Archives for November 9th, 2000

PROMISING PROSPECTS

Book News, PublicNet: 9 November, 2000

Joint Review of Social ServicesThe review highlights key messages for councils which reviewers believe should be adopted if the improvement in social services is to continue. It urges building on existing partnerships to increase the amount of joint working and developing robust activity data to help in a better understanding of performance as well as to better manage workloads. The review revealed a weakness across councils in moving from planning to implementation. There is concern about the speed with which internal Best Value reviews are implemented. The Review team found that whilst all councils have good intentions to make changes and improve services, what differentiates them is their ability to put ideas into practice.

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MARKETING THE FIGHT AGAINST RURAL CRIME

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 November, 2000

Levels of rural crime such as burglary and vehicle crime are falling, but the fear of rural crime is growing. The Home Office is urging police forces to market their fight against crime, which is much lower than in urban areas, by adopting measures which are visible to the public, as well as being effective in crime prevention and detection.A key feature of the measures the Home Office is urging on police forces is locating an officer where people congregate or at a crime hot spot. Mobile police stations are proving effective in both preventing crime and in reassuring the public that the police are both active and effective. They can be located for example on housing estates or in villages or shopping centres. Only one officer with a lap top computer is required to staff them and in addition to a small office they have a ‘cage’ for the detention of prisoners.

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CULTURE SHOCK HITS OUTPATIENT WAITING LISTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 November, 2000

The health service waiting list culture has been shaken by a project to improve the management of outpatient processes. The eleven hospitals taking part were supported in developing new ways of working and staff were trained in new skills. No additional resources were given to the hospitals. The result was a substantial improvement in performance.The hospitals making up the project group were selected because they had the largest growth in waiting list numbers and they occupied the bottom places in the national league table. Teams from the hospitals spent one day each month with the National Patients Access Team where they planned activities for the month, reported progress and were trained in analysing and modelling patient demand. The project adopted the ‘shock’ approach to unfreeze attitudes and create a confidence that improvement was possible. Following the first meeting of the teams a deadline of three days was set for implementation of the action they had agreed. All but one of the hospitals met the deadline.

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