As you know the issue of "withdrawing the ring fencing" of the AIDS Support Grant has been the first of many new challenges we face as a community. I emailed THT/NAT & the APPG HIV/AIDS and the SHout Loud website was suggested. We try not to "re-invent the wheel" and this resource we agree is a good way to encourage people who want assistance with raising there issues and the impact of the withdrawal and in some areas reduction in HIV spending.
I know many don't like writing to there local councillors or MP's for many different reasons. However I would always encourage people to try and write in there own words. This lends a more personal tone to the letter, that is missed if one merely sends in a standard response. If you don't like to write you can always make an appointment to see your local councillor and/or MP in there surgery (details will usually be on the local council website). They have a duty to represent you even if you didn't vote for them.
Anyway, I was pleased to hear that the members of SHout Loud have decided to make this into a campaign.
I know some will have issues with some of the organisations involved. I myself am critical in places. However HIV funding across the board is under threat. I would ask that you but those issues to one side and get involved. Organisations and individuals need to come together now, the stakes are very high. We are only going to mitigate the cuts coming if we all pull together.
"SHout loud stands for Sexual Health out loud. The project is funded by the Department of Health and is a collaboration between six leading sexual health and HIV organisations - AHPN, Brook, FPA, MEDFASH, NAT & THT, and they are now working on a response to the removal of the ring-fencing of the AIDS Support Grant. Details follow:
As you may know, for many years money has been given by the Department of Health to Local Authorities to be spent specifically on social care services for people living with HIV. This funding is known as the AIDS Support Grant. Until recently, this money was ‘ring-fenced’ which meant Local Authorities could only use the Grant for this purpose. The ring-fence has now been removed and, whilst Local Authorities still receive money specifically for HIV Social Care, this money is no longer safeguarded. The social care services funded by the Grant are essential and many local organisations that support people living with HIV depend on this funding. We want to ensure that Local Authorities continue to support people with HIV despite the removal of the ring-fence. This is a particular concern in the current climate, as councils are being asked to make significant savings, so services are vulnerable to cuts.
For this reason, we think it's important to campaign to safeguard HIV social care services and make sure the allocated budget is spent in the right way. You can write to your Local Authority to highlight the importance of continuing to fund social care services for people living with HIV. We are currently preparing a letter template and compiling local data so you can write to your Local Councillor about this important issue.
Over the next few weeks, please help us encourage people to sign up to SHout Loud so that as many people as possible take part in this important action. The template and data will be available here at the beginning of August. Please sign up now to receive an email when the letter and data is ready, at:
In the meantime if you feel strongly about this issue and would like to find out more about what you can do right now please contact Laura Dunkeyson at NAT (National AIDS Trust): firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, the website address is: www.shoutloud.org.uk"
A freedom of Information request was submitted to the Dept. of Health to enquire about the budget allocation and spending for the Shout Loud project http://www.shoutloud.org.uk/ .
Attached is the response received today.
Safeguard social care services for people with HIV: Email your local councillor
You can also refer for more information. http://benefits.tcell.org.uk/forums/aids-support-grant-may-not-be-safe-a... and http://benefits.tcell.org.uk/forums-keywords/benefits/social-care-rights-responsibilities-entitlements/aids-support-grant-asg
1. Shoutload contract is to end this year, I understand? The DOH awarded £211K
for a 3 year period, could I ask what alternatives were looked into when this
funding was made? Was it placed out to tender?
In 2009, in response to proposals from a number of well established sexual health voluntary organisations (Brook, fpa, Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health, National AIDS Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust), the Department awarded £211,746 over three years (2009/2012) to support the Shout Loud on-line influencing project.
Terrence Higgins Trust is hosting the project. Strategic overview and direction of the project will be through a high level steering group comprising Brook, fpa, MedFASH, NAT, African Health Policy Ntwork and THT Chief Executives.
2. Is there funding available to help support TCell and HIV Benefits with the voluntary work it does, we have been turned down by the Cabinet Office (volunteering access fund) of up to £5K and others.
The Department supports the work of voluntary organisation through its Third Sector Investment Programme (TSIP). The closing date for applications for the 2011/12 funding round was November 2010. Background information on the TSIP can be found at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_118373
3. Why did NAZ receive an input of £75K when its yearly turnover is about £800K or is it just the policy to through money out in the community with no audit/scrunity?
Related information and links on AIDS Funders Forum
NAT today launches ‘HIV social care in England – a survey of local council funding’, looking into how HIV social care spending and services have changed over time. This report compares results with a similar survey from NAT in 2008.
Social care provides vital support for some people living with HIV, ensuring they can live fulfilling lives. This can include help coming to terms with diagnosis, managing treatment, or relationships, as well as peer support, counselling, and personal care.
Encouragingly, even in a time of severe cuts in local authority funding, the report shows that many local councils still recognise the real social care needs of people with HIV, and aim to meet them. This is largely due to the retaining of an indicative allocation for HIV social care within local council funding from central Government as welll as the powerful case being made for HIV social care at the local level by people with HIV and organisations which support them.
However, restricted budgets are having a negative impact on HIV social care provisions. For example, money is being diverted from the HIV social care allocation to make up for cuts in other areas meaning some services are less available. In addition, people with HIV must now be determined to have ‘substantial need’ to qualify for any individual social care support. This may mean people with HIV are neglected until they reach crisis point, when it is less easy and more costly to help.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Local councils must improve their needs assessments and their evaluation of the impact of the social care they provide to people with HIV.
- Individual assessments for eligibility for social care must take full account of the complexities of HIV, including the psychological impact, stigma and fluctuating conditions.
- Funding for voluntary sector organisation to provide low threshold open access services for anyone with HIV in need is more important than ever and must be continued.
Social workers and other relevant local council staff need appropriate HIV training if they are to meet people's needs effectively - there remains a vital role for HIV specialist social workers
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:
‘It is encouraging to see that many local councils have not forgotten the vital social care needs of people living with HIV. However, this does not mean that services are without threat in this time of cuts.
‘It is crucial for local councils to ensure that the specific allocation for HIV social care within the Formula Grant is spent on meeting the needs of people with HIV and not divert to other areas. In addition, everyone working in social care should have a good knowledge of HIV so they are confident in dealing with the related issues.
‘The preventive value of social care for should also not be overlooked by local councils. By investing in simple low cost social care interventions, people with HIV are more likely to stay well, adhere to treatment and take the necessary steps to avoid passing the infection on – which saves the NHS money in the long term.’
- Ends -
Notes to the editor:
In England, the 10 Specialised Commissioning Groups (SCGs) commission specialised services for their regional populations, which range in size from 2.8 million people to 7.5 million people.
The role of the National Specialised Commissioning Group is to:
- Oversee and coordinate commissioning undertaken by SCGs where the specialised service has a catchment or planning population which is bigger than that of a single SCG
- Make decisions about supra-SCG services, for submission to, and endorsement by the 10 Strategic Health Authority Chief Executives and then implementation by individual SCGs
- Facilitate and encourage collaborative working across and between SCGs, and between SCGs and the national commissioning function through the initiation of joint projects, development of protocols and sharing of best practice
- Advise PCTs on the commissioning of specialised services
- Act as the main link between the NHS and the Department of Health on issues related to specialised services commissioned at a regional and supra-regional level
- Work together to deliver the annual NSCG work plan
The priorities in the NSCG workplan for 2011/12 are:
- Completion of the prioritised programme for designation of units as providers of specialised services
- Children’s congenital heart services (through the Safe and Sustainable Programme)
- Children’s neurosurgical services (through the Safe and Sustainable Programme)
- Specialised burns services
- Spinal cord injury services
- Implementation of the Organ Donation Taskforce recommendations
- Severe intestinal failure services
- Neuromuscular services
- Quality, innovation, productivity and prevention
- Transition (by supporting the significant Transition work programme)
The NSCG has a number of sub committees, all of whose main focus is on regionally commissioned specialised services:
- The National Network for Burn Care
- The Safe and Sustainable programmes
- The SCG Directors’ Network
|Role||Member Organisation||Member Organisation Representative|
|Chair||Host Strategic Health Authority||Ruth Carnall|
|Academy of Medical Royal Colleges||Professor Adrian Newland|
|Specialised Commissioning Groups||East Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group||Catherine Griffiths (Chair) and Sharon Beamish (SCG Director)|
|East of England Specialised Commissioning Group||Dr Paul Watson (Chair) and Catherine O'Connell (SCG Director)|
|North East Specialised Commissioning Group||Chris Reed (Chair) and Sue Cornick (SCG Director)|
|London Specialised Commissioning Group||Ann Radmore (Chair) and Sue McLellen (Chief Operating Officer)|
|North West Specialised Commissioning Group||Vacant (Chair) and Jon Develing (SCG Chief Officer)|
|South East Coast Specialised Commissioning Group||Ann Sutton (Chair) and Stephanie Newman (SCG Director)|
|South Central Specialised Commissioning Group||Debbie Fleming (Chair) and Simon Jupp (SCG Director)|
|West Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group||Andrew Donald (Host PCT Chief Executive) and Karen Helliwell (SCG Director)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber Specialised Commissioning Group||Ailsa Claire (Chair) and Cathy Edwards (SCG Director)|
|South West Specialised Commissioning Group||Deborah Evans (Chair) and Ann Jarvis (SCG Director)|
|Department of Health||John Sherriff|
|Department of Health||Vacant|
|National Specialised Commissioning Team||Director||Teresa Moss|
|Lay Member||Dr Suzy Walton|
|Faculty of Public Health||Dr Sally Nelson|
|SHA Finance Director||Bill Shields|
|Three observers||Welsh Observer||Stuart Davies|
|Scottish Observer||Jill Vickerman and Elizabeth Porterfield|
|Northern Irish Observer||Dr Jackie McCall|
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