Occupational health news in brief

Jobs for people with learning disabilities

The government has unveiled a pilot scheme called Jobs First, designed to support people with learning disabilities into paid jobs. It will be run in seven local authorities for 12 months, covering Essex, Oldham, Leicester, Newham in London, Herefordshire, North Tyneside and Northamptonshire.

More details can be found at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_101401

Quit smoking iPhone app

An iPhone ‘app’ that helps people stop smoking was launched by the government last month. The first official NHS ‘Quit Smoking’ app for the iPhone and iPod Touch was unveiled by the government to coincide with No Smoking Day on 10 March. It is available from iTunes and NHS Choices.

5% more tax on tobacco will save NHS £20m

Adding an extra 5% tax to tobacco prices would reduce the number of smokers in the population by 190,000, save the NHS £20m a year, and cut smoking-related absenteeism in the workplace, saving the economy more than £10m a year, the anti-smoking charity Ash has said. Its report – The Effects of Increasing Tobacco Taxation – also calculated that such a move would bring in an extra £500m a year for the government.

Go to www.ash.org.uk/tax/analysis

Learning disability tool

A free online tool to help health and social care practitioners better assess a person’s mental capacity has been launched by the Mental Health Foundation and its sister organisation the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

For the Assessment of Mental Capacity Audit Tool, go to www.amcat.org.uk/terms_and_conditions/


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