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ACEGreat art despite the cuts - A new National portfolio funding programme will, from April 2012, replace the Arts Council's current regularly funded system

Central to this new funding system is ‘Achieving great art for everyone’, a strategic framework for the arts, which will provide the policy context for ACE investment in the arts with 5 clear strategic goals informing future funding decisions (in the context of an almost 30% cut in ACE funding from government).

The new system is open-application, with all organisations invited to apply online.  Applications must be received by 10am on 24 January 2011 and decisions on the national portfolio organisations will be announced at the end of March 2011.
Newswire – LGAA cheaper (but effective alternative) to personal care - High-tech gadgetry is saving £ms on care for the elderly while helping them stay in the homes they love.  Pioneering research from one council shows modern technology could save its health system £7.5m a year.  If expanded across England & Wales this would represent savings of £270m and extra years of independence & dignity for users.
Press release ~ Kent County Council’s pilot scheme ~ Staffordshire County Council – Live at home safely ~ SCC: FlexiCare Housing ~ SCC – Falls & Prevention e-guidance ~ Related previous press release ~ North Yorkshire County Council - Telecare ~ Blackpool Council’s Vitaline service ~ Brighton and Hove City Council ~ Stockton Council’s community alarm service - Care Call ~ SC - Telecare ~ Disabled living foundation ~ Living made easy ~ Telecare Services Association (TSA) ~ Setting Service Standards In Telecare ~ Telecare services ~ NHS Choices - Telecare ~ eHealth ~ Sharing Experience - Scotland's Ageing Population ~ Scottish Executive – Older people ~ All Our Futures: Planning for a Scotland with an Ageing Population ~ Future Forum: 'Growing Older and Wiser Together: A Futures View on Positive Ageing' ~ Telecare – JIT (Joint Improvement Team) ~ Telecare-related links ~ WAG: Telecare ~ North Wales Telecare Project ~ The European Centre for Connected Health ~ WSD Action Network ~ RCN: Telehealth and telecare ~ Building Telecare in England ~ Whole System Demonstrator ~ Buying Solutions: Telecare &Telehealth

DWPThose that work & pay taxes don’t see why those who don’t, can’t, unless they are truly physically unable to do so - Launching the White Paper; Universal Credit: Welfare That Works alongside Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, Iain Duncan Smith set out how it will remove the complexities of the current benefit system which, at the moment, means it pays to stay on benefits rather than go into work.

The new Credit will provide a basic amount with additions for those with children & other caring responsibilities, people with disabilities and those with housing needs.  

It will ‘be available for people both in & out of work and will replace the complicated & inefficient patchwork of existing support’ including: Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and income-related Employment & Support Allowances.  In the long run the reforms are expected to lift 350,000 children & 500,000 adults out of poverty.

The new Universal Credit will ensure that support is withdrawn slowly & rationally as people return to work and increase their working hours, meaning that they get to keep more of their earnings for themselves and their families, regardless of how many hours they work.
Newswire – NHSConfed:  There is no point in medically ‘saving’ them if their basic care is then neglected - Responding to findings that only one-third of elderly patients who died in hospital within 30 days of surgery had received good care, the NHS Confederation said there is absolutely no excuse for poor care, regardless of the person's age.

Responding to the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) report from last week, NHS Confederation deputy director for policy, Jo Webber, said:  ……“The study suggests that there is more work to do on getting the basics like pain management right.  Getting specialist teams in place can be difficult at short notice but it is clear that we need to do better". 
Press release ~ National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death ~ NCEPOD press release ~ CMO(2009)08,CNO(2009)05: All Wales food record chart and nutritional care pathway ~ Free to Lead, Free to care ~ DH – Better Hospital Food programme ~ DH - Sustainable food: a guide for hospitals ~ Improving Nutritional Care: A joint Action Plan ~ Council of Europe Alliance (UK) ‘10 Key Characteristics of Good Nutritional Care’ ~ ScotGov: Hospital nutrition care standards ~ National Patient Safety Agency: Patient care and treatment (including nutrition) ~ NPSA: Other Patient safety topics ~ CQC calls for better patient care by ensuring the right patient information is in the right place, at the right time ~ Scottish Patient Safety Programme ~ National review of hospital standardised mortality ratios (HSMR) ~ NHS Choices - Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio (HSMR) ~ Rehabilitation after critical illness guideline ~ Measuring for Quality Improvement ~ Related ScotGov previous press release ~ Dignity in Care Campaign ~ Design for Patient Dignity  ~ Design Bugs Out ~ The right information, in the right place, at the right time: A study of how healthcare organisations manage personal data ~ Making a difference: Safe and secure data sharing between health and adult social care staff ~ Information Governance

CPACEven if Social/Health workers act in time, children’s futures are still ‘at risk’ - The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service's (Cafcass) response to increased demand for its services

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPAC, said: “
Cafcass was ill-prepared for the very large increase in care cases in 2009-10, which followed the Baby Peter tragedy and caused chaos in the family justice system.

This lack of readiness was a direct result of the organisation’s continued failure to get to get to grips with the fundamental weaknesses in its culture, management & performance.  It is still dealing with a legacy of low morale, unacceptably high levels of sickness absence and under-performance by some staff.

While judges are satisfied with the quality of the reports produced by Cafcass staff, it is a serious matter that an organisation whose role is to look after the interests of vulnerable children in family court proceedings is still not providing a timely service.  This Committee does not share the Department for Education’s confidence that all will be well by 2011”. 

Following the publicity around the Baby Peter tragedy in 2008, Cafcass experienced a significant & sustained increase in demand for its services, receiving around 34% more care cases in 2009–10 than the previous year.  This led to chaos across the family justice system, and exposed Cafcass as an organisation that was not fit for purpose in dealing with the increased number of cases.
Press release ~ Report: Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services ~ NAO: Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services ~ Cafcass ~ A guide to the Family Justice System in England and Wales ~ Family justice system to 'implode', warns top judge ~ Is the Family Justice system in need of review? ~ Minister wants more mediation in family justice system ~ The Family Justice System Review: an opportunity for change? ~ Resource kit - Family Justice Review ~ Attending family courts (parents section) ~ Child welfare during court proceedings (parents section) ~ Relationship breakdown and your children (parents section) ~ Relationship breakdown: family mediation (parents section) ~ Family mediation - real life stories (parents section) ~ A study of media attendance rules changes in family proceedings ~ UK Press Card scheme ~ Family courts openness ~ Outcomes of applications to court for contact orders after parental separation or divorce, plus Briefing Note ~ Children and Adoption Act 2006 ~ Oxford University Centre for Family Law and Policy ~ Parental Separation: Children’s Needs and Parents’ Responsibilities ~ Family Mediation website ~ Ofsted’s inspection of the experience of Cafcass service users in the family courts in South Yorkshire ~ Care Proceeding Reform ~ Family Procedure Rules - a new procedural code for family proceeding (2006 consultation) ~ Family Procedure Rule Committee ~ Review of the Child Care Proceedings System in England and Wales (2006) ~ The Law Society - Children Panel ~ NAO: Legal aid and mediation for people involved in family breakdown ~ LSC Website : Family Mediation Fee Scheme ~ Pilot Evaluation: Disclosure of Police Information in Family Proceedings ~ Metropolitan Police Protocol ~ Explanatory Memorandum

ECWill we get another ‘lockout’ of voters? - Preparations are currently ‘on track for the proposed referendum and scheduled elections on 5 May 2011, but it will still be a significant challenge to make sure they are well run, according to the Electoral Commission

Chair of the Electoral Commission, Jenny Watson, (who will be the Chief Counting Officer responsible for the conduct of the referendum) said: …. “But delivering well-run polls on 5 May will be a major challenge and it’s important local authorities have the right resources and staff in place to do this.  Some members of the Steering Group we’ve set-up have highlighted the risks that could arise from the pressure local authorities are under between now and 5 May. ……

“We are also disappointed that the UK Government has not taken the opportunity of this (PVSC) Bill to implement our May 2010 recommendation to change the law so that Returning Officers can issue ballot papers to anyone who is at a polling station, but has not yet voted, when polling closes at 10pm.”
Press release ~ EC assessment of progress and readiness for 5 May ~ Commission’s roles and responsibilities ~ Chief counting officer ~ Proposed voting system referendum ~ Report on the administration of the 2010 UK general election ~ Review of problems at polling stations at the close of poll on 6 May 2010

UKASLord Young to Review Accreditation and Regulation - Lord Young of Graffham, recently announced as Enterprise Adviser, has announced plans to review the potential for the wider use of UKAS accreditation to reduce bureaucracy and regulation.
Lord Young, who will undertake the review at the request of the Prime Minister, will work with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to identify areas in which accreditation can replace existing or new statutory regulation. 
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