A Call to Action by NHS England

July 11, 2013

NHS England is calling for everyone to engage in debate on the future of healthcare provision in England. In its publication “The NHS: It belongs to the people: a Call to Action,” NHS England has outlined the challenges it believes the NHS (now in its sixtieth year) faces in the coming future. These include an ageing society versus the increasing costs of providing care, the rise of long-term conditions against limited productivity gains and increasing expectations over constrained public resources. With the launch of this document NHS England hope that by entering into dialogue with key stakeholders together with analysis of these challenges, some direction can be reached on how best to contend with these various issues. The engagement is intended to be patient and public centred and will operate through local, regional and national events in addition to online and digital mediums. On the back of this feedback, Clinical Commissioning Groups are scheduled to create 3-5 year commissioning plans which should outline commitments to patients and improvements to services.

I believe this initiative is long overdue and if anyone in my constituency wishes to contribute online, they can do so via the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/about/Pages/a-call-to-action.aspx

The Ministry of Justice’s proposals for Resettlement Prisons…

July 11, 2013

Rt Hon Chris Grayling outlines Ministry of Justice plans for Resettlement Prisons.

The “Through the Gate” initiative will involve offenders once sentenced being directed to one of the 70 resettlement prisons. At this point according to their sentence, prisoners will either remain in a resettlement prison if they have a shorter sentence or they will move to alternative prison accommodation if it is longer. Prisoners with short sentences will serve their entire custody in resettlement prison and whilst there they will have access to a number of services to assist with rehabilitation once they have completed their sentence. Those prisoners who have been serving longer sentences elsewhere will be transferred to resettlement prisons for the last three months of their sentence to assist with integration back into the community.

This initiative is in line with the plans contained within the Offender Rehabilitation Bill which is currently before Parliament, which extend rehabilitation support to 50,000 short-sentenced offenders each year. From the information distributed, I understand that trials for Resettlement Prisons will begin in the North West of England this autumn.

I think the proposals outlined by the Ministry of Justice are a very good idea. Offenders with short sentences are the most likely to reoffend and there is not an adequate support framework in place to assist them once they leave prison. Hopefully the Ministry of Justice’s new initiative will deal with this issue helping ex-offenders back into a normal life once they finish their sentence and to stop them offending again .

The Business Task Force on EU Deregulation

July 4, 2013

This week, Michael Fallon MP, Minister for Business, announced that he is chairing a Business Task Force on EU Deregulation. Other members are experienced and respected businessmen including the Chief Executives of Marks and Spencer and Kingfisher. Michael is asking anyone with suggestions for regulations that should be simplified to submit them to their MP as soon as possible. This is important work. The Prime Minister has pointed out that Europe’s share of world output is scheduled to fall over the next two decades and this is partly due to overcomplicated EU regulation and excessive rules.