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Report cover showing two men, one looking at the other

Public Guardianship Office: protecting and promoting the financial affairs of people who lose mental capacity

“I welcome the fact that the Public Guardianship Office has improved on the poor performance of its predecessor, the Public Trust Office, which was criticised in a series of reports by the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee.

“The Public Guardianship Office must do more, however, to target its scrutiny at the cases presenting the greatest risks. It should also make sure that a larger proportion of the public and professionals know about its work and how to report concerns. The vulnerable people who rely on the Public Guardianship Office to protect their financial affairs deserve the best possible service.”

8 Jun 2005

Public Health Laboratory Service Board Accounts 1998-99

“The Board have assured me of the importance they place on effective internal financial controls, and they are confident that these controls have now been restored. I remain concerned, however, that these problems arose.

The lesson for other public bodies from the Board’s experiences is that, when letting and managing such a contract, potential risks need to be identified, evaluated, mitigated and managed so that the fundamental responsibilities of the Board and its Accounting Officer for the proper management of its resources can continue to be discharged.”

15 Sep 2000
Report cover

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
Report cover showing a 17 Century painting of a man pouring alcohol into a bowl in a drinking establishment

Reducing Alcohol Harm: Health services in England for alcohol misuse

“Alcohol misuse constitutes a heavy and increasing burden on the NHS. If services to tackle alcohol misuse are going to make a bigger difference, Primary Care Trusts need to understand better the scale of the problem in their local communities. With its increased focus on the prevention of lifestyle-related illness, the Department of Health could, for example, do more to convince Trusts about the value of timely advice to help people develop safer drinking patterns.”

29 Oct 2008
Elderly patient being assessed

Reducing emergency admissions

The report examines progress that the Department of Health & Social Care, NHS England, NHS Improvement and other stakeholders are making in reducing the impact of emergency admissions on acute hospitals. The report takes a whole-system approach, and looks at action across acute, primary, community and social care systems.

2 Mar 2018
Hospital Cleaner with cleaning materials

Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections in Hospitals in England

“The Department of Health’s hands on approach to what seemed, in 2004, to be an intractable problem, has been successful in reducing MRSA bloodstream and C. difficile infections. This is a significant achievement and a good example of what concerted effort can achieve. Inevitably, with a focused and centrally driven initiative of this kind, the improvements are not uniform across the NHS and we still don’t know in any meaningful way what impact there has been on other healthcare associated infections. We have identified a number of key problems that need to be addressed such as: a lack of robust comparable data on other infection risks; increases in antibiotic resistance and poor data on hospital prescribing; and that compliance with good practice is still not universal.”


12 Jun 2009
Report cover showing dentist examining a child's teeth

Reforming NHS Dentistry: ensuring effective management of risks

“The Department of Health is pursuing an ambitious programme to reform NHS dentistry. There are good reasons to modernise the system but it is vital that the Department gets it right. I have identified significant risks that will need to be carefully managed.

“In the light of concerns by dentists and the NHS, the Department’s decision to postpone the introduction of the new arrangements to October of next year is welcome. It now needs to be more transparent about its plans and its timetable for managing the change process to achieve the new date – and ensure that these are conveyed to dentists and their patients.”

25 Nov 2004