NICEA ‘ring fence’ won’t actually protect the NHS from any cuts, but ‘working smarter’ might help - The NHS could stand to save £ms - at a time when healthcare budgets are being squeezed - by following National Institute for Health &Clinical Excellence guidance, according to a review by the Institute.
Implementing NICE guidance can ensure that patients receive treatment that is proven to be both clinically & cost effective, while it can also free up resources & capacity that can then be channelled into other services.

In the 2010 budget, announced last month, the Department of Health stated that it will have to make £4.35bn of savings, as their departmental contribution towards £11bnn savings that are being made across Government.  But a tightening of belts within the NHS should not signal a drop in the quality of patient care. 

NICE has identified 19 sets of recommendations that, if fully implemented by trusts could help to save £ms. This list is based on costing work undertaken at the time the guidance is published and covers all clinical guidelines from January 2005 and technology appraisals from January 2006 that deliver a net saving. 

To help trusts implement the guidance, NICE has developed a range of costing tools that allow individual NHS organisations & local health economies to quickly assess the impact guidance will have on local budgets.

Another initiative by NICE that will help the NHS to use resources most effectively is a new medical technologies programme which will provide much-needed advice on the effectiveness of new devices & diagnostics, paving the way for a more uniform & joined-up approach to their use in the NHS.
Press release ~ Spreadsheet that links the relevant pieces of NICE guidance to the corresponding operating framework indicators ~ Medical technologies programme ~ Using NICE guidance to cut costs in the downturn ~ NHS Scotland's Efficiency and Productivity Programme ~ Audit Commission – A guide to finance for hospital doctors ~ Audit Commission: More for less - Are productivity and efficiency improving in the NHS? ~ NHS Confederation: The future of NHS funding ~ NHS Indicators ~ AC: Is the treatment working? - Progress with the NHS system reform programme ~ NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement

LLUK‘Catching them Young’ often saves spending more later - Lifelong Learning UK is supporting - The Benefits of Youth Work - a report that sets out why youth work is so important, which was published by Unite, the Community and Youth Workers Union.

Researched by the National Youth Agency, the report provides essential information for councillors, policy makers & their colleagues, showing how youth work makes a real & cost effective impact on young peoples' lives: supporting their learning and helping them to be more healthy, keep safe and make a positive contribution to society.
Press release ~ The Benefits of Youth Work ~ www.cywu.org.uk ~ National Youth Agency ~ Safeguarding children and young people who may be affected by gang activity ~ Targeted Youth Support: A guide ~ State of the young people's workforce report ~ Young People's Workforce Reform Programme ~ Youth Work Week website ~ WAG: Youth volunteering ~ Building on the best: overview of local authority youth services 2005-06 ~ Effective youth services: good practice ~ Engaging young people report ~ National Council for Voluntary Youth Services ~ Infed: Transforming Youth Work ~ Youth crime ~ Preventing crime ~ Nacro – Youth Crime ~ Professional and National Occupational Standards for Youth work ~ AC: Sport and leisure, anti-social behaviour and young people ~ Call for Evidence - Youth Sector Support Arrangements ~ Aiming high for young people: a ten year strategy for positive activities

Newswire – IfG:  Don’t get hung up over ‘Changing Government’ - Speculation about the effect a hung parliament would have on 'The City' has seen dramatic interest in how long it would take to form a new Government under such circumstances. 

According to Professor Robert Hazell of the UCL (who is working closely with the Institute for Government), it is
likely to last several days - and at a maximum several weeks.

According to Robert; "In Scotland the average period between the election & formation of the new government has been one to two weeksWestminster must be prepared for a similar time lapse."
Article ~ Guide to Hung Parliaments ~ Additional material ~ Lecture on Reform Program aimed to reduce the size & to improve the quality of the Dutch government and prepare it for future challenges ~ New Lexicon for Civil Service ~ More about the adjustments required in Whitehall following a transition of government ~ Transitions – preparing for changes of government

Newswire - CBIEU legislation is still impacting on the UK - The CBI is warning that a new European Directive could force the UK to close many power plants, potentially putting energy security at risk.   Recent amendments by MEPs to the draft EU Industrial Emissions Directive mean that power plants will need to undergo costly upgrades to comply with air pollution targets, or close by 2016.

The Business Group says that could lead to a quarter of the UK’s electricity generating capacity – up to 14 plants - being forced to close early.  The CBI is calling for power plants to be given until 2021 to prepare for the proposed changes, which will allow other low-carbon forms of energy to be built to replace the lost capacity and ensure a smooth transition.

The Directive is being voted on by the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health &Food Safety in Brussels on Tuesday 4 May.  After the vote, negotiations will take place between the Council & European Parliament, before the directive is voted on in a plenary session in Strasbourg during the summer.

The CBI is also highlighting another worrying aspect of the Directive that it says will reduce the UK’s flexibility to decide how best to meet the air pollution targets in the most cost-effective way. 

The CBI has recently published a 12-point agenda (New Government in Action: The Business Agenda) for the new Government, which ranks energy security as one of the key areas for action.
Press release ~ New Government in Action: The Business Agenda ~ Draft EU Industrial Emissions Directive ~ EU Commission - Environment ~ Project Discovery - Energy Market Scenarios ~ Energy Security: A national challenge in a changing worldDECC: Security and resilience of domestic energy supply ~ 'Modeling a resilient UK energy system' ~ The Energy Markets Outlook ~ Joint Energy Security of Supply (JESS) working group report ~ National Grid ~ Energy Intensive Users Group ~ Oxford Institute for Energy Studies ~ Association of Electricity Producers ~ The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan

Newswire – KF:  Factual analysis of a 'Sacred Cow' - What are the main political parties saying about health care in the run up to the general election?   The King’s Fund gives the facts behind the rhetoric and provides up-to-date analysis of the key health debates.  They provide answers to such questions as:
* How many managers are there in the NHS?
* Social care – what has been achieved?
* Have targets improved NHS performance?
* How much has been spent on the NHS since 2005?
* Did Labour deliver choice in the NHS?
* How much have waiting times reduced?
Article ~ Click HERE for the facts

WAGA ‘Good News’ Government IT project story for a change - The Welsh Assembly Government’s xchangewales programme has won a prestigious GC (Government Computing) Award in the category of ‘Delivering Efficiencies’, which acknowledges the achievements of projects that demonstrate clear efficiency gains – particularly sustainable efficiencies – for their organisations.  

Part of the Value Wales Division, xchangewales is a programme that aims to deliver the use of cutting edge electronic procurement products & services across all Public Sector organisations in Wales, enabling them to source, tender, evaluate, order & pay for goods & services at the click of a button.  During its 5 year life-cycle, the programme will hopefully deliver over £70m of benefits to the Welsh Public Sector.  
Press release ~ www.xchangewales.co.uk ~ Value Wales Division ~ Improving public services ~ Good Practice Wales web portal ~ Citizens’ Views of Public Services (Findings from the 2008 Living in Wales Survey) ~ Beecham report into improving public services in Wales ~ Working together to improve public services ~ Wales Audit Office: Value for Money Work ~ www.idea.gov.uk/equalityframework

Newswire – IfS:  Still undecided about whose telling the truth? - Much quoted in the media recently - read the actual briefing papers from the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
Article ~ Click HERE and scroll down for individual briefings

Industry News:  Durham Police Force makes significant cost savings with computer simulation - Many departments in the public sector are under pressure to reduce costs while also maintaining or even improving service delivery. Clearly some changes are required, but how do we know which changes will work, and how can we ensure that we still hit our delivery targets?

Faced with exactly this type of problem, Durham Constabulary are just one organisation that has reviewed its working practices and shift patterns using computer simulations and the results have been dramatic with significant cost savings and a faster response to incidents.

"The computer simulation provided us with a sophisticated tool that was highly influential in helping us to understand the impact of new shift patterns and exactly how they would impact upon service delivery. As a result of the study we are a leaner, more efficient organisation. We provide the right people at the right time across all our sites, and this leads to a faster response to incidents," said Temp Superintendent Ian Butler.

Click here to find out more.

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