DHForget the rhetoric; is there that much difference between the coalition’s plans and those of the previous government? - The NHS Future Forum has published its recommendations to the Government on the modernisation of health & care

Set up as an independent group in order to ‘pause, listen and reflect’ on the Health & Social Care Bill, the Forum has made 16 key recommendations, including:
* the pace of the proposed changes should be varied so that the NHS implements them only where it is ready to do so
* nurses, specialist doctors & other clinicians must be involved in making local decisions about the commissioning of care – not just GPs – but in doing this the NHS should avoid tokenism, or the creation of a new bureaucracy
* competition should be used to secure greater choice & better value for patients – it should be used not as an end in itself, but to improve quality, promote integration and increase citizens’ rights
* the drive for change in the NHS should not be based on Monitor’s duty to ‘promote’ competition, which should be removed, but on citizens’ power to challenge the local health service when they feel it does not offer meaningful choices or good quality
Press release ~ Recommendations ~ Click HERE for full item ~ Government response ~ Monitor’s response ~ NHS Confederation comment ~ Patients Association pre-publication recommendation ~ Kings Fund Response ~ The King’s Fund comment on government response ~ Unite (the union) response ~ CBI comment ~ BHF comment ~ BMA's response in full ~ BMA's submission to the NHS Future Forum ~ Kings Fund related documents ~ NHS Confederation related documents ~ DH: Modernisation of Health and Care ~ PX: Implementing GP Commissioning ~ Nuffield Trust: The Health and Social Care Bill: where next? ~ NHS Direct Action ~ Been here before with Labour: Think tank says NHS reform 'not a local reality' ~ The Patchwork Privatisation of Our Health Service – a special report ~ Patchwork Privatisation leaflet ~ AC: Paying GPs to improve quality - Auditing payments under the Quality and Outcomes Framework

Newswire – UNICEF:  At least the money won’t be spent on presidential jets & Mercedes - As world leaders converged on London for the GAVI Alliance pledging conference this week, UNICEF called on donors to fund a global immunization effort to save millions of children’s lives by 2015.

It emphasized that the best use of funding for vaccines is to implement programmes that prioritize the hardest to reach children who currently miss out on these simple life-saving vaccines. Currently 1 in 5 children is not vaccinated.

UNICEF is in the unique position of being involved at every stage of the immunization process, supplying vaccines to 56% of the world’s children and working on the ground in over 150 countries and it is a founding partner in the GAVI Alliance.
Press release & links ~ Related DFID PR ~ EU-funded breakthrough in malaria treatment in the run up to World Malaria Day ~ Malaria: breaking the cycle ~ GAVI alliance ~ DFID case study: One simple jab, millions of lives saved ~ DFID video: Vaccinating children, saving lives with GAVI ~ Museveni used UK aid money to buy jet – says Lord

PX:   Keeping them locked up for most of the day does not rehabilitate them - New research from think tank Policy Exchange calls for major reforms to drive an agenda of ‘real work’ in prison

Ahead of new prison reform proposals to be published by the Ministry of Justice, the study – Inside Job: creating a market for real work in prison – recommends a whole new prison work regime based on full-time, paid employment that is run by private companies, profit-driven & commissioned by prison governors. Offenders would still go to prison – but regimes would do much more to offer proper work for inmates to make them more employable on release. 
Press release ~  Inside Job: creating a market for real work in prison ~ HMPS: Working in prison ~ Directgov: Education, training and working in prison ~ BBC: Prison work reforms: the response ~ France 24: Working in prison ~ Prison Governor view of working in prison ~ Howard League research on work in prisons ~ Fine Cell Work

Newswire – ICOData Protection training for staff and ‘responsible managers’ could prove a cost effective investment - The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently served Surrey County Council with a monetary penalty of £120,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act after sensitive personal information was emailed to the wrong recipients on 3 separate occasions.
Press release

STFCDon’t just ask for equality of opportunity, help deliver it - The Science and Technology Facilities Council is seeking 4 volunteers to serve on the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Focus Group. The Focus Group provides STFC with first hand views & insights into the issues that affect the retention & career development of women working in STFC's areas of science.

The group membership is drawn from female researchers at a range of career stages and, as far as possible, from the different science areas within the STFC remit. The closing date for volunteering is Friday 5 August 2011

If you wish to volunteer please use the 
on-line form to provide your contact details, details of research/scientific expertise and, optionally, any particular interest in serving on the Focus Group.
Press release & links

FSA:  Better to extend than mess it up - The Financial Services Authority has agreed to temporary arrangements for Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS to handle Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints.  

The arrangements extend the time periods (see press release) the firms have to deal with their backlog of stayed PPI complaints and the high volume of new complaints on PPI. These arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the firms are able to handle the PPI complaints properly.
Press release & links

iea:  Independence always comes at a price - Examining the potential impact of the national debt on Scotland, Dr Richard Wellings, Deputy Editorial Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:  “At the end of 2010, official UK general government debt was £1,106 billion, equivalent to 76% of GDP. A reasonable way of dividing the national debt to work out Scotland’s fair share might be to base it on the proportion of total public spending devoted to Scotland.  Since Scotland currently receives almost 10% of total UK public spending, a figure of around £110 billion could be appropriate”.
Press release ~ Institute of Economic Affairs ~ Choosing Scotland's Future: A National Conversation ~ Oil Fund

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