By Martin Searle

Get specialist help

The Dispute Resolution or review process is complex and a solicitor or other specialist will be able to:

— Advise on your prospects of success in challenging a decision

— Prepare written submissions

Following the introduction of the National Framework in October 2007, there are now two Dispute Resolution stages:

— Local resolution

— Independent review panel

The Dispute Resolution process can only address whether the National Framework and Guidance have been applied correctly in your or your relative’s case. Concerns about the type of care or treatment, or the location of the care package, need to be dealt with through a separate process.

Ask for a Primary Care Trust review – Local resolution

Apply for a review in writing checking for deadlines or forms. If the request is due to an increase in your relative’s needs, do not be put off by deadlines. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are supposed to deal promptly with review requests, although it can take months. The PCT review may involve one or more of the following:

— An internal panel to review assessment documents

— A neighbouring PCT reviewing documents

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— An invitation to next of kin (or someone with Enduring Power of Attorney) to attend the Panel review meeting

— An invitation to next of kin (or someone with Enduring Power of Attorney) to express in writing their understanding of the individual’s needs

If you are asked to give your opinion, issues to raise include:

— Errors or misunderstandings by the original assessor of your relative’s needs.

— Needs that are already being met that have been overlooked.

— Supervision, prompting and other specialist interventions needed for dementia or mental health problems.

— Evidence/opinion of complex need and healthcare in any recent hospital assessments (for instance before being discharged).

— Social Services’ care plan or assessments indicating the number and quality of nursing or other interventions required.

— Your own detailed records of the events and illnesses that lead to your relative’s need for care.

— Evidence from a GP or other professional where they did not give an opinion in the original assessment.

Ask for a strategic health authority referral

If the PCT review maintained the original decision, you can ask for the case to be referred to the Strategic Health Authority’s Independent Review Panel (IRP). You can also apply direct to the IRP if the local resolution stage is taking too long. The IRP has an advisory role and can only offer ‘guidance’ on:

— The ‘validity’ of the PCT’s decision

— Whether the PCT correctly applied the National Framework

However, PCTs should accept IRP decisions in all but exceptional cases.

The IRP should let you have the documents they will use to consider your relative’s case and ask you for information about their health needs. However, this information is often only provided a week or so before the hearing. It is advisable to meet your solicitor or adviser well in advance of receiving this information, to prepare your written submissions. You can update them when you have the information.

The panel hearing:

— Consists of three people

— Will normally include a nursing adviser

— Is relatively informal as part of a fact-gathering and decision-making process

— Is private – you and the PCT should be interviewed separately.

You will generally be notified of the decision in writing within four weeks. If the IRP decides your relative should be entitled to NHS continuing healthcare funding, the award should be paid retrospectively to cover the ‘dispute period’. The recommendation should include a date from which the funding should have been awarded. It may be that the IRP says your relative did not meet the criteria for free care at the time you brought the challenge, but that funding should be allowed for a period after that date.

Seek a referral to the healthcare commission

If the IRP upholds the PCT’s decision, you may have a basis to refer the case to the Healthcare Commission. The Commission can review complaints where the complainant is not satisfied with the local decision or where the complaint has been unresolved at local level for six months.

Try the health service ombudsman as a last recourse

There are limitations to the type of issue the Ombudsman can investigate. It can say, for example, whether a request for a continuing care assessment was unreasonably refused. Or whether the rationale for the decision was fair, clear and based on evidence. Or whether the proper processes were carried out. While the Ombudsman cannot make a substitute decision, it can remit the case back to the Strategic Health Authority or PCT for a proper and fair determination.

The National Framework applies to continuing healthcare funding in England. Different guidance operates in Wales and Northern Ireland. Anyone seeking funding should consider seeking specialist advice. A different approach applies in Scotland where nursing and personal care costs (but not accommodation costs) are funded at set levels.

See Accessing Continuing Healthcare Funding Factsheet for help with applying for continuing healthcare funding.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Police in the West Midlands in England today said nearly 200 kilograms worth of drugs with value possibly as great as £30 million (about US$49 million or €36 million) has been seized from a unit in the town of Brownhills. In what an officer described as “one of the largest [seizures] in the force’s 39 year history”, West Midlands Police reported recovering six big cellophane-wrapped cardboard boxes containing cannabis, cocaine, and MDMA (“ecstasy”) in a police raid operation on the Maybrook Industrial Estate in the town on Wednesday.

The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated

The seized boxes, which had been loaded onto five freight pallets, contained 120 one-kilogram bags of cannabis, 50 one-kilogram bags of MDMA, and five one-kilogram bricks of cocaine. In a press release, West Midlands Police described what happened after officers found the drugs as they were being unloaded in the operation. “When officers opened the boxes they discovered a deep layer of protective foam chips beneath which the drugs were carefully layered”, the force said. “All the drugs were wrapped in thick plastic bags taped closed with the cannabis vacuum packed to prevent its distinctive pungent aroma from drawing unwanted attention.” Police moved the drugs via forklift truck to a flatbed lorry to remove them.

Detective Sergeant Carl Russell of West Midlands Police’s Force CID said the seizure was the largest he had ever made in the 24 years he has been in West Midlands Police and one of the biggest seizures the force has made since its formation in 1974. “The impact this seizure will have on drug dealing in the region and the UK as a whole cannot be underestimated”, he said. “The drugs had almost certainly been packed to order ready for shipping within Britain but possibly even further afield. Our operation will have a national effect and we are working closely with a range of law enforcement agencies to identify those involved in this crime at whatever level.”

Expert testing on the drugs is ongoing. Estimates described as “conservative” suggest the value of the drugs amounts to £10 million (about US$16.4 million or €12 million), although they could be worth as much as £30 million, subject to purity tests, police said.

Police arrested three men at the unit on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. The men, a 50-year-old from Brownhills, a 51-year-old from the Norton area of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, and one aged 53 from Brownhills, have been released on bail as police investigations to “hunt those responsible” continue. West Midlands Police told Wikinews no person has yet been charged in connection with the seizure. Supplying a controlled drug is an imprisonable offence in England, although length of jail sentences vary according to the class and quantity of drugs and the significance of offenders’ roles in committing the crime.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

The United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, yesterday announced the 2009 budget. The budget is an annual audit of the nation’s finances, and decides what should be done with taxpayers’ money.

The chancellor fell under scorn for his GDP growth forecasts, which are considered to be too optimistic in predicting that Britain will bounce back from its weakest economic performance since the end of the second world war. Darling forecast GDP growth of 3.5% in 2011, even after he was made to downgrade his predictions. He expects a record expansion of 1.25% next year, but chief UK economist Howard Archer disagrees, calling Darling’s predictions “mildly optimistic in the near term and much more optimistic in the long term.”

Was the increase in the ISA limit “too little, too late”?
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His plans for savers and pensioners, however, were commended by many, though was also criticised by a large portion of the populace. In the budget, Darling increased the amount that savers can put into an Individual Savings Account (ISA) from £7,200 to £10,200, of which £5,100 can be saved in cash. These increased limits will be available only to people aged over 50 from 6 October this year, and will not be available to everyone until 6 April next year. A number of financial experts described the move as being “too little, too late”, and Rumina Hassam, of price comparison website, said: “The government’s decision to increase the cash ISA limit by £1,500 to £5,100 for the over 50’s is a just another kick in the teeth for the majority of savers as they will have to wait even longer to benefit. There is no doubt that savers have been sacrificed as a result of the plummeting base rate, bringing savings rates to an all time low.”

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Safia Ahmed-jan, the director of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the Khandahar province and an advocate of women’s rights and a strong critic of the Taliban‘s repression of those rights, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside her home in Khandahar city in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

Safia Ama-jan, as she was known locally, is the first woman official to be targeted by the Taliban-led insurgency since it was deposed in 2001.

Safia Ahmed-jan taught at a girls’ school and was a high-school principal in Khandahar prior to the Taliban’s 1996 rise to power in Afghanistan. When the Taliban regime banned education for girls and forbade women from working outside the home, she ran an underground school for girls at her home, said her son Naqibullah, speaking to the Associated Press.

After the Taliban government was overthrown in 2001, Ahmed-jan became the provincial chief for women’s affairs in 2002, when the ministry was established and has since then held that position, worked for women’s rights and particularly, championed the cause of educating girls. Her secretary, Abdullah Khan told Associated Press that among her most successful projects were the vocational training schools she opened in Khandahar, where almost 1000 women were taught baking, tailoring and other skills.

Ahmed-jan has also been fiercely critical of the repression of women during the Taliban rule, in a region that has remained conservative and emerged as a hotbed of the Taliban’s insurgent activity. Her requests for personal security guards and transport went unheeded by the government, according to local media reports, though her nephew, Muhammad Asif told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan preferred to keep a low profile and used a taxi or public transport even though her office maintained cars and drivers.

Ahmed-jan was shot dead outside her house at about 7:30 a.m. local time (UTC+4:30) on Monday, as she left for work in a taxi. The gunmen are believed to have left scene on a motorcycle, and tyre marks have been found by the police, said the provincial governor Asadullah Khaled, who visited the scene of the attack.

Ahmed-jan was shot four times with a pistol, Muhammad Haidar, who worked in her office told the New York Times. Mohammad Nader, the head nurse at Khandahar’s main hospital where Ahmed-jan was taken to, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that she was shot four times, including once in the head.

She was about 65 years old.

Accounts of the shooting are sketchy, several reports suggesting no one witnessed it. However, one man, identified as Allaudin told Al Jazeera that he saw two men on motorcycles waiting on the road, who attacked Ahmed-jan as she left her house.

A spokesman for the Khandahar governor, Daud Ahmadi confirmed the death and said that Ahmed-jan had died on the spot. An investigation into the attack has begun, and local officials have blamed the Taliban.

Hundreds of men and women, including the Governor Asadullah Khaled were present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral on Monday evening, which took place in Khandahar’s main Shia mosque.

The killing has been strongly condemned by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as aid and human rights organisations in Afghanistan.

Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that UNAMA was “appalled at the senseless murder” of a woman who was working to ensure a full and equal part in the future of Afghanistan for its women. He added, “We share the sentiment of the majority of Afghan people who are appalled at this killing.”

Abdul Quadar Noorzai, head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for the Khandahar region told IRIN News that Ahmed-jan’s death will have a “serious impact on women’s activities in the south where women are already suffering from … the deteriorating security and conservative traditions,”.

Fariba Ahmedi, a woman MP from Khandahar who was present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral told the Associated Press, “The enemy of Afghanistan killed her, but they should know it will not derail women from the path we are on. We will continue on our way,”.

Sonja Bachmann, a U.N. political officer who knew Ahmed-jan well told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan “did a good job, she worked in a very low-key way and worked hard to raise awareness about women’s issues.”

Reuters and Associated Press received phone calls, claiming responsibility for the attacks on behalf of Mullah Sadullah, a regional Taliban commander, but no confirmation of the claim has been possible.

Another caller, who identified himself as Taliban commander Mullah Hayat Khan told Al Jazeera that Ahmed-jan was killed because she worked for the government.

The Taliban-led insurgency has stepped up attacks in recent months, killing hundreds of people this year.

Last week, 19 Afghans working for reconstruction projects in the region were killed after their bus was ambushed.The Governor of Paktia province, a close associate of President Karzai, was killed in a suicide bombing on September 10.

Attacks on schools have also been stepped up. According to the Afghan education ministry, there have been 158 attacks on schools this year, compared to 146 last year. The attacks on schools are believed to be due partly to the Taliban’s opposition to educating girls, as well as a way to undermine the Afghan government and it’s reconstruction efforts.

Twelve suspected militants and two Afghan police officers were reported killed on Monday in separate incidents which also left eight others and a U.S. soldier wounded.

“People are scared, of course,” Ahmad-jan’s co-worker Haidar said, “How can we feel secure when the head of our department is killed in front of her house?”

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With supply chain problems and complexity there is always a chance that clients and customers aren’t going to be satisfied with your service. The good news is that by using these effective ways to handle these problems, you will be able to make the supply chain better and more efficiently again. These are the top ways to handle supply chain problems.

1) Consider automation

With the technology that is improving all the time, there is one thing that you can consider. You can consider automation. Where everything is becoming automated. The whole supply chain. This is more effective for everyone and will benefit the whole chain.

The only problem is that you need to make sure that everyone is on board before this is something that you can implement. Some people might be against automation, and they might not agree with it. You will need to make sure that they are understanding the benefits completely.

2) Ensure constant cashflow is provided

Delays and problems normally happen, because of cashflow problems between the supply chain. The moment that you are ensuring that there is constant cash flow then, the whole complex will become easier and faster to handle. If someone is waiting for money, then the rest of the supply chain is also going to wait, causing serious delays.

However, you still need to make sure that with the constant cashflow that your cash is still secure with the best security on the market. And, that you are monitoring it all the time. Making sure that you are going to know where every cent is going.

3) Monitoring your inventory in real time

Another great thing about supply chain technology is improving all the time. You can start monitoring your inventory in real time. Meaning that you don’t need to be in the warehouse taking inventory to know how much stock you actually have. It is essential to monitoring inventory on a regular basis, and with the possibility to do it in real-time, it is just making it easier and faster.

You can be in your office, controlling the process. Then, you can go on the internet and see exactly how much stock you still have available in the warehouses. Ensuring that you don’t go out of stock and let clients and customers wait. This isn’t just more efficiently, but time-saving as well.

4) Simplifying contracts and agreements

There is no need to make the contracts with the supply chain complicated. The more complicated the contracts and agreements, the more difficult it is going to be to understand the contract and what is expected from them.

You should still have a standard contract with all the essentials in, but it doesn’t need to contain all the terms that are hard to understand. Sometimes it is just better to put everything in simple English. So that everyone can understand what to expect. Taking the complexity out of the supply chain contracts and agreements.

Yes, there can be many complexities and difficulties with a supply chain. Especially if you don’t really have the right experience in handling supply chains. But, with these effective ways, you will be able to understand how to handle these difficulties, and even ensure that it doesn’t become difficult at the first time. You need to remember that technology is changing all the time, and you can improve the supply chain without any problems or without any time delays.

For over 100 years, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation services, including air freight forwarding and sea freight forwarding services to and from the major ports includingBrisbane,Sydney,Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The first attacks carried out by United States Predator drones in Libya reportedly occurred today, as the Pentagon confirmed a strike carried out by the U.S. Air Force but declined to give further details.

According to Pentagon spokesperson Darryn James, a captain in the U.S. Navy, the attack happened sometime Saturday, but withheld other information. According to the Pentagon, “common practice” regarding drone operations is to provide no more information than to confirm an attack. NATO later revealed the target was a multiple rocket launcher in the Misrata area. A statement from NATO said that, “[t]he MRL system had been used against civilians in Misrata.”

Robert Gates, the US Defense secretary, announced Thursday that President Barack Obama had given permission for drones to be used in the conflict due to their “unique capabilities.” Previously, drones had been used only in a surveillance role.

General James Cartwright, an official with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that drones have an “ability to get down lower and therefore, to be able to get better visibility, particularly on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions,” a benefit in Libya, where pro-Gaddafi forces are increasingly taking cover near civilian populations. Drones are able to make more precise attacks, which lowers the risk of civilian casualties in such areas.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

On Monday, United States technology giant Microsoft announced their plans to acquire GitHub, a San Francisco, California-based web-based hosting service for software version control using Git, for 7.5 billion US Dollars (USD).

In the official announcement at the Microsoft News web site, the company said they are to reach agreement with GitHub by the end of the year. They said the agreement would allow them to deliver Microsoft development services to GitHub users, and “accelerate enterprise use of GitHub”. GitHub had been financially struggling recently and is expected to get a new CEO.

In 2016, according to financial news and media company Bloomberg L.P., through three quarters GitHub lost USD 66 million, while in nine months of that year GitHub had revenue of USD 98 million. In August 2017 GitHub said they were seeking a new CEO. According to the announcements by GitHub and Microsoft, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman would become the new CEO of GitHub. He had created app creation platform company Xamarin and was “an open-source veteran”, Microsoft said.

GitHub confirmed the acquisition plans on its blog. In this announcement they alluded to concerns about past friction between Microsoft and open-source software, however they said “things are different. […] Microsoft is the most active organization on GitHub in the world”, mentioning VS Code as an example. In the announcement, GitHub also referred to its several years of collaboration with Microsoft on Git LFS and Electron. GitHub also mentioned the Azure development platform run by Microsoft.

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Important Considerations When Buying New Patio Furniture


Jason Lom

If your home has a patio, then you need to find some outdoor furniture that will accentuate the beauty of your home while providing your guests and family with maximum comfort. Here are some really helpful tips to help you turn your patio into premier hangout spot for family and friends.

Looking For New Patio Furniture?

You need to take a few moments and develop a layout for your patio. Where do you want people to sit and what is the focal point of the patio? Will the focal point be a barbecue or perhaps an outdoor fire pit? These are important decisions that have to be made now, before you can even start looking for new patio furniture. After you have figured out the layout, you can start looking for the furniture.

Important Steps to Follow

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After you have established your vision, you need to start looking for the patio furniture you want to purchase. But there are some important steps you must follow. The first is to figure out what material you want the furniture to be made with. There are many different materials from metal to wood to even wicker. Each of these materials has their own distinct benefits and styles, so you must take a few moments to review each of them carefully before you make any decisions on which choice is right for you.

Do Some Research

After you have established what materials you want the furniture to be made with, you must start doing some research on the various types of furniture that is available. When you have established the names of all the different types of furniture, you must find out which of these brands is the most popular with other consumers. You are spending your hard earned money on this furniture, so you need to make 100% sure you are getting the best quality possible. The only effective way to know whether you are getting good value or not is by reading the feedback left by other consumers.

Test Out the Furniture for Yourself

While reviews posted by other consumers are important, you still need to actually test the furniture for yourself. Look at the quality of the construction and whether the furniture is able to stand the test of time. There are some sets of furniture that look nice in a catalogue, but are not well made and after one season you will need to throw them away.

Important Consideration

Another essential consideration when sourcing for this furniture is finding out whether or not it can stand up to the elements. The quality of the materials being used is important, but you also need to maintain the furniture, or you run the risk of having your furniture deteriorate prematurely.

Consider How you will Store your Outdoor Furniture

You should look into storage options to put your outdoor furniture away during the winter months. If you leave your furniture outside throughout the entire year, you will shorten the lifespan of the furniture, which will cost you more money in the long run. If you are proactive and carefully review all of the different furniture options for your patio, you should have no problems making a truly informed decision.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chinese officials have said that their country’s exports surged last December to edge out Germany as the world’s biggest exporter.

The official Xinhua news agency reported today that figures from the General Administration for Customs showed that exports jumped 17.7% in December from a year earlier. Over the whole of 2009 total Chinese exports reached US$1.2 trillion, above Germany’s forecast $1.17 trillion.

Huang Guohua, a statistics official with the customs administration, said the December exports rebound was an important turning point for China’s export sector. He commented that the jump was an indication that exporters have emerged from their downslide.

“We can say that China’s export enterprises have completely emerged from their all-time low in exports,” he said.

However, although China overtook Germany in exports, China’s total foreign trade — both exports and imports — fell 13.9% last year.

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