DH: Worldwide Healthcare will help prevent worldwide migration - A new strategy which sets out the way that the UK Government will work with the World Health Organisation, the EU and a number of other partners to improve the health of the world's population has been launched by the Health Secretary Alan Johnson.
'Health is Global: a UK Government Strategy' is underpinned by £12m over the next five years. It highlights the critical global health challenges that the world faces and provides a clear set of actions to respond to them.
The strategy contains ten principles and five areas for action, which are:
* health security
* strong & fair systems for health
* more effective international health organisations
* freer & fairer trade
* strengthening the way we develop & use evidence to improve policy and practice
LSIS: Merged support for FE and Skills Sector - On 1 October 2008, the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) and the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) completed the transfer of their businesses & contracts to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), the new sector-led organisation dedicated to the development of the further education and skills sector.
CEL and QIA staff have been working together for the past 6 months, and LSIS will continue to provide existing CEL and QIA programmes & activities and honour existing contracts, until the end of July 2009. Programme information and booking forms will remain on the CEL and QIA websites for the time being.
LSIS will be consulting with the sector during autumn 2008 and spring 2009 about its priorities and remit. While this is taking place, the activities & services of CEL and QIA will continue under joint branding. Corporate news & information about LSIS may be found on its interim-branded website
ScotParl: SMPs raise the Honesty stakes - A new system for reimbursing MSPs for the costs they incur in carrying out their parliamentary duties came into effect on 1 October 2008. Following an independent review and a parliamentary debate earlier this year, MSPs agreed the terms of the new scheme, which will see:
* an end to mortgage interest payments on Edinburgh accommodation
* a new register for declaring the employment of relatives and
* a separate provision to meet the salary costs of staff who support Members in carrying out their duties
Defra: Countering the concreting of Flood Plains - Environment Minister Phil Woolas has announced £300,000 for pilot schemes which will develop new guidance on surface water management plans to cope with anticipated extreme rainfall in the future. The Environment Agency estimated that two-thirds of the 57,000 homes affected in the 2007 floods were flooded from surface water runoff.
Defra is now seeking expressions of interest from pilot organisations which will need to demonstrate a specific & significant surface water flooding issue and provide evidence that they can test a good proportion of the guidance this financial year. Such Organisations are invited to submit a proposal by 24 October 2008.
DH: Joined-up care for children - The Department of Health has outlined proposals to improve the quality of care for children with complex, long term health needs, as they launched the consultation (closes on 31 December 2008) on the National Framework for Assessing Children's Continuing Care.
The National Framework is intended to assist Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and Local Authorities to obtain a complete picture of a child's health needs so that decisions on funding care packages can be made according to the same set of criteria across the country.
The Children's Continuing Care Framework proposes to create a tailor made package of care for each child or young person who will need care over an extended period of time due to disability, accident or illness. It will support the child's parents or carers to manage their care at home or in other settings such as school and will include support from the NHS, Education and Social Services.
Newswire AC: NHS financial controls improving - The 3rd annual Auditors’ Local Evaluation (ALE) report from the Audit Commission shows an overall picture of financial improvement for many NHS organisations in 2007/08. Half of the 302 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) assessed in England have performed well or strongly in the way that they have used their resources and only 3% have failed to balance their books.
In judging the financial performance of organisations the auditors asked five key questions:
* How good are the organisation’s financial accounting and reporting arrangements?
* How well does the organisation plan and manage its finances?
* How well does the organisation safeguard its financial standing?
* How well does the organisation’s internal controls enable it to manage its significant business risks?
* How good are the organisation’s arrangements for managing & improving value for money?
The 2007/08 report includes examples of notable practice in case studies which show how some NHS bodies are performing well. These are aimed at helping organisations learn from each others successes.
A new detailed report, Financial Management in the NHS 2007/08, which also examines the financial environment in which NHS bodies were operating in over the most recent financial year, will be published jointly by the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office in November 2008.
HSE: Urgent Gas safety warning - The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert aimed at builders & developers, managing agents, landlords and occupiers of residential properties with gas central heating boilers sited on internal walls. The purpose of the alert is to raise awareness of a potential poisoning risk arising from a particular arrangement of flues for gas boilers, most commonly found in multi-storey flats and apartments built since 2000.
HSE has become aware that some flues may not have been installed properly, or may have fallen into disrepair. If the flue is not in good condition, this could affect the performance of the boiler which, if not working efficiently, may produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO).
The possibility that flues in some properties might be defective came to HSE's attention as a result of an ongoing investigation into a CO poisoning case at a 3 or 4 months old development of apartments. One person died and a second remains in a coma.
BNSC: Clever things can come in small packages - The Space Experiment Competition for UK schools, which will see the winning team flying their entry on board a British-built satellite, has been won by Shrewsbury School. The experiment is expected to measure variations in the ionosphere, which can affect the accuracy & safety of satellite navigation systems and might also help to provide indications of impending earthquakes.
The experiment had to be designed within the tight constraints. Their instrument could be: no larger than the size of a lunch box, weigh no more than one kilogram and operate on less than one Watt of power
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