CQC:  Will we ever be able to stop saying ‘Never Again’? - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report showing systemic failings in the healthcare provided by NHS trusts to Baby Peter.  The report raises questions about how NHS trusts assure themselves they are meeting important standards for safeguarding children.

Excluding his birth, Peter had 34 contacts with health professionals at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust.  Both trusts commission paediatric services provided by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH).

The main focus of the report is on these three trusts as they provided the majority of Peter's NHS care.  The report makes clear that since Peter's death the trusts involved have made progress in addressing gaps in child protection procedures.

But the report says more work still needs to be done in areas like:
* ensuring sufficient staffing levels
* improving attendance of healthcare staff at child protection case conferences
* addressing communication problems, particularly when making referrals

This is the first of two reports that CQC will be publishing in relation to child protection in the NHS:
* This first one brings together comprehensive evidence on the healthcare provided to Peter including: information from medical notes; the joint area review of safeguarding in Haringey (carried out by the Healthcare Commission, Ofsted and HM Inspector of Constabulary); and Haringey council's serious case review report relating to Peter's care

* In the second report, due out this summer, the CQC will report on findings of a national review of NHS arrangements for the safeguarding of children, which is already underway.
Press release ~ Review of the involvement and action taken by health bodies in relation to the case of Baby P ~ Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Safeguarding Children ~ Joint Area Review of Safeguarding in Haringey ~ Safeguarding children: The third joint chief inspectors' report on arrangements to safeguard children ~ DCSF response to the July 2008 Joint Chief Inspectors report into safeguarding ~ DCSF – Safeguarding Vulnerable Children ~ Better Safe than Sorry ~ Learning Lessons: Taking Action ~ Local Safeguarding Children Boards

Newswire – JRFFewer Lads, but more Ladettes - Recent research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that the proportion of women who binge-drink almost doubled between 1998 & 2006 and is now at 15% (men who binge-drink increased by 1% to 23%).  However, the proportion of 16- to 24-year-old men binge-drinking decreased by 9% since 2000.  Researchers also found that whilst fewer children are drinking, those that do drink are drinking much more than they did in the past.

The research, carried out by a team from Oxford Brookes University, looked at existing evidence on drinking trends in the general population over the last 20 to 30 years.  The research highlights five interesting trends:
* an increase in drinking amongst women
* an increase in drinking among middle- & older-age groups
* an increase in drinking in Northern Ireland compared with the rest of the UK
* a possible recent decrease in drinking among 16- to 24-year-olds
* an increase in alcohol consumption amongst very young adolescents

Lesley Smith, the report’s lead author, said: "Much concern has been expressed in recent years about young people’s drinking - and young people binge-drinking in particular.  Many people will be surprised to learn that young men’s drinking, including binge-drinking, has gone down in recent years, while middle age and older people’s drinking has increased."
Press release ~ Drinking in the UK: An exploration of trends Related Information ~ National Alcohol Strategy ‘Safe. Sensible. Social’ ~ Safe. Sensible. Social. - Consulation on further action: Consultation Report ~ ScHARR review and other alcohol related publications (scroll down) ~ Alcohol Concern ~ Portman Group ~ Evaluation of six Scottish Arrest Referral Pilot Schemes ~ Home Office – Alcohol related crime ~ ScotGov - Alcohol ~ Audit Scotland's drug and alcohol report ~ Final recommendations of the Alcohol and Drugs Delivery Reform Group ~  Single Outcome Agreements ~ Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action ~ Alcohol Health Alliance (UK) ~ Alcohol Focus Scotland ~ Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) ~  Join the National Youth Commission on Alcohol ~ Harmful Drinking 5: Alcohol and Young people ~ 12 Dimensions of a Manageable Problem

DefraOil is not the only resource people will fight over in the future - Global challenges such as population growth towards 9bn in 2050 and climate change highlight the need to develop sustainable food policies fit for the longer term.  The Ministers with responsibility for food sustainability from the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Executive met in Edinburgh recently to consider these challenges and how to address emerging issues.

The meeting discussed sharing best practice from current & developing initiatives. In particular, the meeting identified opportunities for co-operative working in assessing food security issues and considering opportunities for collaborative research.  A similar event at ministerial level will be held later in the year.
Press release ~ Defra – Food PolicyThe Politics of plants ~ ESRC Genomics Forum ~ Low input farming ~ Food Security Journal ~ 'Food and Farming Futures' project ~ Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme ~  Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) ~ Centre for Development Initiatives ~ Defra: Ensuring UK food security in a changing world ~ Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century  ~  FIVIMS - Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping ~ Chars Livelihood Programme ~ Impacts of Climate Change on Chinese Agriculture ~ Council of Food Policy Advisors ~ Chatham House - UK Food Supply in the 21st Century: The New Dynamic ~ Food Security and the UK: An Evidence and Analysis Paper December 2006 ~ Eldis – Food Security ~ Special programme for food security ~ Oxfam: Rethinking Food Security in Humanitarian Response ~ Global Food Trends - Overview  ~ Christian Aid: Fighting food shortages – Hungry for Change ~ Action Aid: Failing the Rural Poor

DfTMaking one city a pleasanter to live in - Large urban areas across England are being given the chance to bid to become the country's first Sustainable Travel City, Transport Minister Paul Clark has announced.  Up to £29m over the next 3 years will be invested in one of England's largest cities to encourage greener travel choices. These could include plans to support walking, cycling and initiatives to improve public transport.

This follows the success of the department's three Sustainable Travels Towns who, over the last five years, have seen car use fall by up to 9%, walking increase by up to 14% and cycling increase at least 12%.

The major urban areas eligible to apply suffer from the worst congestion in the country.  The 9 areas are; Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Merseyside, West of England (Bristol), Nottingham and Leicester.  The government also announced up to £3m of funding to smaller local authority areas to help them develop their own green travel initiatives.
Press release ~ Travelling to School project ~ Sustrans ~ Statistical information on travel patterns ~ DfT - Sustainable travel demonstration towns ~ SWESTRANS ~ DfT - Travel Plans ~ DfT National Business Travel Network ~ Sustainable Travel International website ~ The European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign

DH:  Not every relationship is a ‘happy’ one - A new taskforce of health professionals working together to spot early signs of violence & abuse against women & girls, investigate the scale of the problem and ensure victims across the NHS get the support they need has been announced.

The taskforce has been set up in response to issues raised during the Violence against Women and Girls consultation which began in March (closes on 29 May 2009).  The Government recognises that victims may talk more freely with health professionals about their fear of violence - even when they are not ready to take the next step to reporting the crime.

The Government wants to make sure that health professionals are prepared to give victims of violence & abuse information about local support services.   The taskforce will also look at helping health workers to identify women at risk earlier and how they can offer these women support to reduce repeat victimisation.
Press release ~ Home Office – Violence against women ~ Together we can end Violence against Women ~ Towards healthier, fairer and safer communities - connecting people to prevent violence: a Framework for Violence and Abuse Prevention ~ Responding to domestic abuse: A handbook for health professionals ~ Tackling the health and mental health effects of domestic and sexual violence and abuse ~ Interventions to reduce violence and promote the physical and psychosocial well-being of women who experience partner violence: A systematic review of controlled evaluations ~ Dealing with cases of forced marriage: practice guidance for health professionals

Forthcoming Event
: The art of efficiency with the science of contact data - A FREE seminar from Experian QAS - Public Sector organisations are under increasing pressure to drive efficiency and improve citizen service. Whether in Local or Central Government, Healthcare or Criminal Justice, individuals tasked with such challenges are turning to the science of contact data to support them.

Featuring case study examples from the public sector, this complimentary seminar is designed to help you understand more about Contact Data Management (CDM) and how it can help you maximise your organisation’s potential.


Who should attend?

Data custodians, and anyone who works with or makes decisions using their organisation’s contact data.


What you will gain from the day

Through benefit-led presentations and interactive discussion, you will receive practical help and advice around how best to manage your contact data in order to benefit;

Citizen service: Gain a wider understanding of your citizens

Cost reduction: Use improved contact data to reduce wastage and cut costs

Processes: Streamline data management solutions to ensure contacts are dealt with quickly and budget used efficiently.


For a full agenda and to register for this event, please click here


For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar

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