CQC: The sad fact is that one could almost not bother with research, just re-use that of previous reports - The Care Quality Commission has published its most comprehensive ‘State of Care’ report. The report examines all care sectors for the first time and explores why some care services are failing to meet CQC standards.
Based on the evidence of over 13,000 inspections, the report suggests that pressures on care services are increasing the risks of poor or unsafe care for people who are less able to speak up for themselves and those, who as a result of their circumstances, are more vulnerable. At the same time, the number of residential (non-nursing) care homes is falling.
Where services fail, CQC has found 3 common factors which contribute to the poor quality of services:
* Providers who try to manage with high vacancy rates or the wrong mix of skills
* An attitude to care that is ‘task-based’, not person-centred
* A care culture in which the unacceptable becomes the norm
OCCE: In this situation ‘Silence is anything but Golden’ - A nationwide Inquiry by the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England has found that 2,409 children & young people were confirmed victims of child sexual exploitation in gangs or groups in the 14 month period from August 2010 to October 2011. The Inquiry also identified that, between April 2010 & March 2011, there were 16,500 children in England who were at high risk of child sexual exploitation.
' I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world', the (interim) report of the first year's findings of a 2-year Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs & groups, publishes the most comprehensive investigation to date of the scale, scope & prevalence of child sexual exploitation in these contexts in England. The conclusions are drawn from extensive evidence submitted by the Government, police, local authorities, health services, voluntary sector agencies and children & young people themselves.
Year 2 of the Inquiry will focus on how to tackle the sexual exploitation of children. The Inquiry will be investigating examples of good practice so that these lessons can be shared nationally. The final report will be published in autumn 2013.
IFS: The Union has lasted 300 years, so how far ahead should the SNP explain its financial plans? - Public spending per head in Scotland is higher than that in the rest of the UK. Oil & gas apart, tax revenues per head are close to the UK average. If you add in a geographic share of oil & gas revenues then Scottish tax revenues would in recent years have been high enough to slightly more than offset the higher levels of public spending.
But over the longer run if, as seems likely, North Sea oil & gas revenues fall, an independent Scotland would face a bigger fiscal adjustment than the rest of the UK. A new Scottish government would need to put together a fiscal architecture which would set out a long term path to sustainability.
This is the first output of a new project at Institute of Fiscal Studies, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, looking at some of the fiscal choices that might face Scotland should it choose independence following the 2014 referendum.
WAG: Is anyone looking at the interests of England & Northern Ireland? - The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has welcomed the publication of a report by the UK Government’s Silk Commission, which proposes comprehensive changes to Wales’ financial powers, saying: "I am grateful to the Commission for producing what is a very comprehensive and well-argued report. This report includes some very important recommendations that representatives from all four political parties have been able to agree on and which fit well with our views on the future path of financial reform. …….
Today’s report - coupled with the statement on funding reform that was published jointly with the UK Government last month - provides a solid basis for delivering lasting reforms. We will now give the report careful consideration and will look to work with the UK Government to make quick progress on this agenda."
ICO: Anonymised data is a vital requirement for planning & policy decisions - The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its data protection code of practice on managing the risks related to anonymisation. The code explains how to protect the privacy rights of individuals while providing rich sources of data.
The ICO has also announced that a consortium led by the University of Manchester, with the University of Southampton, Office for National Statistics and the government’s new Open Data Institute (ODI), will run a new UK Anonymisation Network (UKAN). The Network will receive £15,000 worth of funding from the ICO over the next 2 years to enable sharing of good practice related to anonymisation, across the public & private sector. The network will include a website, case studies, clinics and seminars.
NICE: At least with over-eating much of the ‘damage’ is self-evident - Setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol, as recommended by NICE, will protect young people from the dangers of excessive drinking, according to a new report.
The report jointly produced by Alcohol Concern and Balance to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Week, states that cheap alcohol encourages young people to drink to excess, making them susceptible to alcohol-related harm.
Young people agreed that promotions such as ‘buy one get one free' offers urge them to drink more than they would normally. Such offers also mean they find it cheaper to drink than to participate in other social activities, such as going to the cinema.
RoSPA: Making Baby’s ‘nap time’ safer - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is alerting parents to the deadly danger of nappy sacks to their babies. At least 12 babies in England & Wales, aged from 2-months-old to a year, have died since 2001 from suffocation or choking after putting a nappy sack in their mouth.
Common scenarios in the deaths involved nappy sacks being stored within the baby’s reach, such as under a mattress or close to a cot for convenience, especially when changing a nappy in the middle of the night, says RoSPA, the UK’s leading accident prevention charity.
Thousands of posters & leaflets warning families of the dangers of leaving plastic nappy sacks lying near babies are being distributed to GP surgeries, parent & toddler groups and other family centres.
SOCA: Bringing the possibility of ‘closure’ for families of missing persons - The Missing Persons Bureau has launched a new website to enlist the public’s help to identify people, both living & dead, who are unknown to the authorities. The website is the first in the UK dedicated to unidentified people, aims to maximise chances of identification and bring vital closure for the families & friends of the people featured.
UKOC: Immediate action required - UK online centres have announced a new funding round which opens this week - on Wednesday 28 November. The Network Support Fund aims to support centres within the UKOC network who are supporting people to get online for the first time, or to become confident internet users. Individual centres can apply for up to £1,500, and consortia bids can apply for up to £2,000.
The funding round is only open to UKOC, so if you’re interested in applying and you’re not yet a Centre partner, you'll need to sign up by Tuesday 27 November 2012 to be eligible.
Press release & links
Thought Paper: What is Your Data Trying to Tell You? - The Increasing Importance of Data Visualisation in the Public Sector - Statistical discovery and visualisation of data is currently at the forefront of today’s public sector challenge – balancing the requirement to save money against the need to provide front line services to a growing, aging and diversifying population. With the continual increase in data sets and smaller budgets to work with, government officials are expected to make the best decisions possible, quickly and easily.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a statistician to visualise your organisation’s data. Informed policy, enhanced performance and cost efficiencies are increasingly being driven by the introduction of comprehensive desktop visual data analysis, realising:
Increased productivity with effective data discovery.
Speedily identified trends that influence decision making.
Shared results by dynamically linking interactive, multi-dimensional graphics.
Effective communication of findings internally and externally.
A recent thought paper provides a road map of how public bodies are already feeling the benefits of predictive analysis and also offers essential guidance on how best to discover what your own data is trying to tell you.
Click here to find out more.
Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive