General Reports and Other Publications

NAO: Each year around half a million people die in England, three quarters of whom do so following a period of chronic illness, such as cancer or heart disease.  A report by the National Audit Office found that some people approaching the end of their life receive a high quality service, but that there is room for improved co-ordination between health and social care services in planning & delivering end of life care.
The provision of end of life care is becoming increasingly complex, with people living longer and the incidence of frailty & multiple conditions in older people rising.  Information on peoples’ wishes is often not captured or shared and a lack of services to support them at home may lead to unplanned and unwanted admissions to hospital.
Frontline staff often lack training in delivering basic end of life care.  Only 29% of doctors and 18% of nurses received pre-registration training in end of life care, and there is a lack of formal training for staff working in care homes.  Positive experiences of care were often linked to being treated by staff who understood, appreciated and empathised with the end of life situation.
Press release ~ End of life care ~ Executive Summary ~ A Review of the Provision of End of Life Care Services in City and Hackney Primary Care Trust ~ A Review of the Provision of End of Life Care Services in Herefordshire Primary Care Trust ~  A Review of the Provision of End of Life Care Services in Sheffield Primary Care Trust ~ The potential cost savings of greater use of home and hospice based end of life care in England ~ Identifying Alternatives to Hospital for People at the End of Life ~ Report on the Finding of a Survey of Doctors in England ~ Report on the Findings of Focus Groups and Interviews with Patients and Carers ~ Survey of Nurses ~ Survey of Independent and NHS Hospices ~ Survey of Care Homes ~ Survey of Primary Care Trusts ~ DH’s End of Life Care Strategy ~ The National End of Life Care Programme ~ Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme ~ Other related information ~ Marie Curie Nursing Services ~ Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme ~ Marie Curie Cancer Care ~ Campaigning - Supporting the choice to die at home
ESRC:  Official professional standards in both Scotland & England, which aim to nurture the development of new teachers, pay too little attention to what ‘becoming’ a teacher is really like.  New research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), finds that existing standards ignore the emotional, relationship and personal issues which are the real challenge for teachers starting out in their careers, focussing instead on the acquisition of skills & knowledge.
Resulting from the study, researchers propose a new model which aims to improve existing standards by capturing the multi-dimensional experience of new teachers.  The current Standard for Full Registration (SFR) in Scotland and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England & Wales are a useful, yet incomplete, innovation. 
The research identified 7 dimensions of early professional learning (EPL), which  helped researchers to discover that the ‘emotional & relational aspects’ are more important than the ‘cognitive’ in the first few months of induction and that the multidimensional nature of early professional development is key to understanding how new teachers develop their identities in the profession.
Press release ~ ‘Enhanced Competence-Based Learning in Early Professional Development’ ~ Teaching and Learning Research Programme ~ EPL Project website ~ Standard for Full Registration (SFR) ~ Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) ~ ESRC Society Today
CLG: The Government has welcomed proposals to help small businesses & councils save up to £300m a year through a ‘root & branch’ overhaul of the bureaucratic planning application process recommended by the Killian Pretty review.
The Government has signalled it supports the broad thrust of the report and that it intends to publish an implementation plan early in the New Year, setting out in more detail how it intends to respond to the proposals that will deliver to the country the benefits of a leaner and less bureaucratic planning application process.
Press release ~ Killian Pretty review report
HEFCE: A mid-term review of the Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards (CSLA) scheme shows senior medical school staff are optimistic about the impact the scheme will have on the capacity & sustainability of the clinical academic community.
The CSLA was established in 2005 to build an expert research workforce to support clinical research and education.  The awards, funded by HEFCE and the Department of Health, support clinical research staff for 5 years.  In the first three rounds of the scheme, 116 posts have been funded.  The fourth round has just been launched with a closing date for applications of 2 February 2009.
Press release ~ Mid-term review of the Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards scheme ~ CSLA scheme and how to apply for the fourth round
CRE: The Commission for Rural Communities (CRE) has welcomed the recent Rural Proofing discussion paper by Newcastle University's Centre for Rural Economy.  It discusses the future for rural proofing within the context of the Government’s mainstreaming agenda, echoing many of the CRE’s own review's findings.
Press release ~ Centre for Rural Economy’s Rural Proofing discussion paper ~ Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) ~ CRE review of rural proofing ~ CRE: Do you recognise rural?
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published its Retail Distribution Review (RDR) feedback statement outlining proposals to give more consumers confidence & trust in the retail investment market, at a time when consumers need real help and advice with their retirement and savings planning.
The proposals also reform the investment market, preparing both consumers and the industry for the future.  
The key proposals in the feedback statement include distinguishing between independent advice and sales to create better clarity for consumers about the investment services available. 
The FSA will be consulting on policy proposals for the RDR during the first half of 2009 with the intention that all firms will have implemented the changes by the end of 2012. In parallel with the RDR, the FSA has been reviewing the prudential requirements for personal investment firms (PIFs) and will publish a consultation paper on raising the minimum standard and improving the quality of capital and making it consistent for all firms.
Press release ~ RDR feedback statement and related documents
DIUS: Moves towards sustainable energy in the UK are being hampered by old ways of thinking according to a major new report published by Foresight, the Government's futures think tank. The study 'Powering Our Lives: Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment' looks at how the country's buildings and spaces will need to evolve to help cut carbon emissions.
The report concludes that the UK is 'locked-in' to using certain forms of energy, not because they are better, but because they have historically dominated over other options.  This has created significant inertia because using a new form of energy also means changes in the infrastructure and the regulations to support it.
The report concludes that there is no 'magic bullet' to reduce carbon emissions or 'decarbonise' the energy we use.  However, it does propose behavioural and regulatory changes which could be introduced over the next 50 years, to overcome this inertia.
Press release ~ 'Powering Our Lives: Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment' and related documents ~ Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ~ Additional related documents ~ Review of Sustainability of Existing Buildings: The Energy Efficiency of Dwellings - Initial Analysis ~ Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) ~ LCBP Phase 2 ~ Renewables innovation review - BERR ~ Microgeneration - BERR ~ UK Green Building Council ~ Code for Sustainable Homes ~ Micropower Council ~ Green Alliance ~ Energy Savings Trust ~ Centre for Sustainable Energy ~ Strategic Forum for Construction ~ Sustainable Development Commission ~  Greenpeace report: Power: An Energy Revolution For The 21st Century (4.6Mb)
Ofsted: According to the findings of a report, ‘Developing young people’s economic and business understanding’, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) found that, although there was much to celebrate in business education, around a third of lessons were thorough but uninspiring.  There was too much ‘talking-at’ pupils, and an over-dependence on worksheets.
In around half the 118 schools & colleges visited, students complained that they had insufficient direct contact with businesses and ‘hands-on’ experiences, such as running mini enterprises.  They were also disappointed that they could not make more use of the knowledge & understanding they gained through work experience placements and part-time jobs in their assessed work.
Press release ~ ‘Developing young people’s economic and business understanding’ ~ Young Enterprise – Learning by doing ~ Young Enterprise Scotland ~ Prince’s Trust
Defra: Defra has published two reports that build on the evidence base on bovine TB in deer. The first is the final report from the South West England and Cotswolds Survey of Tuberculosis in Deer, the second is a related quantitative risk assessment of the risk posed to cattle by wild deer.
While TB is not currently a significant risk in wild deer, deer stalkers & managers should take the disease risk into account when establishing any management programmes.  Defra will be working with the Deer Initiative to share this information with the industry and to help inform future plans.
Press release ~ South West England and Cotswolds Survey of Tuberculosis in Deer ~ Related quantitative risk assessment of the risk posed to cattle by wild deer ~ Deer Initiative ~ Defra – TB in cattle
HC: The Healthcare Commission (HC) has welcomed the findings of the independent review of heart transplant services at Harefield hospital, which identified no common factors that caused the recent rise in the number of deaths. The review was triggered in October when the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust notified authorities that 4 consecutive patients had died within 30 days of undergoing heart transplants at the hospital.
The Harefield review makes important recommendations for the hospital to further tighten its procedures, particularly around better assessments of whether a patient is well enough to undergo such major surgery.  The HC will continue to monitor the hospital to ensure that these important changes are implemented in full and as swiftly as possible.
Press release ~ Report of the external review of recent outcomes in the heart transplant service - Harefield
RCPO:  David Green QC, Director of the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, has welcomed the publication of a report on RCPO's prosecutor charging arrangements.  The report followed an inspection by Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and it makes two recommendations for improvement. Overall it concludes that ‘the scheme has been implemented effectively’ and has been ‘well received by both prosecutors and investigators’.
Press release ~ Review of RCPO ~ Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office ~ Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
MCA: The Maritime & Coastguard Agency has welcomed the publication of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) Fishing Vessel Safety Analysis 1992 to 2006, which will provide a major contribution to improving the safety of fishermen and reducing the toll of accidents & deaths.
The MAIB Analysis, reviews many accidents and brings together lessons learnt over a fairly long period which MCA support as a sound basis for making recommendations based on trends, which is a necessary complement to, and improves upon, the work done in responding to the findings of individual accidents. The MAIB report makes a number of further recommendations which MCA will consider over the coming months and take forward with the aim of improving safety.
Press release ~ Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) ~ MAIB Fishing Vessel Safety Analysis 1992 to 2006 ~ Maritime & Coastguard Agency
HO / HMICNeighbourhood Policing is now a core part of policing across England & Wales, but progress varies considerably between forces, a new report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary states. The report followed an inspection of all 43 police forces to assess the progress made in embedding the Neighbourhood Policing programme since it began in 2005, until its full roll-out in March 2008.
The report also looked at the development of Citizen Focus Policing - a newer approach designed to take the needs of the citizen into account when designing & delivering policing services. It said that Citizen Focus Policing had led to improvements in satisfaction with the overall policing service but that there was potential for higher satisfaction levels.
Press release ~ Neighbourhood Policing & Developing Citizen Focus thematic report ‘serving neighbourhoods & individuals’ ~ Neighbourhood Policing programme ~ Citizen Focus Policing
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