The first of a series of reports, the ACSS has collected a number of stories which demonstrates how evidence-based research can be translated into policies that will improve everyone's wellbeing. The impact of social science research is wide reaching - from crime prevention, education and re-employment to healthy diets and the wellbeing of children. As a contributor to the report Professor Ann Buchanan will present her research on the value of fathers and grandparents in helping children avoid social exclusion in later life. The impact of Professor Buchanan's research can be seen in both Government and opposition policy on the importance of grandparents.
The Care Quality Commission applauded overall improvements over recent years, as it published its first annual report to parliament on the state of health care and adult social care in England. But it cautioned that some services were lagging behind the pack and that there were areas of common concern across health and social care, notably keeping people safe and staff training. CQC pointed out that services would be operating in a different environment in future, with pressure on finances adding to continuing increases in demand and rising expectations. It said that the next big challenge for health and social care is to accelerate efforts to make services more joined up and centred around people's needs.
Health care providers with employees who committed Medicare fraud also face consequences. The Memphis Daily News reports that the Eye Specialty Group "can't help but question their decision to turn in a colleague for Medicare fraud. Doing the right thing, they said, has been a costly business decision." The practice has to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the government for the actions of Dr. Seth Yoser who pled guilty to diluting "dosages of eye injection medicine, falsely billed Medicare for the amount of medicine used, then removed the medicine from the practice and sold it elsewhere. In total, false billings of about $1.6 million were submitted to Medicare, prosecutors said.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director, Public Health Excellence Centre, NICE: "Since 2005, NICE has produced guidance on a range of public health topics using the social gradient approach as a starting point. We have either published, or are in the process of developing, public health guidance covering all the six key areas highlighted by this review. "Our guidance aims to improve the health of the population as a whole and to reduce health inequalities. The interventions we recommend are highly cost effective and represent very good value for money and hence are a good use of public funds. They also point the way to getting past some of the seemingly intransigent problems of health inequity.
Resistant wheat plants stave off attacks by Hessian fly larvae by essentially destroying the fly's midgut and its ability to absorb nutrients, according to a study by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hessian fly larvae midguts - similar to human intestines - were observed in three different feeding situations. Larvae on susceptible plants had normal midgut function. Those that were given nothing to eat showed no damage to the midgut, though they starved. But those on plants resistant to Hessian flies showed serious midgut disruption. Richard Shukle and Christie Williams, research scientists with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit and Purdue adjunct associate professors of entomology, and Subhashree Subramanyam, a research associate in agronomy, had their findings published in the early online edition of the Journal of Insect Physiology.
Online social networking sites could solve many problems plaguing information dissemination and communications when disaster strikes, according to a report from US researchers in a recent issue of the International Journal of Emergency Management. In the wake of natural, disasters such as the Haiti earthquake, major events, such as the Hudson plane crash, and terrorist activity, online services, have become increasingly prominent as useful tools to get the news out faster than traditional media, to provide timely information sources, and even to re-connect people affected directly or indirectly as events unfold. But, are social networking tools, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and ad hoc sites set up in the wake of a major event really useful tools or are they simply riding a publicity wave?