International Education Comparisons: A Compendium of published information on educational provision and achievement in 10 countries
1 May 2003
More needs to be done to reduce the number of staff accidents in NHS trusts. Good progress has been made through the initiatives such as the Back in Work campaign but too many trusts are still not implementing good practice and there are wide variations in terms of access to counselling and other support to get staff back to work more quickly. At a time when it is crucial to recruit and retain staff, the NHS must show that the health and safety of its staff is a top priority.”
“I welcome the steps already made to modernise the way departments procure research. These are encouraging developments. The recommendations in this report should lead to further improvements.”
“I am pleased that the number of people engaging with film and moving image culture through the bfi’s activities has increased. The Film Council and the bfi now need to make sure they are heading in the same direction and do more to reach a wider range of people by gaining a better appreciation of what people actually want from the bfi. The development of a clear strategy for the National Film and Television Archive is a high priority, particularly to manage the risk that irreplaceable film might decay before today’s public and future generations have an opportunity to see it.”
“On the basis of investigation into the first procurement of smallpox vaccine by the Department of Health, we found no link between the personal donations to the Labour Party by the Chief Executive of PowderJect and the award to his company of the contract to supply the vaccine.
“However, even where national security dictates that the Department of Health cannot follow normal procurement procedures, the Department must still be as transparent as possible. There must be robust protocols for the special procurement procedures which are to be followed so that the Department can demonstrate that it has acted properly and fairly.
“Regarding shortages in the supply of vaccines, the public health consequences may be very serious indeed. The Department faces a challenge in ensuring vaccine supplies where the number of suppliers is diminishing and some suppliers enjoy a near monopoly, resulting sometimes in increased prices. The Department should define its long-term strategy for ensuring adequate vaccine supplies as a complement to its short-term handling arrangements to deal with vaccine shortages.”
“The Prison Service has done well to improve its purchasing of goods and services in recent years. But further financial savings can be achieved by streamlining procurement activities, reducing stock levels and maximising the benefits of the Service’s purchasing power through central contracts and locally negotiated contracts covering several prisons. The weaker performing prisons need to learn from the success of the best.”
“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has improved the effectiveness of enforcement: for example, by requiring larger vessels to land at designated ports to make it easier to target inspections. The low chance of prosecution and the potentially high gains, however, may encourage illegal catches and landing of fish, undermining conservation policies.
“Continuing threats to fish stocks highlight the need for effective enforcement methods, as recognised by the recent reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy agreed by European Union Ministers which seek to tighten controls in all member states.”
“The Community Fund’s grant to the NCADC was entirely consistent with its stated policies and was therefore not improper. However, the grant may have been less controversial if the Fund had made a wider assessment of the organisation’s activities in the first place. This would have allowed it to specify additional conditions at that stage.”