DIFD: Remember also the ‘silent killers’ that rarely make the headlines, as they are not classified by the media as ‘Disasters’ - Mr Cameron has called on other donors to back the Global Polio Eradication Initiative as he announced the UK's commitment that will see an extra 45m children fully vaccinated against the disease.
In 20 years, polio cases have been reduced by 99% and the disease is now close to being only the second in history (after smallpox) to be wiped out. In 2010, India & Nigeria – historically the toughest challenges to eradication – cut cases by 95%, but polio still exists in more than a dozen countries, crippling & killing children.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed an additional $102m to support efforts to stamp out the disease. Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, which leads the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), joined the PM and Mr Gates for the announcement.
Polio remains endemic in 4 countries (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria & Pakistan) and there were outbreaks of the disease last year in Angola, DRC & Tajikistan. The new funding will help the GPEI purchase vaccines and conduct immunisation activities. In the next 2 years, more than 3bn doses of oral polio vaccine will be needed to immunize young children. Funding is also required for activities such as surveillance & technical assistance.
CSJ / HO: A ‘Social’ as well as a ‘Criminal’ problem - The Centre for Social Justice has responded to the launch of ‘gang injunctions’ by the Home Office. The CSJ is encouraged that the Coalition Government is beginning to take steps to try to address the rising problem of street gangs, however, it is concerned that there does not seem to be a unified & coherent strategy across the Coalition Government. There is a risk that a continued drip feed policy approach will fail to deal with the root causes of street gangs.
In addition, whilst the CSJ supports encouraging & supporting young people away from street gangs into positive activities (such as mentoring) as part of a strategy to tackle the problem, it does not believe that they should be forced into them, as required by the Coalition Government.
The CSJ published its report on street gangs (Dying to Belong) in February 2009, which sets out a blueprint for tackling the problem, and contains a number of policy recommendations: for the immediate-term, medium-term, and long-term.
Also last week - More than £18m to tackle knife, gun & gang crime was announced by the Home Secretary, responding to a report on knife crime projects published by Brooke Kinsella. The funding will be given to police, local agencies and the voluntary sector to tackle serious youth violence and prevent young people entering a cycle of crime.
The Home Office will also provide up to £20m towards the Early Intervention Grant (via the Department for Education) which local areas can use for crime prevention and up to £18m for Youth Offending Teams (via the Ministry of Justice) to deliver frontline work, including knife crime prevention programmes, for young offenders.
DfE: ‘Never again’ is yet once more a case of ‘here we go again’ - Professor Munro has signalled a new approach in her interim report on child protection which focuses on helping children, rather than on the regulations, inspections & procedures that have thrown the system out of balance. The interim report examines the areas of the child protection system where reform needs to take place. Currently the amount of prescription & bureaucracy in the system has meant that social workers are not able to do the jobs they came into the profession to do.
The report highlights the importance of having multi-agency services based in the community to help keep children safe and support their wellbeing, identify the children & families most in need and give them help as early as possible.
In her interim report Professor Munro identifies that too much time & effort is being spent by all the professionals working in child protection preparing for inspections and meeting the bureaucratic requirements for Ofsted evaluations of serious case reviews (SCRs). This has meant that too often SCRs have not offered enough analysis of why things have gone wrong and the lessons that can be learnt.
DH: But will the funding be enough? - New plans to transform the mental health & well-being of the nation and ensure that mental health is given the same importance as the nation’s physical health were announced last week. The No health without mental health Strategy outlines how a new emphasis on early intervention & prevention will help tackle the underlying causes of mental ill-health. It sets out how the Government will work with the NHS, local government and the third sector to help people recover & challenge stigma.
Central to these plans is an additional investment of around £400m to improve access to modern, evidence-based psychological therapies over the next 4 years.
Press release ~ No health without mental health Strategy & related documents ~ Future Vision Coalition press statement ~ Future Vision Coalition ~ NHS Confederation Mental Health Network ~ Audit Commission ~ Mental Health ~ Centre for Mental Health and Mental Health Network conference (3 March 2011) ~ KF: Paying the price - The cost of mental health care in England to 2026 ~ KF: Mental health and the productivity challenge ~ Mental Health Foundation ~ NICE press release ~ CAB response
Forthcoming event: Save Building Costs with Exchange-integrated Room & Hot Desk Booking - FREE BRIEFING, Microsoft HQ,
Reading, 3rd March, 10AM – 1.30PM + lunch - This free, half-day event aimed at IT & FM professionals, looks at practical ways of working with Microsoft Exchange to optimise the usage of expensive resources such as meeting rooms and conferencing facilities; simplify booking procedures for catering, AV equipment, car parking etc, and manage the often controversial introduction of ‘hot-desking’.
Featuring an entertaining presentation from Manchester PCT on how they managed the human challenges behind introducing a desk sharing initiative, this event will bring you up-to-speed on the issues surrounding new resource management initiatives.
We will also be showcasing the latest solutions and concepts designed to help you get the most out of your company email and calendaring systems, including:
Exchange-integrated room, catering, parking & hot-desk booking systems
The latest interactive touch screen technology for booking rooms etc
How to get end users working more effectively with calendaring
Click here for more
information & registration