Archives for December 14th, 2004

SURVEY FINDS NHS FINANCE DEPARTMENTS UNDER STRAIN

Abstracts, PublicNet: 14 December, 2004

A survey by Hays Accountancy and Finance of senior managers found that NHS finance departments are feeling the strain as they try to cope with a succession of Department of Health initiatives. It found that 50-60 hour working weeks becoming the norm. More than half of the finance managers surveyed thought that they should have more help to implement initiatives such as shared services and payment by results and a similar number referred to a lack of support for Agenda for Change and Foundation Trust developments.Finance skills were found to be lacking within organisations, with a majority identifying investment and benchmarking, with a significant proportion pointing to commissioning and procurement. Business case development was lower in the list. Fewer than half said that their organisations had recently undertaken any form of analysis of the financial management skills required to deliver new initiatives. Only a handful mentioned any kind of external audit or consultancy.

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MORE MONEY FOR COUNCILS TO TACKLE HOMELESSNESS

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 December, 2004

Local authorities and the voluntary sector are to get an extra 60 million pounds to reduce the number of homeless people. The announcement has been made as the Government faces criticism over the increase in the number of homeless families living in temporary accommodation.Figures show that the number of homeless people is at a record 100,810, which represents a 123 per cent rise since the Government came to power in 1997. Shelter called on the Government to make a strong commitment to a coherent, effective strategy for tackling the problem and said this should be published as part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s forthcoming Five Year Plan.

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NEW FOCUS FOR WORK OF E-GOVERNMENT UNIT

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 December, 2004

More than nine out of ten government services will be available electronically by the end of 2005 according to a report from the Cabinet Office, which also shows that three quarters of those services are already online. As a result there is to be a shift in the focus of the work of the e-Government Unit.The report says the outlook for use of the services is also positive with transaction levels rising compared to traditional delivery methods such as such as face-to-face meetings or telephone transactions.

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