E-zine helps care watchdog to share its news

by Scott Douglas

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Care News front cover

Scotland’s care watchdog has launched an online electronic newsletter to supplement its highly-regarded magazine.

The Care Commission produces Care news, a quarterly magazine to report on best practice and changes in the care sector – and more than 22,000 copies of each issue are snapped up. It is also available as a PDF download from www.carecommisson.com.

Now, as part of its drive to be even more accessible to anybody with an interest in the care sector, a regular update bulletin – called Care News Online – is being made available to email subscribers.

Since its launch in 2002 Care News has become popular with people using care services and their families and care sector workers because it puts a human face on the Care Commission’s regulatory work

It is also popular with care providers, because it provides easy-to-understand guidance on changes in laws and regulations as well as the very latest advice on best practice.

Editor Sarah Wilkie said: “We want to keep changing and using new technology to better communicate with anyone interested in care issues, so we are really pleased with the response to Care News Online.

“Last year we asked our readers exactly how they wanted to receive the magazine. While 94% told us they still wanted the hard copy, more than half said they’d also be happy to view an electronic version.

“Already more than 5000 people have subscribed and we expect the number of people taking the online newsletter to grow. The important thing for us is that we are offering a choice.”

The e-zine means important news updates can be reported between editions of the magazine. Fittingly the latest update includes a guide to the Care Commission’s Involving People Plan, which aims to get more people involved in regulation and to get information of the watchdog’s work to a wider audience.

Other updates include advice for care services on how to submit electronic annual returns; a report on recent safety seminars on managing risk in care homes; highlights of a recent report on the mental health and well being of children in care.

Sarah is keen to stress the e-bulletins will not replace the printed magazine, like the current 16 page Winter 2008/09 issue and added: “All of the Care Commission’s work is about looking at care from the point of view of people who use care services. We apply exactly the same thinking to the magazine and now to the e-zine.

“That means we try to give every story a very strong human interest angle – seeking interviews and opinions of people who use care, their families, people who provide care and people who work in care.

“One of the great things about an online version is that it gets easier and easier for us to gather feedback from our readers and to change according to what they need and want.”

To register for Care News Online visit www.carecommission.com, email [email protected] or call the Care Commission helpline on 0845 603 0890.

ENDS

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