As a key part of its aim is to become a trusted source of expertise in voluntary sector leadership development, the Open University’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership has a particular mission to research, engage with, and ultimately impact on improving collaborative leadership in smaller voluntary sector organisations.
Central to this is providing access to free leadership courses and to help leader and aspiring leaders to help adapt to the multiple challenges they face.
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The Care Quality Commission has published a new map showing ratings for hospitals, GP practices and care homes across England. You can use this map to search for services in your area, compare ratings and read inspection reports.

View the new ratings map.

A new thresholds document has been launched by Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board that provides guidance to assist professionals in identifying the most appropriate level of intervention and support.

This new guidance helps to clarify for everyone who works with children the shared agreement on thresholds which have been developed by Northumberland County Council and colleagues on the multi agency Northumberland Local Safeguarding Children Board.

Paula Mead, Independent Chair of the multi-agency Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board said: “It is really important for children, young people and their families, that agencies provide them with the right level of support as early as possible.   This document is a tool that helps front-line staff to identify the most appropriate level of intervention and support that children and families need.”

Find out more at

Boundary changes to Northumberland’s new five local area councils have been agreed. The new councils cover North Northumberland, Ashington and Blyth, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale, and Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley. Each area is responsible for issues such as planning applications, road spending and petitions - bringing decision making back to a more local level. 

Since they were set up in May, local members have been consulted on the boundaries. At full council, members agreed to move Stakeford Electoral Division into Castle Morpeth from Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley and also move Bothal Electoral Division from Castle Morpeth into Ashington and Blyth. 

Councillor Richard Dodd, the county council’s Business Chair, said: “These councils are all about giving more power back to our communities and enabling decision making at a local level. In the past we have had decisions made about towns and villages without people from those areas involved. We have previously said we would review the boundaries in the next six months to a year and make changes if necessary. We’ve listened to local members in Stakeford and Bothal and are happy to make these changes.”

NHS North East Leadership Academy



Are you a formal or informal patient representative acting at a strategic and operational level to influence decision making?


A new programme of learning is now available that has been designed to support patient leaders and emerging patient leaders to be effective and influential during participation and decision making about health and care services.

This programme is for individuals across the North East and North Cumbria who are - or wish to become - patient/citizen leaders in our communities. It will include an introduction to some of the key skills, knowledge and qualities required to engage positively and effectively in the wider health and care system; it aims to accelerate patient and citizen involvement in service improvement initiatives and strategic planning across health and care organisations.

Target audience: Patient representatives including patient governors, lay member representatives on service improvement initiatives or committees/steering groups, volunteers or employees of Healthwatch organisations or members of patient/carer groups in our communities.

For more information and to apply for the Patient Leaders Programme, please download the application form and send via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on Friday 04 August 2017. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday 11 August 2017 and may be invited to attend an assessment panel in Durham week commencing 14 August (date tbc). Before applying please seek organisational approval or sponsorship and ensure diary commitments allow attendance on all days.