General Reports and Other Publications

TKF: Many NHS hospitals will struggle to deliver productivity improvements essential to maintaining quality and avoiding significant cuts to services, according to the latest quarterly monitoring report on NHS performance published by The King’s Fund.
Press release & links
 
CQC: The Care Quality Commission has published details of the enforcement action it has taken against Castlebeck Care (Teesdale) Ltd which failed to protect the safety & welfare of patients at Winterbourne View.  The effect of this action is that the assessment & treatment centre near Bristol has been closed. 
Press release & links
 
IfL: The Institute for Learning (IfL) has published a statement confirming that members who do not pay their subscription by the due date will cause their membership to lapse, but that this will not amount to a breach of the Code of Professional Practice.
Press release & links
 
Newswire – NHSConfed: The NHS Confederation last week welcomed the Government's changes to its public health proposals, but remains concerned about issues such as health premiums and the commissioning of sexual health & children's services.
 
The Government's updated vision for a future Public Health Service was set out on 14 July with the publication of Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Update and Way Forward, which builds on proposals set out in the November 2010 white paper.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: MPs on the Commons Treasury Committee are calling on the Financial Services Agency (FSA) to delay implementing new rules on the provision of financial advice for 12 months to allow advisers more time to comply. 
 
The committee backed plans to ban commission on advised sales and impose higher professional standards on independent financial advisers, subject to flexibility on a case-by-case basis, but were concerned that a substantial exodus of experienced advisers from the market could harm consumer choice. 
Press release & links
 
BHF: The Government has published a new report that outlines how the UK can maintain its position as a leader in the field of regenerative medicine.  The Government outlines 10 actions it will take to support the research sector, including providing more help to get innovative regenerative medicines to patients and developing a national strategy to support the sector in the long-term.
 Press release & links
 
NO: 3 Lambeth Council tenants experienced significant delays & inconvenience because of delay in putting right serious disrepair in their homes, finds Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin.  In her report, she says “the tenants have received a very poor service since they raised their concerns” and added “Even when some delay was unavoidable, there have been problems with the Council’s communication with all three tenants.”
Press release & links
 
STFC: The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has published the STFC and Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) responses to its Fourth Report of Session 2010-12: Astronomy and Particle Physics.
Press release & links
 
CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Dolphin Court Care Home in Havant that it must take swift action to improve services at the home. Following visits in June 2011, CQC inspectors found that the care provided fell short of the essential standards of quality & safety people should be able to expect from a care home.
Press release & links
 
NICE: The Government must invest in gathering more evidence about what measures work to influence population behaviour change, according to a report by the House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee.  The report - Behaviour Change - investigates the way the Government tries to influence people's behaviour using behaviour change interventions.
Press release & links
 
FSA: The Food Standards Agency has published an update on the sweeteners steviol glycosides.  The European Union is currently examining whether the sweetners should be authorised for use in food.  Earlier this month, member states voted in favour of a European Commission proposal to authorise steviol glycosides in a range of foods.
Press release & links
 
NAO: The complexity of the formulae used by government departments to provide funding to local public bodies is partly down to the nature of the services being funded, and partly to the fact that the formulae attempt to achieve multiple objectives, according to a report published by the National Audit Office.  The different approaches to formula funding have evolved over time, but key choices in the design & operation of the formulae remain open to question
Press release ~ Landscape review: Formula funding of local public services
 
NAOHM Revenue & Customs faces a significant challenge in securing a £1.6bn reduction in running costs over the next 4 years, at the same time as increasing tax revenues, improving customer service and achieving reductions in welfare payments, according to a report by the National Audit Office.
Press release & links
 
CH: According to a new Chatham House / YouGov Survey, the UK public overwhelmingly believes that the coalition government has changed UK foreign policy for the worse.  There is also scepticism about interventionism, with nearly half of all respondents saying Britain should not involve itself in any way in uprisings like those in Egypt & Libya.  Voters said that the ‘government is contributing too much to the EU and overseas aid which doesn't enhance security and well-being’.
Press release & links
 
IFS: New research published by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies finds little or no evidence that marriage itself has any effect on children’s social or cognitive development.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Government allocated funding for student support for 16-18 year olds for 2011-12 far too late to allow students to make informed decisions, says the Education Select Committee in a report published last week.
 
The Committee’s report on participation by 16-19 year olds in education and training accepts that changes to student support needed to be made, but says that the delay in deciding on allocations and the guiding principles for distribution should not have been allowed to happen.
Press release & links ~ IfL comment
 
PC&PE: The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has published an ‘evaluation of Whitehall departments’ plans for structural change in response to the twin challenges of major public service reform and significantly reduced administrative budgets’.
 
The committee expresses concern that the centre of Government, notably the Treasury and the Cabinet Office, is ‘providing neither strategic leadership nor a governance framework to departments in managing their change programmes’.
Press release & links
 
ESRC: A new study suggests young people with a serious genetic blood disorder are ‘not getting the right help at school, especially pupils who miss lessons due to sickness’. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at De Montfort University, the University of York and LoughboroughUniversity reveals that most children with sickle cell disease (SCD) do not feel supported by schools in catching up on absences from class.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Joint Committee on Human Rights have published a report on the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill. In the report the Joint Committee says that:
* the overriding priority of public policy in the area of terrorism prevention should be the criminal prosecution of individuals who are suspected of involvement in terrorist activity; and that
* recognition of the difficulties of prosecuting some dangerous individuals does not require acceptance of the need for a new regime which is essentially a watered down version of control orders
Press release & links
 
ESRC: Following the victory of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the recent Scottish elections on 5 May 2011, a unique in-depth survey of the entire SNP membership conducted throughout 2008, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) reveals 87% wanted Scottish independence, with 65% of the SNP preferring independence as part of the European Union and 22% outside the EU, and 12% wanted more powers for the Scottish Parliament.
 
The survey of SNP members also revealed a party dominated by men (only 32% are women) and an average age of 59.  Fewer than 8% of SNP members were below 35 and were considerably outnumbered by those over 75 at the time of the survey.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The credit rating agencies are not to blame for the eurozone's debt crisis says the Lords EU Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade Sub-Committee in a new report, Sovereign Credit Ratings: Shooting the Messenger?
Press release & links
 
HMIC: A report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, ‘Adapting to Austerity’, found that authorities & forces have made a good start in developing plans for the next 4 years, but they ‘need to transform their efficiency if they are to succeed in sustaining services while cutting costs’.
 
However, HMIC found that protecting the frontline will be very challenging over the next 18 months as two thirds of the cuts to central government funding fall within the first two CSR years (2011/12 & 2012/13).  Forces will have to transform their efficiency if they are to protect frontline services.  HMIC is also publishing alongside this report; 'Police Numbers and Crime Rates – A rapid evidence review'.
Press releaseValuing the Police: Preparedness Inspection (scroll down for links to reports)
 
ACE: The Arts Council has published Supporting growth in the arts economy, a think piece by Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy which will inform ACE policy around the arts & the creative economy. Within the series of 3 papers, Tom Fleming & Andrew Erskine illustrate synergies between the arts & the creative economy and discuss suggestions for the Arts Council's approach.
Press release & links
 
ESRCParents struggling to combine paid work with bringing up their children now have some positive news thanks to a new study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on maternal employment & child socio-emotional behaviour in the UK.  The research shows that there are no significant detrimental effects on a child’s social or emotional development if their mothers work during their early years.
Press release & links
 
IISS: North Korea’s growing arsenal & provocative behaviour increase the risk that eventually somebody will be goaded to retaliate, according to a new in-depth report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies
Press release ~ Executive Summary 
 
CBI: The CBI has called on the Government to ‘harness the potential of information technology to transform public services’.  In a new report System Reset: Transforming public services through IT, the CBI says that making better use of technology could make accessing public services easier for the public & businesses, while saving taxpayers’ money.  

IT can also revolutionise frontline service delivery and should not be viewed as just a support function, as the Open Public Services White Paper recognises.
Press release ~ System Reset: Transforming public services through IT
2020 Vulnerability Roundtables