IT Medics at
THE 2nd year students on
the Foundation Degree in Computer Technology have been offering
Runshaw staff and students simple remedies for queries related to
basic computer skills and knowledge. As part of the degree course,
the ‘IT Medics’ have been running an End User Support Desk to help
with any issues related to the use of software applications such as
Microsoft office packages and internet browsers.
Diane Maier, Accounts tutor at Runshaw Adult College, brought in her
personal laptop to have it assessed and was delighted with the
results. Diane commented that:- "The IT Medics provided a
first class service. They were attentive to my needs, professional
and extremely knowledgeable. I now have sound and vision on BBC
iPlayer which makes catching up on TV far more enjoyable!"
Paul Heaton, one of the tutors for the Foundation Degree in Computer
Technology commented:- "We are very proud of our students and
a lot of students and tutors have benefitted from the support
provided. During Cyber safety week at Runshaw College, the IT Medics
were available to offer free advice and answer any queries related
to cyber safety, such as using social networking sites, trojans,
viruses, phishing attacks, spyware and buying goods on the internet.
The service has helped students become more confident and
complemented their coursework."
Association Council opposes plans to 'privatise'
THE BMA Council, on 24
November 2011, called for the withdrawal of government plans that
are likely to lead to support services for clinical commissioning
groups (CCGs) in England being provided solely by large commercial
organisations after 2016. An urgent meeting has been requested with
the Secretary of State for Health to raise the BMA's concerns. Draft
guidance from the Department of Health; Developing commissioning
support: Towards service excellence and makes a number of
recommendations about how clinical commissioning groups should
function, including how they should access technical, as well as
"back-office" support, such as analysing sensitive
population data. Current primary care trust (PCT) clusters are
forming commissioning support units and, from 2016, would be
encouraged to form social enterprises and partner with the private
sector, rather than remaining part of the NHS family.
Commercially-focused criteria to determine eligibility for providing
commissioning support would also be introduced, making it almost
impossible for CCGs to have their own, in-house support staff. Dr
Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of BMA Council, said:- "A key plank
of the government’s NHS reforms was to entrust GPs and other health
care professionals to lead on the commissioning of services for
patients to ensure local health needs were met. These latest
proposals from the government have the potential to seriously
undermine this role, restricting the freedom and independence that
clinically-led commissioning groups need to make locally sensitive,
locally accountable, patient-focused decisions. Doctors tell us
about the chaos they are already seeing on the ground as more and
more change is implemented. The government should be focusing on
ensuring the skills and experience of staff in current PCT clusters
are retained. They will be invaluable in supporting the development
of CCGs and providing much needed continuity during this period of
huge financial pressure and structural overhaul. We will be urging
CCGs to urgently review and where necessary change their structures
to ensure they are able to fulfil their statutory functions without
becoming dependent on external commissioning support."
The BMA will be considering its next steps as part of its continuing
activities on the Bill.