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Boy conducting science experiment

Educating the next generation of scientists

The Department for Education has made good progress in improving take-up and achievement in areas such as A-Level maths and GCSE Triple Science. However, there has been less success in increasing the number of science teachers, improving take-up of A-Level physics and raising the standards of school science facilities.

Published:
12 Nov 2010
Houses built under PFI

PFI in housing

The use of PFI by local authorities to improve housing, usually in areas with a high need for housing and where stock condition is particularly poor, has had a measure of success. However, risks to value for money of the programme have not been managed.

Published:
25 Jun 2010
Ambulance

Major trauma care in England

“Current services for people who suffer major trauma are not good enough. There is unacceptable variation, which means that if you are unlucky enough to have an accident at night or at the weekend, in many areas you are likely to receive worse quality of care and are more likely to die. The Department of Health and the NHS must get a grip on coordinating services through trauma networks, on costs and on information on major trauma care, if they are to prevent unnecessary deaths.”  

Published:
5 Feb 2010
Sketch of blood flow to the brain

Department of Health: Progress in improving stroke care

“Care for people who have had a stroke has significantly improved since we reported in 2005. The publication and early implementation of the stroke strategy have begun to make a real difference and have helped to put in place the right mechanisms to bring about these improvements. There is still work to be done though: the poorer performers must be dragged up to the same standard as the best, so that the gains that have been made are sustained and value for money improved further. The Department should focus on ensuring that health, social care and employment services are working together much more effectively.” 

Published:
3 Feb 2010
House and garden

The Decent Homes Programme

“The Programme to make social sector housing and private sector housing for vulnerable people decent has made progress, and the families living in those properties will be enjoying the benefits. However, there are risks to both the Programme’s completion and what has been achieved so far if a reliable funding mechanism is not put in place to deliver the remainder of the Programme and to maintain homes to a decent standard. Hundreds of thousands of families are still living in properties which are not warm, weather tight, or in a reasonable state of repair. The Department’s efforts have been undermined by weaknesses in the information it holds.

 

There are important lessons here on the benefits of having clear information on Programmes when delivery is devolved to a local level.”

Published:
21 Jan 2010
Male dementia patient with carer

Improving dementia services in England – an interim report

“The Department of Health stated in October 2007 that dementia was a national priority and brought forward a widely supported strategy in February 2009 to transform the lives of people with dementia. The action however, has not so far matched the rhetoric in terms of urgency. At the moment this strategy lacks the mechanisms needed to bring about large scale improvements and without these mechanisms it is unlikely that the intended and much needed transformation of services will be delivered within the strategy’s five year timeframe”

Published:
14 Jan 2010
Regenerated coalfield site

Regenerating the English Coalfields

“The coalfields regeneration programme has achieved positive results in job generation and improved environments. However, the programme has taken much longer than expected to deliver results and needs to be much better planned. What we want to see is a concerted effort to deliver to the coalfields the best possible value for money from the remaining £450 million of funds.”

Published:
17 Dec 2009
Close-up of young couple holding hands

Department of Health – Young people’s sexual health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme

“To have a significant impact on chlamydia requires overall testing levels of 26 per cent or above. Only half of Primary Care Trusts reached this level in 2008-09, six years after the Programme’s launch.  Combined with the local inefficiencies and duplications, this shows that the delivery of the Programme to date has not demonstrated value for money.”

 

Published:
12 Nov 2009