A strong theme in the white paper 'Our health, our care, our say' is the emphasis on joined-up services, drawing local authority social services and health services closely together for the convenience of patients and to avoid duplication, reports The Daily Telegraph. Personal health and social care plans will be drawn up for those with chronic conditions needing long term care. Boots, Bupa, Care UK, Netcare, BMI, UnitedHealth, Nuffield, Alliance Medical and many others are likely to become providers to the National Health Service, reports the Financial Times, and some may also become comissioners of care for the NHS, operating on contract to primary care trusts.
BCCI'S LIQUIDATORS PAY£73M TO BANK OF ENGLAND AND ASK FOR SETTLEMENT
The liquidators of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International have paid£73m to the Bank of England in an attempt to settle the central bank's record-breaking claim for costs, the high court was told yesterday. However, the Bank is refusing any offer of settlement of its£81m costs claim, reports The Guardian.
IN DEPTH: SCHOOLS DEFEND RIGHT TO SECRECY
Schools do not have a duty to disclose information about pupils to their parents, a spokesman for the independent sector said yesterday. Independent Schools Council spokesman Steven King said Surbiton high school did nothing wrong when it provided advice and a teacher to accompany a pupil to court after a bus driver caught her using a photocopied travel pass. 'Just because parents pay fees does not mean that they are entitled to every bit of information that schools may come across about what happens to pupils outside the gates,' he told The Daily Telegraph. 'This could have arisen in any school, state or independent. It has to be stressed that this situation would not have arisen had the girl not wilfully and in full knowledge committed a criminal offence.' Education lawyer Jack Rabinowicz said the case had 'nothing to do with the Gillick judgment', which involved the right of children under the age of 16 to be given confidential contraceptive advice, and was not covered by data protection laws.
CONGESTION AND EXPENSE HAVE DONE NOTHING TO EASE CAR DEPENDENCY
Traffic is increasing relentlessly as our passion for car travel resists all attempts to control it, a government study has found. Congestion is growing at an uncontrollable rate and the government's proposed solution, road tolls, will come too late to prevent widespread gridlock, reports The Times. Almost every aspect of our daily lives, from commuting to shopping to leisure activities, has become dependent on the car, according to Transport Trends, published by the Department for Transport.
CARBON EMISSION TARGETS DELAYED BY WHITEHALL ROW
The government's strategy to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the battle against climate change has been paralysed for seven months by a dispute between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, reports The Guardian.
PRIME MINISTER DENIES HAVING A LEAVING DATE
Asked yesterday on the Channel 4 Richard and Judy show about the claim by the former home secretary David Blunkett over the weekend that he had reached a new understanding with chancellor Gordon Brown to go within two years, Tony Blair denied that he had already set a date for his departure from Downing Street. He said the timing on when he stood down as prime minister - and paved the way for Mr Brown to take over as Labour leader - would depend on completing his reform package and securing his domestic legacy, reports The Daily Telegraph.
IN DEPTH: EDUCATION SECRETARY SIGNALS COMPROMISE TO HEAD OFF SCHOOL REVOLT
Ruth Kelly has promised to 'explore and discuss' how the government's controversial school reforms will work in action before publishing a Bill, reports the Daily Mail. The minister said the 'conversation' on the plans was 'continuing' amid opposition from about 100 Labour MPs and senior party figures. Speaking after a 'seminar' for 25 potential backers from the private and voluntary sectors, Miss Kelly said that the White Paper proposals for a new breed of 'trust schools', free from local authority control, 'would not be for everyone'. In an article for the Evening Standard, Miss Kelly wrote: 'Most of my colleagues have more measured and specific concerns about the detail, especially on admissions, and the role of local authorities, and I will continue to explore these areas with them.'
OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING REACHES COLLUSION CONCLUSION AND HITS THE ROOFERS
Companies from London, Lancashire and Merseyside have been interviewed by OFT officials, accused of forming cartels that have artificially driven up the prices of local government contracts by hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is understood that contracts in London that are under examination include work on schools, council offices and health centres. One roofing industry specialist told The Times: 'They have uncovered a string of cartels that link across the country. These companies collude with their competitors to win contracts and drive the prices up.'
AND FINALLY ...
RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARE
An inspector who visited celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's eponymous three-star Michelin restaurant in Chelsea last March found several problems that fell foul of the 1990 Food Safety Act. The inspector demanded that the chef fix broken tiles - where scraps can accumulate - and split door seals and stop storing cleaning materials next to food. Most embarrassingly for a chef with a spotless approach, who berates other restaurants' slovenly staff on television, Ramsay was ordered to 'thoroughly clean' the freezer. The restaurant was breaking rules on electrical safety and did not have an accident book, Kensington and Chelsea LBC found. The council inspections were obtained by The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act.
COUNCIL CLIPS THE WINGS OF BIRD-BRAINED LITTERBUGS
Rotherham MBC environment enforcement officer Richard Bramail has denied overreacting following a dawn raid by council officials to stop residents George and Janine Cope discarding large amounts of bread to feed the birds. 'This is not a case of someone dropping a few pieces of bread to feed the birds or ducks in the park, which is clearly perfectly acceptable,' he told the Daily Mail. 'At least a carrier bag of food was being dumped each time in several locations around the area. We did ask the couple to refrain. However, they have continued and therefore we have issued a fixed penalty notice for littering.' IAN BLAIR, MIRROR