ScotGov: The latest figures from Health Protection Scotland show rates of MRSA have also dropped - down 15% on last year. Among the reports' findings are:
* C.diff rates are at their lowest level since monitoring began in 2006
* C.diff levels are down 38% for January to March compared with the same period last year
* Compared with the previous quarter, C.diff levels are down 11% - from 1,299 to 1,152 cases
The Scottish Government is committed to reducing all staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (including MRSA) by 30% by 2010. The government's new target for C.diff is to reduce infections by 30% by 2011 for over 65s.
Press release ~ Health Protection Scotland C.Diff report ~ Health Protection Scotland MRSA report ~ Publication of National Hand Hygiene NHS Campaign Compliance with Hand Hygiene - Audit Report ~ Health Facilities Scotland ~
ScotGov - Healthcare Associated Infection Monitoring ~ Revised cleaning specification (June 2009) ~ Action to reduce Healthcare Associated Infections ~ ScotGov - Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Task Force ~ Independent Review of the Vale of Leven clostridium difficile outbreak ~ HAI Task Force Delivery Plan April 2008 - March 2011 ~ Related documents / links
CAC: The Central Arbitration Committee has published its Annual Report for 2008-09. Statutory recognition continues to provide the bulk of the CAC’s workload and the report contains statistical & descriptive information about all the CAC’s jurisdictions.
An on-going survey of customers’ views of CAC services indicated that there is a high level of customer satisfaction, with 96% of returned comments expressing satisfaction.
CompC: The Competition Commission has published its Annual Report. During the reporting year, the CComp completed 3 major market investigations into Groceries, Payment Protection Insurance, and BAA, although work continues on implementing remedies following these investigations.
In addition, the CComp completed 4 merger inquiries and 2 regulatory inquiries - into mobile phone termination charges (as part of an appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal by BT and Hutchison 3G) and a review of landing charges at Stansted airport.
The report also reveals that an assessment of the benefits for consumers resulting from the CComp’s and Office of Fair Trading’s work in merger & market inquiries, provides an estimated ‘benefit’ figure of just over £400m a year attributed to the CC, whose running costs come to less than 6%.
Monitor: Improving quality in the NHS against a backdrop of tighter public finances will be best achieved when all NHS trusts have achieved the better standards of governance & financial management required for foundation trust status, according to Monitor, the independent regulator.
Monitor’s Annual Report for 2008/09 describes how the regulator is responding to the challenges facing the NHS and urges all remaining NHS trusts not to lose focus in preparing their organisations for foundation trust status.
MoJ/OLSO: Zahida Manzoor CBE, the Legal Services Ombudsman, has commented on the first steps towards the implementation of the Legal Services Act in her annual report & accounts. The Act creates two new bodies, the Legal Services Board and the Office for Legal Complaints.
The Act requires the current legal professional bodies to separate their functions as both regulator & representative of their professions and will see the removal of complaint handling from them. The LSB will have oversight of the approved regulators who will have responsibility for the regulation of legal professionals’ professional conduct. The LSB will also have responsibility for the new complaints-handling body, the OLC.
The Ombudsman reported that in 2008/2009 her Office has again performed to a very high standard. Of particular note is that her Office’s 2.2 months average turnaround time for investigations significantly exceeds the Office’s government target of completing 90% of investigations within six months.
The Ombudsman was pleased to report that the Bar Standards Board has maintained their high level of performance and continues to improve their complaints & disciplinary processes. She did however note a slight drop in the performance of the Law Society Solicitors Regulation Authority. She was critical of the overall performance of the Law Society Legal Complaints Service, although she did see some welcome improvements in their turnaround times and service delivery.
Press release ~ Annual Report & Accounts of the LSO 2008/09 ~ Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman website ~ Legal Services Act ~ Legal Services Board ~ Office for Legal Complaints ~ Bar Standards Board ~ Law Society Solicitors Regulation Authority ~ Law Society Legal Complaints Service
DH: The number of suicides in England are at an all-time low according to the latest annual report on suicide prevention. Care Services Minister Phil Hope said: “Investment in good mental health services, including early intervention when people have mental health problems is very important. Our new strategy for mental health, called New Horizons, which will be published shortly, will focus on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.”
Press release ~ The Suicide annual report 2008 ~ National Mental Health Development Unit ~ National Suicide prevention strategy for England ~ Mind: Suicide rates, risks and prevention strategies ~ Samaritans ~ DH – Mental Health
Defra: The number of beekeepers has grown over the last year, according to the National Bee Unit, which runs BeeBase, the national beekeepers’ database. Increasing the numbers of registered beekeepers is an important feature of ‘Healthy Bees’, the long term plan to protect and improve bee health.
More than 1,500 new beekeepers have registered on BeeBase this year and much of this has been attributed to the increased publicity on bee health. There are also large numbers of new entrants being seen at beekeeping training events provided by the National Bee Unit’s team of bee inspectors & beekeeping associations. Recent training events have seen over 13,000 attendees.