DFID: Looking out for barriers to Open Trade - An early-warning system to help guard against nations turning to protectionist policies during the global recession has been launched as part of the UK Government's ongoing commitment to open trade.
Speaking at an international conference to mark the start of the first-ever World Trade Week UK (June 8 -12), Lord Mandelson and Douglas Alexander said that defending open trade remained the most powerful means of rebuilding global prosperity and fighting global poverty.
Lord Mandelson underlined the UK's commitment to keep global trade flowing as he announced that the UK is co-financing a new independent anti-protectionism watchdog.
Global Trade Alert will unite a worldwide network of think tanks to provide governments with independent analysis of trade-distorting policies. It will produce evidence of the damage protectionist policies are doing and advise on the least protectionist ways to provide support & stability to economies through the downturn.
DH: Caring for isolated Carers - A one-stop information & advice service for the unsung army of carers who look after ill, frail or disabled friends & relatives has been officially launched. The Carers Direct hotline will hopefully make England's 5m carers' lives easier and reduce the time & stress of searching out essential advice.
Funded by £2.8m a year, Carers Direct includes:
* Details of support available, including assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets & time off
* Help to maintain, leave or return to employment
* Help in education or training
* Advice on how maintain or improve social & emotional well-being and physical & mental health for carers
* How to access information about, and support from, health & social care services for the person being cared for
Carers Direct is complemented by Caring with Confidence, a training course available to carers face-to-face, online & by distance learning, which inform carers of their rights, the services available to them and networks which might support them.
DfT: Whiter than White Vans - Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis has claimed that van buyers will find it easier to cut emissions and save money due to a new van CO2 data base which allows users to search for new van models on the UK market and compare their CO2 emissions and the fuel consumption.
The online database - the biggest of its kind in Europe - has been compiled by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and Department for Transport (DfT).
Vans make up around 15% of road transport emissions in the UK and their emissions are rising at the highest rate of any road vehicle. If everybody buying a new van bought the most fuel efficient model in its class the average buyer could save up to 17% on both CO2 emissions and fuel costs.
Newswire – NHS Confederation: Hard times ahead even with either ‘investment’ or ‘protected budgets’ - The NHS is facing its biggest organisational & financial challenge ever, a report published by the NHS Confederation warns. But the health service can meet the challenge if it acts decisively & now.
In Dealing with the downturn: the NHS's greatest ever leadership challenge, the Confederation gives a sober assessment of a future of tightening funding & difficult spending decisions.
In just under 2 years the NHS will face the most severe constriction ever in its finances and that action is required now if the service is to remain true to its founding principles and continue to provide care free at the point of need.
In the five years from 2011 it forecasts that the impact of the recession, allied to rising costs mean it is likely the NHS will face a real terms shortfall of £15bn. The Confederation's report also warns that many of the options of past slowdowns in funding, which included cutting training, across the board budget cuts, reducing quality and allowing waiting lists to grow could prove counter-productive and ultimately lead to extra costs.
The report says that the solution to this crisis lies in NHS leaders embracing innovation, change & efficiency. It gives examples, of the kind of service redesign & innovation that can help deliver savings, saying that the rest of the NHS now needs to learn from the leanest and most efficient organisations.
CQC: More ‘engaging with’ and less ‘talking at’ - The Care Quality Commission has published Voices into Action, a charter for involving people in its work as the regulatory body for health & adult social care in England. It also intends to make sure that the providers & commissioners of health & adult social care services ask for people's views and that they respond to what they say.
The charter states that the Care Quality Commission will:
* conduct regular studies to find out people's experiences of health & social care services
* involve people who have experience of using services in its inspection work
* set up special panels of people, such as one to represent the views of currently or recently detained mental health patients
* consult widely on CQC policies and other topics, making a particular effort to reach people who are often missed out because of their disabilities or other circumstances
* work with Local Involvement Networks (LINks) and seek ways of actively involving voluntary groups in the Commission's functions
* develop ways of assessing how well service providers and commissioners are involving people
Dame Joan Bakewell, who was appointed the Voice of Older People by the government last November, will be the guest speaker at an event on 24 June 2009 to launch Voices into Action. CQC next plans to consult on the measures it will use to assess how well providers of services are involving people. It will report yearly on how people have been involved and the difference it has made.
Industry News: Protecting Citizen Data – Delivering Secure Electronic Services to the Public - Effective &efficient use of information is key to improving public services - whether in ensuring health information is readily available, cutting costs associated with collecting fees & taxes, or protecting the public from crime and terrorism.
While the public welcomes new & improved services, they expect that their privacy will be protected. Initiatives such as Government Connect, which seeks to securely link central government and every local authority will usher in new services, but the question remains - How do you connect with citizens and make sure that sensitive data is protected not only in the communication but also in back end systems?
Learn what local authorities such as Islington Borough Council, Bedfordshire County Council and NHS Trusts such as Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS are doing to protect the privacy of citizen data using secure email communication from Voltage Security. Click HERE for:
* Demo – see how it works
* Try Voltage Security Network – 14 day free trial
* View the Public Sector Email Encryption Datasheet
* View the NHS Email Encryption Datasheet
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