SGC: Forcing them to take it seriously - Companies & organisations that cause death through gross breaches of care should face punitive & significant fines, a consultation guideline published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council proposes in a consultation (closes on Tuesday 5 January 2010). Fines for organisations found guilty of the new offence of corporate manslaughter may be measured in £ms and should seldom be below £500,000.
The new sanction of Publicity Orders forcing companies & organisations to make a statement about their conviction & fine introduced under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act should be imposed in virtually all cases.
The consultation guideline proposes that the publicity should be designed to ensure that the conviction becomes known to shareholders & customers in the case of companies and to local people in the case of public bodies, such as local authorities, hospital trusts and police forces. Organisations may be made to put a statement on their websites.
In deciding the level of fine, the Council says that a court should not be influenced by the impact on shareholders & directors, but the effect on the employment of the innocent may be relevant. Also, the effect on provision of services to the public should be considered.
DH: On top of Swine Flu there is also Seasonal Flu - Seasonal flu is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It occurs every year, usually in the winter and brings on a range of symptoms including unusual tiredness, headaches & aching muscles.
The virus is sometimes mistaken as a slightly more unpleasant cold when in fact, seasonal flu is far more serious and can be potentially life-threatening for people aged 65 or over, or for those under 65 with underlying health problems, such as a heart problem or diabetes:
* Every year, seasonal flu accounts for approximately 8,000 deaths in England & Wales
* In the average year, up to 15% of the population will get seasonal flu
* If you are 65 or over, you are at increased risk of developing serious complications as a result of the virus and are eligible for a free seasonal flu jab from your local GP.
* Adults (including pregnant women) and children who suffer from long term conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes or a chest complaint or breathing difficulties) are eligible for the free jab
CRC: Solutions can be found, but will city-based politicians support them? - For the 9.5m people living in rural England, it is rare to hear a positive story about public transport in their area. The decline in rural bus services, combined with the closure of local services has lead to increased isolation for rural residents. For 1 in 5 living in rural England there is little choice but to own a car - even for those on lower incomes, car ownership becomes a high priority.
The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council, has launched a short film demonstrating how transport schemes can be integrated & sustainable in rural areas. This film is the result of a visit to rural Lincolnshire in February 2009, by Dr. Stuart Burgess Chairman of the CRC and the Government’s Rural Advocate.
MoD: What faith can the Armed Forces have in the MoD as they face hostile forces? - The Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, has presented to Parliament the independent review by Mr Charles Haddon-Cave QC into the loss of Nimrod MR2 XV230 on 2 September 2006, in which 14 service personnel lost their lives. The MoD intends to issue a full response to Mr Haddon-Cave’s report before the Christmas recess.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: “Mr Haddon-Cave QC (and his team have) …… has identified key areas where we have failed in our duty, and he has made a number of recommendations which we will consider as a matter of high priority”.
Excerpts from Mr Haddon-Cave’s statement (with emphasis added by editor):
Nimrod XV230 …… suffered a catastrophic mid-air fire, leading to the total loss of the aircraft and the death of all 14 Service personnel on board. Faced with a life-threatening emergency, every member of the crew of XV230 acted with calmness, bravery and professionalism, and in accordance with their training. They had no chance, however, of controlling the fire. Their fate was already sealed before the first fire warning. …….
My Report concludes that the accident to XV230 was avoidable, and that XV230 was lost because of a systemic breach of the Military Covenant brought about by significant failures on the part of the MOD, BAE Systems and QinetiQ. This must not be allowed to happen again. ……………..
The wholesale failure of all three organisations involved in the Nimrod Safety Case to do their job, and the apparently inexorable deterioration in the safety and airworthiness regime in the MOD in the period 1998 to 2006 are particularly troubling aspects of the Nimrod XV230 story. There has been a yawning gap between the appearance and reality of safety. The system has not been not fit for purpose.
Newswire – AC: With individual PS Organisations’ future funding pots getting smaller! - Instead of concentrating on the mechanics of joint financing and the processes of partnership, councils & the NHS should look at how their joint funding can improve people's lives, the Audit Commission says. In Means to an end: Joint financing across health and social care, the AC says outcomes should be the focus of joint working to help older people and those who need mental health & learning disability services.
Central government promotes joint working to achieve better services, but some councils & NHS bodies complain the joint funding arrangements are too complex. However, the AC's report shows where joint financing has worked and makes recommendations to councils, the NHS and the DH to address concerns.
In December 2009, the AC will publish a Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA), called Oneplace, identifying outcomes and showing what services are like for people living all over England. 20 NHS organisations (PCTs, care trusts and mental health trusts) and 15 councils took part in the research.
Industry News: Providing citizen self-service options leads to improved service, efficiency and engagement - It might sound contradictory, but offering more opportunities for citizens and service users to self-serve can lead to their experiencing improved service. Being able to request services, make payments, report problems and submit complaints and feedback on-line is more convenient, while in an increasingly 24-hour world, they feel more engaged when they have round-the-clock access to
info rmation and services.
At the same time, offering a self-serve alternative helps government departments, local authorities, and agencies to improve their efficiency and lower their costs. It frees limited resources to focus on areas which genuinely require the intervention of trained, experienced staff.
In establishing a self-service route, it’s a useful first step to create and maintain a web presence with
information about services, such as office hours, and contact details. However, forward-looking organisations are moving beyond having a passive web presence to creating an interactive relationship with their citizens and service users.
In doing so, they are experiencing wide-ranging benefits, which include greater efficiency, attainment of service level targets and – with several layers of paperwork being removed from the organisation’s processes – a reduction in the organisational carbon footprint.
CLICK HERE to find out more and to read the paper: ‘Savings, security, interoperability and innovation for government’.
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