HC: Still only getting it half right - The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and the Healthcare Commission have published their national review of adult specialist community mental health services. The joint work reflects the shared responsibility for the delivery of these services across health & social care.
The findings show that, since the introduction of the National Service Framework for mental health, there has been a steady improvement in the range & quality of such services for those who need them and Local Implementation Teams (LITs) appear to be an effective vehicle for commissioning & delivering new models of community mental health.
However, the pace of change & improvement has been variable, leaving some people with little or no access to specialist care and treatment. The report found room for improvement in all LITs as well as noticeable variations in performance between the regions.
Of particular concern was the fact that people who use the services were not being routinely involved in decisions about their care & treatment. It is crucial that people are given full information about the options available to them and are fully involved in decisions about their treatment and care.
The report recommended that, in order to ensure that people with mental health problems receive the services & support they require, LITs must review their practices and ensure that they are effectively implementing the Care Programme Approach.
The report also highlighted the fact that just 46% of people with schizophrenia or suspected schizophrenia were being offered Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) despite the fact that, under the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, each & every one should be offered CBT.
NAO: It may be useless to you, but …. - The public sector should plan more carefully how it disposes of its growing volume of personal computers & associated equipment, according to the latest report by the National Audit Office.
The efficient, legal & socially responsible disposal of such equipment is an increasingly important issue for the public sector, but many public bodies have limited information about the volume & condition of the equipment they dispose of.
The report indicates that public bodies could potentially generate significant savings, through reduced operating costs & improved resale value, by following best commercial practice and disposing of equipment at three years.
The NAO recommends that the public bodies at the centre of government with responsibilities in this area (the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), Defra, DTI and the Environment Agency, should conduct a joint analysis of how to maximize the ‘whole life value’ of public sector ICT equipment.
In addition to value for money, public bodies also need to think about a range of other issues when disposing of ICT equipment, including vulnerability to legal action and loss of reputation & public trust if they fail to act properly, or fail to maintain adequate oversight of the third parties they employ to resell or dispose of ICT equipment.
DCSF: No way to re-organise a health service - The Government has promised to ‘improve life for disadvantaged children in England, with a cash injection of more than £4bn to children's centres, early years education and childcare’.
The £4bn grant, spread over three years, will go towards fulfilling the existing pledge that there will be a Sure Start children's centre for every community by 2010, by:
* providing a Sure Start Children's Centre in every community
* outreach work to reach the most disadvantaged families
* training & support for the early years workforce
* ensuring there are sufficient childcare places in each Local Authority
* ensuring every nursery & children's centre has a graduate to lead children's learning & development
The government says that; Sure Start Children's Centres will give all parents and their children a place to go and a one-stop shop to find the services they need - from maternity checks to childcare to advice on getting back to work.
Beverley Hughes, Children, Young People and Families Minister said: Local Authorities now have the money to make that happen."
The funding will also help ensure that every full daycare nursery and childcare centre has at least one graduate (with two graduates in the most disadvantaged areas) as research reportedly shows that this can have a dramatic impact on a child's early years' education.
DCSF says it has recognised that there is more to do in order to reach the most disadvantaged children. That is why they have contracted with Together for Children to support the delivery of Sure Start Children's Centres and to make sure they do the best possible outreach work.
CLG: They won’t be helping you for free - Floods Recovery Minister John Healey has urged people in communities hit by the July floods to seek free & impartial insurance advice before signing up with third parties who offer to help settle insurance claims.
His advice includes:
* You can make a claim directly & free of charge direct to your insurer
* You don't need to pay a 'middleman'
* If you choose to accept help from third parties check they are regulated by the FSA (see their Register)
* Free, independent advice is available from your local Citizen's Advice Service
If however you do decide you want to hire a third party to help you progress your insurance claim, make sure you check how much it will cost you first, as they may charge a share of any sum paid out by the insurer, which may leave you short of the money you will need to repair damage and replace possessions.
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