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UK — CMO’s annual report: employment is good for mental health

October 2, 2014 Comments off

CMO’s annual report: employment is good for mental health
Source: Department of Health

Chief Medical Officer’s report: the rising number of working days lost to mental illness creates personal suffering and costs the economy.

  • concerns about 70 million working days lost to mental illness last year and £70 to £100 billion cost to the economy
  • calls for cost-benefit analysis to investigate possible fast-track mental health care for working people at risk of falling out of work
  • makes case for investment in children and young people’s mental health to prevent later life mental illness, unemployment and criminal behaviour
  • calls for piloting of psychiatry services integrated into primary care
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The Subjective Well-Being Political Paradox: Happy Welfare States and Unhappy Liberals

October 1, 2014 Comments off

The Subjective Well-Being Political Paradox: Happy Welfare States and Unhappy Liberals (PDF)
Source: Journal of Applied Psychology

Political scientists traditionally have analyzed the effect of politics on subjective well-being (SWB) at the collective level, finding that more liberal countries report greater SWB. Conversely, psychologists have focused primarily on SWB at the individual level and shown that being more conservative corresponds in greater SWB. We integrate the theoretical foundations of these 2 literatures (e.g., livability and system justification theories) to compare and contrast the effects of country- and individual-level political orientation on SWB simultaneously. Using a panel of 16 West European countries representative of 1,134,384 individuals from 1970 to 2002, we demonstrated this SWB political paradox: More liberal countries and more conservative individuals had higher levels of SWB. More important, we explored measurement as a moderator of the political orientation–SWB relationship to shed some light on why this paradox exists. When orientation is measured in terms of enacted values (i.e., what the government actually does), liberalism corresponds in higher SWB, but when politics is measured in terms of espoused values (i.e., what individuals believe), greater conservatism coincided in higher SWB.

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Transforming the Electricity Portfolio: Lessons from Germany and Japan in Deploying Renewable Energy
Source: Brookings Institution

Amid an ongoing international debate on the reduction of carbon emissions, Germany and Japan are undertaking a dramatic shift in their electricity portfolios. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility accident have sparked both Japanese and German energy policy to shift away from carbon-free nuclear energy and towards renewables. However, despite large gains in market share by renewables, these two countries have seen increases in both fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions as the market share of nuclear energy has declined.

This shift raises fundamental energy policy questions: how can countries simultaneously decarbonize their electricity mix while phasing out nuclear energy? What are the costs and challenges of large-scale renewable integration? Who will bear these costs? In the Energy Security Initiative’s latest policy brief, authors John Banks, Charles Ebinger and Alisa Schackmann seek to answer these questions while identifying potential relevant lessons for large-scale deployment of renewables in the United States.

UK — Statistical bulletin: Characteristics of People and Households Without a Private Pension

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Statistical bulletin: Characteristics of People and Households Without a Private Pension
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key points

  • For those below retirement age, 45% of men and 49% of women in Great Britain did not have any private pension savings in 2010-2012.
  • 95% of men and women working in Accommodation and food service industries did not pay into a private pension in the UK in 2012. In ‘Public administration, defence and social security’ only 7% of men and 9% of women did not pay into a private pension.
  • A third of employees, nearly half of the self-employed and around 80% of men and women ‘not in work’ did not have any private pension savings in Great Britain in 2010-2012.
  • 76% of women in routine occupations did not have a private pension in Great Britain in 2010-2012 compared to 15% of women in higher managerial and professional occupations, a difference of 61 percentage points.
  • The median of the sum of property, physical and financial wealth was £160,000 for households with a private pension in Great Britain. This is nearly seven times larger than for households without a private pension at £23,900.

UK — Guidance: Progress on premature deaths of people with learning disabilities

September 30, 2014 Comments off

Guidance: Progress on premature deaths of people with learning disabilities
Source: Department of Health

This report shows progress against the 18 recommendations in the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities both locally and nationally.

It also recognises that more needs to be done including all local areas:

  • participating fully in the Self-Assessment Framework and act on its results
  • securing the provision of named care co-ordinators
  • ensuring reasonable adjustments are made and audited

European Parliamentary Research Service Graphics Warehouse

September 29, 2014 Comments off

European Parliamentary Research Service Graphics Warehouse
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

You can use our collection of graphs, charts, tables and maps with statistical data for any purpose (just please credit the European Parliamentary Research Service). The images were created by the EPRS based on statistical information from sources mentioned on the graphic.

UK — Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Children with special educational and complex needs: guidance for health and wellbeing boards
Source: Department of Health

The Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a new statutory requirement for local services to work together when providing care and support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Health and wellbeing boards (HWBs) are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the new requirement, ensuring that local services are fulfilling their role and that children are getting the care they need.

From September 2014 local authorities, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and education services will be expected to collaborate when assessing, commissioning and implementing care plans for children with SEN and disabilities.

This document provides guidance and advice for HWBs on how best to oversee the implementation of changes made by the Act.

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