Archives for July 6th, 2001

SING WHEN YOU ARE WINNING

Book News, PublicNet: 6 July, 2001

A report by a think tank of local authority chief executives and senior managers, led by James Hehir, President of Solace and Chief Executive of Ipswich Borough Council, supported and sponsored by Zurich Municipal Management Services, BT and Oracle.The report offers practical guidance for implementing e-Government at a local level. It urges that e-government should be viewed as a fully integrated element of the thinking and activities of local councils. Changing the culture to achieve this involves re-examining the council’s vision, mission and values and devising strategies focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness. Sound business processes need to be adopted to examine the organisational structure and its work with local partners. The role and responsibilities of council managers need to be reviewed to ensure that the risks associated with any changes are properly managed. It warns of the need to understand the council’s capability and to examine how the council, its staff and infrastructure are able to cope with the demands of online service delivery.

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LOW COST PILOT CUTS CANCER WAITING TIME

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 July, 2001

A pilot cancer services collaborative project launched in November 1999 has saved 400 years of waiting time for patients suffering from breast, lung, bowel, prostate and ovarian cancers. The project was managed by the National Patients’ Access Team, part of the NHS Modernisation Agency. The team identified more than 200 ways of improving services to reduce waiting times for diagnosis and for treatment. Many of the improvements were achieved through redesigning services and relatively few new resources were required.The second national phase of the collaborative has been launched with a video and publication of a series of cancer service improvement guides. The video has been made by clinical teams and it aims to raise awareness among other clinicians about service improvement methods and the successes of the collaborative. It includes not only information about methods to improve services, but also the views of doctors, nurses and patients who know what it feels like to have been part of the cancer services collaborative.

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PROBATION SERVICE CHALLENGED TO IMPROVE ITS IMAGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 July, 2001

Home Office Minister Beverley Hughes has challenged the Probation Service to communicate with communities, explain what they do and why it matters. The challenge reflects concern that the restructured Service has a steep hill to climb in regaining public confidence. A crime survey disclosed that 25% of people in the UK view the Service as poor or very poor. This view is shared by Ministers and officials in Whitehall who consider that it gives poor value for the 500 million pounds spent on it annually. Latest figures show that about half of prisoners re-offend within two years of release. There is a marked variation in performance between areas and last year more than one third of inspections revealed below standard performance.As Eithne Wallis approaches her first 100 days as the National Director of the Probation Service she set out her commitment to reform when she said: “Moving at some speed now is the redesign of our interventions and programmes, based on the evidence of ‘What Works’. Her task is to reduce the reconviction rates for offenders under probation supervision by five per cent by 2004. The five per cent reduction translates into one million fewer victims.

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