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Demos: Time to think about the 50% who help pay for university education but don’t get one - Secondary schools across the country are failing to provide appropriate teaching for the 50% of all young people who do not go on to higher education according to a new report from the think tank Demos.
With ‘damning findings’ for the school system, The Forgotten Half calls for greater cooperation between schools & local business communities and for Ofsted to judge schools on work-related learning strategies to make sure that young people who don’t go to university get the same support to enter the labour market.
The Forgotten Half found that careers advice in schools was biased towards attending university and that little or no information was provided about apprenticeships or opportunities to work in the local area. It also found that schools severely undervalue the importance of part-time work, after school clubs and volunteering in building young people’s skills, experience and CVs.
HRFP: Only fair, as the reason they get paid more is for ‘being responsible’ - Will Hutton has published the Final Report & recommendations of the Hutton review of Fair Pay in the public sector, setting out the terms of a new settlement for public service leadership. Senior public servants' pay will be directly linked to their performance and will be subject to greater public scrutiny. In return, public service leaders will be in a better position to explain their roles & responsibilities and defend the ethos of public service that motivates them.
Among the recommendations Will Hutton recommends that senior public servants' pay should be more strongly linked to their performance through a system of 'earn back' pay. Under this system, executives will have an element of their basic pay 'at risk' - to be earned back each year through meeting pre-agreed objectives. This will allow pay to vary down as well as up with performance and ensure that public services do not offer rewards for failure.
The Government should not benchmark senior public servants' pay against that of the PM and should not impose a fixed limit on pay multiples (such as 20 to 1). However, the multiple of chief executive to workforce median pay should be published each year and any changes explained.
DH: But will the guidance wilt before the impact of £20bn efficiency savings? - The Department of Health has launched 4 new sets of guidance to improve the care of vulnerable people in NHS funded care. The documents remind staff & managers across the health service of the importance of personalised care & dignity and offers practical advice on how to deliver this.
Recent reports such as the Health Ombudsman’s Care & Compassion report have highlighted shocking examples of failings in NHS & care services. While the vast majority of patients receive a high standard of care, no failings are acceptable. That is why the Department has been working with stakeholders to develop practical guidance for staff across the NHS. The four documents are:
* Safeguarding adults: The role of health service practitioners
* Safeguarding adults: The role of health service managers and their boards
* Safeguarding adults: The role of NHS Commissioners
* Safeguarding Adults: Self-assessment and assurance framework for health care services
Practical help given in the guides includes:
*A step by step advice for staff on how to investigate suspected neglect
* 6 fundamental safeguarding actions for managers to take
* A list of questions managers should ask themselves to ensure they are meeting their responsibilities
* Advice for commissioners on how they can build safeguarding into commissioning and make this part of their joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy
TKF: Lack of care in hospital to be followed by insufficient services at home? - Local authority social care services face a funding gap in excess of £1bn by 2015, despite the additional funding announced in the Spending Review, according to a new paper from The King's Fund. With social care & the NHS facing an unprecedented funding squeeze, Social care funding and the NHS: an impending crisis? calls for a single national settlement for health & social care and for budgets to be brought together.
Based on analysis of scenarios arising from the 27% real-terms reduction in local government funding, the £1bn spending gap will result in knock-on effects for the NHS: unless local authorities can achieve unprecedented efficiency savings, cuts to frontline social care services will see fewer people getting the help they need, causing more emergency admissions, delayed discharges and longer waiting times.
The paper also points to evidence suggesting that spending on the right kind of social care can counter these adverse effects, is better for service users (who are often NHS patients too) and can result in savings for the NHS.
ScotGov: Hope for the future - £10m is to be invested over 4 years to improve care by growing the Scottish telehealthcare sector. The project - jointly announced by the Scottish Government and the Technology Strategy Board (the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator) - will show how new technologies & innovative services can help improve the quality of life of, and support independent living for, older people & people living with long-term conditions.
The demonstration programme will involve at least 10,000 older people & people with disabilities. Further details of the programme will be developed & established by the Scottish Government, its agencies and the Technology Strategy Board over the next year, as preparations are advanced for implementation of the Scottish Assisted Living Demonstrator from April 2012.
Industry News: Benefit from cost and time saving via the Governments Memorandum of Understanding with BT - In February, the Efficiency and Reform Group (Cabinet Office) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BT Conferencing to give your organisation access to a pricing structure that leverages the buying power of the whole of the Public Sector.
Delivering cost and productivity efficiencies are at the top of everyone's agenda at the moment. Holding meetings via conference calls saves your organisation the cost of the journey and the travel time, whilst significantly reducing your departmental carbon footprint. Work and presentations can be easily shared live over the web, so everyone can join in as if face to face.
Click here for more information on how the MOU could help your organisation drive down costs and meet CRC requrements.