In the News
WAG: Have we the right to deny a person good health? - The detail of how a soft opt-out system for deceased organ & tissue donation in Wales would work has been outlined by the Welsh Government.
Wales will be the first UK country to introduce such a system, designed to increase the number of organ & tissue donors, if legislation is approved. One person a week in Wales dies while waiting for a suitable donor & around 300 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant.
Currently, people have to opt to join the NHS organ donor register if they want to donate their organs & tissues after their death. A soft opt-out system for Wales means unless an individual makes an objection their organs and tissues will be available for donation after their death. After death relatives will be involved in the decision making process around donation.
The timetable for the introduction of an opt-out system was laid out in a White Paper published for consultation last week (closes on 31 January 2012). A proposed timetable shows an opt-out organ donation Bill could be introduced into the National Assembly for Wales next year with the new system implemented in 2015.
PA: The Caring Profession? - The Patients Association has launched its report “We’ve been listening, have you been learning?” which details 16 accounts of poor hospital care heard by its Helpline in the last year.
The report contains some shocking accounts of care received by patients in hospitals across the country, focusing on 4 key fundamentals of:
* access to pain relief
* assistance with toileting
* help with eating & drinking
HPA: Prevention is much better than the battle to cure - NICE has published its quality improvement guide on the prevention & control of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) in secondary care settings. Produced in partnership with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) as part of a pilot project, the guide identifies the organisational characteristics, arrangements & practices that describe excellence in care & practice to prevent and control HCAIs.
The guide consists of 11 quality improvement statements describing a level of excellence in infection prevention & control at a management or organisational level. Evidence of achievement markers accompanying each statement allow trust boards to assess their compliance or progress towards each statement. In addition, the guide provides practical examples of the types of management & structural processes and associated interventions that need to be in place in order to reduce harm from infection.
WWF: Don’t give up on wind power just yet - According to the Sunday Times and the BBC), a forthcoming report from KPMG will suggest that scaling down ambitions on renewable energy could save the UK up to £34bn by 2020.
WWF-UK believes that scaling back renewable energy ambitions would be a backward step and (pending viewing the KPMG report) has warned that a greater reliance on gas coupled with unrealistic nuclear ambitions will fail both business & consumers in the UK.
NAO: Missing out the ‘sticky fingers’ in aid distribution - Directly providing international aid to the most poor & vulnerable people is showing clear & immediate benefits, according to the National Audit Office.
SI: ‘Ignorant natives’ more effective than Western ‘experts’ - Survival International highlights that ‘Indigenous peoples are key to preserving the world’s forests and conservation reserves that exclude them suffer as a result, according to a new study from the World Bank. Its analysis shows how deforestation plummets to its lowest levels when indigenous peoples continue living in protected areas and are not forced out.
Across the world millions of tribal people are conservation refugees, but the World Bank says its evidence shows ‘forest conservation need not be at the expense of local livelihoods.’
PC&PE: Investment or needless expenditure, read the differing arguments - There is a good case for a high speed rail network, linking London and the major cities of the Midlands, the North and Scotland says the Commons Transport Committee.
DEFRA: Counting the cost of a wasteful EU fishing policy - The dreadful waste of thousands of tonnes of dead fish being thrown back into the sea every day could be stopped if fishermen are required to count all the fish they catch as part of their quota, UK trials have shown.
CSEF: Bullying is unfortunately a perennial problem - The Children's Safety Education Foundation is urging schools & communities to tackle verbal bullying head on as we approach this year’s Anti-Bullying Week (from 14 – 18 Nov 2011).
SLC: It is not the end of University education - The Student Loans Company has launched the official finance calculator to help students in England considering going to university in 2012/13 see what funding will be available to them.
HMRC: Christmas shopping can be taxing - Don’t get hit by unexpected charges when you are shopping for Christmas bargains this year. If you are going abroad to do Christmas shopping, or buying goods online from non-EU countries, you need to know how much you can buy before you have to pay import duty or VAT.
Press release & links
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