Archives for December 20th, 2004

MORE CUTS ANNOUNCED IN NHS RED TAPE

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 December, 2004

More reductions are being made in the amount of information that NHS Trusts have to collect. The decision follows a data streamlining exercise conducted with Monitor, the Foundation Hospitals regulator, and the Healthcare Commission.Health Minister Lord Warner said following the study, 61 central data collections would be stopped or cut in size. The latest changes will mean that since April last year the burden of data collection has been reduced by a quarter for the NHS overall and by half for NHS Foundation Trusts. The changes are expected to mean 7.6 million pounds in savings for the NHS. Most of this money will come from recurrent savings that can be ploughed back into patient care.

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BENEFIT POLICIES NEED FLEXIBLE JOBS SAYS REPORT

Headlines, PublicNet: 20 December, 2004

Encouraging lone parents into work by adding more conditions on the benefits they receive will lead to improvements for children and the economy as a whole only if jobs are flexible and there is high-quality childcare available, according to a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research published today. It warns that unless there is more support for lone parents, conditions on benefits will put children at risk and increase hardship and poverty.”Sanctions and Sweeteners” assesses the Conservative Party’s proposals aimed at increasing employment amongst lone parents and draws on evidence from America. This, the report says, shows that forcing lone parents into work without improving their skills or career prospects can lock them into dead-end jobs and entrenched poverty. The researchers conclude that other European countries are in a better position to ensure that the demands of work do not lead to harmful side effects for children because they have better childcare and higher benefits.

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HOUSING AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

Book News, PublicNet: 20 December, 2004

By Natalie TarryThis report from the independent think-tank, the New Local Government Network, focuses on the key issues of the housing and sustainable communities agenda and examines whether the place where power and accountability currently rest is where they need to be in order to move forward. The new emphasis on localism alongside the emerging regional agenda suggests a fundamental shift in central – local government relations. The report recognises the need to strike a balance between national strategies and local challenges, but it argues for local solutions and not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

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