Understanding our local populations

Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCTAt the Observatory’s recent event to launch the State of the Region dialogue on population change, Richard Wilson from Sandwell PCT spoke about some of the problems with population data. However, with help from quotes from David Brent to Albert Einstein, Richard argued that these problems should not lead to ‘data paralysis’ where problems with data become reasons for not making decisions.

Richard said that although population change is nothing new, it is important to understand how our population is changing by understanding, for example, which age groups are changing quickest, what the new family structures are and where new people are coming from.

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New measures to help sufferers of depression and anxiety back to work

Department of Health logoNew measures to help unemployed people experiencing depression or anxiety back to work were announced last week by the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell.

The government is investing £13m in the support package, which will fund provisions such as:

  • A faster roll out of talking therapy services across the UK in 2009
  • Employment support workers linked to every talking therapy service
  • Health advisers on a dedicated NHS Direct phone

It’s hoped that many of those on long-term sick leave or unable to find work because of depression will be helped to recover and return to work.

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Research vacancies in the West Midlands

NHS Institute for Innovation and ImprovementThe NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement is currently advertising for two posts in their Research and Evaluation team on a secondment and maternity cover basis.

The posts are both full time and based at the University of Warwick Campus in Coventry. For details on how to apply, job description and contacts, visit the NHS Institute website.

Staffordshire County CouncilAlso, Staffordshire County Council are seeking an experienced research officer to lead the corporate research team within the County Council’s Research Unit. More details on www.staffordshire.gov.uk.