Public Finance

Articles from September 2005

Agenda for Change Deal with NHS Contractors Is in Sight
A deal between unions and contractors is 'imminent' in the long-running row over private firms' refusal to offer the Agenda for Change pay and conditions deal to staff working in the NHS, Public Finance has learned.The Department of Health has agreed...
CBI View of Standards Unfair, Say Schools
Head teachers have criticised business leaders for giving an increasingly negative message on education.Although the GCSE pass rate continues to improve, rising from 97.6% to 97.8% this year, with 61.2% awarded the higher A* to C grades, UK bosses called...
Customer Index 'Not a Trojan Horse for Targets'
A new tool to measure customer satisfaction across the public sector is not a way of introducing more target-setting by the back door, Cabinet Office minister John Hutton has promised.In his first major speech in the role, Hutton said work was under...
Drama out of a Crisis
A local authority fails its Comprehensive Performance Assessment and a civil servant from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is sent in to turn the council around. Unpleasant for those involved, but not exactly high drama, is it?Think again. Later...
Events
September* SEPTEMBER 5-6Fourth annual assembly of standards committeesSpeakers include: Sir Alistair Graham, chair, Committee on Standards in Public Life; Kate Priestley, chair, Local Government Leadership Centre; Tim Minogue, editor, Private Eye's 'Rotten...
Extra Funds for Cancer Care 'Do Get Through'
Money earmarked for cancer services is getting through to the front line, the Department of Health insisted this week.There were fears that some of the additional investment promised in 2000's Cancer Plan was being diverted to prop up other services.However,...
GPs Cash in on Quality Payments
Higher-than-expected claims from GPs for 'quality payments' this year will benefit patients and create a more cost-effective service in the long term, the NHS Confederation said this week.The first-year results of the Department of Health's new quality...
London Bombs Put Strain on Met's Finances
Over the past few weeks, police officers have become as ubiquitous in London as red telephone boxes and black taxicabs. Sirens blare much more frequently and even at the most insignificant suburban stations you'll find a police officer standing guard,...
NHF 'Wants Better Inspection System'
Audit Commission inspectors have promised to discover more about the work of housing associations after just two-thirds of landlords said they were satisfied with a new inspection system.The commission took over the inspection of registered social landlords...
NHS Managers Defend Action on Deficits
The NHS Confederation has slammed suggestions that health service managers are making 'knee-jerk decisions' to protect their jobs.This week the British Medical Association said there was a risk that managers might choose to tackle the financial crisis...
Now the War Is Over
The Provisional IRA's July statement ordering an end to the armed campaign' produces a new era for Northern Ireland. But even assuming this closes the armed conflict - and some other paramilitary groups are not on ceasefire, let alone standing down -...
OGC Criticised over EU Directive
The government is missing out by not promoting new European Union laws that prioritise social and environmental considerations in procurement policy, the Trades Union Congress has claimed.The new European Public Procurement Directive, which must be implemented...
Once More into the Breach
Health and social care - the phrase seems to roll off the tongue, underlining the interdependence of the two main 'wellbeing' services. Yet in England these are provided largely by separate organisations and are often disjointed, despite attempts over...
Peak Performance?
This week, a precedent was set. For the first time, a performance assessment of GP practices was published by the Department of Health based on quality of care, organisational ability and patient experience.Ministers were quick to point out the strong...
Politicians 'Must Take Lead' in Social Cohesion
A leading race-relations expert has called for high standards of political accountability following the London bombings amid threats of an extremist backlash.Lord Herman Ouseley, former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality and author of an influential...
Review Sets out Reform of Northern Irish NHS
Northern Ireland's health service is set for major reorganisation, following the publication of its version of the Wanless review, conducted by Professor John Appleby, health economist at the King's Fund.On a range of efficiency measures, Northern Ireland...
Round-Up
NHS screening and treatment for chlamydia will be available for 16-to-24 year olds at all Boots' pharmacy stores across London from November. The screening will be free and is part of a two-year Department of Health pilot aimed at improving access to...
RSL Sues Council over the Value of Transferred Homes
A Scottish council is facing a claim of up to £1m from the housing association it set up to take over its houses under the government's voluntary transfer scheme.Scottish Borders Housing Association is taking action against Scottish Borders Council over...
Satisfaction Not Guaranteed
The August silly season that follows a general election is often sillier than most, since newspapers' appetite for reheated government policy announcements has been more than sated. This year, though, there has been little need to fill empty summer columns...
Sefton Launches 'Corruption' Inquiry after Tenants Reject Housing Transfer
Sefton Borough Council this week launched an inquiry into a controversial housing transfer ballot after allegations of corruption, bribery and intimidation.Tenants voted against handing over 12,400 homes to a not-for-profit association, One Vision, last...
SHA Commissioning Plans Unhelpful, Chides DoH
The Department of Health has written an urgent letter to strategic health authorities urging them to stop drawing up commissioning plans for when primary care trusts end their provider role in 2008.'It is unhelpful for SHAs to be rushing headlong into...
Stealing Scotland's Thunder
The Edinburgh Festival is one of the wonders of the artistic world. The largest on the planet, it isn't one festival but half a dozen: official, fringe, jazz, film, book, television - there's even a monster truck festival. But the sheer size of this...
Taking a Level Measure
Sweeping criticisms, followed by ritual defences, have almost become part of the ?-level results season, the silly season to be blunt. Arguments about 'dumbing down' versus 'gold standard' can produce more heat than light. They also confuse, irritate...
Unions Prepare for Pensions Panel Talks
Public sector trades unions held pre-emptive talks this week over the thorny issue of pensions amid growing fears that they could fail to agree reform principles with ministers in advance of more detailed negotiations.Leading negotiators from the biggest...
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