HC: Some NHS trusts are still not responding to complaints effectively or learning lessons from them, says the Healthcare Commission in its latest report. The way trusts handle complaints is still the number one issue raised by complainants, accounting for 19% of cases reviewed, up from 16% last year.
In almost half of complaints reviewed, the Commission either upheld the complaint or sent it back to the trust for further work because the trust’s initial response to the complainant was not good enough. The report, the third of its kind, covers the 8,949 complaints reviewed in the year to 31 July 2008.
From 1 April 2009, a new two-tier complaints handling system will replace the current three-tier procedure. If a person complains to a trust & they are unhappy with the trust’s response they will be able to request a review from the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman. The Commission has made 12 key recommendations to all NHS trusts to improve the way they resolve complaints in preparation for the new system.
Press release ~ Spotlight on complaints 2009: A report on second-stage complaints about the NHS in England ~ Complaints about the NHS ~ Changes to the NHS complaints system 2009 ~ Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
DECC: A report on reducing the threat of proliferation of dangerous nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical materials and expertise has been published by the government. The UK Global Threat Reduction Programme 2008 Annual Report highlights the progress made on projects including the safe destruction of chemical weapons in Russia, other former Soviet Union countries and elsewhere. The programme is funded from the UK's Global Threat Reduction Programme annual budget of £36m.
The report includes the development of a strategy for the management of some 30 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel from decommissioned submarines in North West Russia, progress on construction of a key chemical weapons destruction facility, redirection of former WMD scientists, implementation of a programme of enhancements to security of nuclear materials, and assistance towards the irreversible closure of weapons grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
Press release ~ UK Global Threat Reduction Programme 2008 Annual Report ~ BERR - Non Proliferation - Global Threat Reduction Programme ~ DECC - Non - Proliferation
FSCS: The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has recently published its Plan and Budget 2009/10 containing first indicative estimates of its levies on financial services firms for 2009/10. The FSCS Plan & Budget provides the Scheme’s initial assumptions of future claims and its funding needs for the coming financial year. It covers the full range of the FSCS’s work including insurance and investments.
Coming against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty in the markets, the FSCS says financial services firms are likely to pay a levy of £186m in 2009/10 against £130.8m (excluding a possible interim levy of up to £40m) in 2008/09. In addition, deposit taking firms will pay the interest costs on loans to fund the five bank defaults in 2008/09.