Recorded sickness absence by Prison Service staff has increased since 1999, especially absence caused by stress, anxiety or depression, according to a report by the National Audit Office. However, much of the overall increase may be down to under-reporting in earlier years. Today’s report points out that the Service has made considerable progress in improving … Read more
Sector: Health and social care
“Although, overall, the NHS successfully met its financial targets in 2002-2003, I am concerned by the variation in financial performance and the large deficits incurred by some NHS bodies. Such deficits may put at risk the achievement of overall financial balance of the National Health Service if they are not matched by surpluses elsewhere in the NHS.
“The Department of Health has delegated detailed monitoring of NHS Trusts and Primary Care Trusts to Strategic Health Authorities. They must ensure that deficits of the scale of the £44.6 million incurred by North Bristol NHS Trust do not happen again”.
28 Apr 2004
Head of the National Office Sir John Bourn reported to Parliament today that, in 2002-2003, the Department of Health successfully met its target of ensuring that financial balance was achieved in aggregate across the 607 individual NHS organisations. The NHS as a whole reported an underspend of £96 million within the context of healthcare commissioned … Read more
“Probation areas made rapid progress in establishing the Drug Treatment and Testing Order, meeting the target for commencements by April 2003. The Order can help some offenders turn their lives around and reduce their use of drugs. However, the high drop out rate and evidence from pilots of the Order of a high rate of reconviction need to be addressed.
“The Home Office should now shift its emphasis from achieving commencements towards improving the effectiveness of the Order in delivering positive outcomes. More needs to be done to build and sustain the motivation of those on the Order to address their problems and to recognise that the chaotic lives of many such users mean support and treatment may be needed beyond the period of the sentence.”
26 Mar 2004
The Drug Treatment and Testing Order can be a successful community sentence for some drug misusing offenders who would otherwise have been considered for a prison sentence, according to a report to Parliament today by the National Audit Office. However, only 28 per cent of Orders terminated in 2003 were completed in full or were … Read more
“The chances of surviving cancer are improving all the time. Under the determined leadership of the National Cancer Director, Professor Mike Richards, the Department and NHS have achieved a great deal in a short time. Saving an even larger number of lives requires more of us to know and act promptly on the possible symptoms of cancer.
“But the Department and NHS need to act to further reduce inequalities, geographical and between the affluent and deprived, and go on improving cancer prevention, screening, referral, diagnosis and treatment services. These are essential steps in meeting the Department’s goal to make England’s cancer services among the very best in Europe by the end of this decade.”
19 Mar 2004
Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, reported today that cancer patients are increasingly surviving the disease as a result of the new initiatives launched by the Department of Health and the NHS over the last decade. But the NHS needs to continue to do more to ensure all patients are treated swiftly … Read more
“Where patient safety is considered to be at risk or there are allegations of misconduct, it is vitally important for NHS trusts to be able to exclude clinical staff from work or restrict their activities so that the situation can be thoroughly and promptly investigated. At present, however, there is evidence of many cases of exclusion being allowed to drift on without resolution or proper management. This represents a serious waste of resources for the NHS and can harm the career and even personal well-being of the accused clinicians themselves.
“The Department of Health should now take further steps to achieve a system for managing the exclusion of clinical staff in which both staff and patients can have confidence.”
6 Nov 2003
There is a pressing need for the Department of Health, Strategic Health Authorities and NHS trusts to improve their management of suspensions of clinical staff, according to the head of the National Audit Office, Sir John Bourn. Today’s report to Parliament, while acknowledging the paramount importance of protecting patient safety, highlights concerns about the length … Read more
“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