Policy Statements and Initiatives

ScotGov: The way in which Scotland tackles animal disease outbreaks is being reviewed to ensure the country maintains its position as a quality meat producer at home & abroad. As part of a rolling process of assessment, the Scottish Government has commissioned a review of how information on disease spread is gathered & monitored.
 
In addition the Scottish Government has published its Exotic Animal Disease Contingency Framework Plan, consolidating previous plans for avian influenza and FMD. It has also separately published a template to help farmers produce site specific contingency plans for exotic animal diseases for pig & poultry businesses with associated advice to ensure the industry is fully prepared should an outbreak of disease occur.
Press release ~ Review of Veterinary Surveillance ~ Exotic Animal Diseases Contingency Framework Plan ~ SEARS ~ Contingency Plan for the Outbreak of a Notifiable Disease ~ NFUScotland ~ Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society Ltd (SAOS)
 
BIS: The Government has announced plans for a new UK Life Sciences Super Cluster, supported by £1m of Government investment.  Bringing together industry, academia & the NHS, it will help deliver the next generation of medicines and technologies needed to support people suffering from chronic diseases.
 
At its heart will be the creation of Therapeutic Capability Clusters.  These will be one-stop-shops for the UK’s top research in specific fields.  They will bring together academic & NHS centres of excellence, which will work with industry to harness the UK’s expert capabilities and work on early stage clinical development and experimental medicine.
 
The new LSS Cluster will be kick-started later in 2010 with a pilot in immunology & inflammation focussing on disease areas such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Press release ~ Life Sciences 2010: Delivering the Blueprint (VLF 3Mb) ~ Life Sciences Blueprint - statement ~ Economic analysis (VLF 2.8Mb) ~ Progress against the recommendations in ‘Review and Refresh of Bioscience 2015’ ~ UK Life Sciences ~ The Times: Patent Box ~ Patent Box in a nutshell ~ RegenMed programme ~ Technology Strategy Board (TSB) ~ Innovation Pass ~ Office for Life Sciences
 
DefraDefra’s new Evidence Investment Strategy (EIS), provides an agenda to prioritise & manage Defra’s investment in evidence from 2010 to 2013.  It highlights the need to focus efforts on climate change, protecting ecosystems and developing a sustainable food supply.  The strategy is intended to ensure that Defra has access to the best evidence when developing policies.
Press release ~ Defra's evidence investment strategy 2013 and beyond
 
DCSF: Schools Minister, Iain Wright, has claimed that a new taskforce will ‘ensure skilled & motivated careers professionals give all young people high-quality advice'. The Careers Profession Taskforce, led by Dame Ruth Silver, chair of the Learning & Skills and Improvement Service, will report its findings to Government in summer 2010.
 
Iain Wright also announced that 3 regional roadshow ‘Big Conversation’ events will take place to encourage dozens more employers to offer more & better work experience placements.  They will be held in partnership with Business in the Community in Leeds on 12 February; in Nottinghamon 16 March; and in Manchester on 18 March 2010.
Press release ~ Learning and Skills and Improvement Service ~ Business in the Community ~ Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)
 
WAG: The Wales Assembly Government plans to provide more support for carers. This is the first time the WAG will have used its additional powers, following approval of the Carers LCO on 17 November 2009.  This proposed Measure seeks to provide accessible, relevant and up-to-date information to help carers in undertaking their caring role and for NHS & local authorities to consult carers before making decisions about the provision of services to carers and the people they care for.
 
The proposed Measure embraces all services provided by the NHS and local authorities such as social services, housing and education.  It also applies to directly provided services or contracted out services, such as GP services contracted to Health Boards.  
 
Whilst the proposed Measure covers young carers, it does not address the issue of young carers carrying an inappropriate burden of care.  This endorses the views received from the Carers Measure Stakeholder Advisory Group that young carers are children first and that their particular needs would be more appropriately addressed through the WAG’s Children and Families Measure and its policies to address child poverty and through the Children and Young Persons Strategies.
Press release ~ WAG: Carers ~ Carers Wales ~ Carers LCO ~ Young Carers ~ WAG: Children and Families Measure
 
DHBritain’s Got Talent winners Diversity are joining forces with the Department of Health to launch a Government campaign to get kids boogying for a healthier future across the country. The ‘Let’s Dance with Change4Life’ campaign will ‘see the whole nation getting down with free taster dance classes across the country’.
 
Kids will have the chance to win a dance workshop with Diversity, as well as opening up free dance classes to everyone for the a national weekend of dance in March 2010, sponsored by Change4Life partner, the Fitness Industry Association.
 
Kids across the UK will be copying the group’s moves from an online guide.  To enter the competition they simply need to film and upload their dance routines.  Diversity will then choose their favourite entry who will join them for an exclusive dance workshop and win tickets to their tour.  Tickets & merchandise are also up for grabs for runners up.  The best videos will be showcased on the Change4Life YouTube channel,
Press release ~ ‘Let’s Dance with Change4Life’ ~ Fitness Industry Association ~ Change4Life YouTube channel ~ Diversity ~ DH: Change for Life
 
DCSF: The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Zero Carbon Task Force (ZCTF), which last week published its report on what needs to be done to cut the carbon footprint of schools across England.
Press release ~ Zero Carbon Task Force (ZCTF) final report, including case studies ~ Register online for a free Energy Display Meter for Schools ~ Eco-schools - England ~ National Energy Foundation – Green Schools
 
DH: A new campaign backed by major health charities will warn drinkers of the unseen health damage caused by regularly drinking more than the NHS advises. The £6m Government funded campaign shows the damage that is being done to drinkers’ organs while they are drinking in a pub or at home. A new website features interactive tools to arm people with the information they need to make healthier choices.
 
A new YouGov poll launched to coincide with the campaign shows that 55% of English drinkers misguidedly believe that alcohol only damages your health if you regularly get drunk or binge drink. Although 86% of drinkers surveyed knew that drinking alcohol is related to liver disease, far fewer realised it is also linked with breast cancer (7%), throat cancer (25%), mouth cancer (28%), stroke (37%) and heart disease (56%), along with other serious conditions.
Press release ~ Campaign website ~ WHO: Comparative quantification of health risks
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