Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

DCSF: Fresh guidance from the DCSF is intended to help local authorities organise personal tutors, homework support and educational trips to the theatre for children in care, backed with £56m of funding. Children in care at risk of falling behind at school are getting an extra £500 a year to pay for the sort of activities that good parents provide for their children to help with their learning - ranging from personal tutors to educational trips to the theatre.
 
This is in recognition of the poor educational outcomes for children in care, only 13% of whom attain five good GCSEs compared with 62% of all children.  However, a recent Ofsted report has shown that schools can make significant progress to improve educational outcomes for children in care by:
* having high expectations and good teaching for all pupils
* keeping looked after children engaged in & taking responsibility for their learning
* recognising that looked after children may be gifted & talented
* close monitoring of academic, social and personal progress
* keeping looked after children involved in learning outside the classroom & after school activities
* swift & early intervention if a problem began to emerge, for example with behaviour or attendance
 
The government has also issued guidance to local authorities on how to provide £100 top up payments for children in care's Child Trust Fund (CTF) for every year they spend in care.  This will allow children in care to build up a nest egg to help them when they leave care.
Press release ~ Personal Education Allowances for Looked After Children: Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities ~ Child Trust Fund Account Top-Up Payments for Looked After Children: Statutory Guidance on Local Authority Practice in England ~ Care Matters implementation plan ~ Child Trust Fund ~ Ofsted: Children on Care Standards ~ Ofsted: Looked after children: good practice in schools ~ Care Matters: Time for Change (White Paper) ~ Care Matters - Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care ~ Children and Young People Bill ~ Educational achievement of looked-after children - ECM ~ Prince's Trust - Care ~ Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better  ~ Outcome Indicators for Looked after Children ~ Education Protects - Collecting & Using Data to Improve Education Outcomes for Children in Public Care
 
DIUS: Engaging with the public about the potential impacts of new & emerging science and technologies will be made easier from now on, the government claims, with the launch of the new Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Public Dialogue in Science and Innovation (ERC).
 
The new centre - a virtual information hub together with a range of offline support services is intended to be an ‘invaluable tool in helping Ministers and officials understand public views and concerns on complex and potentially controversial scientific issues’.
 
The services available through the Sciencewise-ERC will be targeted primarily at all those who have a responsibility for national policy making in science and technology across government - including Government departments and agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies.
Press release ~ Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre for Public Dialogue in Science and Innovation (ERC)
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidance on the use of epoetin (alpha and beta) and darbepoetin for the treatment of cancer-treatment induced anaemia. Erythropoietin analogues with iron injections are recommended as a possible treatment for anaemia caused by cancer treatment only in:
* women receiving platinum-based chemotherapy for cancer of the ovaries who have a blood haemoglobin level of 8 g/100 ml or lower
* people who have very severe anaemia and cannot receive blood transfusions

Healthcare professionals should not stop prescribing erythropoietin analogues for people who were already taking them when the guidance was issued.  These people should be able to carry on taking erythropoietin analogues until they and their healthcare professionals decide that it is the right time to stop treatment.
Press release ~ Erythropoetin (alpha and beta) and darbepoetin for the treatment of cancer-treatment induced anaemia
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on the use of adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab in the treatment of severe active ankylosing spondylitis in adults. The recommendations include:
* Adalimumab or etanercept are recommended as treatment options for adults with severe active ankylosing spondylitis only if all of the specified clinical criteria are fulfilled
* Infliximab is not recommended for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis
* People currently receiving infliximab for treating ankylosing spondylitis should have the option to continue therapy until they and their clinicians consider it appropriate to stop
Press release ~ Adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab for ankylosing spondylitis
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (NCC PC) have issued new guidance to the NHS in England and Wales on the identification of people at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and on the use of lipid lowering drugs to reduce that risk.

CVD – which includes heart disease and stroke - remains a leading cause of ill health and death in the UK In 2005, CVD accounted for 124,000 deaths - or one in three of all deaths.  Apart from age & sex, three modifiable risk factors – smoking, raised blood pressure and raised cholesterol – make a major contribution to CVD risk, particularly when they are combined.  The risk of CVD can be calculated from these risk factors and people at highest risk can be identified.
 
Blood cholesterol is a key modifiable risk factor and can be reduced by dietary change, physical activity and drugs.  The NICE guideline addresses the identification of those at high risk (primary prevention) and the modification of lipids in these people and in people with established CVD (secondary prevention).
Press release ~ Cardiovascular risk assessment and the modification of blood lipids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease ~ National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (NCC PC)
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (NCC-CC) have issued updated guidance on the management of type 2 diabetes.  The new guideline replaces existing NICE recommendations for the condition, revising areas where new information has become available, and will act as a single reference point for healthcare professionals on all aspects of the care & support that should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes.
Press release ~ Type 2 diabetes: the management of type 2 diabetes (update) ~ Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (NCC-CC)
 
ScotGov: New national indicators to monitor & improve public sector spending on goods & services have been introduced. Analysis of the data will provide a vital tool in reforming public sector procurement, worth around £8bn a year in Scotland.

The Best Practice Indicators for Public Procurement in Scotland suggest nine indicators to measure, including year on year savings, customer and supplier satisfaction and collaboration in contracts.
Press release ~ Best Practice Indicators for Public Procurement in Scotland - Summary ~ ScotGov - Procurement ~ Procurement Scotland ~ eProcurement Scotland
 
NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance for employers on how to encourage employees to increase their levels of physical activity. People of working age are not active enough to benefit their health; this contributes to sickness absence and decreased productivity – See ‘In the News’ for more information
Data Security: Controlling Classified Information in the UK Public Sector