BERR: The Secretary of State for Business, Lord Mandelson, has received advice from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on the continued appropriateness of statutory undertakings that underpin arrangements for the supply of newspapers in England & Wales. Having reviewed the undertakings, provided by newspaper wholesalers in 1994, the OFT has concluded these are no longer appropriate and should be revoked.
He has invited interested parties to make written representations to him (by Wednesday 14 January 2009) on the OFT's advice. He will take these representations into account before making a final decision on the future of the undertakings – See also ‘Business and other Briefings’ section for related OFT item.
OPG: Plans to reduce the fees and simplify the forms for people making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) were part of proposals announced last week in a public consultation (closes on 15 January 2009) by Public Guardian Martin John. This consultation is the first stage of a wider review by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) into how well the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) (2005) is working.
Some of these changes will be introduced from April 2009. The proposals include plans to:
* reduce the fee for registering LPAs from £150 to £120
* redesign the LPA form & guidance notes to incorporated guidance in the form(s) itself
* introduce a new level of supervision of court-appointed deputies to give support & scrutiny where needed
Press release ~ Public Guardian ~ Consultation: Lasting Powers of Attorney, Supervision of Deputies by the Public Guardian and Office of the Public Guardian and Court of Protection Fees ~ OPG Annual report ~ Mental Capacity Act (MCA) (2005)
CQC: The Care Quality Commission is launching a consultation (closes 16 January 2009) with a wide variety of stakeholders on how it intends to use its new enforcement powers, together with publishing guidance to NHS trusts about additional requirements for registering with the new Commission in relation to healthcare associated infection (HCAI).
The CQC will be holding a series of events around the country as part of the consultation process.
Press release ~ Care Quality Commission ~ Consultation events ~ Care Quality Commission enforcement policy consultation ~ 2009/10 guidance for trusts on registering with the Care Quality Commission in relation to Healthcare Associated Infection ~ Care Quality Commission's manifesto
ScotGov: The Scottish Government is taking steps to embed General Practice firmly within its vision of a mutual NHS and to prevent commercial companies from running GP surgeries. A consultation (closes 17 December 2008) is seeking views on the eligibility criteria for providers of primary medical services, which includes issues surrounding commercialisation of GP practices.
Proposals to deliver this vision and debar commercial companies from providing GP services are expected to form part of the forthcoming Health Bill. Scottish Ministers are proposing to amend the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978.