Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides

NICE: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently appraising the use of sorafenib for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients for whom surgery or therapies in the region the cancer arose have failed or are not suitable.  In its latest draft guidance (published 19/11/2009), NICE does not recommend sorafenib.
 
In line with the NICE technology appraisals process this draft guidance is now with consultees, who have the opportunity to appeal against the proposed guidance. NICE has not yet issued final guidance to the NHS. Until NICE issues final guidance, NHS bodies should make decisions locally on the funding of specific treatments.  Subject to any appeals being received, guidance is expected in January 2010.
Press release ~ Hepatocellular carcinoma (advanced and metastatic) - sorafenib (first line)
 
WAG: Environment Minister Jane Davidson and Deputy Minister for Housing Jocelyn Davies, have called on local authorities & house builders in Wales to work together during the economic downturn to deliver affordable housing through the planning system.  
 
To assist them updated guidance on ‘Delivering affordable housing using section 106 agreements’ has been published. The original practice guidance was published in July 2008 with the aim of assisting local authorities to improve the development, negotiation & implementation of section 106 agreements, so that more affordable housing is delivered through the planning system.
 
The updated guidance summarises actions by the WAG to help the housing market and looks at how local authorities can use the planning process to bring forward development and continue to deliver the maximum possible amount of affordable housing.
Press release ~ New guidance update on delivering affordable housing using Section 106 agreements
 
HSEKent Fire & Rescue Service have joined forces with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) & partners to help business benefit from a new & innovative support programme. Demand from small business in the South East prompted the creation of a new scheme, Estates Excellence, which addresses the health & safety needs of organisations on industrial estates in the Kent area.
 
The project starts with a 4-week programme of advice, training, workshops & lifestyle assistance that is set to tour the South East.  Following the initial phase of the programme, Estates Excellence will continue in the same location for a minimum of a year, giving further support & guidance.
 
Benefits of taking part in the scheme are that everything is free to the business, the advice addresses any risks within the workplace and participating often has the side effect of boosting the bottom line.  Businesses that can demonstrate their commitment and meet the Estates Excellence criteria will receive a Participation Award and will be entered in an open register of Estates Excellence businesses.
Press release ~ Estates Excellence
 
Newswire – GSCC: The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has launched the Grow Your Own (GYO) toolkit, a step-by-step guide to help students, employers & universities get the most out of GYO schemes.  GYO schemes are used by local authorities and the voluntary and private sectors to support their employees, or potential employees, to qualify as social workers.
 
The GYO toolkit has been jointly produced by the GSCC, the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London (KCL) and overseen by a partnership of key stakeholders.  It brings together the experience & knowledge of people who have run or participated in GYO schemes over many years.
Press release ~ General Social Care Council (GSCC) ~ Grow Your Own Social Workers: A Toolkit~ Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London (KCL) ~ Sir Alan Langlands' Gateways to the Professions (2005)
 
NICE: NICE has published final guidance that recommends the use of topotecan as a second line treatment for relapsed lung cancer and preliminary recommendations published for consultation that state that the use of bevacizumab for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer does not represent a cost-effective use of NHS resources.
Press release ~ Guidance on topotecan ~ Bevacizumab in combination with oxaliplatin and either 5FU or capecitabine for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer
 
CLG: The Planning Portal has launched a series of visual guides for the most common home improvement projects - extensions, loft conversions and porches.  The visual guides (which apply to England only) explain in simple terms the work householders can & cannot do under the new rules.  Extensions, loft conversions and porches fall under the permitted development regime, not requiring planning permission provided certain limits & conditions are met
Press release ~ Extensions ~ Loft Conversions ~ Porches
 
DfTNew safety ratings for motorcycle helmets have been published by Road Safety Minister Paul Clark. An extra 25 motorcycle helmets have been rated by SHARP - the Department for Transport's Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme - taking the total number of ratings published to 175. Paul Clark said: "If all riders wore the safest helmets available 50 lives could be saved each year”.  In addition, an independent report on SHARP has been published by the Transport Research Laboratory.
Press release ~ Technical Response to the Unpublished Paper 'Critical Evaluation of the SHARP Motorcycle Helmet Rating' by NJ Mills ~ Directgov - SHARP ~ DfT - Motorcycling ~ In Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents
 
BIS: Science Minister Lord Drayson dropped into a centre last week where teachers return to the classroom to transform their practical skills and inspire the scientists of tomorrow. The Minister saw how the Science Learning Centre East Midlands at the University of Leicester helps teachers to learn new knowledge & techniques to deliver science classes, which are even more exciting & relevant.

These include a multitude of hands-on practical challenges such as the ‘Cannon Fire’ demonstration which uses chemicals to produce explosive noises & flames or the ‘blue bottle experiment’ – where a clear liquid made up of 2 chemicals turns a dramatic Leicester City FC blue when shaken.
 
Since opening in 2004, more than 7,000 teachers, technicians & teaching assistants have graduated from the Science Learning Centre.  The SASP course has been running for chemistry since July and the centre plans to start offering a new one for physics from July 2010.
Press release ~ Science Learning Centres ~ Science Learning Centre East Midlands ~ Science - A specialism worth having
Reduced financial uncertainty for customers and significant financial savings for Councils.