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Improving services and support for people with dementia

“For too long dementia has not been treated as a high priority. Today’s report shines a light on how significant an issue dementia is and how much scope there is to improve the way in which people who suffer from dementia are treated.

“Our rapidly ageing population means that costs for addressing dementia will continue to increase and, without redesign, services for people with dementia are likely to become increasingly inconsistent and unsustainable. Dementia can no longer be set aside. The issues raised in this report need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

4 Jul 2007
Report cover image showing Dr taking administering to a patient

The Management of Staff Sickness Absence in Department of Transport and its agencies

“Today’s report paints a mixed picture of sickness absence in the Department for Transport and its agencies. While some parts of the Department compare favourably against other public and private sector organisations and all parts of the Department appear to be proactive in managing sickness absence, the high rates in the customer-facing agencies of DVLA and DSA are worrying.

“The central department appears to have a good record of sickness absence but that does not absolve it from the responsibility to hold those agencies with high levels of sickness absence to account.”

The report makes recommendations on how the Department should better manage sickness absence. These include making line managers more aware of responsibilities when it comes to sick leave, making earlier use of occupational health services and ensuring better quality standards for recording sickness absence. Specific recommendations to agencies include the DVLA bringing long term sickness absence to a swifter resolution.

8 Jun 2007
Report cover showing medicine

Prescribing costs in primary care

“We have found that some small changes in prescribing behaviour can lead to substantial savings for the NHS. All primary care trusts should learn from the best performing PCTs and strive to be as efficient in their own prescribing, making the £200 million in savings realistically achievable.”

18 May 2007
Report cover showing medical staff

Pay Modernisation: A new contract for NHS consultants in England

“Consultants are central to the work of our national health service and deserve to be paid properly for the work that they do. However, the new contract was introduced to benefit not only consultants, but patients and the health service in general. Although a new contract was needed it is regrettable that the costs are higher than expected and that we are not yet seeing any clear evidence of improvements in productivity or services for patients.

“It is important that trusts are clearer about what they need from their consultants and plan within their resources”

19 Apr 2007
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Dr Foster Intelligence: A joint venture between the Information Centre and Dr Foster LLP

“Bringing together the best of the public and private sector has clear benefits in improving the quality of public sector services. But in such cases attention must be paid to protecting government spending and value for money for the taxpayer. By taking the decision not to carry out a formal competitive tender process in this instance, the Department cannot demonstrate that the joint venture was the best structure to meet its needs or that it represents good value for money.

6 Feb 2007
Report cover showing a doctor

Improving quality and safety – Progress in implementing clinical governance in primary care: Lessons for the new Primary Care Trusts

“Good clinical governance is essential if patients and the public are to have greater confidence in the NHS. Whilst Primary Care Trusts have made good progress in getting structures and processes in place, there has been less progress in actually implementing the fundamental components of clinical governance, particularly patient and public involvement.

“Our recommendations provide a clear steer to enable the new Primary Care Trusts to create a professional culture within their organisations that accepts and promotes as the norm accountability, the learning of lessons and the pursuit of high quality, safe care for patients.”

11 Jan 2007
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Public Health Laboratory Service Board Accounts 2004-2005

Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported to Parliament today that payments, amounting to £233,000, which the Public Health Laboratory Service Board made to certain members of staff in 2004-05 did not comply with Treasury guidelines. In the course of closing PHLS Media Services, the Board retained a small number of individuals … Read more

21 Jul 2006