DHThe trouble with political visions is that most turn out to be just illusions - A vision that will ‘allow nurses & midwives to transform the quality of care’ has been set out by the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery.  It also sets out that in the future nurses & midwives will take centre stage in all aspects of health care and that nursing & midwifery practice will be ‘rooted in compassion’.

Separate to the vision statement the Commission has identified ten hot topics through responses to the first engagement phase and their own deliberations, which they want further debate on.  Included within the hot topics for discussion are the need to address the confusion over roles and title of nurses & midwives and the role of nurses & midwives in putting service users in charge of their own care.

The 2nd engagement phase will last 2 months and will include meetings with nurses & midwives, stakeholder meetings, public events and seeking views online through the Commission’s website.  A final report will be produced by the Commission in early 2010 and presented to the Prime Minister &Health Secretary.
Press release ~ Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery ~ Summary vision ~ Hot topics

DCSF:  But will it be at a cost to other education budgets? - Ed Balls has announced measures to provide better support for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabled children.  The proposals aim to make life easier for parents and help their children maximise their potential. The measures will:
* Test easier ways of assessing children with special educational needs
* Review current & future supply of teachers trained to meet the needs of pupils with severe learning difficulties
* Provide new guidance for schools to tackle high exclusions of children with SEN

Writing in response to Brian Lamb’s letter which highlighted ways of improving parental confidence in the SEN system, Ed Balls announced trials to test different ways to assess children’s needs.
Building on the 8 innovative pilots run under the Lamb Inquiry and reviewed by the Institute of Education and Warwick University, a second round of projects will expand into every region, including projects where assessments are more independent of the local authority.  It will include a formal evaluation of how this separation impacts on parental confidence.
Press release ~ Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) ~ Copy of Brian Lamb’s letter and the Secretary of State’s reply ~ National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services ~  White Paper: Your child, your schools, our future: building a 21st century schools system ~ Make Them Go Away (plus link to download resource pack) ~ Teachernet – Tackling school bullying ~ Progression Guidance 2009–10: Improving data to raise attainment and maximise the progress of learners with special educational needs, learning difficulties and disabilities ~ Teachernet - Special educational needs and disability ~ Directgov - SEN

HO:  Will it be based on hearsay or evidence? - Violent partners will be banned from their homes and their victims given support to escape abuse under new proposals unveiled by the Home Secretary.  Police will be able to initiate a Domestic Violence Protection Order, also known as 'Go' orders, barring perpetrators of domestic violence from their homes for up to a 14 days, giving their victim time to consider their options.

The new Orders are based on successful models in countries such as Austria and Switzerland. Local caseworkers will use the period of the order to advise the partner about services if they decide to leave the relationship, including practical help to secure a longer-term injunction. 

The powers will complement new restraining orders which came into force on 30 September 2009 to help protect victims of harassment, including domestic abuse, where an offender has been prosecuted for any criminal offence.

Around 750,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported to the police every year, resulting in 200,000 arrests.  Currently, victims only receive immediate protection if the police arrest & charge a perpetrator and appropriate bail conditions are set or a civil injunction is sought by the victim.  If this does not happen, the only option for victims may be to escape to temporary accommodation.
Press release ~ HO: Restraining Orders ~ Refuge Website ~ Women's Aid Website ~ Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) ~ Home Office – Domestic Violence ~ DM Leaflet ~ Victim's Advisory Panel ~ Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse ~ Corporate Alliance for Against Domestic Violence ~ National Plan on Domestic Violence ~ Domestic Violence Mini-site ~ Caada ~ Domestic Abuse website  ~ ScotGov National Domestic Abuse Delivery Plan ~ Safer Lives: Changed Lives - A Shared Approach to Tackling Violence Against Women In Scotland ~ Scottish Women’s Aid ~ CAB – Domestic Violence ~ Fact or Fiction ~ Castlemilk Domestic Violence Project/D.A.R.A. ~ ScotGov - Violence against Women ~ Strategic action plan to address violence against women and to update the Welsh Assembly Government’s domestic abuse strategy ~ All Wales Domestic Abuse strategy ~ WAG - Domestic abuse ~ International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women ~ WAG Domestic Abuse Guidance: Supporting People & Multi-Agency Working ~ Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline ~ Welsh Women’s Aid

STFCGoogle to forecast future Barbeque Summers - The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has provided Google with data that has allowed the internet company to use climate change projections within its Google Earth application

Users can now view for example, images of greenhouse gas emissions by region, as well as the expected consequences of climate change; the idea is to make the information more accessible in the hope that this will eventually lead to more action on the issue.

The data given to Google is being used as part of the internet company’s collaboration with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; they’re working together to increase global engagement in climate change in the run-up to & during the UN Climate Change Conference which will be hosted by Denmark in Copenhagen in December.
Press release ~ UN Climate Change Conference in December ~ Visualisation on climate change on Google Earth ~ British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) ~ Natural Environment Research Council ~ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ~ STFC

CLGGood news, but where will the new savings come from? - New figures show that local authorities reported £1.76bn of savings during 2008-09, by making services more efficient & improving value for money - equivalent to £98 for the average band D council tax payer.  The Government has put in place a £5.5bn efficiency savings target for councils to meet over the current spending review period, by 2011.

The Government is also currently piloting 'Total Place', an initiative which will ‘identify radical changes which will allow better services to be delivered at lower cost, and demonstrate the benefits of public services working together to address customers' needs’.  Elected councillors are looking at all the money that is being spent on a particular issue - from policing to healthcare - and considering whether it might be spent more effectively to get a better deal for residents.
Press release ~ National Indicator 179: Value for Money gains ~ Total Place pilots ~ Strengthening local democracy: Consultation (‘Total Place’: page 10 - paras. 21 & 22)

DCSF:  But if he reduces the management level who will work on this issue? - Ed Balls has set out plans to ensure all schools have good, not just satisfactory, behaviour.  He has written to all local authorities asking them to make behaviour a priority and has produced a leaflet to parents setting out their rights & responsibilities in supporting their school’s behaviour policy.  

In addition, the Government set a new ambition that all schools should have a good or outstanding Ofsted rating on behaviour by 2012, or be on track to reach one at their next inspection.
Press release ~ Teachernet – The Behaviour Challenge ~ 21st Century Schools White Paper and Pupil & Parent Guarantee ~ Teachers’ guidance on their powers and rights

VSO:  Linking up to give hope & support to communities - Community groups throughout the UK are being invited to help shape a new government scheme to promote & fund links with the developing world by taking part in a nationwide survey.  The survey findings will help shape the new DFID Community Linking Programme, which will launch in 2010.  The 3-year programme will provide grants, support and networking opportunities to UK community groups to develop or establish links with organisations in developing countries.

The survey aims to engage as wide a range of groups as possible, including faith, Diaspora, minority ethnic groups, youth groups and charitable organisations.  Groups taking part in the survey will have priority access to information about funding & support opportunities.
Press release ~ Take part in the survey at www.dfid.gov.uk/DCLP (closes 31 December 2009) ~ VSO

Industry News: It’s a whole new language of threats – The problem with ICT is that is it can be so useful that end users wish to deploy it in so many different ways and, indeed, most organisations (& even individuals) cannot possibly operate without it. However, teaching users how to obtain all the benefits from the numerous ICT gadgets in a secure manner is not just a case of providing them with an instruction manual and ensuring that they actually read it (now there is a novel idea), or even providing them with formal coaching.

The one certain fact is that, despite management publishing formal security procedures & policies (and threatening dire consequences if they are not read & followed), or even providing formal training, there will ALWAYS be the odd occasion when somebody fails follow security procedures.  It is not a question of ‘if this happens’ to your organisation, but rather ‘When’.

Indeed, when one considers the terms IT personnel use to describe threats one can understand why some may not take the matter seriously:
* Bluesnarfing – Using Bluetooth devices to capture data
* Podsurfing – Using an iPod to download large quantities of data
* Thumbsucking – Using USB Thumbdrives to capture, or transfer without IT authorisation
* Zero-day threats – Ones so new that no solution exists

So, while organisations should ensure that they put security procedures in place, the only (relatively) failsafe attitude to take is that somebody, at some time, will fail to follow them, so the best thing to do is to physically prevent them from being able to do so, by ‘locking down’ hardware according to centrally managed security policies.
Functionality can then be provided on a ‘need to have’ basis, as well as a ‘need to have it over a set time period’ basis, but the general rule will be that you only have the functionality you need to undertake your job.

Click HERE to find out how Kent Police received the highest rankings possible for its IT infrastructure and was ranked one of the top five police forces in the UK.

Cannot happen to You? – Read on:
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