Due to the upcoming Bank Holiday, the next newsletter will be published on Wednesday 01 June 2011

Defra:  We need to plan & prepare for both too much and too little rain - This Spring’s intense dry spell is a sign of things to come and water companies need to be prepared to avoid water shortages, Environment Minister Lord Henley warned recently. 

The recent dry weather which saw just 24% of the average rainfall for April is likely to become a more frequent occurrence in the future due to the impacts of climate change.  Therefore long term planning is needed to ensure sufficient water is available during hotter, drier summers.

Lord Henley issued the warning as Defra published reports from each water utility company which identify the risks that climate change will pose to their service, and what actions they are taking to address them.  

It follows a drought summit called by Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman on Monday with water companies, farming groups and environmental organisations to make sure the country is prepared for the possibility of drought conditions following the long dry spell.
Press release ~ May 2011 – Departmental Adaptation Plan Updates ~ Infrastructure, Engineering and Climate Change Adaptation – ensuring services in an uncertain future ~ EA: Latest Drought Management Briefing ~ Assessing Water Risk: A Practical Approach for Financial Institutions ~ BSA: Water shortages in the UK ~ Droughts and water shortage - The English case ~ EA: Climate change & water resources ~ Waterwise: Reducing Water Wastage in the UK ~ BGS: Responding to potential water shortages ~ WWF Briefing ~ Riverside Tails ~ Anna Walker’s independent review of water charging & meteringOfwat - International comparisons - water efficiency ~ Water Saving Group ~ Consumer Council for Water ~ Water UK ~ Foresight: Global Environmental Migration ~ Foresight: Gobal Food and Farming Futures ~ Foresight: Land Use Futures

JRF:  Could their poverty at least partly just be a reflection of how long some of them have lived in this country? - A report released recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows there is a clear link between poverty & ethnicity in the UK.

The review, Poverty and Ethnicity: A Review of Evidence, found that in areas such as employment, care, and where you live, people from many ethnic minority groups do proportionally worse than White British people.

The research identified 3 areas of particular concern:
* Employment: People from many ethnic minorities are proportionately less likely to enter employment, be paid equal salaries, and be promoted, than their White British counterparts, meaning it is harder for them to escape poverty
* Location: Where you live has a huge impact on how likely you are to escape poverty
* Care: Changing demographics mean that caring responsibilities are going to alter in the near future.  A study in Birmingham suggested that by 2026, 1 in 4 people over 65 will be from minority ethnic groups (the current figure is 1 in 8).  This could have big implications for care services providers

Following the findings of this review, the JRF is launching a £1.3m programme on poverty & ethnicity in the UK.  Over the next 5 years it will investigate the reasons for the links between poverty & ethnicity in the areas identified above.
Press release ~ Poverty and Ethnicity: A Review of Evidence ~ JRF: Poverty and ethnicity in the UK ~ What are the links between poverty and ethnicity? ~ Poverty, ethnicity and education ~ TPS: Low income and ethnicity ~ DWP: Ethnicity and child poverty ~ London’s Poverty Profile ~ Poverty pathways: ethnic minority women’s livelihoods ~ Poverty among ethnic groups: how and why does it differ? ~ A review of poverty and ethnicity in Scotland ~ DWP - Factors influencing social mobility ~ A New Understanding of poverty (click on pdf links for free download) ~ Least well-off in society better identified by low spending than low income ~ Mental Health: Poverty, Ethnicity and Family Breakdown Interim Policy Briefing

TKFIs the government listening? - The King’s Fund has called for significant changes to the government’s health reforms to enable the NHS to provide a ‘new model’ of care that meets the challenges of the future. In its response to the government’s listening exercise on the Health and Social Care Bill, the Fund says it supports the need for reform, but argues that it must be based on a clear diagnosis of NHS performance and the challenges it faces.

It calls for the NHS to be re-orientated to deliver a new model of ‘integrated’ care, based on stronger collaboration between health professionals and more effective co-ordination of services.  

The response argues that integrated care offers the best prospect of improving services for patients and addressing the key challenge facing the NHS – demographic change and the increasing number of people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma and dementia.

It draws on evidence from the NHS and the United States showing that integrated care delivers better outcomes for patients with long-term conditions and improves the quality of specialist services such as cardiac, cancer and stroke care.
Press release & links ~ ‘Where next for the NHS reforms? The case for integrated care ~ Additional material from TKF ~ NHS Confederation consultation PR ~ Download the questionnaire ~ Related NHS Confederation PR ~ MPs publish report on NHS Landscape review ~ NHS Confederation response ~ Localism Bill set to impact on NHS ~ NHSC: Political engagement ~ Localism Bill ~ 12 recommendation for policy makers ~ Liberating the NHS. What might happen? ~ DH:  While a ‘free at the point of delivery’ NHS should be ‘sacrosanct’ that doesn’t mean ‘how it is provided’ should be (First item)

Newswire – HPA All right so far - The Health Protection Agency, Environment Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency monitoring stations have reported further minute traces of radiation associated with events at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan.  Overall, the levels are lower than those observed in the previous update published on May 5.

The levels being detected mean there is no risk to public health in the United Kingdom from the environmental concentrations resulting from the release of radioactive material at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.  The monitoring equipment is extremely sensitive and can pick up trace levels well below any potential risk to human health.
Press release & links
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