Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 25 July 2015

DWP funding 'Start Smiling Again' etc - a potted update

Last week Johnny Void's blog post highlighted that the Department for Work & Pensions had awarded a £48,000 grant to lifestyle coach David Rahman (website: Start Smiling Again, currently offline since last week) to support jobseekers with mental health issues in Wales.

While his website (see screenshots) highlighted his successes in helping people change their lives, and also overcome depression or fibromyalgia, it was short on evidence and the therapies listed (including Neurolinguistic Programming [NLP] and the Chrysalis Effect [recently upheld adjudicated by the Advertising Standards Authority]) are known to be hokum.

People are also concerned about whether jobseekers who are referred to these sessions will lose support if they refuse (which also brings up the ethics of enforced 'treatment', not to mention the ethics of using underevidenced treatments in the first place). Also concerning is how lifestyle coaches sometimes frame mental health issues as some personal failing, and by implication how the DWP treat people who have them.

DWP spends £48,000 on Chrysalis Effect, NLP, Hypnosis & Time Line Therapy - 95% success (19 July 2015) - request has been acknowledged, page has also been annotated with additional information.

In response to a previous FOI request for information about the DWP's "evaluations and research into the efficacy and use of neuro-linguistic programming for people claiming welfare benefits" the DWP replied 
"DWP does not hold any recorded information in relation to your requests around Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). 

In general terms, information provided in a tender proposal enables DWP to carry out a qualitative evaluation of the received proposals. The information provided is evaluated against a pre-determined Award Criteria, as stated in the Invitation to Tender.
"
Inspection records for Start Smiling Again - FOI request to Care Quality Commission (22 July 2015) - reply clarifies that the "CQC does not have a legal remit for any care delivered in Wales" and suggests submitting a complaint to other organisations, which the requester put in as listed below.

Inspection records for Start Smiling Again - FOI request to Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (22 July 2015) - they do not hold this information "CSSIW regulates and inspects care and social services in Wales, such as child minders, nurseries and homes for older people (a full list of the
type of services we regulate is available on our [1]webpage).

‘Start Smiling Again’ is not a service which is required to be registered and regulated by CSSIW therefore we do not hold any information relevant to your request.
"

Inspection records for Start Smiling Again - FOI request to Health Inspectorate Wales (22 July 2015) - request has been acknowledged



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