Archives for December 7th, 2004

NEW APPROACH TO ASSESSING HEALTHCARE

Abstracts, PublicNet: 7 December, 2004

The Healthcare Commission is seeking comments on its proposals for assessing the NHS and the independent healthcare sector in 2005/06 and beyond. The consultation document Assessment for improvement outlines the proposed approach which seeks to address issues that matter to patients, the public, clinicians and healthcare managers. It emphasises improvement and better outcomes and takes account of existing and new NHS targets and new standards for healthcare set by the Government. The Commission wants to know whether people believe that organisations are getting the basics right, with more emphasis on development and improvement in future years. It also wants views on its aim to make assessment less of a burden for those being inspected, including coordinating work with other bodies carrying out inspection and regulation.The consultation document is available at:

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TECHNOLOGY BOOSTS RECYCLING

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 2004

A radical new approach to recycling household waste has been launched by the supermarket chain Tesco. The machine, which was built in Norway, uses space technology, including infrared spectroscopes and a real time camera, to scan and sort plastic, glass and aluminium and crushes them to maximise use of space. It promises to be faster, cleaner and more efficient than recycling units currently in use. It will be on trial at Tesco’s Winchester store and, depending upon customer feedback, it will be rolled out to other stores across the country. This new development has the potential to move the emphasis on recycling household waste away from doorstep collection by the local council towards customers transporting it to the supermarket as part of the shopping routine.Secretary of State for Environment, Margaret Beckett said she hoped that the new facilities would attract people who typically don’t recycle and welcomed Tesco’s move to encourage its customers to recycle more. It is hoped that the new machine will help to boost local recycling rates and attract new recyclers. Currently, 16 per cent of household waste is recycled in Winchester. A nation wide survey showed that nine out of ten people would recycle if it was easier to do so, and it is hoped that the new facility will attract a new generation of recyclers and encourage those who already do, to recycle more.

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COUNCILS ON TARGET TO DELIVER E-GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 7 December, 2004

IT managers in local councils are upbeat about their ability to deliver e-Government services. A survey by their representative body, SOCITM, shows an optimistic attitude to improving citizen access to services and also to delivering higher quality services. Most councils believe they will have created appropriate infrastructure and bought the software needed to provide multi channel access by 2005. Managers are very positive about the level of performance improvement that could be achieved if ICT was fully exploited.SOCITM estimates that spending in 2004 will total almost 2.7 billion pounds, a 10% increase on last year. Councils are reporting planned increases in spending again in 2005/6. Revenue and capital spending on IT are both expected to rise, capital spending by 15% to almost £700 million with big investment in specific service areas.

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