General Reports and Other Publications

NAO: Delivering the National Programme for IT in the NHS is proving to be an ‘enormous challenge’ according to a progress report on the programme by the National Audit Office. All elements of the Programme are advancing and some are complete, but the original timescales for the electronic Care Records Service, one of the central elements of the Programme, turned out to be unachievable, raised unrealistic expectations and put confidence in the Programme at risk.
The report concludes that the original vision remains intact and still appears feasible.  However, it is likely to take until 2014-15 before every NHS Trust in England has fully deployed the care records systems, four years later than planned.
Press release ~ The National Programme for IT in the NHS: Progress since 2006 Volume I ~ Volume II ~ Executive Summary ~ Care Records Service ~ Benefits Statement 2006/07 ~ National Programme for IT ~ National Network for the NHS ~ Full cost of NHS IT upgrade revealed - Times Online ~ NHS IT cost doubled to £12.4bn | The Register ~ NAO 2006 report
ESRC: In a unique study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, researchers found British adult children help their elderly parents according to current need (i.e. health) rather than past behaviour.  This contrasts with other countries such as the US, where parents with a history of divorce see less of their children and receive less help from them.
So in the UK a parent that is living alone is more likely to receive help from children than parents with partners.  Children also give more help as the parent ages.  Curiously, divorced parents get more help from children than if they are widowed, but both groups receive more help than if they still have a partner.  And it helps to have more children; however, step-children give step-parents less support.
Press release ~ Disruptions in family and work life: Implications for support in later life ~ Research Project: ‘Disruptions in family and work life ~ British Household Panel Survey
ESRC: Images of maths ‘geeks’ stop people from studying mathematics or using it in later life, shows research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Many students and undergraduates seem to think of mathematicians as old, white, middle-class men who are obsessed with their subject, lack social skills and have no personal life outside maths.

Images of mathematicians Albert Einstein and John Nash were labelled as not normal, lacking social skills and being obsessive towards mathematics. But those students who chose to continue studying mathematics for A-level or at university were more likely to regard this obsession as indicating skill, commitment or devotion than madness.  
Press release ~ Mathematical Images and Identities: Education, Entertainment, Social Justice
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities has responded to the 'Our NHS, our future' report 'Leading Local Change', which sets the context for the upcoming SHA local visions and the principles which will guide their implementation.
The CRC dossier of evidence, presented to Lord Darzi in response to the NHS review, emphasises the need for flexibility in the design & provision of health care services in rural areas and to avoid solutions that work well in an inner city/urban area but are not practicable in a rural area.
Press release ~ 'Our NHS, our future' ~ 'Leading Local Change' ~ NHS review ~ CRC response to 'Leading Local Change'
ESRC: The nature of Northern Ireland’s productivity gap and some potential policymaking solutions are outlined in a new publication - ‘Sub-sectoral Productivity in Northern Ireland.  The booklet, funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland) presents the views of two leading experts on productivity - Dr Chiara Criscuolo and Professor Richard Harris.

The growth of Northern Ireland’s economic output has been comparatively strong in recent years.  However, using a variety of productivity measures, the country performs poorly when compared with other European countries, the US and Japan.  Low labour productivity relative to the rest of the UK is one of the key factors behind Northern Ireland’s poor economic prosperity.
Press release ~ 'Sub-sectoral Productivity in Northern Ireland' ~ ONS – Basic economic terms ~ Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment (Northern Ireland) ~ ESRC Society Today
ScotGov: A report on serious fraud, published recently by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMICS), makes a number of recommendations aimed at improving how the police works with its partners to tackle serious fraud.
It is estimated that on average £330 for every man, woman and child in Scotland is lost through fraud each year.  Figures from APACS show a 16% rise from 2006 to 2007, when £11.5m was lost to plastic payment card fraud alone in Scotland. A recent estimate put the overall loss to the UK as between £13 and £20bn each year.
Press release ~ Thematic Inspection: Serious Fraud ~ Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) ~ Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) ~ Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) ~ Scottish Crime Recording Standard
CRC: The Commission for Rural Communities has recently completed some consultation & discussions on the future for rural proofing.  Their report showed Government policy is still not adequately considering the needs of rural communities. There are some good examples of rural proofing, but it's still not part of the day-to-day work of government departments.
Press release ~ Rural proofing ~ ‘Monitoring Rural Proofing 2007’
ScotGov: Calls for greater awareness of the need for action on climate change by Scotland's agriculture sector have been outlined by a new report. Other recommendations in the Report of the Agriculture and Climate Change Stakeholder Group include the need for:
* Better communication on how agriculture can adapt to & help mitigate climate change
* Closer policy integration on land use
* Improved reporting of green house gas emissions from agriculture
Press release ~ Report of the Agriculture and Climate Change Stakeholder Group ~ Scottish Agricultural College ~ Agriculture and Climate Change Stakeholder Group ~ It’s Our Future ~ Scotland Rural Development Programme