Archives for February 22nd, 2006

HELPING THE NHS TO BE A GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN

Abstracts, PublicNet: 22 February, 2006

This self-assessment model is designed to help NHS organisations to measure and improve their sustainable development performance. The model, which is web-based and available on a CD-Rom, will enable NHS organisations to look closely at how they contribute to strong local economies, community cohesion and a healthy environment. It will take into account factors such as how they buy goods and services, how they build and manage buildings, and how they manage their waste and transport. It also deals with working in partnership with others to contribute to healthy local populations.The model builds on and pulls together guidance and resources to help NHS bodies to get going in the key areas of transport, procurement, facilities management and employment and skills. It shows in practical ways how the NHS has aided health and sustainable development, with real life examples of how it has contributed in areas such as local regeneration, healthy sustainable procurement and helping to tackle climate change. It can also be used to engage with employees and the local community.

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INDEPENDENT TREATMENT CENTRE EXPANSION PROGRAMME

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 February, 2006

The Department of Health programme for procuring operations and diagnostic services from the independent sector was launched in 2002 to give patient choice, promote innovation and provide an incentive to NHS trusts to improve performance. Independent sector treatment centres provide a variety of health services more usually located in hospitals, undertaking the most common types of surgery such as hip, knee and cataract operations. The programme is now being expanded with the addition of new centres and extending their role to include training of medical staff.Currently 21 centres are operating and they have treated over 250,000 patients. The Health Care Commission assesses each centre and surveys 10% of their patients. Satisfaction rates across the programme consistently run at over 94%.

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KEY ROLE FOR VOLUNTARY SECTOR IN DEAL FOR DEVOLUTION

Headlines, PublicNet: 22 February, 2006

Plans for double devolution, where power is moved from Whitehall to town hall and then on to communities and individuals, will rely heavily on the voluntary sector. David Miliband, Minister of Communities and Local Government, has set out how he sees the voluntary and community sector, working in partnership with the public sector contributing to the proposed changes. He views the local government reforms as a major opportunity to rebalance the relationship between the state and the third sector.When councils develop their vision for their area through their Sustainable Community Strategies, they need to be open to the views and perspectives of third sector organisation. Sometimes this will involve frank exchanges and disagreements. But the role of local government must be to encourage this dialogue not to stifle it. That is the significance of the consultation currently underway on the future of Local Strategic Partnerships.

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