Archives for November 19th, 2004

PUTTING PATIENTS IN THE ELECTRONIC CARE RECORD PICTURE

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 November, 2004

Moving the heath service from paper files, post-it notes and records left on trolleys, to an electronic patient record system has major implications for patient confidentiality. Although the current system has security weaknesses, the electronic record could pose a threat to some people and they need to know that if normal access to their record might cause them substantial damage or distress they can restrict access.In what is considered to be a long overdue move a national public awareness campaign is being launched next year to address the full range of issues posed by the implementation of the NHS Card Records Service. The purpose will be to raise patients’ awareness of their rights and how personal information can be used and shared within the health service.

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MORE STARS FOR SOCIAL SERVICES BUT POOR PERFORMERS CAUSE WORRY

Headlines, PublicNet: 19 November, 2004

Social services departments of 150 local councils have increased their star rating by 8 per cent compared to last year. Some two thirds of councils have been awarded two or three stars for their performance. But the figures published by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, which has taken over from the Social Service Inspectorate, reveal a disturbing picture at the lower performance levels. A one star rating was awarded to 40 councils and 8 councils were zero rated.Children’s services are expected to improve in 81 per cent of councils and this figure rises to 91 percent for adult services. The problems lie with almost one fifth of councils where improvements are less certain. There is a big gap between the best performing and worst performing councils. Margaret Hodge, Minister for Children said: “Poorly performing services are letting down children and this cannot be allowed to continue. We have taken new powers of intervention through the Children Act which will allow us to consider all possible solutions to help turnaround councils where the star ratings show consistent underperformance. We will look to agree and tailor our approach to individual circumstances and, where it is shown to be necessary, take whatever action is needed to improve services for children.”

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EXPERIENCING ETHNICITY: DISCRIMINATION AND SERVICE PROVISION

Features, PublicNet: 19 November, 2004

By Kusminder Chahal and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Much evidence is available to show a persistent lack of recognition of the circumstances of groups and individuals that make up minority ethnic communities and of the way they are often ignored in policy and practice responses. The authors have collated a picture of inappropriate services staffed by very few from the black and ethnic minority communities. They bring together lessons from a wide range of research projects and call for a response from policy-makers, service planners and practitioners.

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