Bookmarks for May 8th through May 9th

These are my links for May 8th through May 9th:

  • NHS risk register’s publication vetoed by cabinet | Society | The Guardian – A spokesperson for the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, said he would need to be certain that the cabinet had followed rules that say the veto should be used only in cases meeting "exceptional" criteria for non-disclosure.

    "We will need to study the secretary of state's statement of reasons for imposing the ministerial veto in this case. These must, under the criteria established by the government, be 'exceptional'. We will present the commissioner's formal report on the matter to parliament next week", the spokesperson said.

  • Dentists ‘inventing work to defraud NHS’ – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent – Among the rogue practices were submitting false claims for more treatment than had been carried out and submitting claims on behalf of patients do not exist.

    Claims for ‘ghost patients’ were the most blatant in a catalogue of illegal practices uncovered by an audit of 5,000 dentists’ invoices examined by NHS Protect, the anti-fraud unit of the health service.

    Overall, 3 per cent of claims examined were deemed to be fraudulent, indicating that dishonest dentists defrauded the NHS out of £73.1m in 2009-2010, when the check was made. By 2014, the NHS could lose a further £146.3m unless the deception was halted, the report, Dental Contractor Loss Analysis Exercise, published today.

    The Conservatives claimed the losses exposed in the report stemmed from a new NHS contract introduced by Labour in 2006. Labour blamed the dentists for swindling the taxpayer and called for tougher action from regulators.

  • Cameras to monitor hospital staff | Society | The Guardian – The trust will undertake a three-month free-of-charge pilot before deciding whether to make this surveillance of working practices permanent. Its first-year cost would be close on £200,000 for the cameras and monitoring services if it leased the 30 cameras. If it did not put them in the operating theatre the first year cost would fall to around £37,000.
  • The Patient Paradox part 3: Expert patients – The EPP was evaluated by a team from the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, which was closed in 2010.4 In 2004, the centre published an evaluation of the EPP programme as it stood. Some of the comments are particularly illuminating. For example, on the naming of the programme, as noted by one of its administrators:
    ‘Even the patients, for want of a better term, themselves have said that they don't like it because they say that just because they've got some sort of disability or disease doesn't mean that they're a patient. They don't see it as ‘we're all prospective patients' they see themselves as being labelled again. And of course the GPs and the consultants don't like the ‘expert' part of it because they don't see it in terms of that beautiful quote that was in the document, you know, which I think was something like ‘my patients understand (their) disabilities better than I do'. They don't see it in those terms, they see it in a threatening ‘I know what's best,
  • BBC News – Hampshire and City of London police reveal body part retention – Two police forces kept body parts and tissue samples in 89 suspicious and unexplained death cases without notifying relatives, it has emerged.

    Hampshire Police kept tissue samples of 82 people as part of the investigations into their deaths, while City of London Police kept samples in seven cases.

    The cases were revealed after Freedom of Information (FOI) requests by the BBC to all English and Welsh forces.

  • BBC News – Pupils abuse hundreds of teachers in Devon schools – More than 300 teachers in Devon were abused by pupils in 2011, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

    Although none of the injuries were serious, some of the 301 teachers needed time off work to recover.

  • BBC News – Overpaid academy schools must return £15m by July – Figures obtained under a freedom of information request show 128 academies have been overpaid by the government.

    On average, each affected school must pay back almost £118,000, according to UHY Hacker Young Accountants.

  • The Cost of Childcare – a regional view « Student Parents – The Childcare Act of 2006 requires local authorities in England and Wales to ensure there is sufficient childcare for working parents and those in training or education. Due to these changes in the last two decades there are now more available and affordable childcare options available. However, the recent public spending cuts have meant that the amount parents can claim to cover childcare costs has fallen from 80% to 70% in April 2011 meaning a loss of £10.47 per week,£544 per year in funds towards childcare. This combined with the cuts to Family Information Services and Sure Start Funding means 2012 could be a tight year for some families regarding childcare. The Daycare Trust conduct an annual survey of local authorities in order to build a comprehensive list of childcare costs across the country. They received 160 responses for the 2012 survey, a 77% response rate overall.
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About Paul Bradshaw

Founder of Help Me Investigate. I'm a visiting professor at City University London's School of Journalism, and run an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University. I publish the Online Journalism Blog, and am the co-author of the Online Journalism Handbook and Magazine Editing (3rd edition). I have a particular interest in Freedom of Information and data journalism.