GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLES REMAINS STRONG
NOP survey finds 85% public backing for renewable energy.
Malcolm Wicks reaffirmed the Government's commitment to renewable
energy this week during a keynote address to the All Energy
conference in Aberdeen.
The Energy Minister also highlighted the positive findings from the
first DTI commissioned NOP survey, published last week, into
public attitudes towards renewables and announced details of £1.2
million in grants that have been awarded to 16 separate solar energy
projects. One of which will be part of the Hebridean Isle of
Eigg's groundbreaking renewable energy scheme.
Wicks said:- "The Prime Minister's recent speech to the CBI
put renewable energy firmly on the agenda and that is a message I
want to re-iterate. The Government's target is that 10% of
the UK's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2010 and
this will provide a solid foundation that can be built on in order
that they can make an even greater contribution to the mix as we
look to bridge any future energy gap.
To do this we will need more schemes like the Whitelee wind farm
which was recently given the green light by the Scottish Executive.
This project will be the largest onshore wind farm in Europe when it
is completed and will provide clean energy for 200,000 homes, almost
the whole of Glasgow. Interestingly, the NOP survey
commissioned by the DTI finds that despite all the hot air and
scepticism from certain quarters, 85% of the general public support
the use of renewable energy, 81% are in favour of wind power and
just over 3/5ths would be happy to live within 5km of a wind power
But it's not just large scale renewable energy projects that
we want to encourage but also more localised generation, such as
micro wind turbines, solar panels and combined heat and power
biomass boilers. That is why I am pleased to announce details
of the successful applicants from the final round of funding under
the Major Photovoltaic Demonstration Programme. The 16 schemes
across the UK will share almost £1.2 million to help install solar
panels and reduce the carbon emissions from their buildings.
Funding support for solar and the other types of microgeneration
technologies will now continue through the £80 million Low Carbon
Buildings Programme that was announced in the spring."
Physiotherapy Week 2006. Prevention is better than cure
HUNDREDS OF UK physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants will
highlight the role they can play in improving the public’s health
during national Physiotherapy Week 2006, which is organised by the
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and runs from 19 June to 23
During the week, physiotherapy staff from the NHS, private practice
and the independent sector will promote the message that ‘prevention
is better than cure.’ They’ll explain how simple lifestyle
changes can put us on the road to better health and help us avoid
illness and injury.
CSP Chair of Council Sarah Bazin said:- ‘Increasingly
sedentary lifestyles are contributing to rising levels of obesity
and ill-health. With their focus on enabling physical activity, even
for people living with long-term or chronic conditions,
physiotherapists are well placed to help reverse this trend.
‘During Physiotherapy Week, CSP members will be opening the doors to
their departments and practices and showing people how they can ward
off illness and injury by adopting healthier lifestyles.’
This year, CSP members taking part in Physiotherapy Week will be
hosting stands in supermarkets and shopping malls, giving talks to
schools and colleges, providing commuters with postural advice and
helping employers by offering occupational health advice.
INVOLVEMENT IS POWER...
A FURTHER step towards making it easier for people to get
involved in their local health services was announced by Health
Minister Rosie Winterton this week. A new national Patient and
Resource Centre to develop and support NHS staff and organisations
to involve people in local health services will open its doors on 1
June 2006 after a contract with successful bidders was signed
The Resource Centre will promote the value of involving people and
will work with NHS organisations, staff and patients to build on the
foundations of involvement that are already in place in many parts
of the country.
Bids to run the centre were sought last autumn for a group who could
demonstrate that they were experienced in patient and public
involvement and already had good networks. The successful bid came
from a consortium made up of The University of Warwick, The Centre
for Public Scrutiny and the Long term Medical Conditions Alliance.
Addressing the Patient Involvement, Empowerment, and Information
conference in London, Rosie Winterton said:- "It is essential
that we support those working in health and social care to enable
user involvement. In the new NHS structure, there is an increasing
plurality of providers - the NHS, the third sector and the
independent sector - and it is increasingly important that they all
involve and consult people who use, or might one day need to use,
their services. The Centre will be a one-stop shop for
information and advice and will identify learning opportunities to
improve consultation at a national, regional and local level. The
Centre will give encouragement to those organisations which lead the
way in PPI and support and advice to those who need it."
Harry Cayton, the Department of Health's Dorector for Patients and
the Public said:- "There is much active engagement of service
users and patients already; cancer networks, mental health user
groups, patient surveys and public consultations. The new centre
will bring all this expertise together as a focus for learning and
Dr Jonathan Tritter, Executive Director of the Centre said:-
"In developing the Centre, the consortium has discussed its plans
with many key stakeholders including the NHS, the Royal College of
Nursing Institute, the National Consumer Council, the Royal College
of Physicians and the National Association for Patient Participation
to ensure that the Centre reflects the different needs of NHS staff
and organisations. The overriding issue from talking to these
organisations is that although patients have been involved in one
way or another with their own health, or the health of their
friends, family or loved ones, their views and experiences may not
have always been sought or indeed, their voices heard.
With the many reforms that are coming on stream such as patient
choice and practice based commissioning, it is essential that
systems are put in place to ensure that views and preferences of
patients' and the public are listened to and incorporated into the
planning, design and delivery of current and future services.
What is important is that whatever factors people use when deciding
which style of patient and public involvement to use when developing
services, the overall aim should be to understand how best to shape
and influence the governance and management of health services, to
inform the policy and decision-making and to promote service change
The National Patient and Public Involvement Resource Centre
will be able to act as a gateway to help NHS staff, health
professionals and colleagues in the voluntary and statutory sector
to turn patient and public involvement into everyday practice."