General News

CAB: High street banks should offer personal micro-loans ‘as a more responsible option for short term credit to stop people falling foul of unscrupulous payday lenders or turning to loan sharks for money’, says Citizens Advice.
 
The charity said banks should accept some responsibility for the growth of the payday loan market and have an opportunity to right past wrongs by offering an inventive, low-interest & responsible solution to the need for short term credit. CAB has seen a 10-fold increase in payday loans over the last 4 years as people use them to make up a shortfall in income or to cope with unexpected expenses.
Press release & links
 
MoD: A new iPhone app has been launched to provide serving Armed Forces personnel with mental health support & information.  The app, called Joining Forces, is available to personnel all over the world and provides tailored information on 11 mental health problems including anxiety, post-traumatic stress & depression, as well as highlighting where to access help.
Press release & links
 
TUCA jobs guarantee for young people, spreading the living wage across the public & private sectors, putting communities not profits at the heart of public services, and creating a stronger voice for workers in the management of companies are among the TUC's 5 key campaign priorities in the run up to the general election, according to its campaign plan ('A Future That Works') published last week.
Press release & links
 
NHS ConfedNHS Confederation chief executive, Mike Farrar, has welcomed the publication of Dame Fiona Caldicott's updated review of information governance. The best practice & recommendations in the report ‘set out a wise approach to protecting & sharing confidential information which will benefit patients and allow the health service to what it can and should do, when, and with what’.
Press release ~ Information Governance Review Report
 
TfL: Whether you are looking for a new & relaxing way to commute or want to make the most of your leisure time, the newly published spring & summer guide to London River Services will be an invaluable companion.   It also contains details of River Tours services - which offer a whole range of leisure activities including dinner cruises, sightseeing cruises, or more exhilarating trips on the fastest boats on the Thames.
Press release & links
 
ScotGovScotland’s state-of-the-art bull stud is open for business – providing a valuable service for crofters as well as showcasing some modern farm developments. The £3m transformation of the stud – which provides a bull hire scheme for crofters - has seen the outdated & inadequate farm buildings demolished and replaced with a new office, quarantine building, main bull housing building, GP building and new silage clamp.
Press release & links
 
Monitor: Monitor has authorised Kingston Hospital NHS Trust as a foundation trust, effective from 1 May 2013.  This is the first foundation trust to be established under the regulator’s new powers to promote & protect patient’s interests.  Monitor will regulate the Trust on its ability to be a well-led organisation that provides patients with quality care on a sustainable basis.
Press release & links
 
DECC: Following a successful competition last year as part of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, DECC is launching 2 further competitions for registered providers of social housing, to bid for funds to install renewable heating technologies in their housing stock.
Press release & links
 
TNAThe National Archives are at the top of the class for educational visits after being awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge for the third time in a row.
Press release & links
 
HEFCE: A review of TRAC (the activity-costing method used by UK universities & colleges) has found strong support for the method across the sector, but suggests some important improvements to streamline the process and save money.
 
Higher Education Funding Council England has agreed with Research Councils UK a change to dispensation compliance requirements.  From 2013-14 the threshold at which higher education institutions (HEIs) will be eligible to claim dispensation from the need to comply with the full TRAC requirements will increase from £0.5m to £3m. This change will allow up to 60 institutions to benefit from reduced compliance requirements.
Press release & links
 
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has told St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust to make improvements at St George’s Hospital following an unannounced inspection at which it failed to meet 6 of the national standards

The majority of patients spoken with said that they were happy with the care they were receiving, but some were less satisfied.  Inspectors saw many instances of good care, but also saw examples of poor care.
Press release & links
 
TfLBikeSafe-London is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, a decade of helping motorcyclists improve their knowledge, skills & experience to make them better, safer riders. Since April 2003, more than 26,000 motorcyclists have attended a BikeSafe-London Rider Skills Day.
Press release & links ~ BikeSafe London
 
TfL: Londoners now have the opportunity to help name the last 2 tunnelling machines that will bore below the Capital to create Crossrail. They will bore from Pudding Mill Lane, near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford, creating 2.7km of tunnels to Stepney Green.
Press release & links
 
IfL: The new Centre for Research & Development in Lifelong Education (CRADLE), established in partnership with the Institute for Learning (IfL) and chaired by Professor Denis Gleeson, aims to provide more & new kinds of research for practitioners & policymakers, providing evidence-based and authoritative resources for the FE & skills sector, including the teaching of vocational education.  IfL’s members from across the diverse sector will help inform CRADLE’s research priorities.
Press release & links
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