Archives for March 2005

CREATING A PATIENT- LED NHS

Book News, PublicNet: 31 March, 2005

This document from the Department of Health sets out the ambition to change the system of healthcare so that there is more choice, more personalised care, real empowerment of people to improve their health and a fundamental change in relationships between patients and professionals. This involves moving from a service that does things to and for its patients to one which is patient led, where the service works with patients to support them with their health needs.To achieve this ambition there needs to be feedback and learning on a service wide basis. It needs to involve patients, professionals and partner organisations. It also needs to be done locally while being brought together nationally. The National Leadership Network for Health and Social Care will play a key role in taking forward the work, collecting feedback and shaping the way change is implemented. The full proposals will be published shortly in a Green Paper.

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IMPROVING EDUCATION THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 March, 2005

The Department for Education and Skills plans to use partnership working as a lever to improve educational standards.There are already many examples of successful partnerships within educational networks, with schools and colleges working together, and between the networks and other parts of the public, private and voluntary sectors. The DfEE wants to build on these examples.The newly published Education Improvement Partnerships prospectus sets out a framework for collaboration in the education service.Areas for collaboration include Learning Partnerships which promote a culture of provider collaboration across sectors, such as schools, Further Education based learning and adult and community learning, covering post-16 learning.The partners include voluntary groupings of local learning providers and others such as local government, Connexions/Careers Service, trade unions, employers and faith groups.

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UNIONS TRADE FLEXIBILITY FOR INVESTMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 31 March, 2005

The Office of Public Services Reform has announced agreement with trade unions on new principles that will underpin future public service pay and workforce modernisation negotiations. In return for increased workplace flexibility and adaptability the Government has promised greater investment in skills and action on equal pay, pension reform and systems of pay incentives. The agreement, which has been reached in the Public Services Forum, provides a framework for future development of pay and reward systems across all the public services.Cabinet Office Minister David Miliband, who chairs the Public Service Forum, said: ‘The principles of the agreement support the drive for pay and workforce modernisation to deliver fairness at work and better, more efficient public services. Higher quality jobs and improved working lives should go hand in hand with greater workforce flexibility to improve citizens’ experience of local services’.

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MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN

Abstracts, PublicNet: 30 March, 2005

This report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development presents research finding that show over 40% of reorganisations fail to meet their change objectives. This is despite the fact that major change occurs approximately once every three years. The report has been designed to provide practical ideas, tools and tips for organisations on how to influence and implement restructuring and change effectively. The report uses the practical experiences of 11 large organisations that have undergone change and been involved in the research over a 3-year period. It uses these case studies to provide guidance on the tailoring approaches to suit the goals of the organisation.The report highlights a tendency for organisations to focus on the end rather than the means when approaching change. But this only leads to failure. The whole process must be considered when approaching reorganisation, from the communication and development of change to the end result. It is far safer to create a small change that can be implemented successfully over time.

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MORE HEALTH CARE GOING LOCAL

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 March, 2005

GPs are to be given new freedoms to deliver a wider range of services on patients’ doorsteps as a result of a new programme launched by the Department for Health. This move of services from hospitals to primary care trusts will extend the provision of medical tests and local care for diabetes, asthma and arthritis and it is now planned to bring in radiographers, physiotherapists and community nurses to enable delivery of a wider range of services locally.In addition to giving GPs greater freedom to procure more services for their patients, the programme will also provide additional GPs and primary care professionals to treat patients in areas where there is limited GP availability. Inequalities in the numbers of GPs across the country often mean that places with the greatest need have the lowest number of doctors. The programme could see the opening of new GP practices in deprived areas. The aim is to ensure that every patient has access to a GP when they need one. The programme is designed to make this happens, especially in deprived areas that are currently under-doctored.

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COUNCILS JOIN UP FOR PROCURING SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 30 March, 2005

The London Boroughs of Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark, Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley have formed a partnership to procure services for the Supporting People programme. They have signed a contract with Exor Management Services who will carry out the accreditation of suppliers on their behalf. Exor will make sure that some 270 housing associations, voluntary agencies individuals and companies who supply housing related support have a track record of quality and delivery and are financially viable.The Supporting People programme was launched in April 2003 to provide a better quality of life for vulnerable people to live more independently and maintain their tenancies. The programme provides housing related support to prevent problems that can often lead to hospitalisation; institutional care or homelessness and can help the smooth transition to independent living for those leaving an institutionalised environment. The programme is delivered locally by 150 Administering Authorities with over 6,000 suppliers. Nationally there are some 37,000 individual contracts.

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MILLION POUND SCHEME FOR LIBRARY SERVICES IN WALES

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

A million pound scheme has been launched in Wales to improve access to library services and to promote partnership working between different kinds of library services. The project is designed to put libraries at the heart of the community. The news comes only two days after a report from the Tavistock Institute detailed the impact that ICT training for library staff could have on the future of library services.The Welsh scheme includes plans to make library catalogues available online so that both users and staff can locate books and other resources held by libraries throughout Wales. This would also mean giving the public direct access to resources held in other libraries.

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SECURING BETTER OUTCOMES: DEVELOPING A NEW PERFORMANCE FRAMEWORK

Book News, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

This discussion paper published jointly by ODPM and the Treasury is an essential part of the ‘Local Vision’ which is taking a long view of where local government is going. It examines the development of a more effective and flexible performance framework to secure public services that are better focused on the needs of local people. It is intended to stimulate debate around developing a more devolved approach to improving outcomes across local government. It emphasises opportunities for users and local people to influence local priorities and the design and delivery of services.The paper presents a vision of reduced bureaucracy through a more coherent approach to managing performance, more flexibility to enable faster and better tailored responses to local circumstances with greater potential for developing an increasingly area based approach between councils and their partners. It also stresses the importance of strategic, integrated relationship management through Government Offices to tailor negotiations, co-ordinate engagement, and challenge and respond to significant under-performance.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS OFFERED CHANCE TO SHAPE FUTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

Community and voluntary organisations are being offered a chance to shape the future of local government. They have been urged to use their position to drive forward decision making at a local level and help ensure the effective delivery of services.The call has come from Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford in urging groups to contribute to the Local Vision debate – the Government-led discussion on a ten year strategy for the future for local government. It is looking into issues such as the role of local authorities in community leadership and how involvement and participation in neighbourhoods can be increased.

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PUBLIC SECTOR FEARS OVER IT COMPLIANCE – BUT GPs BREAK NEW GROUND

Headlines, PublicNet: 24 March, 2005

Almost three-quarters of public sector IT managers are concerned that their organisations may not be complying fully with relevant legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act, according to research commissioned by Dell. Six out of ten of those questioned said the steep increase in the amount of legislation was the main reason for their lack of confidence over compliance.Other factors cited by the IT managers were lack of awareness, lack of time and lack of understanding. The research shows the problem exists across the public sector, including government departments, education and health. The results come as the Department for Health announced that the National Programme for IT will become an agency of the Department of Health from April and will be re-named Connecting for Health. Family doctors are also to get a greater choice of computer systems.

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