Newswire – JRF: Personal circumstances (health, location, etc.) dictate whether something is ‘truly essential’, but surely for others it may be just 'desirable/convenient’? - It is getting harder for people on low incomes to meet a minimum standard of living according to new research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the UK in 2010 shows that people on low incomes face a much higher inflation rate than shown in the official Consumer Prices Index, which the Budget announced as the future basis for uprating benefits.
This means that in real terms, people out of work, relying on these benefits, could become worse off. For people in work, the gap between the minimum wage and the wages needed for a minimum household budget has widened.
The MIS shows how much various households need in 2010 to reach a minimum standard of living, according to members of the public. A single person now needs to earn at least £14,400 p.a. to reach this standard and a couple with 2 children £29,200. These have increased from £13,400 & £26,900 in the past 2 years.
Newswire - NT: Could the fact that they get ‘paid’ more for admissions, than out-patient treatments, have anything to do with the increase? - The number one issue facing the NHS in England is reversing the ‘unsustainable’ rise in emergency hospital admissions, the independent health charity the Nuffield Trust warned last week following new analysis it has published, which reveals there has been an almost 12% rise in admissions (around 1.35m) over the last 5 years.
It is estimated that treating these extra patients in emergency hospital care is costing the NHS an additional £330m per year. The report reveals that emergency admissions now make up 35% of all hospital admissions in England – at a cost of around £11bn to the annual NHS budget.
The report found significant variation between NHS hospital trusts – in some, emergency admissions reduced by up to a third over the 5 years, while in others they almost doubled.
A key finding from the Nuffield Trust analysis is that the rise in emergency admissions has been linked with a dramatic increase in the number of short-stay admissions – those patients that are admitted as an emergency for one day or less.
WG Editor’s Note: Hospitals are reimbursed according to a ‘pay per case’ system called Payment by Results. Reimbursement for each individual course of treatment is paid in line with a nationally set fixed price. In-patient fees tend to be higher than out-patient fees, so admitting & then discharging them just hours later ‘pays’ more.
Newswire – CABE: Making the most of existing resources - A practical action plan to help social landlords improve open spaces in social housing areas has been produced. It demonstrates how social landlords can provide more opportunities for residents of all ages to enjoy the space on their doorsteps, whether they want to grow vegetables, compete in sport or simply chat with their neighbours in a safe & pleasant environment.
It has been produced by CABE and the National Housing Federation in partnership with Neighbourhoods Green and over 30 social housing providers. Decent homes need decent spaces identifies 10 priorities to improve the quality of the green spaces on social housing estates. Less than 1% of people living in social housing said they use the green space on their estate, according to CABE’s new research, Community green.
The priorities include committing to high quality spaces and to long term maintenance; ensuring improvements are led by residents’ priorities; and addressing the needs of children (up to half the population on social housing estates). The action plan advises making places safer: fear about personal safety affects use of open space, especially within black & minority ethnic communities.
CLG: The ‘elephant in the room’ is why are LAs still using national newspapers at all, when they expect their clients to e-access services, especially when the NHS uses ‘NHS Jobs’ - Council job adverts should be syndicated across the internet, to save money, increase transparency and help reduce pointless posts Eric Pickles, Local Government Secretary has said.
At a speech to the Local Government Association conference in Bournemouth last week, he ‘called time’ on so-called 'non-jobs' and urged greater vigilance over how every taxpayer pound is spent.
It can cost £5k - £10k to place an advert in some national newspapers. Often classifieds are ‘filled with job titles many people would struggle to understand and many more that appear superfluous to the key services local people look to their council to provide’.
Newswire – PSPC: Mind you, public sector pensions are only gold-plated compared to the solid gold pension pots of many senior managers in the private sector - In a new report, the Public Sector Pensions Commission (PSPC) has found that the true value of the main unfunded public sector pension schemes is over 40% of salary.
The report also finds that a lack of transparency over the true costs of public sector pensions has made it easier to delay reform in the past. Without more transparency, the true costs are unreasonably forced onto future taxpayers.
The PSPC has also set out a menu of reform options to ensure that public sector pensions remain affordable in the long run.
Free Paper: Tackle the Paper Mountain – Reduce Waste and Save Money - The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) calculated that European office workers use around 205kg of paper per capita annually, while recent research revealed that office workers feel that 67% of printouts are wasted by printing single-sided rather than duplex, printing multiple copies of documents accidentally, and by forgetting to pick up documents from the printer.
This means that a staggering 167.5kg of paper is wasted per person each year – a major cost in both financial and environmental terms.
In addition to economic and environmental concerns, regulatory pressures also demand a more proactive approach to print policy. Legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley requires that public sector organisations create an auditable record of financial and contractual documents.
A recent paper from Kyocera examines the effectiveness of both user engagement and externally imposed print policies in ensuring a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally responsible print network.
Click here to find out more and receive the paper.
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