s key recommendations include:

  • Government should give strategic leadership to ensure disabled people can access the built environment
  • Government should make it easier for planning authorities to insist on access including not signing off local plans unless they address access to housing, public spaces and the wider built environment
  • There should be more ambition in implementing accessible housing standards to at least the equivalent of the life time homes standard
  • Increased provision of Changing Places toilets in public building should be a priority
  • There should be a moratorium on shared space schemes until national guidelines are developed that guarantee access and safety for disabled people.

This fits with the priority given this year by the Cumbria NA to raise the issue of the lack of Changing Places across the County.


New Rights for Wheelchair Users to access Taxi Services

From 6 April 2017 drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) will be liable for a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to carry the passenger in their chair, fail (unless they have an official exemption) to provide assistance, such as deploying the ramp and helping to push them into the vehicle, or charge extra for carrying a passenger who uses a wheelchair.

This is a new blog about the changes by Will Bee, Chair, Local Transport Group Disabled Person’s Transport Advisory Committee. Read blog

Major reform of social care funding and provision needed

The Communities and Local Government Committee report says that the Government needs to urgently review how social care is funded in the long term and address serious threats to social care provision.

 Key facts

 ·         Fewer than one in twelve Directors of Adult Social Care are fully confident that their local authority will be able to meet its statutory duties in 2017–18

·         28% of care services are inadequate or require improvement

·         Some councils pay £2.24 an hour for residential care

·         96% of people paying for their own care pay on average 43% more than state funded residents in the same home for the same room and the same level of care

·         The turnover rate for nurses working in social care is 35.9%

·         47.8% of care workers leave within a year of starting

·         The median hourly pay for a care worker is £7.40

·         160,000 to 220,000 care workers in England are paid below the national minimum wage

·         49% of home care workers are on zero hour contracts, compared with 2.9% of the workforce nationally

·         27% of care workers received no dementia training and 24% of those who administer medication were not trained to do so

·         Between 2010–11 and 2013–14, the number of unpaid carers increased by 16.5%, while the general population grew by 6.2%

·         In Leicester, although 30,000 people identified themselves as a carer in the 2011 Census, only 2,200 carers were in contact with the council

·         One in five unpaid carers providing 50 hours or more of care each week receives no practical support from the local authority

 Read more at:

New Parkinson’s campaign backed by NHS chiefs

With Parkinson’s Awareness Week taking place between 10-16 April, the Parkinson’s UK charity have introduced a new campaign “We Won’t Wait”, which encourages the public to donate towards research, aiming to find new treatments for the disorder.

Doctors at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are supporting the campaign to help find new treatments for the condition, as well as educating the public on what treatments are currently available.

The last significant drug discovery for Parkinson’s disease was over 50 years ago and campaigners are keen that more is done, so that people who suffer from the disorder can benefit from improved treatments. Parkinson’s affects part of the brain and over time the condition is deteriorative. The most common symptoms include tremors (involuntary shaking of parts of the body), stiff muscles and slow movement.

Parkinson’s disease is a serious condition; there are an estimated 127,000 people in the UK, who suffer from the disorder.

The treatments currently available to help reduce the symptoms include:

  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • Medication
  • Surgery

A number of people who suffer from the disease respond well to the treatment and their quality of life is enhanced; however, in a few cases, patients do not respond well to treatment and for this reason, campaigners are keen that research into new treatments continues.

Dr Alex Gaw, from Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “There is still a lot that needs to be done for people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. This is why I am calling upon local residents to support the Parkinson’s UK charity, so more money can be spent on research into new life-changing drugs.

“If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of this disorder, I would suggest seeing your GP for a consultation. They may refer you to a specialist for further tests if needed.”

For more information about the charity, Parkinson’s UK, which can help people who are living with the disease and provide them with support groups in their local area, call 0808 800 0303 or email

NHS Choices is also available for anyone who needs any help or advice regarding the disorder.


Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

The RPS promotes the expertise and clinical knowledge of pharmacists to support people with long term conditions and help them achieve the desired outcomes from their medicines, thereby making more efficient use of National Health Service (NHS) resources.

A new report takes a principle based approach to the management of long term conditions. Focussing on the need to enhance the role of pharmacists as part of a multidisciplinary approach, the report takes into account the main objectives of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

The RPS proposes that optimal use of pharmacists can support people with long term conditions to:

  •  Improve health by maximising pharmacists’ role in health and wellbeing 
  • Transform care by utilising pharmacists’ skills, expertise and knowledge in medicines and their holistic approach to patient care 
  • Help to control costs by reducing medicines waste and unplanned admissions to hospital by better use of medicines
  • See the report at

Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is an exciting new programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together.


It focuses on getting some of the UK’s least active people moving more through fun and inclusive activities in their local communities.

Delivered by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) and their partners and funded by Spirit of 2012, it runs for over three years (2016-2019) within 18 localities (areas) across the UK, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Disability Rights UK is a National Partner.

As part of GOGA, Disability Rights UK is running a Peer Support project working with Disabled People’s Organisations and local sport and fitness organisations and providers to get people moving and enjoying fun activity- not just sport. Peer Support is about someone using their lived experience of overcoming barriers to support someone else who might be experiencing similar barriers. It takes many forms but is usually one to one and informal. The benefits of using peer support to be more active can be life changing. From boosting confidence to becoming healthier and improving mental wellbeing.

What is peer support and mentoring?

What helps to make activities more appealing and accessible?

Read more about our partners

Find out more

Questions? Or to register your interest contact Kate Pieroudis (Peer Support Lead) at Disability Rights UK on 0207 250 8111 or


World Neuroscience Innovation Forum 27 March 2017 London

This is the first ever World Neuroscience Innovation Forum in London. The event is “designed for anyone with an interest in neuroscience” and “marks the beginning of a new way of approaching neuroscience and provides the opportunity to debate ideas, discuss the pros and cons of methodology and research, learn new points of view, and highlight strengths and weaknesses of current and future technology.”

Date: 27 March 2017, venue: Francis Crick Institute, London.

More details: World Neuroscience Innovation Forum


Brain Research Trust launches first national project grant round

The Brain Research Trust recently launched its first national call for project grant applications. The charity has funded neurological research at UCL Institute of Neurology since it was founded in 1971 but has broadened its charitable objects and will now fund research at centres of excellence throughout the UK. The call for applications is open and the charity is looking to fund projects in these priority areas:

  • Acquired brain damage: research into interventions that promote recovery at the impairment level, particularly those that bring together enhanced plasticity or stimulation with rehabilitation
  • Neuro-oncology: research addressing the biology, treatment and diagnosis of primary brain tumours and associated neurological complications
  • Headache and facial pain: research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms and relief of headache and facial pain

The application deadline is 29 March 2017. Visit for more information.

Integrated Care Communities

Useful post via Cumbria CVS

5 things you need to know about Integrated Care Communities

  1. Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) is one of the terms being used nationally and locally to describe the ambition to join up health and care services in a given community, tailored to the needs of the local population.
  2. An ICC will see health and social care professionals, GPs, the voluntary sector and the community working as one team within one system to support the health and care needs of population it serves.  It will focus on helping the population to manage long term health conditions and improve access to information about healthier lifestyles locally.
  3. Evidence shows that the most successful Integrated Care Communities will reduce the overall number of people who need to be cared for in hospital and improve the health and wellbeing of communities.
  4. The evidence is supported locally by early work in Millom and Carlisle that has shown that providing more care outside hospital, particularly for the frail and elderly, has led to faster recovery times and enabled more people to be treated at the same time.
  5. The leaders from all partners across the system including Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, Cumbria County Council, & GP practices have made a firm commitment to develop integrated care communities and have started work together to provide better support to teams locally, many of whom are already using principles of integrated working in providing care.
  6. West, North & East Cumbria has been divided into eight Integrated Care Communities to align with clusters of GP practices and their registered populations.  Three Integrated Care Communities managers have been appointed to work across all the organisations in West, North & East Cumbria to support the development of ICC’s with a specific focus on 3 ‘Early Implementer areas’ – Workington, Cockermouth & Maryport and Eden.


If you only have time to do one thing, please view this animation of ‘Sam’s Story’, that describes the thinking behind the Integrated Care Communities: