MoDPhilip Hammond for Chancellor in the next ministerial re-shuffle? - The MOD's budget deficit has been ‘wiped out for the first time in a generation’, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced last week claiming that the £38bn black hole in the Defence Budget that the Government inherited in 2010 has now been eliminated.  It means that, for the first time, the MOD's core equipment programme is fully funded & affordable.
Press release & links ~ Lords report on European defence capabilities ~ MPs report on the Ministry of Defence: Major Projects Report 2011 ~ NAO: Ministry of Defence: Management of the Typhoon Project ~ The cost-effective delivery of an armoured vehicle capability ~ MPs publish report on Strategic Defence and Security Review ~ Over a third of UK sourced defence contracts may be recovered by the Treasury in tax revenue ~ RUSI:  Has the MoD finally managed to combat the previously irresistible gravitational pull of its funding Black Hole? ~ CBI comment

DHPoor health is a common factor among re-offenders - The Offender Health Collaborative (a consortium led by Nacro) has been selected to support the cross government Health & Criminal Justice Transition Programme in managing the National Liaison and Diversion Development Network.

The Government has committed to the implementation of liaison & diversion services at all police custody suites and criminal courts, subject to a positive business case approval by 2014 and the Collaborative will work with local schemes to develop the good practice guidance, quality standards, and workforce requirements as well as reviewing & testing different models of commissioning & provision of liaison and diversion services.  This will be achieved via a network of liaison & diversion schemes across England.
Press release & links ~ Health and Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Development Network ~ Nacro ~ Revolving Doors Agency ~ Centre for Mental Health ~ Mental Health Network, NHS Confederation ~ Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Cass Business School ~ Centre for Health and Justice, Institute for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham ~ Offender Health Research Network ~ Previous DH PR ~ Multisystemic Therapy ~ CQC & HMIP Review of NHS healthcare provided for adults in the prison system ~ Report on healthcare in prisons ~ 'The Bradley Report - Lord Bradley's review of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities in the Criminal Justice System' ~ DH: Offender Health ~ Corston report ~ IDeA: Offender and ex-offender health ~  TH: Reducing re-offending ~ Lets talk about it - A review of healthcare in the community for young people who offend ~ Getting help with drug problems that prevent you working ~ CQC: Healthcare in Prisons ~ CQC: Commissioning health and social care for offenders ~ Safety in Custody 2010 ~ NTAfSM: Criminal justice ~ RAPt – The Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust ~ Mental Health Care and the Criminal Justice System ~ NAO: Short prison sentences ineffective in addressing underlying causes of criminal behaviour (scroll down) ~ Previous ScotGov PR

DUKFramework still not become a reality after 11 years! - Diabetes healthcare in England has drifted into a ‘state of crisis’ where 'less than half of people with the condition are getting the basic minimum care they need', a new report has warned.

According to the State of the Nation 2012 report, published by Diabetes UK, there are some areas where just 6% of people with diabetes are getting the regular checks & services recommended by the National Institute of
Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The report also highlights how a National Service Framework for diabetes – which sets out the healthcare people with the condition should be getting – has been in place for 11 years, but has yet to become a reality.

Diabetes UK, said, "We already know that diabetes in costing the NHS a colossal amount of money, but this report shows how in exchange for this investment we are getting second-rate healthcare that is putting people with diabetes at increased risk of tragic complications and early death”.
DfEDon’t some LA’s care what impact they are having on the children - Hundreds of children are forced to wait an average of 20 months from entering care to moving in with their adoptive parents6 months slower than the timetable set out in national guidance, according to official figures published recently.

The first ever local authority adoption scorecards show 80 local authority areas have met the interim thresholds (of 21 months from entering care to adoption and matching a child to a family within 7 months of a court order being made).  But the other 72 did not meet one or both of these key measures – which will be lowered gradually to 14 months and 4 months respectively within 4 years.
Press release & links ~ Ofsted:  LAs must adopt speedier placements (1st item)

WWFIncreasing world-wide demand for food & obesity issues requires a joined-up strategy on food -  Responding to the publication recently by the Environmental Audit Committee of their report on Sustainable Food, WWF-UK said that the Government must not ignore the urgent need to develop a joined-up strategy on food.

WWF-UK said it would have liked to see the report go further and calls for the Government to define a sustainable diet, getting the Department of Health to work with Defra to accomplish this.  The group said that the Government should also tackle other complex issues around production, consumption and subsidies that some stakeholders would like brushed under the carpet.
Press release ~ PC&PE press release & link to report ~ Defra: Green Food Project ~ The Foresight Report, The Future of Food and Farming (January 2011) ~ WWF’s Livewell Report with the Rowett Institute of Nutrition (January 2011) ~ WWF - Sustainable diets good for consumers, farmers and the environment, argues new report ~ 7 principles of sustainable food ~ Sustainable Food & Drink ~ Waste Watch: Sustainable food ~ 'Sustainable' Food is healthier for People and the Planet... ~ SA: Sustainable Food Cities Network ~ EU News:  What would those living on $2 a day make of this issue? (3rd item) ~ Government plans to tackle obesity unveiled ~ WAG:  Welsh Youngsters MEND their ways (2nd item) ~ WWF - Biodiversity declines as global consumption reaches all-time high ~ Living Planet Report 2012 ~ Newswire – Oxfam:  If there isn’t enough food & water everything else is irrelevant (3rd item)

STFCSimplify the jargon so policy makers can make decisions based on imartial viewpoints - The Science and Technology Facilities Council continues to sponsor 3-month fellowships with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, an organisation that provides government with in-house impartial advice on a range of science and technology policy issues.

STFC funded PhD students can apply to join the scheme in which they are asked, amongst other activities in Parliament, to research & write material for a ‘POST note’.  This is a document covering a specific technical topic that ‘breaks down jargon and presents the different viewpoints on the issue impartially for MPs, Peers & other policy makers’.  

The scheme gives students the chance to learn about how policy is developed & meet with policymakers and helps develop skills in communicating with non-academic audiences.
EU NewsApparently EU politicians still cannot face the reality of EU crisis - The European Commission should ‘have more control over fiscal policy in EU Member States, but not the free rein it asked for’, says the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in texts, voted on last Monday, stating a position on the economic governance ‘two pack’.  This increased power must be democratically controlled and serve to spur economic growth, MEPs say.
Press release

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