Call for applicants to test new approaches to help people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions stay in work

Department for Work and Pensions & Department of Health and Social Care | July 2018 |

Work and Health Challenge Fund – Application Portal

A £4.2 million challenge fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price. The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that are part of a 10-year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.


The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care are looking to fund around twenty Initiatives which will improve our understanding of what works in one or more of the following areas:

    • Helping people stay in work by increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions.
    • Helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing given their wider needs and circumstances.
    • Developing new approaches to help employers and individuals develop workplace solutions, or ways of working that facilitate greater participation of people experiencing these conditions.
    • Improving systems by joining up services to strengthen communication, liaison or joint action.

We welcome applications from employers, charities, social enterprises, local authorities, health bodies and others from across England, Scotland and Wales.

The deadline for receipt of Challenge Fund applications is Friday 17th August at 17.00. Projects are anticipated to run between October 2018 and February 2020 (Department for Work & Pensions & Department of Health and Social Care).

Recovering NHS performance risks swallowing up new funding

NHS Providers | July 2018 | Recovering NHS performance risks swallowing up new funding

A report by NHS Providers warns that filling the gaps that have opened up in the health service after almost a decade of austerity will account for much if not most of the new money recently announced by the prime minister.

The report  The NHS funding settlement: recovering lost ground informs the debate on how the additional money should be spent to deliver the best deal for patients and service users, and for the taxpayer.

The report offers a realistic assessment of the likely costs of restoring performance in the hospital, mental health, community and ambulance sectors, so the health service can sustainably deliver the standards of care the public rightly expects, as outlined in the NHS constitution (Source:NHS Providers).

A news release is available here 

The report can be read at NHS Providers 

Apply now for stroke research funding

NIHR | June 2018| Apply now for stroke research funding

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP) is inviting applications from the stroke research community to develop high quality research proposals.

NIHR are calling for applications from doctors, nurses and allied health professionals for writing groups to support the development of the research portfolio across the stroke pathway. Up to £2,000 per writing group will be available and it is anticipated that up to two applications will be funded.


Proposals will be peer reviewed by representatives of the BASP Scientific Committee, NIHR CRN Stroke National Specialty Group and other invited reviewers (Source: NIHR).

Full details including a guidance document and an application form are at NIHR 

Long-term funding of adult social care

The Housing, Communities and Local Government and Health and Social Care Committees have published Long-term funding of adult social care.

The joint report calls for a sustainable funding solution for adult social care and the introduction of a ‘Social Care Premium’, either as an additional element of National Insurance or with the premium paid into dedicated not-for-profit social insurance fund that people would be confident could only be used for social care.

Watch the interactive report:

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Better health and care for all

Better health and care for all: A 10-point plan for the 2020s. The final report of the Lord Darzi Review of Health and Care.| Institute for Public Policy Research

A previous report concluded that a bold long-term funding and reform plan is needed to secure the future of the NHS and social care. This final report of the Lord Darzi Review puts forward a ten-point plan to achieve this, as well as a ten-point offer to the public which sets out what the health and care system will be able to offer if this plan for investment and reform is adopted. 

Full report: Better health and care for all: A 10-point plan for the 2020s.

Summary available here

False Economy: An analysis of NHS funding pressures

The Health Foundation | May 2018 | False Economy

The Health Foundation has produced an analysis of the funding pressures on the NHS.  It outlines how the total budget for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) increased by just 0.6% to £122.8bn in 2016/17. This followed an increase in spending of 2.8% in 2015/16. On average, since the NHS’s inception the budget has increased at 3.7% a year. Similarly, the rate of increase in 2016/17 was lower than population growth, meaning total healthcare spend in England per person was actually reduced in 2016/17 (The Health Foundation).

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Key points

  • Despite the low funding growth, the DHSC underspent its budget by £635m. This is a small underspend in the context of the total budget – just 0.5% – but is an improvement on 2015/16 when the departmental budget was overspent by £155m.
  • To achieve this, funding was targeted at front-line, day-to-day spending at the expense of longer-term investment.
  • 2016/17 saw the introduction of a new Sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF), provided to NHS trusts by NHS England, subject to agreeing and meeting financial and performance control totals.

New £10 million fund to help retain GPs

NHS England announces new £10 million fund to support and retain GPs.

NHS England has announced a new £10 million fund to support and retain GPs. £7 million will be made available to help GPs to stay in the workforce through a new Local GP Retention Fund. Guidance for delivery of this fund is provided in Local General Practitioners Retention Fund: guidance for NHS England Regional and Local Office Teams.

A further £3 million will be made available to establish seven intensive support sites in areas that have struggled most to retain GPs.  Details on these sites and plans for retention efforts there will be announced next month.

The fund will support local health services focussing on supporting newly qualified GPs or those within their first five years of practice, who are seriously considering leaving general practice or who are no longer clinically practising in the NHS in England but remain on the National Performers List (Medical).

Full story at NHS England