Archives for November 2nd, 2005

PRACTICAL LESSON FOR DEALING WITH INEQUALITIES IN HEALTH

Book News, PublicNet: 2 November, 2005

This publication from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is a companion to Addressing Inequalities Through Health Impact Assessment. Because society remains scarred by inequalities, whole communities remain cut off from the greater wealth and opportunities that others take for granted. The main arguments for tackling inequalities are that they are unjust and avoidable, conditions that lead to marked inequalities affect all members of society and interventions to reduce health inequalities are effective.This document discusses recent publications and presents a further two case studies that attempt to address health inequalities through the use of Health Impact Assessment. A key focus of HIA is to reduce inequalities that result from unnecessary, avoidable and unjust differences in health status between different people.

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DEPRIVED NEIGHBOURHOODS GET POORER SERVICE

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 November, 2005

Residents in deprived neighbourhoods are getting lower standards of street cleaning and refuse collection services than residents in more affluent areas, according to research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This is in spite of the greater range and severity of problems they face, particularly regarding graffiti, litter, fly-tipping, and poorly maintained public spaces.Deprived neighbourhoods, with hard to look after features such as high-rise buildings and large open spaces, and higher than average population densities, are especially prone to environmental problems. However, local authorities do not routinely deploy services and resources which are sufficient to meet the needs. The report claims that this is due to difficulty in negotiating between these needs and the competing and well articulated demands from residents of better off neighbourhoods.

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CHANGING THE CIVIL SERVICE INTO A REPRESENTATIVE WORKFORCE

Headlines, PublicNet: 2 November, 2005

What gets measured gets done is not always true when a cultural change is involved. The Civil Service has been measuring progress on employing more women, more people from ethnic minorities and more disabled people for several years. Progress has been slow and targets have been consistently missed. Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, has now decided that to get a cultural shift, other well tried levers will be brought into use. Performance pay will depend on achieving the change targets and a champion has been appointed to lead a network to ginger up the key players.The plan to make the Civil Service workforce more diverse has 2008 targets for making 37% of the Senior Civil Service to be women, 30% of top management posts to be filled by women, 4% of the Senior Civil Service to be from minority ethnic backgrounds and 3.2% of the Senior Civil Service to be disabled people. Senior managers are also being asked to commit to the whole equality and diversity agenda, including those strands for which there are no targets such as sexual orientation, faith, age, gender identity and work life balance. Each department and agency will be expected to pursue a policy of zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment and bullying on any grounds.

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