Archives for December 19th, 2001

GATE ZERO LAUNCHED TO LIMIT MAJOR PROJECT DISASTERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 December, 2001

The Gateway review system introduced earlier in the year for all major complex central government procurement projects across construction, IT and property management, has been supplemented by a business test. Projects must now meet all the criteria in the Gate Zero test before they can proceed to the Gateway. The Gateway is made up from five stages in the project process, starting with the business case through to identifying benefits.Gate Zero is a technique which tests the viability of projects at inception. The benefits claimed are that it ensures firm user and stakeholder support, that the project is in line with government strategy
and that resources are actually available. Failure to address these issues in the past has contributed to the many project disasters.

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PATIENT NUMBERS MASSAGE REVEALED

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 December, 2001

Some hospitals that cannot meet the target of treating all patients within 18 months are manipulating records to enhance their performance. The National Audit Office, which carried out a selective audit of a limited number of hospitals, found that false information about waiting time had been produced by nine NHS trusts. This would indicate that the malpractices revealed by the auditors are fairly widespread. It is estimated that some 6000 patients were affected and in some cases their condition may have deteriorated during the longer wait.The auditors found evidence of deliberate manipulation over as much as four years at some hospitals. Record manipulation was the most widespread practice and this was achieved by using a two list system. Different criteria were used for excluding patients from the ‘official list’ which provided the database for the performance information In some cases patients were only added to the official list one month before they were treated. In another case only urgent patients were included. Another hospital simply excluded patients from the list when they passed the 18 month wait time. Because offering a patient an appointment, rather than actually carrying out the treatment, legitimately met the waiting time rule, one hospital offered appointments at short notice and when they knew patients would be on holiday. . Amending patient records, for example about date of treatment, was another device use to conceal actual performance.

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GETTING ATTACHED; NEW ROUTES TO FULL EMPLOYMENT

Abstracts, PublicNet: 19 December, 2001

Fabian SocietyProgrammes such as the New Deal have concentrated on getting the unemployed into jobs. But vulnerable workers also need support in employment, to overcome the stratification and insecurity at the bottom end of the labour market.’Getting Attached’ sets out a policy agenda to achieve this next phase of welfare to work. Based on the idea of ‘attachment’ – helping people stick to employment, not just move into jobs – the report argues for a new strategy that provides ongoing support and training in periods of high employment and, in bad times, maintains individuals’ employability, keeping them in touch with the world of work.Most of all, as the clouds of an economic downturn gather, welfare to work has to become far better aligned with both business support and workforce development. In this way, it can start to become the centrepiece of strategies to create full employment and social justice.

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