Archives for January 19th, 2004

PARTNERSHIPS PROMOTE FITNESS IN SCOTLAND

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 January, 2004

Partnerships of health service, local government, voluntary groups and local citizens across Scotland are working to encourage people to be more active. The initiative is being steered by the Scottish Executive which believes that as a nation Scotland is inactive, unfit and increasingly overweight. The health of two thirds of the Scottish adult population is thought to be at risk from physical inactivity, making it the most common risk factor for coronary heart disease.A physical activities co-ordinator oversees the programme to ensure an integrated approach nationally and locally. The aim is to ensure that people are made more aware of the opportunities and support available to increase their activity levels. New Opportunities Funding is providing for the appointment of active living co-ordinators responsible for working with the local community. The schemes allow GP’s, other health professionals, social workers, community pharmacists and voluntary organisations to refer individuals who would benefit from exercise.

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PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS BECOMING MORE ATTRACTIVE

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 January, 2004

As more staff are taken on to meet Government pledges to improve services, the public sector is increasingly seen as a good place to work. A survey by Manpower shows public sector organisations lead the way in offering benefits, such as time off in lieu, flexi time and working from home, to promote work life balance. Andy Williams, Director of Operations for Manpower said: “Although most organisations have good work/life balance benefit policies in place, the public sector tops work life balance policies offered in other sectors. As a result, it is succeeding in attracting quality employees and is retaining its workforce.”The manpower quarterly survey of employment prospects showed the Net Employment Outlook for the public sector is +11%. This is the balance of employers forecasting to take on more staff. The comparative figure for the private sector is 9%. Education and health are among the sub categories predicting increased demand for staff.

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INNOVATION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

Abstracts, PublicNet: 19 January, 2004

This working paper by the Strategy Unit, in the Cabinet Office, sets out a framework for thinking and action by public sector organisations in promoting successful innovation, and its implementation. It argues that innovation, new ideas that work, should be a core activity of the public sector because it helps public services to improve performance and increase public value, to respond to the expectations of citizens and adapt to the needs of users. It also increases service efficiency and minimize costs. Barriers to innovation include a culture of risk aversion, and a focus on short-term delivery pressures.The paper looks at how innovations originate from minor incremental changes such as using technology for processes, through radical change, such as SureStart to transformational change such as a primary care led NHS. It urges public bodies to develop a dissident culture in which organisational rulebreaking is encouraged and managed. Innovation means breaking rules and new discoveries often depend on suspending logic.

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