DH:  A Third Way for Service Provision - The Department of of Health has announced the publication of a report that contains the results of research to examine the potential contribution that third sector organisations can make to the delivery of health & social care.


The research covers an estimated 35,000 Third Sector Organisations (TSOs), who currently provide health and/or social care in England and a further 1,600 who plan to do so in the next three to five years.  The total funding for these services amounts to an annual £12bn.


The research shows that:

·         There is already a high level of interaction between public sector commissioners and third sector providers, especially in Social Care

·         Only 30% of TSOs said they had tendered for any services in the previous year, but 60% were successful

·         The main reason for not inviting TSOs to tender was the perceived absence of potential providers from within the sector

·         Local authority satisfation ratings for TSO provided services was over 80% 

·         Half of the TSOs felt there were services that they would be better able to deliver than current providers


If planned growth was achieved on an even trajectory, then the total increase in third sector activity over the next year would amount to just under £1bn.   This equates to an increase of 9%. 

Press release ~ Third sector market mapping report ~ Third Sector Commissioning Task Force: No excuses: embrace partnership now: step towards change ~ NAO:  Working with the Third Sector ~ Financial relationships with third sector organisations - NAO ~ Third Sector Network ~ The role and resourcing of the Third Sector – A view from the Treasury ~ Future Services Network ~ Care Services Efficiency Delivery (CSED) ~ Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) ~ Office of the Third Sector ~ Charities and Public Service Delivery (CC37)Regulating for the future ~ The Charity Commission’s response to the Strategy Unit review ~ Policy statement ‘Charities and public service delivery'  ~ Full cost recovery website ~ National Council for Voluntary Organisations ~ National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS) ~ Mind the Gap: A funders’ guide to full cost recovery ~ Future builders England  ~ HM Treasury ~ Change Up ~ Capacity Builders ~ DH – Working with Stakeholders ~ Community Action Network ~ CEMVO : Council of Ethnic Minorities Voluntary Sector Organisations


DWP / ODI:  Achievement out of 60 recommendations? - Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, has announced the launch of a public consultation (closes on 9 May 2007), being led by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI), to ask disabled people what equality means to them and to gain their views on how Government can best monitor progress towards equality for disabled people.


The consultation launch coincides with the publication by the Disability Rights Commission of their ‘Disability Agenda’, which sets out the core themes on which the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights should focus.


The Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report - Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People - included some sixty recommendations for improving disabled people's lives, focusing on four key themes: early years, the transition from childhood into adulthood, employment and independent living

Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People ~ Disability Agenda ~ Directgov Disability web pages ~ Commission for Equality and Human Rights ~ Disability Alliance campaign ~ DRC report: The Web: Access and Inclusion for Disabled People ~ Disabled Persons (Independent Living) Bill   ~ National Centre for Independent Living ~ Improving Information for Disabled People (1.5Mb) ~ Five principles for producing better information for disabled people ~ Images of Disability ~ DRC – Services and Transport ~ RNID: The Disability Discrimination Act - a guide for service providers ~ Disability Information Service ~ Little Report: Through Inclusion to Excellence ~ 'Able Authorities: the Disability Discrimination Act, Local Authorities and Disabled People' ~ DRC: Disability Equality Duty ~ Shift – Action on Stigma ~ Equality for Disabled in Wales


DH / DFID:  A healthy policy to help the Third World - A new report - Global Health Partnerships: The UK contribution to health in developing countries - makes recommendations on how the UK government, the NHS and other UK health experts could contribute better to health & health care in developing countries.  


The report warns that the Millennium Development Goals on health - which aim to reduce deaths from child & maternal deaths and combat AIDS, TB & malaria - will not be met without a strong health workforce.  With a shortage of health workers in many developing countries, there is an urgent need for training, education and support for health workers, including doctors, nurses, managers and community health workers.


The report recommends that the UK supports developing countries in the delivery of their own health plans, through:

·         becoming part of a global effort to scale up education & training of health workers in developing countries

·         support for global health partnerships between organisations & individuals in developed & developing countries

·         strategic coordination of existing international health work


The UK is committing £1m over two years to help the Global Health Workforce Alliance tackle the urgent need to find solutions to the lack of health workers in poor countries across the world.

Press release ~ DH press release ~ Global health partnerships: The UK contribution to health in developing countries ~ International recruitment: NHS employers ~ Millennium Development Goals on health ~ Code of practice for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals (2004) ~ Global Health Workforce Alliance ~ World Health Report of 2006 on human resources for health ~ WHO: The world health report 2006 - working together for health ~ WHO - The global shortage of health workers and its impact ~ Unison: Labour migration - a union issue ~ NLH - Health Management - International Recruitment ~ BMA: Meeting the health needs of the poor


Natural England:  Just in time for Global Warming – more access to the seaside - Subject to the approval of its Board on 21 February, Natural England looks set to advise the Government to introduce legislation to create a new right of public access to England’s coastline along a continuous access corridor.


Natural England was asked by the Government to recommend how best to deliver its manifesto commitment to improve people’s access to the English coastline and the proposals to be considered by its Board include:

·         The Government should legislate to create a new approach tailored to the circumstances of the coast

·         The access corridor should include new areas of ‘spreading room’ and also formalise existing beach access

·         Natural England's powers would include undertaking any necessary establishment work on the ground, such as installing gates & bridges

·         All Natural England's powers would be exercised under a statutory methodology

·         Natural England would undertake nature conservation assessments as part of the planning process

·         Natural England would undertake much of the planning & implementation through access authorities, but would fund the necessary work irrespective of who undertook it

·         Local solutions would be designed in consultation with local interests

·         The implementation programme would cost between £2m - £5m p.a. year over a period of 10 years

·         There should be a working presumption against paying compensation for public access along the undeveloped coast

·         The reduced level of occupiers' liability introduced for ‘access land’ under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act should also apply to coastal access


Natural England’s final advice will be provided to Defra by the end of February and the Government intends to consult on improving coastal access later this year.

Press release ~ Natural England ~ Copy of the proposals ~ Improving Coastal Access - Country Land & Business Association ~ Defra : Improving access to the coast ~ Open Access  ~ National Trails ~ National Trust - Coastline ~ The Ramblers Association - coastal access ~ Regulatory Impact Assessment of Options for Improving Access to the English Coast ~ Coastal Land Advisory Group ~ Countryside Council for Wales ~ Advice to WAG ~ SNH - Scottish Natural Heritage ~ Strategy to implement integrated coastal zone management (iczm) processes within Scotland ~ Discovering Lost Ways ~ Our coasts and seas - making space for people, industry and wildlife (2.5Mb)



For information on forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar


For Industry News please click HERE

General News

Defra:  In response to the outbreak of avian influenza in Suffolk two reports have been published:

·         Defra's interim epidemiological report into the source of the outbreak, and

·         A joint final report by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Defra, Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) on tracing the source of imported meat at Holton with a view to determining if it came from Hungary


The Defra interim epidemiological report identifies two possible hypotheses for the introduction of H5N1 into the poultry premises at Suffolk:

·         It concludes that there is ‘little evidence’ to support the first hypothesis of transmission from a wild bird source.

·         The second hypothesis examined in the report is the spread of the virus associated with the importation of poultry products from Hungary.  The interim report therefore concludes that ‘currently the most plausible’ route of transmission is associated with the importation of poultry products via Hungary.


The joint final report by the FSA, Defra, HPA and MHS examined transmission via imported Hungarian turkey meat and its main findings are:

·         There is no evidence that any meat entered the UK food chain from the restricted zones in Hungary

·         All food importing & processing activities at Holton are in line with EC law

·         The outbreak does not alter the FSA's advice that properly cooked poultry meat remains safe to eat


The HPA's investigation focused on establishing if there was any health threat to the workers and they concluded that it was very low and as a result they didn't require any antiviral treatment.


Changes to Defra's disease control measures have been announced in light of the interim epidemiological report.

Reports press release ~ Changes press release ~ Summary of initial epidemiological and virological investigations to determine the source and means of introduction of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus into a turkey finishing unit in Suffolk, as at 14 February 2007 ~ Joint Food Standards Agency, the Meat Hygiene Service, Health Protection Agency and Defra report into the possible transmission of H5N1 avian influenza virus from imported Hungarian turkey meat to the UK ~ Defra: Disease surveillance and control - Avian Influenza ~ Guidance on handling and disposing of dead garden and wild birds ~ DH Flu website ~ DH – Pandemic Flu ~ Bird flu and pandemic influenza: what are the risks? ~ Current Contingency Plan ~ Food Standards Agency ~ Health Protection Agency ~ Meat Hygiene Service


RAEng:  Absolute clarity in the purpose of road pricing is needed right from the outset, according to The Royal Academy of Engineering.  In principle, road pricing should aim to cut congestion, encouraging drivers to make their journeys at less busy times.  Then they could travel faster & more efficiently.


People are more likely to accept direct charges more readily if they can see that the money is being used to improve the transport system.  However, the Academy believes that road pricing will not necessarily reduce emissions and that the best way to do this is by a direct charge on the amount of fossil fuel used.

Press release ~ Academy Road User Charging presentations ~ Eddington Review website & study ~ 'Frustratingly slow: a report on road congestion and the Government's plans to deal with it’ ~ DfT Road Pricing feasibility study ~ DfT Road pricing website ~ Select Transport Committee report 2005 ~ Congestion on the strategic road network ~ HOT lanes ~ FOE: Road pricing: magic wand or red herring? ~ German road pricing loses its way


DCMS:  The memorial to commemorate the 52 people who lost their lives in the 7 July London bombings is to be situated in Hyde Park's Lovers' Walk, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has announced.


Initial plans had been for a memorial in Tavistock Square site of one of the attacks but, after further consultation with bereaved families, Hyde Park has been chosen due to its prominence, history and central London location.  The Government has committed up to £1 million to fund the memorial.


The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Royal Parks Agency will manage the work to create the memorial, in consultation with the families.

Press release ~ 7 July Assistance Centre ~ Royal Parks Agency – Hyde Park ~ London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund ~ London Assembly Report


Policy Statements and Initiatives

DH:  Following extensive consultation, the General Social Care Council has recommended that social care workers & managers working in children's care homes & domiciliary care agencies, along with those working in care homes for older people and care homes for adults, residential family centres, fostering agencies and adoption agencies should be registered.


This register (which will apply to England only) will see social care workers of all levels registered - from care workers through to directors of social services.  Registration is intended to help ensure that those working in social care meet rigorous registration requirements and will ‘hold them to account’ for their conduct by codes of practice.


Qualifications, health and good character are checked as part of the registration process and the GSCC also recommended that social care workers on the register should complete training to acquire a qualification at NVQ level 2 during their first period of registration. 

Press release ~ General Social Care Council ~ Social Care Register ~ HPC - Health Professions Council ~ Future Regulation of Health and Adult Social Care ~ Related Amicus Press release  ~ Registration of the social care workforce – a UK agenda - Social Caring ~  Care Council for Wales - Registration ~ ADSS Response: GSCC: Registration of Domiciliary and Residential Social Care Workers


DCLG:  The government has launched a drive to cut the level of fire-related youth crimes - such as arson, hoax calls and attacks on firefighters.  Action includes the Fire & Rescue Service working with Sure Start family centres to start fire safety education early.


Hoax calls, attacks on firefighters and associated anti-social behaviour are disproportionately committed by children & young people and especially disadvantaged young people:

·         Children living in deprived areas are 16 times more likely to die in a house fire and 31 times more likely to suffer from an arson attack

·         Equally, around 40% of all deliberate property & vehicle fires are linked to youth crime and disorder.

Press release ~ 2006 National Strategy for the Fire and Rescue Service Working with Children and Young People ~ Strategy for Children and Young People: 2006-2008 Action Plan ~ Strategy for Children and Young People: Response to the Consultation Exercise  ~ Youth Training and Diversion in the Fire and Rescue Service: A Good Practice Guide ~ Crime reduction Arson Toolkit ~ "XTINGUISH" youth intervention programme ~ Local Intervention Fire Education (LIFE) project in London ~ London's Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme ~ Tyne and Wear, "Project Phoenix" ~ Firebreak in Essex ~ Chief Fire Officers' Association ~ Sure Start ~ Youth Justice Board


ACE:  Arts Council England’s first-ever public inquiry, the arts debate, has launched its second phase with an open public consultation (closes 11 May 2007).  Alongside a programme of research with the arts sector and other key stakeholders, the public consultation will explore what people value about the arts and what they expect from public funding by obtaining their responses to five key questions:

·         What do you value about the arts?

·         What principles should guide public funding of the arts today?

·         What are the responsibilities of a publicly funded arts organisation?

·         When should an artist receive public money?

·         Should members of the public be involved in arts funding decisions?

Press release ~ Report on the first stages of research ~ Online debate ~ What is art for?-TimesOnline ~ BBC Reith Lectures 2003 - The Emerging Mind ~ Art Plus ~ Art Therapy ~ Our Agenda for the Arts 2006-8 ~ Combined arts links ~ Arts Funding ~ Young Brits at Art


Gambling Commission: This consultation paper (closes on 6 March 2007) addresses the issues that operators and the Commission face with advertising in relation to the key values of keeping crime out of gambling, ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly & openly and protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Press release ~ Advertising Messages consultation document ~ Gambling Commission Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling help advice and support - Gamcare ~ Keeping crime out of Gambling (scroll down)


Defra:  Defra proposals, published for consultation (closes on 8 May 2007), would widen the range of premises which face Street Litter Control Notices to include all types of eating & drinking venues and office buildings.


This is intended to give local authorities the power to require the occupiers or owners to clear up litter in the immediate area of their premises, including that created by their customers, and to install disposal facilities or risk a fixed penalty notice of up to £110.


When most enclosed workplaces become smoke-free on 1 July 2007, under the Health Act 2006, smoking litter could become even more prevalent outside office buildings.  Discarded cigarette ends would be subject to the extended power after specifically being classified as litter under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Press release ~ Consultation documents ~ Street Litter Control Notice – Model Form ~ Defra - Local Environmental Quality Litter ~ Encams - Environmental Campaigns ~ Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 ~ Health Act 2006 ~ Your business, your rubbish and the law


DfT:  Douglas Alexander has launched a consultation (closes on 11 May 2007) on smoking restrictions to be introduced on sea-going & inland waterway vessels operating in UK waters to supplement the provisions already being introduced under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to apply to sea-going and inland waterway vessels.


Among the questions it asks are:

·         Should smoke free provisions be applied to all sea-going & inland waterway vessels carrying passengers or crew employed under a contract of employment?

·         How should the smoke free provisions be enforced and should the MCA be the enforcement authority?

·         Should the scale of penalties be the same as those under the Health Act in England?

Press release ~ Consultation document ~ Stop smoking start living ~ Marine & Coastguard Agency (MCA) ~ ASH - What happens when you stop smoking?: Fact Sheet no. 11 ~ No Smoking Day 2007 ~ Smoke Free Public Places ~ DH - Tobacco ~ Get Unhooked


WAG:  Ensuring that Wales is prepared to deal with the impacts of unavoidable climate change is the aim of a consultation (closes on 27 April 2007) launched last week by Environment Minister Carwyn Jones.


Responding to Our Changing Climate outlines the impacts expected in Wales as a result of climate change and proposes actions that a range of key sectors need to take in response.  The consultation focuses on three main themes:

·         increased temperature

·         pressure on water resources and

·         increased risk of flooding and extreme weather events

Press release ~ Responding to Our Changing Climate ~ WAG – Climate Change ~ Environment Strategy for Wales


DWP / ODI:  Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, has announced the launch of a public consultation (closes on 9 May 2007) to ask disabled people what equality means to them and to gain their views on how Government can best monitor progress towards equality for disabled people – See ‘In the News’ section above.


CC:  The Charity Commission has launched a consultation (closes on 11 May 2007) on its approach to Criminal Records Bureau checks for trustees of charities working with children or vulnerable adults – See ‘Charity and Voluntary Sector’ section below

Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

DH:  On a visit to Birmingham Heartlands NHS Trust, Lord Hunt launched a strategy document – ‘Coding for success - simple technology for safer patient care' - on using auto -identification & data capture (AIDC) technologies.


By wearing a bar-coded wristband, a bar code reader can be used to verify the patient's identity at any time and be an extra check that the right patient is about to received the right care.  At present errors, many of which are caused by getting the patient identity wrong, cost the NHS around £2bn in extra bed days. 


Their use to improve patient identification & checking procedures in a day surgery unit at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital has improved efficiency so that an extra minor or intermediate procedure can be done on each list.  This will save the Trust £270,000 per year.


The strategy document is intended to encourage further use of product coding within industry and sets out a programme of action that will facilitate change both in the NHS and industry on a voluntary basis.

Press release ~ 'Coding for success - simple technology for safer patient care' ~ Association of British Healthcare Industries ~ GS1 UK ~ Technologies: JISC (click on ‘RFID’) ~ Information Commissioner – RFID Technical Guidance ~ RFID in Healthcare article ~ RFID Centre ~ RFid Gazette

Annual Reports

Ofsted:  There is a stark contrast between the strongest & weakest Youth Services, with a significant minority of local authorities failing to ensure that such services are properly integrated into the new children’s services delivery structure, according to a new report published by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).


Building on the best: overview of local authority youth services 2005-06, states that the quality of youth work is gradually improving with a greater proportion judged good or better than in previous years.  Of the 33 youth services inspected 15 youth were judged good or better, 11 adequate and 7 inadequate, which means that there is a need for considerable improvement in 21% of the services inspected.


Inspectors found that strong leadership is a key factor in bringing about improvement and the most successful services have a clear vision and match resources to needs effectively.  Inspectors found that resources and quality are closely linked. 

Press release ~ Building on the best: overview of local authority youth services 2005-06 ~ National Council for Voluntary Youth Services ~ DfES Youth Green Paper ~ JRF: Response to the ‘Transforming Youth Work’ DfES consultation document ~ JRF: The role of street-based youth work in linking socially excluded young people into education, training and work ~ Transforming Youth Work ~ Global Youth ~ Draft statutory guidance for Local Authorities ~ Things to do, places to go - Every Child Matters ~ Parent Checklist for Youth Activities ~ Respect - Youth activities ~ Nacro - Services – Youth activities ~ Physically Active Youth programme ~ National Association of Youth Theatres ~ Community and Youth Workers Union

General Reports and other publications

ESRC:  There is no single style of adult leadership that is suitable for all types of nursery, day care provision, reception class or children’s centre, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.


The research was based on 12 case studies and aimed to analyse what leadership meant, both to leaders and staff working in early childhood education.  The project sought to establish what were the essential components and characteristics of effective leadership and also sought to provide those working with pre-school children a guide to best practice.

Press release ~ How do they Manage? An investigation of early childhood leadership ~ ESRC Society Today  ~ Improving Scottish education - A report by HMIE on inspection and review 2002-2005: Pre-school sector ~ Standards site - Croydon: Leadership and management project ~ Pre-school Learning Alliance ~ Leadership Roles of a Pre-school Principal in the Use of Information and Communication Technology: a Hong Kong experience ~ Collaboration for transformation; why bother?


MoD:  The Ministry of Defence has welcomed the publication of the House of Commons Defence Committee's report on the Defence Industrial Strategy.  Following the format of previous reports, the Committee looked at a wide range of issues, including defence industrial restructuring; the maritime sector; competition & partnering arrangements; research & technology; and international technology transfer.


The formal response to the HCDC report will be sent to the Committee within two months

Press release ~ Defence Industrial Strategy ~ Defence Committee report

Legislation / Legal

EU legislation, initiatives, etc.

Charity and Voluntary Sector

CC:  The Charity Commission has launched a consultation (closes on 11 May 2007) on its approach to Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for trustees of charities working with children or vulnerable adults.  Charity trustees have a duty of care to their beneficiaries which is particularly important for charities working with children or vulnerable adults. 


The CC ask to see CRB disclosures for trustees as evidence that appropriate checks have been carried out, before an organisation's application for charitable status is processed.  However, they are now reviewing this policy to ensure it is proportionate and as appropriate & effective as possible.

Press release ~ Criminal Records Bureau checks of trustees of charities ~ Registering as a charity: evidence of CRB disclosures ~ Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) – Use of Umbrella organisations to register ~ CIPD - Recruitment of those working with children and vulnerable adults

Business and other briefings

HMRC:  HM Revenue & Customs has now published factsheets in a number of languages (including Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian and Turkish) to help subcontractors when the New Construction Industry Scheme (New CIS) starts on 6 April 2007.


The factsheets that have been translated are:

·         CIS 342 - Registering for New CIS - advice for subcontractors

·         CIS 343 - Applying to be paid gross - advice for subcontractors

·         CIS 344 - Getting paid by a contractor - advice for subcontractors


If contractors need help to make a decision on a subcontractor's employment status, they can use the Employment Status Indicator tool on the HMRC website or call the CIS Helpline on 0845 366 7899 - lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday (minicom 0845 366 7894) and help is available for people for whom English is not their first language.  In addition Business Support seminars will continue through until at least May

Press release ~ CIS Factsheets ~ Business Advice Open Days ~ Employer Talk ~ Employment Status Indicator ~ Business Support seminars


HMRC: Revenue & Customs Brief 17/07

This Brief gives details of an article clarifying that Statement of Practice SP 13/91 was withdrawn with effect from 6 April 2006 as notified in EIM 15170.


HMRC: Revenue & Customs Brief 16/07

This Brief gives details of an article concerning: Registered dealers in controlled oils: Public Notice 192.


HMRC: Revenue & Customs Brief 15/07

This Brief provides an update on filing PAYE in - year forms online. It also outlines the internal changes HMRC will be introducing from April 2007.


HMRC: Revenue & Customs Brief 14/07

This Brief gives details of an article concerning: VAT: Changes to the rules on bad debt relief for goods supplied on credit terms


HMRC: Revenue & Customs Brief 13/07

This Brief gives details of an article concerning: VAT: Fuel Scale Charge; new CO2 basis.

Industry News

Forthcoming Event

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