Scotland’s Future, the 670-page report published last week by the Scottish Government promoting Scottish independence, includes detailed plans on how the BBC, the Royal Mail and the security services would be divided up if Scotland votes in favour of a split next September. Continue reading
I’ve had two more features published by the Register. The first uses Freedom of Information and open data to analyse which IT suppliers earn what from government, while the second provides a guide to what to expect if you’re exiting, courtesy of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, better known as TUPE. Continue reading
One of the great fears of those who campaigned against ID cards in Britain was that, as soon as the cards were in place, officialdom would start inventing reasons to demand to see them – the ‘your papers please’ problem, that a police officer or official in a country with ID cards demands to see your papers just to show who’s boss. To quote Richard Littlejohn, writing in the Sun in 1994 and quoted by Matthew Engel in the Guardian (and how often does that happen?): Continue reading
Guardian Voluntary Sector Network has published my piece on crisis helplines moving from telephone to online: the NSPCC’s ChildLine now handles half of its contacts online, the Samaritans receives 18% of contacts through text messages and emails and BB Group, which runs advice services for young people, is entirely digital.
The Samaritans, which has just turned 60 – see also this BBC News report, which covers its use of new channels – finds that those asking it for support through SMS or email are more likely to have suicidal feelings (almost half, compared to one in six of those calling). Elaine Chambers of ChildLine said the NSPCC helpline sees something similar, although it depends on the individual:
There is some evidence that the more high-risk things come to us online, because it can be easier to express yourself about the really difficult things in your life online. Continue reading
NHS acute trusts vary widely in quality. It’s quite easy to spot the good ones – they appear regularly in the media, they win awards and they are famous as organisations. It’s certainly not always the case, but an appetite for attention tends to indicate an organisation that is proud of what it does and where staff have confidence to talk about what they are doing right – as well as a press office and management team happy to let them. Their ranks include Cambridge University Hospitals, King’s College Hospital, Salford Royal, Great Ormond Street, The Christie and University College London Hospitals. Continue reading