Archives for August 2004

NO MORE PUBLIC-PRIVATE DIVIDE IN JOB CHOICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 August, 2004

Fewer people now regard a career in the public sector as a ‘job for life’ and there is now little to choose between the long-term security of working in the public or private sector according to the results of a new survey.The employment study by staffing services company, Select Appointments found a large number of jobseekers had no preference between working in the public services or in business, an indication, the company says that people now take jobs on their individual merit rather than basing a decision on which sector the job is in.

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PAY GAP MAY EXPLAIN NORTHERN HOSPITALS’ BETTER PERFORMANCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 27 August, 2004

University researchers say NHS hospitals in the North of England are performing better than those in the South under the star ratings system and that this can be explained by regional differences in the gap between public and private sector pay.Analysis by the Centre for Market and Public Organisation, based at the University of Bristol and released today indicates that hospitals in areas where nurses are paid relatively well compared with the private sector score higher on a range of performance targets.

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Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Features, PublicNet: 27 August, 2004

By Tony Martin The introduction over the next five years of the NHS National Programme for IT is prompting trusts to think hard about different ways to manage IT. The challenge is to manage the different systems which have grown up over the years as a single entity. A situation which is common across the public sector. The author describes an approach that was adopted to meet the challenge.

THE CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME – THE FACTS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 26 August, 2004

This publication provides an introduction to the capacity building programme in local government. It explains how it works and who can access it. The programme aims to encourage ‘whole council’ approaches to driving improvement focusing on developing councils’ corporate capacity, for example around leadership, people management, performance management and support for generic skills such as procurement. Capacity building is delivered through a range of national projects from which councils can pick and choose as well as providing opportunities to access specific individually tailored and regionally tailored support.The two key streams of the national programmes are middle manager development and induction for new councillors. There are seven regional projects underway focusing on developing improvement networks and regional partnerships, member development and training, and performance management. There are also 18 pilot projects covering a range of themes including, pooling resources and integrating services, developing leadership skills, middle management development, developing performance and change management systems, and supporting two tier working.

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AGENCIES WARN OF THREAT TO SUCCESS OF CHILDREN BILL

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 August, 2004

Organisations working with children in a range of fields have claimed that planned legislation designed to improve children’s life chances risks failure as it does not give schools a duty to participate in the arrangements it sets out. The 15 organisations are calling for the loophole to be closed so the new ways of working set out in the Children Bill can succeed.The coalition includes bodies representing directors of education and children’s services, school governors, directors of social services and chief police officers as well as the Local Government Association, charities, the NHS Confederation and the National Children’s Bureau.

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CONCERNS RAISED OVER FUTURE OF MEDICAL EDUCATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 26 August, 2004

Doctors’ leaders have raised concerns about the future education of medical students after a report revealed that most young doctors have never considered careers in teaching and research. The report from the British Medical Association warns that recruitment of medical academics is at an all time low and there may soon be too few to provide adequate education for the increasing number of medical students.The findings are published in ‘Medical Academic Career Intentions’, a report based on the results of the BMA’s annual study of doctors who began their careers in 1995. The results give no cause for optimism that the decline will be reversed in the short term. Only a quarter of doctors surveyed said they had even thought about academic careers.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY HELPS TO KEEP DRIVERS SAFE

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 August, 2004

The latest technology is playing an important part in helping to keep drivers safe and well informed during the busy holiday travel period, according to the Highways Agency. It is using around 2,000 variable message signs and says they are a vital tool in its effort to protect drivers and give them the best possible information.The VMS signs give drivers up-to-the-minute information on driving conditions and the road ahead so that if, for example, there is an accident the Agency can use the system to alert drivers and divert traffic away onto alternative routes. The Highways Agency is also using VMS to remind drivers of key safety issues, using messages that are targeted to be relevant at certain times of the year or on certain routes.

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REPORT SAYS PRIVATE HEALTH INSURERS FAIL TO COVER CANCER TREATMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 25 August, 2004

A report published today claims private health insurers are failing to cover vital cancer treatment and that in some cases treatment is being withdrawn suddenly, often at a critical time, when patients are at their most vulnerable. It has been produced by the cancer information charity CancerBACUP.The charity surveyed 14 private medical insurers. Of the eight that responded, including all the UK’s largest insurers covering more than two thirds of the PMI market, the charity found that only BUPA covered cancer patients throughout the course of their illness.

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PARTNERSHIP WORKING IN RURAL REGENERATION: GOVERNANCE AND EMPOWERMENT?

Book News, PublicNet: 25 August, 2004

By B Edwards, M Goodwin, S Pemberton and M Woods.This report presents the findings of a two-year research project which analysed rural partnerships operating in mid-Wales and Shropshire. It describes and analyses partnership management and development within rural regeneration. It offers guidance, a local viewpoint and experience, and checklists that highlight appropriate issues alongside local case studies. These issues relate to both the practice of participants in partnership working, and wider policies. The guidance is supported by six case studies which describe issues of good practice, selection of partners, community representation, committee structures, and key factors associated with working in partnership.

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COMMUNICATING COMMUNITY SAFETY INITIATIVES

Abstracts, PublicNet: 24 August, 2004

As a result of the Crime and Disorder Act local authorities need to consider crime and community safety in most decisions they make. This module looks at how to communicate council initiatives on community safety. It includes tips and useful resources for putting together a communication strategy aimed at different target groups, some key facts and figures on how important crime and the fear of crime are as issues for local residents, and advice on achieving effective crime reduction by communicating in partnership with other organisations. It also gives a range of case study examples of different campaigns aimed at tackling various parts of a crime prevention strategy.Available from Home Office Communication Strategy Unit, on 020 7273 4268.

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