Archives for August 2nd, 2004

HEALTH SERVICE OMBUDSMAN

Book News, PublicNet: 2 August, 2004

The Ombudsman’s annual report on the health service highlights poor communication between staff and patients as the root cause of many complaints. The cases selected for publication in the report provide examples of what went wrong and what should be done to prevent mistakes happening again. They are taken from a range of healthcare settings across England. The cases included reveal poor planning for the care of patients leaving hospital and a lack of involvement for the family and carers, nursing care which doesn’t meet the needs of patients and GP deputising services which are inadequate, sometimes with serious consequences. There are also examples of poor complaint handling by NHS trusts.Ombudsman’s Annual Report, HSC Selected Cases 2003-2004 HC 704, is available at: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

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BIG-SPENDING MINISTERS ‘UNMOVED’ BY STEPS TO JOINED-UP FUNDING

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 August, 2004

The Local Democracy think tank the Local Government Information Unit has welcomed the commitment from the Deputy Prime Minister to creating a “shared vision” for central and local government working together on improving public services over the next ten years – but it says the key to the future of local democracy is still the reform of finance and that has been unnecessarily delayed.The LGIU has praised the launch of new pilot Local Area Agreements as a first sign of the new shared approach. It says the scheme of nine pilots announced could evolve into a major step forward in public service reform and one that recognises the unique role of local government in that reform.

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BRITAIN ‘FAR FROM FAIR’ SAYS AUDIT ON INJUSTICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 August, 2004

A special ‘state of the nation’ assessment of social injustice in Britain says the Government has been good on poverty but not so good on inequality, better on income inequality than on wealth inequality, has helped working parents but done less for poor people without children and although it has worked to cut crime the poorest are still more likely to suffer crime and the fear of crime.The study is published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research, ten years after its groundbreaking Commission on Social Justice, which was set up at the request of the late John Smith. The new audit is the first part of ippr’s work on Rethinking Social Justice, a project assessing how Britain has changed since the 1994 Commission and setting out new policy directions for the decade ahead. The report says Britain has become fairer in the last ten years, with increased employment rates. The commitment to reducing child poverty has been successful so far and the nation is healthier, living longer and experiencing far less crime than a decade ago.

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