The NHS needs to learn from its mistakes, not ‘hide’ them – An independent report out last week (chaired by Rt. Hon Ann Clwyd MP and Professor Tricia Hart) calls for a revolution in the way in which the NHS handles complaints.  The report was commissioned by the PM and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, after the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust were highlighted by Robert Francis earlier this year.  Robert Francis QC highlighted that complaints are a warning sign of problems in a hospital.
The review received 2,500 responses describing poor care and a lack of compassion and deep dissatisfaction with the way in which their complaints had been handled. The review panel also heard from people who had not complained because they felt the process was too confusing or they feared for their future care.  Many were also concerned about the lack of independence in the current system.
Press release & links ~ Ombudsman announces significant increase in complaints handled ~ Ombudsman welcomes Clwyd Hart review ~ Hospitals must tackle service failure and build trust by dealing with complaints properly, says Ombudsman ~ Time to act, says Ombudsman in report which reveals failings in the urgent treatment of sepsis ~ Ombudsman research proposes steps to address “toxic cocktail” of reluctance to complain and organisational defensiveness in NHS hospitals ~ New research shows NHS boards believe use of complaints information needs to get better ~ DH:  Hands up those of you that remember State Enrolled Nurses (SENs), who could progress to become SRNs! ~ DH:  Can nursing still be called the ‘Caring Profession’? ~ DH:  Will this avoid the quality issues & failures of recent times? (5th item)
New cross-government support strategy for care leavers - As of last week, young people leaving care will be able to see exactly what support is available to them as they take the first steps into adult life with the new care leaver strategy.
The strategy sets out in one place the steps the government is taking - from housing to health services, from the justice system to educational institutions - to support care leavers to live independently once they have left their placement.
Press release & links ~ Lottery support to help young care leavers achieve their dreams ~ £3.3m to help young people in Wales get ahead ~ Independent reviewing officers must make more difference to the lives of children who are looked after, says Ofsted ~ Care leavers receiving more support than ever before ~ Staying put: arrangements for care leavers aged 18 years and above ~ MPs publish report on youth justice ~ Fife care leavers benefit from life changing funding ~ New scheme offers continuity for care leavers ~ £3.4m to help young people who offend and young care leavers to get ahead ~ 50% say they have to leave care too early
Giving victims a ‘voice’ in court (without ‘hectoring barristers’) might help bring closure - The new, simple Victims’ Code published last week will make sure that for the first time victims, like those sexually exploited by gangs, can choose to explain personally to the court how a crime has affected them physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way. The judge will then take this into account when determining the sentence.
Press release & links ~ New film for victims & witnesses ~ Victim Support ~ Major review of police response to domestic violence ~ Putting victims first: New rules on victims' rights to become law ~ £50m extra for victims of crime ~ Better support for victims and witnesses ~ Victims central to new guideline for the sentencing of burglars ~ £30m boost for vulnerable victims of crime
It can happen to anyone; even stars of the BBC – Health Minister Mark Drakeford has celebrated World Stroke Day at the official opening of an £11m state-of-the-art Stroke Rehabilitation Centre at Llandough Hospital. During the event, he also published the first all-Wales annual report for stroke.  This report is a major step towards delivering a more accountable NHS for the people of Wales, and shows progress in all areas of stroke care.
Press release & links ~ Stroke patients to hit right notes thanks to Culture for All funding ~ Joined-up working required for effective stroke rehab services ~ BHF - Detection & treatment of dangerous atrial fibrillation is vital ~ Award winning support group brings 'hope and new horizons' to stroke survivors in Torbay ~ NICE recommends new treatment option for people with common heart condition ~ Stroke Association ~ Different Strokes
Like all industrial processes, risks are lower if done ‘according to guidance & rules’ – Energy Minister, Michael Fallon has responded to the draft Public Health England Review of the 'Potential public health impacts of exposures to chemical and radioactive pollutants as a result of shale gas extraction'.
Press release & links ~ PHE report & synopsis ~ Shale gas: new fracking projects must pass environmental test ~ Davey: UK shale gas development will not be at expense of climate change targets ~ NEF - Energy round-up: breaking through the government’s fracking mantra ~ Shale gas: government unveils plan to kick start investment with generous new tax breaks ~ MPs publish report on shale gas ~ New Office to look at community benefits for shale gas projects ~ New controls announced for shale gas exploration ~ Gas will support decarbonisation of the electricity mix
There are other things one can do apart from putting on a thicker jumper Collective switching schemes in which households club together to switch energy supplier helped over 21,000 save an average £131 on their energy bills, a report published this week has found. The report, ‘Helping Consumers Switch: Collective Switching and Beyond’, looked at 27 collective switching schemes across the country and found that participating households saved a total of £2.7m, an average of £131 per household.  One scheme in Nottingham saved an average of £200 per household.
Press release & links ~ Davey: Big energy companies must put customers in control ~ CBI comments on Annual Energy Statement 2013 ~ Ofgem’s response to Government's Annual Energy Statement ~ The £200bn price tag for Britain's green folly
Lest we forget what we owe them - As TfL's London Transport Old Comrades celebrate their 90th anniversary, TfL & Network Rail have teamed up to decorate London's transport network in poppies in support of London Poppy Day (7 November 2013), part of the national Poppy Appeal, which aims to raise more than £1m in a single day for the whole Armed Forces family.
Since November 2008 war veterans have been able to travel on the Tube, DLR, Overground, London's buses and trams for free with a Veterans Oyster photocard as part of the Mayor's Veterans concessionary travel scheme. More than 5,710 Veterans Oyster photocards have been issued. This scheme is particularly beneficial to veterans who live in London and are not yet eligible for a 60+ London Oyster photocard or a Freedom Pass.
Press release & links
Employers underpaying workers risk losing 80% of their business - New research from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reveals that ‘businesses who pay less than the National Minimum Wage risk huge damage to their business through loss of reputation, low productivity and high staff turnover’.  In addition, employers who do not comply with the NMW rate changes that came into effect on 1 October 2013 or fail to spot differences in their workers are at particular risk of a financial penalty & being publicly named.
Press release & links
Unfortunately a ‘friend’ today may be an ‘enemy’ tomorrow - In a Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) themed competition, 'Cyber defence: securing against the insider threat', Dstl is looking for innovative and novel proof-of-concept tools & techniques to detect cyber insider threats or abuse of legitimate user credentials, utilising host-based solutions. These tools should focus on detecting abuse of legitimate access credentials (including detection of malware utilising user accounts), rather than identifying unauthorised access.
This call will launch at an event on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 in London.  Register to attend now! MOD does not charge for attendance at CDE events. A call document will be published about one month before the call launch. The call will close on Thursday, 9 January 2014.  All proposals must be submitted via the CDE Portal.
Press release & links ~ Information security breaches usually management not technology failures ~ The internet is a bit like crossing the road - If you don’t take precautions you may be ‘hit by a bus’ – see Newsletter archive for 28/10/2013

THE PAPER LIGHT OFFICE - A realistic roadmap to digitisation - Looking to go paperless? It’s a desirable, yet elusive aspiration for many public bodies. With a third of organisations actually using more paper than ever before, could a paper light environment be a more viable alternative?

The concept of the 'paperless office' emerged back in the mid-70s, but today - some four decades later - paper-intensive working practices and behaviours are still commonplace.
In addition, we've witnessed an information explosion driven by the growth of technology and the use of mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. The result - big data - has become a big headache.

A recent paper explores a new, pragmatic solution – ‘The Paper Light Office’- a concept that is big on efficiency, security and accessibility, but light on office storage space, cost and waste.  The paper details the challenges and goals of digitisation, backed by some revealing statistics and then goes on to outline a new approach to managing your information, allowing your organisation to work smarter and provide a better service to stakeholders and customers.

Click here to download your copy of 'THE PAPER LIGHT OFFICE - A realistic roadmap to digitisation'.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive
Latest Guide to Compliant Document Retention, Legal Requirements and Best Practice....download your copy now image.
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