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Report cover showing form filling

Difficult Forms: How government agencies interact with citizens

“Many citizens deal solely or chiefly with government by filling in paper forms. Departments need to think more about the design and use of the form from the point of view of the user with the aim of making it easier for all citizens to deal with Government. They should review their practices in the light of our recommendations and the practical guide on designing and reviewing forms to be separately published before the year end. This will not only make it easier to deal with Government but will also save a considerable amount of taxpayers money.”

31 Oct 2003
Cover of report

Ministry of Defence: Departmental Resource Accounts 2002-2003

“Although I have qualified my opinion on the Ministry of Defence’s 2002-03 Resource Accounts, this represents another significant improvement on the previous year. The MOD has successfully cleared one of the two substantive issues which were the basis for the qualification of my opinion on the 2001-02 Accounts and is progressing the remaining issue as fast as it can.”

30 Oct 2003
Report cover showing Colorado Beetle larvae eating potato leaves

Protecting England and Wales from plant pests and diseases

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has a key role to play in maintaining the high international reputation for plant health possessed by England and Wales. But increasing trade and travel, new farming practices and climate change increase the risk of new plant pests and diseases being introduced and spreading here. The Department should now take steps to improve its plant health inspection regime and research and how it works with others, to keep new and emerging threats at bay.”

23 Oct 2003
Report cover showing a doctor at work

Progress in improving the medical assessment of incapacity and disability benefits

“I am pleased that the measures taken since my last report have resulted in significant improvements, especially as this means a better service for customers, who include some of the most vulnerable members of society. It is crucial that assessments are undertaken fairly and efficiently, while ensuring that benefits are paid only to those genuinely entitled to them. I look to the Department to do more to improve the quality of evidence on which decisions are based and to tackle the problem of people failing to attend examinations.”

17 Oct 2003
Report cover showing patient care

Achieving Improvements through Clinical Governance: A Progress Report on Implementation by NHS Trusts

“Trusts have made good progress in the early stages of implementing the clinical governance programme. It is important, however, that they maintain the momentum that has been built up and overcome barriers in order to ensure that the National Health Service derives the intended benefits and, crucially, that patients see a clear improvement in their treatment and the quality of their healthcare.”

17 Sep 2003
Cover of report

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) 2002-03 Trust Statement

“It is clear that the DVLA continues to recognise the importance of tackling the evasion of vehicle excise duty. But evasion levels are rising and there remains considerable scope for anti-evasion measures to be extended and deployed in a more coherent manner, in particular through the more widespread use of automatic number-plate readers and increased collaboration with local authorities and police forces.”

12 Sep 2003
Report cover showing abseiling soldier

Ministry of Defence: Compensation claims

“While the MoD has taken steps to improve the way it prevents incidents and handles claims for compensation, there is no room for complacency. Many incidents could be avoided and there are a number of steps the MoD should take to improve prevention. When things do go wrong, the result is often a personal tragedy for claimants and their families. It is therefore only right that MoD provide recompense in a timely and efficient way, and pay closer attention to the non-financial needs of claimants, including apologising where it is genuinely at fault.”

18 Jul 2003
Report cover showing walking sticks

Hip Replacements: an Update

“Since my last report on hip replacements three years ago, the NHS has improved its procedures thereby providing better quality of care for patients. There is still further progress to be made, however, including the spreading of good practice, to ensure that the service provided by the NHS is as good as possible.

“Hip replacement is one of the most common and effective major surgical procedures. But there are some question marks over how hospitals are managing the process, not least to ensure that the replacement hip used has a satisfactory track record. Strong leadership within hospitals is the key to ensuring that these risks are managed effectively for the benefit of patients.”

17 Jul 2003