HC: Is Deep Cleaning working? - The Healthcare Commission has launched the biggest inspection programme ever carried out in NHS acute trusts to check whether they are meeting standards on infection control. It will inspect all 172 acute trusts annually as part of a drive to:
* reduce death & illness from healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs)
* improve the experience of patients in hospital, and
* increase public confidence in the NHS

The Commission has written to all acute trusts, calling on them to ensure that they have the necessary systems in place to minimise the risk to patients of catching a HCAI such as MRSA or Clostridium difficile. In particular, trusts should check they are meeting the 11 mandatory duties outlined in the government’s hygiene code, which came into force as part of the Health Act 2006.
Press release ~ HC - hygiene code ~ The Health Act 2006: Code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections ~ 'Clean, safe care' ~ DH - Healthcare associated infection ~ Letter giving guidance on deep cleaning ~ Clean-safe-care.nhs ~ NHS Infection Control Training Programme ~ DH cleaner hospitals website ~ Clean Hospitals website ~ Hospital Infection Society ~ BBC Panorama programme

SE: Being unfit is not a requirement for being disabled - Sport England is highlighting that the period 24-30 April 2008 which sees the first Inclusive Fitness Week placing the inclusive physical activity agenda firmly at the forefront of both fitness providers’ and disabled people’s minds, providing as many people as possible with the opportunity to try a new activity, embark upon a new fitness goal or simply to understand that exercise really can and should be for everyone.

Inclusive Fitness Week 2008, brings together Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) Accredited Facilities and the fitness industry as a whole to ask the question; Why aren’t more disabled people participating in physical activity than do so at present?

The IFI has been working with the fitness sector since 2001, supporting facilities to offer an inclusive provision, addressing issues related to building access, the provision of inclusive fitness equipment, staff training and the marketing message delivered by the fitness industry. In doing so, the IFI has accredited 183 facilities across England to date with a further 200 to be in place in the next 12 months.
Press release ~ Inclusive Fitness Initiative ~ National Sports Foundation ~ English Federation of Disability Sport ~ Disabled Sport.co.uk ~ London Sports Forum For Disabled People ~ Sport and the Disabled ~ Sport Forum - Providing Sport Activities for the disabled ~ BBC Sport - Disability sport ~ Federation of Disability Sports Organisations

WAG: Devolved governments lead the way yet again - The Welsh Assembly Government launched its new Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Action Plan at the 3rd Wales International Autism Conference organised by Autism Cymru in Cardiff. Funding for the next 3 years has been identified with the first years funding of £1.8m being announced to drive forward key actions for the first years.

The Plan is intended to drive improvements across both children, young people’s & adult services in health, social services and education services – and also expand into areas of housing, leisure and society in general.

Wales has appointed Hugh Morgan OBE, Chief Executive of Autism Cymru, to the post of Implementation Manager to drive forward the critical first 12 months’ developments in the mapping of needs & services which has to be undertaken by every Local Authority in Wales.
Press release ~ Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Action Plan ~ WAG - Health and social care ~ Autism Cymru ~ The National Autistic Society - Wales ~ AWARES, the All Wales Autism Resource ~ Autism Connect ~ 3rd Wales International Autism Conference ~ Autism Independent UK (SFTAH) ~ Autism Hub: Autism Related Blogs ~ Scottish Society for Autism ~ Autism Speaks - raising money for research into autism spectrum disorders ~ Welcome to the Autism Awareness Website ~ www.transporters.tv ~ Autism Research Centre (ARC) ~ Commissioning Services for People on the Autism Spectrum: Policy and Practice Guidance ~ World Autism Awareness Day ~ Scottish Autism Service Network ~ Educational Provision for Children with Autism in Scotland ~ NAS - make school make sense in Scotland ~ NES - Autism Learning Resource ~ Autism Alliance UK ~ Bercow Review website and Interim report

ScotParl: Please Sir, when will this issue finally be resolved? - An inquiry into child poverty in Scotland has been launched with a call for evidence by the Local Government and Communities Committee. With an estimated 90,000 children living in severe & persistent poverty in Scotland, the committee inquiry will focus on identifying solutions and scrutinising child poverty targets.

The Committee decided to launch its inquiry after hearing evidence from a number of organisations at a round-table event in Glasgow in March. Among those who contributed to the child poverty event were representatives from Save the Children, Barnardo's Scotland, One Parent Families, Poverty Alliance Scotland, National Children's Homes, Working for Families Fund and Child Poverty Action Group.
Press release ~ For information on the inquiry and how to submit evidence log on to the Committee's website ~ Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland ~ JRF: Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2006 ~ Severe Child Poverty in Scotland - Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services ~ Child Poverty in Social Inclusion Partnerships ~ Estimating the Cost of Child Poverty - Approaches and Evidence ~ Taking Forward The Government Economic Strategy: A Discussion Paper on Tackling Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in Scotland ~ Fairer Scotland Fund ~ Community Planning Partnerships ~ Barnardos – Child poverty in Scotland

DH: At last some statistics that can be taken at face value - The Government's national immunisation programme has prevented well over 3,000 cases of death or serious illness and has ensured that young people are not at risk from Meningitis. The Director of Immunisation's report reveals that, for the first time, there were no deaths in the under 19's from MenC (Meningococcal C/meningitis) last year.

Previously MenC has killed up to 78 people a year and left serious complications such as brain damage and amputations in survivors. A fact sheet, also just published, sets out the picture since immunisation was introduced in the 1950's showing that:
* there are NO cases of paralysis from polio today – (previously 8,000 people a year)
* there are NO cases of diphtheria today - this previously killed 3,000 people a year, and
* since the year 2000 the MenC vaccine has prevented over 500 deaths
Press release ~ Report of the Director of Immunisation 2008 ~ DH - Immunisation ~ NHS - Immunisation ~ WHO/Europe - European Immunization Week 2008 ~ European Immunisation Week video ~ Top Ten Winners for UK Immunisations

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