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Report cover showing an older patient

Ensuring the effective discharge of older patients from NHS acute hospitals

“Many tens of thousands of older people each year find themselves unable to leave hospital, even though their treatment has been completed. This significantly reduces their quality of life and undermines the ability of hospitals to treat more patients and meet testing targets.

“The Department of Health has made strides in the last 18 months to address this problem but the pressures on the health and social care systems are unrelenting. This is a classic case of the need for ‘joined-up government’ with the NHS, local authorities and private and voluntary sector care providers working together. The Department should ensure that it is doing everything it can to allow this to happen.”

Published:
12 Feb 2003
Cover of report

Department for Work and Pensions Resource Account 2001-02

“It is of the highest importance that money which Parliament has made available for welfare benefits is paid accurately only to those people who have proper entitlement and are in real need. Although the Department has taken significant steps to reduce the level of estimated fraud and error in recent years, the scale of losses remains substantial at £3 billion each year. The Department face a considerable challenge in reducing these losses further to an acceptable level.”

Published:
7 Feb 2003
Report cover image showing close-up of scaffolding poles with inset images of construction projects

PFI: Construction Performance

“The theory is that PFI should incentivise the private sector to deliver good quality buildings on time and to the price agreed with the public sector. The results of our census show that this is being achieved in central government.”

Published:
5 Feb 2003
Report cover showing a child drinking water

Department for International Development: Maximising Impact in the Water Sector

“The achievement of the targets to improve access to water and sanitation remains a huge task. It is clearly important that DFID makes an effective contribution to addressing global water needs. At the international, national and local levels, DFID can point to success in its work in the water sector and new initiatives to improve its performance. The aim of my report is to assist the Department in make sure that its assistance has a great and lasting impact.”

Published:
31 Jan 2003
Cover of report

Department for Education and Skills Resource Account 2001-02

Head of the National Audit Office Sir John Bourn today reported to Parliament that fraudulent and other irregular payments made under the Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) scheme had been estimated as likely to total some £97 million. As a result he has qualified his audit opinion on the Department for Education and Skill’s Resource Account … Read more

Published:
30 Jan 2003
Report cover showing magistrates

New IT Systems for Magistrates’ Courts: the Libra Project

“There are a number of lessons that other departments can learn from the problems that the Lord Chancellor’s Department has experienced with the Libra project. Departments should take it as a warning sign that their proposed PFI projects may not be workable if few bidders show initial interest and others withdraw as the procurement process continues. In a single tender situation, Departments need to take special care to safeguard value for money, for example by developing a should cost model to assess the reasonableness of a bid. Up to date contingency plans should be in place on all major contracts so that there is a fallback position if and when a contract goes wrong.”

Published:
29 Jan 2003
Report cover showing harvested leeks

Reaping the Rewards of Agricultural Research

“The Department and its contractors have sought to transfer knowledge and disseminate results of agricultural research funded by the public sector. However, commercial exploitation has historically been limited and royalties have been low. The deals to commercialise the nuclear transfer technology are the exception.

“Each new venture requires lessons to be learned and shared in the handling of commercialisation. However, the leadership and personal commitment shown in taking forward those cases where intellectual property has been exploited is to be commended.”

Published:
23 Jan 2003
Report cover showing tablets

Safety, Quality, Efficacy: Regulating Medicines in the UK

“The Medicines Control Agency has a good record and its work is highly respected around the world and forms a model in many countries. But it needs to do more to communicate directly with health professionals and the public and improve the effectiveness of its safety messages. The Agency, and its successor after merger with the Medical Devices Agency, must build on its strong position to maintain an influential position in the European regulatory environment.”

Published:
16 Jan 2003