Archives for July 2004

PUBLIC BODIES LEAD WAY ON HEALTH OF WELSH WORKFORCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 July, 2004

Two local health boards and the a fire service are leading the way in Wales in protecting and promoting the health of their staff. Bridgend and Wrexham Health Boards and the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have received gold awards to mark their achievement.

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DOCTORS RAISE DOUBTS OVER ID CARD PLANS

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 July, 2004

Doctors’ representatives are concerned that introducing identity cards may exclude vulnerable groups from receiving medical treatment. The British Medical Association is asking for clarification on a number of issues it believes have been raised by proposals for an ID card system, although it has acknowledged that such a system may have benefits in providing a straightforward way to assess a patient’s eligibility to healthcare.

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VITALITY THROUGH LOCALITY – LESSONS FROM SUFFOLK AND LEWISHAM

Book News, PublicNet: 26 July, 2004

sBy Anna Randle, Natalie Arend and Kamal Pachal.As new powers are awarded to local government locality working will take on a greater significance. This report identifies the challenge of locality working as developing a viable relationship between local initiatives and the needs of the wider community. It highlights practical lessons drawn from the experiences of Suffolk and Lewisham councils and explores how their governance is responding to distinct and diverse communities. The report offers valuable lessons on the effectiveness and versatility of locality working and helps bring a practical edge to important debates about New Localism.

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PUBLIC SECTOR TOLD TO LEAD WAY ON EQUALITY FOR DISABLED PEOPLE

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 July, 2004

The public sector has been told it must lead the way in changing attitudes and making the rights of disabled people a top priority. The Minister for Disabled People, Maria Eagle, has called on the sector to deliver a programme of change and said she wanted to see real commitment from public bodies to be leaders both as employers and as service providers.As a new document – “Delivering Equality for Disabled People” – went out to consultation, the minister said, “The public sector has a key role to play in making sure that the rights and opportunities of disabled people are not ignored.”

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AGENCY TO HELP COUNCILS WITH NEW PLANNING LAWS

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 July, 2004

The Improvement and Development Agency is taking on a new role to help local authorities implement legislation that will replace the current system of local plans and assist them in coping with large-scale developments. The Agency is setting up a Planning Advisory Service and recruitment advertisements for the manager of the new service will appear soon.The plan making system is set to change under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. It sets out the need for a regional spatial strategy for each part of England and for Local Development Documents to replace local plans, unitary development plans and structure plans. The new system will adopt a spatial planning approach, which goes beyond traditional land use planning and brings together policies for the development and use of land with others that influence the nature of places and how they work.

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PROFILE: MARKET MANAGER

Features, PublicNet: 23 July, 2004

Public service offers a bewildering array of jobs which present an unequalled range of challenges and call for a profusion of skills. Managing market services in a local council is well away from the centre stage of public service, but in many ways is typical of the less familiar roles. So who does a job like this? What contribution can be made to society? These and other questions are answered in the profile.

NEW RULES ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON ENVIRONMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 July, 2004

The Government is planning changes to the Environmental Information Regulations that would give people a right to request details of any environmental information held by a public authority. The proposed amendment to the regulations would allow access to information on a range of environmental issues by strengthening the existing rules.The amended regulations will mean information can be withheld only in cases where the public interest for refusal of access clearly outweighed the public interest in disclosure. There will also be exceptions for information which has been supplied voluntarily and for personal information covered by the Data Protection Act.

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BIG CHANGES IN NHS ‘ARM’S LENGTH’ BODIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 23 July, 2004

The number of National Health Service bodies working at arm’s length from the Department of Health is to be virtuallty halved under plans to save at least 500 million pounds in funding and to increase the resources that can be channelled directly to patient care.The Health Secretary John Reid set out the details in a statement naming the bodies that will be merged, abolished or see their functions streamlined. It is the second stage of the Department of Health’s changes to the way it works with stakeholders in the health and social care system.

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INNOVATION FORUM

Abstracts, PublicNet: 22 July, 2004

The Innovation Forum was created to promote dialogue between central and local government and its partners, on new ways of working to deliver better services to local communities. The Forum is ‘jointly owned’ by central Government and the councils with excellent Comprehensive Performance Assessment scores. The role of the Forum is to develop, explore and test new ways of working to deliver improved outcomes for local people.For central Government, the proven capacity of the excellent councils provides a valuable resource to draw upon in developing new policy around shared local and national priorities. For local government, the Forum provides an opportunity to work jointly with central Government to implement innovative arrangements to improve outcomes in the delivery of services at the frontline and to contribute to central policy development. The work of the Forum is of potential benefit everywhere as the learning from pilots will be shared with the rest of local government and its partners.

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WORK LIFE BALANCE LURES DOCTORS TO GENERAL PRACTICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 July, 2004

More young doctors are choosing general practice because jobs in hospitals are less likely to include opportunities to work part time, according to a study by the British Medical Association. The research also raises concerns about patient care when limits on junior doctors’ hours come into operation in less than two weeks’ time.The BMA’s cohort study of students who graduated in medicine in 1995 reveals a generation of doctors who want better balance between life and work. A quarter of the 490 doctors taking part in the survey are already working part-time and a further 45 per cent would like to in the future.

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