Archives for January 14th, 2005

EVALUATING SUPPORT FOR YOUNG FAMILIES UNDER STRESS

Features, PublicNet: 14 January, 2005

By Colette McAuley, Martin Knapp, Jennifer Beecham, Nyree McCurry and Michelle Sleed, Supporting parents is central to the government’s approach to improving children’s lives. However, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of family support services. The authors evaluated Home-Start, one of the largest family support organisations in the UK, established over thirty years ago. They describe the outcome of volunteer home visiting support to families with children under five and compare the findings with families who did not receive support.



CONSULTING THE PUBLIC ONLINE

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 January, 2005

The ground-braking pilot of an e-Democracy National Project to engage the public in dialogue has gone live in Bristol. Based around a standalone website, http://www.askbristol.com/  , the e-panel is an interactive way to consult a wide range of citizens on important issues. The pilot is testing discussion forums, surveys, live chats and discussions with experts. The theme for the venture is a consultation on the city centre – has it got better or worse over the last five years and what should be the top priorities for the future. Wolverhampton City Council will launch a second pilot today with a discussion on the best and the worst about life in Wolverhampton. The e-Democracy project is one of 23 centrally funded National Projects developing e-solutions and products that all local authorities can adopt if they wish to do so.Other applications within the e-Democracy National Project include: online surgeries for councillors/MPs, national councillors database, E-enabled citizens’ panels and SMS broadcasting about local government activities. The projects seek to deliver the benefits of better decision-making; increased participation and stronger bonds between the citizen, their council and their representative.

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DO IT YOURSELF HEALTHCARE

Headlines, PublicNet: 14 January, 2005

The NHS has launched a campaign to encourage people to manage their own health problems with support from professionals. The blueprint for self management, ‘Supporting People with Long Term Conditions – Improving Care, Improving Lives’, describes the benefits of adopting a proactive approach towards general healthcare. The document is aimed at the 17 million people with asthma, diabetes and other long-term conditions, which cannot be cured, but can be treated with drugs and therapy. It also gives guidance for people with minor ailments and for those who want to improve their lifestyles.Changes within the NHS will seek to embed a self care strategy in the organisation to foster the empowerment of patients and the public who have not sought any professional help. The NHS will also make increasing use of more traditional self care support programmes, such as nurse-led classes educating newly diagnosed patients about their condition. Support for the self care strategy will also come from the new service “NHS Direct Interactive” which was launched last month. It has about 3000 pages of health, self care and NHS services information and advice in text and pictures, plus a variety of video clips. It is available to nearly 8 million households just by pressing the “interactive” button on their TV remote.

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