DCSF: But are the parents drunk in charge? - A plan to stop young people drinking in public; help them make the right decisions about alcohol; and provide clear information to parents & young people about the risks of early drinking has been announced in the Government's Youth Alcohol Action Plan.

The Action Plan sets out what the Government will do to address drinking by young people in 3 main ways:
* Working with police & the courts to stop it, making it clear that unsupervised drinking by young people under-18 in public places is unacceptable
* Recognising that drinking by young people in the home is clearly the responsibility of parents & families, but providing clearer health information for parents & young people
* Working with the alcohol industry in marketing & promoting alcohol in a more responsible way
Press release ~ Youth Alcohol Action Plan (YAAP) ~ 'Safe, Sensible, Social - next steps for the National Alcohol Strategy' ~ DH: Alcohol Misuse ~ Turning Point ~ Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy ~ Respect ~ Patient UK: Alcohol abuse help services ~ NHS – Alcohol Abuse ~ Drinkaware Trust ~ Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and alcohol industry ~ National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome ~ FAS Aware UK ~ Home Office - Alcohol-related crime ~ Choosing Health summaries - alcohol ~ Alcohol Concern website ~ Other useful links ~ The law and being drunk ~ Alcoholics Anonymous in England, Scotland & Wales ~ JRF: Alcohol strategy and the drinks industry: a partnership for prevention? ~ JRF: Underage 'risky' drinking: motivations and outcomes ~ BBC – Teenage Drinking

Cabinet Office: But their findings will be non-binding - 60 key public sector appointments will now be subject to increased ‘scrutiny’ by Parliament, the Government has announced. In July 2007 the Governance of Britain Green Paper set out the Government's programme of constitutional renewal, which included a commitment to increase democratic scrutiny of public appointments.

In response to the Liaison's Committee report ‘Pre-appointment Hearings by Select Committees’, the Government has re-affirmed this commitment and published a list of key posts which will be subject to pre-appointment hearings by Parliamentary select committees. The key posts will include:
* HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills
* HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary
* HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
* Health Service Commissioner for England
* Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life
* Chair of the Food Standards Agency
* Chairs of the utility regulators
* The Information Commissioner
Press release ~ Liaison Committee: Pre-appointment Hearings by Select Committees ~ The Government's response (includes full list of positions to be scrutinised) ~ Public Administration Select Committee’s Report ~ Government’s response ~ Governance of Britain Green Paper ~ Governance of Britain

FSA: Alternatives to Bank of Mum & Dad - The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has launched a new website designed to be a ‘one-stop-money-information-shop’ for young adults and forms part of the watchdog’s National Strategy for Financial Capability.

With FSA research showing that more than two-thirds of young people are not planning ahead and external findings revealing that 80% of young people are in debt by the age of 21, the FSA’s new website has been developed to guide & inform, as well as an aid to breaking down the barriers which may be preventing young adults from considering and learning more about money matters.

The site is broken down into life stages & subjects and provides information on the key challenges that young adults told the FSA they were most interested in. Under the headings getting money, spending money, keeping money and student money, the site provides detailed information on each stage, along with online tools to help with budgeting.
Press release ~ What about Money ~ YouthNet ~ www.TheSite.org ~ www.do-it.org.uk ~ FSA: Building financial capability in the UK ~ Ofsted: Developing financially capable young people ~ Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) ~ The Thoresen Review and final report ~ Financial Capability: the Government's long-term approach ~ studenttaxadvice.org.uk ~ Uni Money - your guide to Student Loans, grants and bursaries ~ HM Revenue & Customs: Tax + U - Student At Work ~ Welcome to Money Advice Trust ~ CAB ‘Debt’ publications ~ CAB: Credit and debt fact sheets ~ National Debt line

NAO: Not much comfort for those in the field - The NAO has reported on whether the Ministry of Defence has taken appropriate steps to make its fleet of eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters operational. The helicopters were delivered in 2001, but the Mk3’s have not, however, flown on operations, because their avionics software did not meet UK military airworthiness standards. This is despite Boeing fulfilling contractual obligations.

Had the MOD been quicker to progress the ‘Fix to Field’ project (the technical solution to make the Mk3 helicopters operational), the subsequent ‘Reversion’ project (to convert them to the Mk2 standard) would have been unnecessary.

The interim arrangement for special operations requirements in Afghanistan has been achieved by adapting existing Chinook Mk2/2a helicopters with the Night Enhancement Package (which includes items such as navigational units, thermal imagers, moving map displays and night vision goggles), though this has been an imperfect solution.
NAO press release ~ MoD response press release ~ Ministry of Defence: Chinook Mk3 Helicopters ~ Executive Summary ~ Written Ministerial Statement on ‘Helicopters on Operations’ ~ CPA: Ministry of Defence - Battlefield Helicopters

Newswire - King’s Fund: Now there’s a novelty, another re-organisation of the NHS - A major analysis of the opportunities & risks of developing polyclinics has been published by the King’s Fund. The report draws on original research into facilities similar to the polyclinic models developed both in the UK and abroad. The proposals, which have been discussed as part of Lord Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review, could bring together family doctors and specialists alongside other services, such as diagnostic testing, minor surgery, blood tests and X-rays.

The term polyclinic has been used to describe a variety of different approaches from very large super surgeries, which involve closing current GP practices and moving their services into the new unit, to the so-called hub-and-spoke model where most existing practices continue, but share access to a set of new services in one facility.

The King’s Fund report concentrates on the ‘big building’ model and examines the impact they would have on patient care. It welcomes the government’s ambition to develop more patient focused and integrated models of care but warns that poor implementation of this model could create significant risks for patient care. Its key findings cover the areas of:
* Quality of care
* Accessibility of services
* Costs
* Workforce

King’s Fund Chief Executive Niall Dickson said: “The polyclinic approach could be one way to redesign services around the needs of patients but we must not underestimate the amount of time, energy, and resources that would be needed to make it work”.
Press release ~ Under one roof ~ King’s Fund Polyclinics ~ Lord Darzi’s NHS Next Stage Review ~ BMA: The impact of polyclinics on family doctor services

Forthcoming Event(s): 1+1 will be more than 2 - This week sees the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) and the Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning (QIA) hosting a (first of four) joint conference in Bristol on Tuesday 10 June 2008. A choice of workshops are offered, covering topics such as developing employer responsive provision, models of good practice in teaching & learning and peer review and its contribution to the move to self-regulation. Registration (at no cost) is now open by clicking on the link below.

The ‘Making a success’ conference programme is interactive and delivers a practical learning experience focusing on what works in quality improvement and leadership development. The remaining 3 regional conferences are:
* Thursday 12 June 2008London
* Thursday 19 June 2008Nottingham
* Tuesday 24 June 2008Newcastle

This first conference will also provide an opportunity to hear about & provide feedback on the early stages of the development of the new sector-owned organisation being formed by bringing together (process started 1 April 2008) the work of CEL & QIA and its planned programmes & services. Delegates in Bristol will be the first to hear an announcement of the new sector-led organisation's official name.

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

For Industry News please click HERE
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