Archives for September 29th, 2000

DSS STARTS MODERNISATION OF IT SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 September, 2000

The Department of Social Security has chosen ARCWAY as the preferred bidder for a contract to provide a network and office services for headquarters and local Benefit offices throughout the UK. ARCWAY is a consortium headed by BT that includes Bull Information Systems Ltd and Sema Group UK Ltd.A major weakness of the department’s IT systems is that different benefits are processed on different computers which do not talk to each other. One knock on effect of this is that staff in local council offices responsible for payment of housing benefit have extreme difficulty in verifying claims. It is estimated that the annual loss from fraudulent housing benefit claims is 900 million pounds. The proposed network and office services will make the verification of claims for all benefits simpler and quicker.

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CREDIT CARDS TO SPEND NEW HOSPITAL BUDGETS

Headlines, PublicNet: 29 September, 2000

An initiative is being launched to improve the environment of hospital wards with the creation of new budgets for ward sisters and a trial of bank-style credit cards. Ward environment budgets will be worth a minimum of 5,000 pounds in 2001/02 with 2500 pounds being made available for the remainder of the current financial year.The budget can be spent on whatever the nurse managers’ consider will best enhance patient care or improve the working lives of staff. This includes improvements and repairs to the ward itself, medical and non-medical equipment, and consumables. The one restriction is the budgets cannot be spent on staff pay costs, or other staff related costs, such as training.

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