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DHWas the only ‘successful’ re-organisation of our health service when the NHS was originally created? - Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, last week set out the Government's ‘ambitious plans to reform the NHS during this Parliament and for the long-term’.  The White Paper - Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS - details ‘how power will be devolved from Whitehall to patients & professionals’.

Under the new plans, patients will be able to choose which GP practice they register with, regardless of where they live, and choose between consultant-led teams.  

Groups of GPs will be given freedom & responsibility for commissioning care for their local communities.  
Strategic Health Authorities & Primary Care Trusts will be phased out.

This White Paper is the start of an extensive consultation that will take place over the coming weeks.  The Department of Health will shortly be publishing a number of consultation documents to seek views on more detailed proposals.
Press release ~ Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS ~ NHS Confederation briefing on White Paper ~ Civitas: Moves to transfer commissioning responsibility to GPs could cost the NHS its £20bn efficiency savings target & worse ~ Related subsequent Civitas commentary ~ Related King’s Fund press release ~ Related CQC press release ~ Related NICE press release ~ Giving GPs budgets for Commissioning: What needs to be done? ~ Socialist Health Association ~ NHS Wales Reforms ~ Health B4 Profit campaign ~ The 'Patchwork Privatisation' of our Health Service: A users' guide ~ NHS Scotland ~ Unification of Public Health services in Wales ~ WAG – Health & Social Care ~ AC: Is the treatment working? - Progress with the NHS system reform programme ~ AC: Payment by Results (PbR) ~ Key NHS reform successfully implemented but needs to develop to achieve more for patients ~ The right result? Payment by Results 2003-07 (Audit Commission, 2008) ~ Putting commissioning into practice (Audit Commission, 2007) ~ A prescription for partnership: engaging clinicians in financial management (Audit Commission, 2007) ~ Rural Health Plan – Improving Integrated Service Delivery Across Wales ~ Institute of Rural Health ~ Public Health Wales ~ Defra-commissioned database of good practice in rural health and wellbeing ~ NHS Scotland's Efficiency and Productivity Programme ~ The Impact of NHS Re-Organisation on Service Commissioning Costs: A Welsh Case Study ~ A Systems View of NHS reorganisations - the pain and cost of boldly going where we have been before

Defra:  First World ‘greening’ can often come at great cost to the environment of the Third World - A radical research programme to map how the UK uses imported palm oil could halt the loss of rainforest thousands of miles away.  Palm oil is a cheap ‘miracle product’ used in food, cosmetics, animal feed, tyres and biodiesel.  

But the expansion of plantations in South East Asia is wiping out forests, driving up greenhouse emissions and threatening wildlife such as the orang-utan.  Work on the research project is due to begin in July 2010, with the initial findings announced early in 2011.

The oil can be grown sustainably without damaging forests & wildlife and the research project will for the first time examine how palm oil is used by consumers in the UK.  It will document how much we use, how much of that is sustainably sourced and consider how changes can be made to lessen environmental damage.  

Also starting in July (under the Defra partnership with China on sustainable development) is a project working with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to develop the ‘business case’ for sourcing sustainable palm oil for Chinese companies and to draw up options for the Chinese Government to encourage sustainable sourcing.  China is the world’s largest country consumer of palm oil, followed by the EU & India
ScotGovDemocracy in action or just a way of deflecting blame for necessary cuts in services? - A ‘comprehensive, wide-ranging programme of public engagement will help ensure the people of Scotland have their say on the country's next budget’, Finance Secretary, John Swinney, said recently. 

Publication of the Independent Budget Review (IBR) at the end of the month would trigger a period of consultation, led by Government, but providing the whole of society with a chance to air their views.

The public engagement will feature public meetings and online tools to allow groups & individuals across Scotland to get involved.  Full details will be announced when the IBR is published.  An analysis published by Scottish Government economists recently shows Scotland could lose some £42bn over the next 16 years.
Press release ~ Analysis ~ Information on the Independent Budget Review ~ Fiscal Autonomy in Scotland: The case for change and options for reform ~ Choosing Scotland’s Future ~ Simplification Programme ~ Public Services Reform Act 2010 ~ ScotGov: Public Services Reform ~ Efficient Government Workstreams ~ Public Contracts Scotland ~ Improvement service ~ Updated Economic Recovery Plan ~ BBC: Economists warn of 'grim' budget cuts for Scotland ~ Policy Exchange: The Devolution Distraction ~ 'Invest in an Apprentice' scheme ~ Help for businesses in the Highlands and Islands ~ Strengthen Your Business campaign ~ Skills Development Scotland ~ An Oil Fund for Scotland: Taking forward our National Conversation ~ State of the Economy ~ Secret plan to deprive independent Scotland of North Sea oil fields

CRCOne suspects that public sector cuts will make rural life even tougher - The Commission for Rural Communities has been working with the NHF, CPRE, the Countryside Alliance and ACRE in producing a new report - Affordable Housing – keeping villages alive.  Over the last year the NHF has been working on raising the profile of affordable rural housing as a means to creating more vibrant & sustainable rural communities.

Villages have a long history of resilience & self help.  In tackling today’s challenges, many rural communities have identified affordable housing as part of the solution.  Typically, just a handful of well designed homes can help sustain more local services & jobs for local people.  
Press release ~ Affordable Housing – keeping villages alive ~ Affordable Rural Housing Commission: CRC taking forward the recommendations ~ Affordable Rural Housing Project ~ Defra ~ ACRE ~ Rural Housing Service Annual Conference 2010 ~ HELM: Affordable Rural Housing ~ State of the countryside 2010 ~ How to help people into employment in rural areas ~ Rural Financial Poverty: priorities for action ~ Working in 21st Century Rural England ~ English Indices of Deprivation – Consultation (closed) ~ Indices of Deprivation (IOD) consultation response – April 2010 ~ Position statement - 'How can public resources be fairly allocated between different places? ~ RSN: Rural manifesto ~ 'Recognising rural interests within Regional Strategies' briefing note ~ The potential impacts on rural communities of future public austerity ~ Literature review ~ Rural Advocate report 2010 ~ State of the Countryside Update: Housing demand and supply ~ Rural masterplanning fund prospectus ~ Taylor Review into rural housing and economies ~ Government response to the Matthew Taylor Review: Implementation plan ~ Community Land Trusts (CLTs) ~ Guidance for local authorities on incentivising landowners to bring forward additional land for rural affordable housing on rural exception sites ~ 10 Big Numbers ~ EEDA Short guide to Rural proofing ~ CABE responds to draft PPS7 - Sustainable development in rural areas ~ Shared Ownership & Leasehold Enfranchisement & Designation of 'Protected Areas' – Closed consultation paper ~ JRF Commission on Rural Housing in Wales: Final report ~ CRC Article for Shelter ~ Sue Essex Report into affordable housing in Wales ~ Realising the Potential Contributions of Scotland's Rural Land to Delivering Sustainable Economic Growth ~ CPRE’s vision for the countryside in 2026 ~ England's rural areas: steps to release their economic potential.  Advice from the Rural Advocate to the Prime Minster ~ BIG: Village SOS ~ Make Your Mark ~ CRC: Rural Economies Recession Intelligence report ~ Recovery & growth in rural England: What are the signs of recovery & directions for growth in rural economies? ~ Growth sectors in rural England: perspectives on planning for growth by rural businesses, authorities & organisations

WAGShould the State have a right to a share of both our estate & body for the greater good of society? - The Welsh Assembly Government will seek the power to introduce presumed consent for organ donation in Wales, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has confirmed.  Wales aims to be the first UK country to introduce such a system, where people have to opt out of the organ donation system rather than opt in.

Under the proposed ‘soft’ system of presumed consent, health professionals will still consult with families on whether they wish their relative to donate an organ after death.  

The First Minister said he hoped the move would increase the number of organs available for transplant. Latest figures from the end of March show that there were 333 people on the waiting list for a transplant in Wales.
Press release ~ WAG: Health and social care ~ Donate Wales – Tell a Loved One campaign ~ Kidney Wales Foundation ~ Wales: Organ Donor Register ~ Organs for transplants: a report from the Organ Donation Taskforce ~ WAG – Tell a loved one ~ Legal issues relevant to non-heartbeating organ donation ~ Allocation of organs to non-UK EU residents ~ Requested allocation of a deceased donor organ ~ Guidance for coroners and donor coordinators working with coroners ~ 22,480 people register as organ donors during first two days following the launch of the CMOs Annual Report 2006 ~ Wall of Life campaign ~ NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) ~ Previous ScotGov related press release ~ InfoScotland Donor Register ~ NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) ~ The potential impact of an opt out system for organ donation in the UK: an independent report from the Organ Donation Taskforce ~ DH – Organ Donation ~ EU Organ Donation Action Plan ~ Save Sian campaign
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