General News

DH: A new 'Units' campaign which aims to tell drinkers how many units are in their drinks and help them stick to their limits has been launched. The Know Your Limits campaign kicks off its units strand with a series of adverts on TV, radio, billboards and in press, depicting the number of units in individual drinks.  
The units campaign uses iconic imagery to help people understand how many units are in typical alcoholic drinks, and how to stay within the recommended daily guidelines for regular drinking of 2-3 units a day for women and 3-4 units a day for men.  A new YouGov poll found that 82% claim to know what a unit of alcohol is, yet 77% don't know how many units are in a typical large glass of wine.
To help people add up the units in their drinks, the Government has launched a new online calculator that can be downloaded to your desktop.
Press release ~ Online calculator ~ Know Your Limits ~ Present costs of alcohol use and misuse based on a ‘Cost of Illness’ approach ~ Alcohol: The effects of drinking on the body and on relationships
Home Office: A £1m FRANK campaign targeted at 15-18 year olds, a commitment to the Colombian Government's Shared Responsibility campaign and a new leaflet illustrating the dangers of the drug have been announced to enhance the drive to tackle cocaine use.
The Government claims it wants to strengthen efforts against the use of cocaine by:
* launching a new million pound multi-media FRANK campaign later this year with a focus on cocaine
* issuing leaflets for young people & drug workers to illustrate the dangers & consequences of cocaine use
* hosting a summit to explore how cocaine use can be driven down
* signing up to the Colombian Government's Shared Responsibility campaign that highlights the global consequences of cocaine use
Press release ~ Colombian Government's Shared Responsibility campaign ~ National Tackling Drugs Week ~ Frank Campaign ~ National Treatment Agency ~ London Drug Policy Forum ~ Drug Action Teams ~ Daily Dose ~ Healthcare Commission – Improving services for substance misuse report ~ Reducing Drug-related Harm: An Action Plan
FAFellows Associates reports that Local Authorities serving over 9.3m people are in the process of implementing Northgate Information Solutions’ eBenefits service, which helps to reach out to those who may be missing out on their entitlement and radically simplify & speed up the process of housing and council tax benefit assessment.

Using mobile technology, visiting officers are able to help citizens through the assessment process face-to-face, to collate & verify the documents supporting the claim and provide an immediate ‘indicative benefits’ calculation.
Press release ~ Northgate Information Solutions
DH: Sir Michael Parkinson is to become National Dignity Ambassador for the Government's drive to ensure that all older people using care and health services are treated with dignity and respect at all times.  To support the dignity campaign further, the Department of Health will be launching a revamped website this summer to support Dignity Champions.  
Press release ~ Dignity in Care Champions Network ~ Dignity Challenge ~ Injustice in Residential care: A joint report by the Local Government Ombudsman and the Health Service Ombudsman for England ~ DH: No secrets: guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse ~ DH: Vulnerable adults ~ DH – Dignity in Care ~ Dignity in Care Practice Guide ~ General Social Care Council (GSCC) ~ Commission for Social Care Inspection ~ AEA partnerships ~ Protection of Vulnerable Adults scheme in England and Wales for adult placement schemes, domiciliary care agencies and care homes: A practical guide ~ Platt review on Social care ~ Healthcare Commission - Review of dignity in care
WAG: The Welsh Assembly Government is inviting people who worked for the NHS when it began 60 years ago to attend a celebration at the Senedd.  First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Health Minister Edwina Hart will be hosting a lunchtime reception on Thursday 3 July to mark the inception of the NHS (Saturday 5 July is the 60th actual anniversary of the NHS).
To take part in the reception, please contact Marina Edwards, Welsh Assembly Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ or 029 2082 3756 (telephone); 029 2082 3403 (fax); or
Press release ~ NHS Wales ~ WAG – Health and Social care
NA: If you wish to look at original documents when visiting The National Archives, you will need a Reader's Ticket.  If this is your first visit (or if you need to renew your Reader's Ticket), please make sure you bring two forms of identification with you - one proof of identity with a signature (such as a passport or bank card) and the other a proof of address (such as a driving licence or recent utility bill).
Press release ~ Registering for a reader’s ticket
ScotGov: The British Irish Council (BIC) met in Cardiff last week. Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell joined Ministers from across the UK and Ireland to discuss the key challenges & barriers to progress in tackling child poverty. 
The BIC was established under the East-West or Strand Three element of the historic Good Friday Agreement which was concluded in 1998. The members of BIC are the British and Irish Governments, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly, and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Press release ~ British Irish Council (BIC) ~ UK Child Poverty Action Group ~ JRF: What will it take to end child poverty in the UK? ~ End Child poverty
Acas: Acas, the employment relations service, has announced plans to establish its Disabled People's Involvement Forum, one of the first of its kind, to help ensure fairness and equality in Acas' work. As part of the Disability Equality Duty set by Government, Acas wants to involve disabled people in areas of their policies and decision-making to make sure the issues around disability are understood.
To do this, Acas are seeking six highly committed disabled individuals from a diverse range of perspectives and impairment groups to volunteer for this unique committee to act in an informal advisory role.  The closing date for applications is 16 June 2008 and interviews will be held week commencing 30 June 2008.
Press release ~ Role description and person specification ~ Guidance notes for applicants ~ Application form ~ Disability Equality Duty
Defra: Defra has announced that the Bluetongue Protection Zone will be extended again as from Monday 26 May 2008, following the delivery of additional doses of Bluetongue vaccine. Vaccination is only permitted within the Protection Zone; therefore, in accordance with the Bluetongue vaccination plan, the Protection Zone will be extended to cover all of Devon (including the Unitary Authorities of Plymouth and Torbay).  The Surveillance Zone is unaffected.
Livestock keepers in the areas coming into the Protection Zone will be able to obtain the vaccine from the time they become part of the Zone; however they are encouraged to order vaccine in advance through their vet.  The vaccine is available in 20ml and 50ml bottles.
Press release ~ Defra - Bluetongue disease ~ UK Bluetongue vaccine roll-out plan ~ Future of Vaccination
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