Changes to WGPlus Newsletter Format 2010
As mentioned last week, with the approaching semi-retirement of our newsletter editor, we have to consider changes to the format of our FREE weekly newsletter - WGPlus - to take into account the reduced resources that will be available to produce it in the future. Click HERE for more information.
FDA: Tackling ministerial bullying - FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said in a press release: "The FDA does not wish to comment on the specific allegations of bullying of civil servants in No.10 Downing Street. However, too often politicians have little idea about what is acceptable in a modern workplace, and the behaviour of some ministers & special advisers does falls short of what is acceptable on occasions. …… In practice no civil servant is likely to make a formal complaint against a minister. Instead, concerns about the behaviour of a minister will be dealt with through informal channels.
If informal action does not succeed then the civil servants concerned generally either have to 'grin and bear it' whilst the minister or special adviser remains in office, or seek a transfer. We should consider putting in place a better mechanism………….
The FDA is also struggling to make progress in introducing an anti-bullying code in the House of Commons……. It is vital that MPs set an example in this area, and we still hope to have a code in place after the General Election."
ScotGov: Unfortunately it is not the Scottish economy which is rapidly ‘expanding’ - Public Health Minister Shona Robison last week launched a strategy aimed at tackling Scotland's 'Obesity Time Bomb'. The 'Preventing Overweight and Obesity' document warns that if action is not taken, by 2030 nearly 40% of Scots will be obese - costing Scottish society up to £3bn a year - a cost so large that it will directly impact on our nation's ability to achieve sustainable economic growth.
The strategy, a joint publication with COSLA, reveals that in today's society weight gain is almost inevitable and unveils ambitious plans to work across every area of Government to make healthy choices easier, including:
* Working with retailers, producers & the food industry to control exposure to, demand for & consumption of high calorie foods & drinks
* Using planning legislation to increase opportunities for physical activity in our daily lives
* Working with schools to continue encouraging young people to take up healthy habits
* Working with businesses to encourage their employees to eat healthily & be more active
A series of national events will be organised by the Scottish Public Health Network in May 2010 to allow organisations from all sectors an opportunity to be involved in how the policies detailed in the 'Preventing Overweight and Obesity' document are implemented. A joint governmental leadership group will meet after the summer to endorse a plan of action and agree key milestones that will be used to monitor delivery.
DH: When will managers who are (highly & possibly over-) paid to be responsible, actually suffer (financially) when things ‘go wrong’ - The Government has accepted all the 18 local & national recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Health Secretary Andy Burnham claimed last week.
CQC: Hospital ‘Standards’ rather than ‘Targets’ - Commenting on the publication last week of the National Quality Board's 'Review of early warning systems in the NHS - Acute and community services'. Dame Jo Williams, CQC's interim chair and a National Quality Board member, said:
"The review reinforces the fact that the ultimate responsibility for the quality of care given to patients rests with the provider organisations. They must ensure that they meet the essential standards of quality and safety set out by the new system of registration with CQC, which for NHS providers comes into effect on 1 April this year."
BIS: There is only one ‘cake’ - A new approach to managing the UK’s land will be vital to meet the challenges of the 21st century, according to the latest report from Foresight, the Government’s futures think tank. ‘Land Use Futures’ looks at how landscapes & land use could change in the UK over the next 50 years.
It concludes that the present way the land system is managed in the UK will need to change. There are already pressures on land, but these will intensify in parts of the country, such as in the South East of England. Shortages in critical public goods – such as water supply, biodiversity, carbon sinks and urban green space – could result unless carefully managed.
Decisions will be needed on crucial issues such as:
* how to balance local & national interests
* what is the appropriate mix of market incentives & regulation to guide future land use change
* how government can improve the strategic use of space & assets when land is mostly under private ownership.
ScotGov: It is not just the Tory party who say they want change - Plans to give the people of Scotland their say on the nation's future - including enhanced devolution and extending the powers of the Parliament to enable independence to be achieved - were unveiled last week with the publication of a draft Referendum Bill, which would give people the opportunity to have their say on 2 questions, whether:
* the Scottish Parliament should have more devolved responsibility
* there should be an additional extension of power to enable Scotland to become an independent country
A consultation paper, published with the draft Bill, seeks views (by 30 April 2010) on the best option for the question on further devolution:
* full devolution including fiscal autonomy (known as 'Devo Max'), or
* the more limited proposals made by the Commission on Scottish Devolution (the 'Calman Commission')
For information on other forthcoming public sector events please click HERE to visit the WGPlus Events Calendar