The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is carrying out a consultation on probation reform, which closes on 21 September 2018.

The MoJ is very keen to hear from the perspectives of local sector support and development organisations and the wider VCSE sector.  Take part in the consultation now and please help to spread the word amongst charities and community organisations by forwarding this information on.

Deadline: 5pm on 10th September 2018

Through this round of funding, the LA7 Community Grant is targeted at assisting Third Sector Organisations who would not otherwise be able to access ESF funding for the purpose of mobilising disadvantaged or excluded inactive or unemployed people to facilitate their progress towards employment.  The selection process will prioritise organisations who are not in receipt of direct funding from the Education Skills Funding Agency or the Department for Work and Pensions.
Grants can be made of up to £15,000 to support a range of activities aimed at assisting inactive/ unemployed and disadvantaged people to move closer to the labour market.  This project is funded through the Education Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund financing organisation and procured, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Appendix 5 – ESF National Eligibility Guidelines 2014-2020

The urgent care centre at Hexham General Hospital has been closed between 10pm and 8am since 18 July for the intended period of four week.  However, Hexham’s chief operating officer (COO) for surgery, clinical support, and child health, Marion Dickson, claimed that the staffing issues which caused the initial suspension are the reason why overnight services will remain inoperative.
Dickson said the decision was taken “purely on safety grounds,” and to ensure that patients get access to a reliable and safe service.  Centres for emergency care in Wansbeck and Hexham were closed overnight for 11 months from November 2016 due to soaring levels of demand throughout the day.
“I know this decision will disappoint many in the area, we are too, but it just wouldn’t be safe to reopen at this point and compromising on patient safety is something which we will never do,” concluded Dickson.
The trust noted that it is working closely with Northumberland CCG to discuss the long-term arrangements for the overnight service at the urgent care centre, and will report back to residents as soon as there is further news.  Read more.

Health leaders in Northumberland have approved plans for a new state-of-the-art hospital for Berwick.

The move, described as a ‘huge leap forward’, has been approved by the leadership of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG) in their individual board meetings, which took place at the end of last month.  

The development of a new integrated health, social care and leisure facility requires further approval from Northumberland County Council, however all organisations are positive that plans continue to be driven forward that will see Berwick leading the way in the provision of integrated health and wellbeing services.  If approved at the Council’s Cabinet next month, the plans will see an innovative new joint hospital and leisure facility on the Swan Centre site in Berwick – which will bring significant investment into the town.  Read more.


Published in April 2018, this report has only recently come to our attention.  Conclusions from the report identify that HWBs are currently at a crossroads with two possible future scenarios ahead of them.  The first scenario involves HWBs being revisited and reconstituted to assume responsibility as the accountable organisation for the delivery of place-based population health in an area, with STPs/ACSs and CCGs being held accountable to boards.

An alternative scenario would see HWBs merely becoming, or continuing to be on the basis of the evidence from the study, talking shops which are effectively left to wither on the vine as STPs/ACSs effectively take over their role and function.  It is suggested this second scenario would be regrettable for a number of reasons - notably the following: HWBs enjoy member participation from the highest levels in partner organisations, they are the only body with a democratic accountability and the only body able to connect with, and respond to, local communities.