Friday, 27 August 2010


I have spent much of the last few weeks designing and developing e-portfolios for our new students, using Google Sites. (The template is entitled PLR2010 if you want to have a look: it is designed for a specific module, though, so not suitable as a generic portfolio).

There is a portfolio widget available within the VLE, but as with all such platforms, it is only valid for the length of the programme and what I hope is that students will enjoy the idea of regular blogging and creating personal online spaces where they can keep track of their personal and professional development.

Ongoing professional development and personal reflection is important for everyone but particularly so in the human services and I am hoping the eportfolio will be a useful aid for individual supervison as well as career management and recording further professional training.

So I hope the e-portfolios will prove popular and easy to use -and even better - that the students will go beyond the simple templates I have set up to develop really creative learning spaces of their own.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

NHS spends more than £300m on consultancy services

Nigel Edwards, acting chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: "Any spending of taxpayers' money has to be justified, and the NHS has been asked by successive governments to perform tasks for which internal expertise was not present or needed to be developed. Dismissing all this spending as wasteful is unfounded."

IT and Human Resources were the biggest spend areas - the NHS Chief Executive argues that there isn't the specialist knowledge in the service to meet the needs, and that it would also be wasteful to employ people permanently for "one off" specialist roles.  The RCN reply with "shocking waste" etc etc whilstthe opposition retort:

the NHS needs good managers. By wiping away the expertise currently in primary care trusts, [Lansley] is opening the door to consultancy firms

Is spending on consultancy a necessary evil? a clever way of hiding staffing costs in a service beset by targets and spending cuts? a sensible way of bringing in the staffing and expertise needed at the right time? Lazy management? all of the above. Discuss.....