Archives for March 26th, 2002

E-TENDERING PLANS BACK ON DRAWING BOARD

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 2002

The e-tendering pilot scheme launched by the Office for Government Commerce in July 2001 has been wound up. The pilot, involving ten government departments, was a web-based system for purchasing goods and services and it was designed to allow government departments to realize the benefits of e.commerce and help deliver the e.agenda. The plan envisaged the system being rolled out across all central departments. No reasons have been given for the wind-up but it is thought that the scheme was over complex covering too many departments and over ambitious.The benefits claimed for the electronic tendering scheme included a reduced paper trail on tendering exercises and labour intensive tasks, quick and accurate tender evaluation and reduced costs. It was estimated that over a four-year period there would be savings of 13m pounds for the taxpayer and 37m pounds for suppliers.

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CALL TO BOOST NHS STAFF MORALE

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 March, 2002

Low morale in the NHS is putting modernization plans at risk. This is the conclusion of research into the views of nurses, doctors, managers, therapists, care assistants and ancillary staff published by the King’s Fund. The two biggest causes of low morale are chronic staff shortages, which make working conditions difficult, and the strong perception among staff that their work is not valued. The Fund has called on the Government to act urgently to boost morale among NHS staff.Focus groups of staff and managers revealed that morale is lowest where staff feel their views are not heard by managers, especially where political imperatives prevail over local priorities. Many staff said training and development opportunities were denied them because shortages forced them to take extra shifts instead. The atmosphere created by these conditions made it is hard for staff to provide the best care for patients or to improve the quality of service they deliver.

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