NICETime for the NHS to admit that parts of it do need to change / reform? - 60% of stroke patients in the NHS are not getting early access to potentially life-saving stroke-prevention surgery, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Vascular Society

The report highlights the degree of variation, across the UK, in the time between patients first experiencing symptoms of stroke and then receiving preventative treatment.

Carotid endarterectomy is surgery carried out by specialist surgeons to prevent stroke by removing a blockage in the arteries of the neck.  NICE guidance recommends that provided the person's symptoms have stabilised, this surgery should be performed within 2 weeks of a stroke or minor stroke - known as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

However, the report reveals that the majority of patients (60%) with symptoms of TIA or stroke are not receiving carotid endarterectomy surgery within the 2-week timescale recommended by NICE. Furthermore, the time between patients experiencing symptoms and receiving treatment varies widely across the UK.  Some patients requiring surgery undergo treatment within 2 days, while others wait nearly 2 months before receiving it.

The report calls for the continued promotion of public awareness of stroke & TIA, such as the NHS F.A.S.T. campaign, and urges a reorganisation of services.  This is order to minimise any delays resulting from a shortage of operating time, or availability of surgeons.
Press release & links ~ Report ~ NICE Pathway on stroke ~ NICE: Stroke Quality Standard ~ NHS F.A.S.T. campaign ~ Ask First - to prevent a stroke later ~ Critical care paramedics can save more lives and cut costs ~ Diet fizzy drinks linked with a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes ~ Previous CQC service variation press release ~ NHS atlas ~ Hospitals are using the wrong kind of stocking to prevent blood clots in patients, a study suggests ~ CLOTS - Clots in Legs or stockings after Stroke ~ UK Stroke Research Network ~ The Stroke Association ~ Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland ~ WAG: Promoting cardiovascular health: the stroke risk reduction action plan ~ NAO report - Department of Health: Progress in improving stroke care ~ Reducing Brain Damage: Faster access to better stroke care (2005) ~ DH: Stroke ~ Act FAST' advertising campaign ~ NHS Choices: Treating Stroke

MoD:  Trying to do too much with too little? - A new vision for how the MOD will run & be managed has been outlined by Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox as the report of the Defence Reform Review is published.  The report by Lord Levene and a team of external experts has been published in line with the principles for reform set out by the Secretary of State.

One of the key recommendations of the report is to empower the military, allowing Single Service Chiefs to take greater control of their own allocated budgets and advise on the best balance between manpower, training, equipment & support, etc. that are needed to deliver the Defence requirement. New oversight measures will ensure they will be properly held to account for so doing.

The MOD will publish a blueprint setting out all the major changes the Department is embarked on later this year.
Press release ~ Strategic Defence and Security Review ~ Related RUSI Briefing paper:  The Defence Reform Agenda  ~ RUSI SURVEY: SDSR was a ‘lost opportunity’ according to two-thirds of defence and security community ~ RUSI: Implementing the SDSR: Many difficult decisions are still to come ~ RUSI: Defence Review (scroll down for other articles) ~ Chatham House: Is the SDSR at risk of failure? ~ Chatham House: ethinking the UK's International Ambitions and Choices (scroll down for other articles) ~ IPPR - SDSR: Shared Destinies, Shared Responsibilities ~ IISS: UK cost-cutting review shrinks military capacity  ~ Policy Exchange: Upgrading Our Armed Forces - Move from 'industrial age' to 'information age' ~ ScotGov: Scotland’s RAF Bases ~ Defence cuts and military base communities ~ ScotGov: Defence jobs ~ Armed Forces Minister: Responding to Cyber War ~ New Defence Materiel Strategy announced ~ Reduction in UK nuclear warheads begins

BCE:  Gerrymandering or improved reflection of where people live (& vote) today? - The Boundary Commission for England has published a guide which explains how the 2013 review of parliamentary constituencies will work.  It also gives details about how people will be able to have their say when the Commission publishes its proposals this September.  

The BCE is reviewing Parliamentary boundaries following the new rules laid down in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 ('the 2011 Act') and will deliver its final recommendations by 1 October 2013.  

The 2011 Act reduces the number of constituencies from 650 to 600.  England has been allocated 502 constituencies - 2 of these constituencies are expressly reserved for the Isle of Wight.

People will be able to comment on the proposals either by attending public hearings that will run from mid-October to mid-November, or by writing in during the 12- week consultation period which will end in December.  More details about viewing the proposals and on how to register for a public hearing will be published on the website in July 2011.
Press release & links ~ A Guide to the 2013 Review ~ Boundary Commission for England ~ Report: The implications for Wales of the Government's proposals on constitutional reform ~ Welsh Affairs Committee ~ Committee publishes report on Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill ~ Island wins argument over parliamentary constituency ~ Reduce and equalise? Why electoral geography matters ~ Disproportionality & bias in the results of the 2005 general election in Great Britain: evaluating the electoral system’s impact ~ Constitution Society Briefing Paper: Reduce & Equalise

EU NewsThey ask for more even when they don’t spend what they have! - Parliament's Budgets Committee voted Monday to deduct €4.54bn from Member States' contributions to this year's EU budget.  

This sum is the surplus left over from financial 2010.  Of this total, €2.72bn consists of ‘leftovers’ from programmes implemented in 2010.  The rest comes from fines, interest on late payments and surpluses due to exchange rate differences.  MEPs nonetheless objected to returning part of the sum to Member States, and would like to prevent it from happening again.
Press release & links

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