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Public Health ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 200 ◽  
pp. 106-108
E. Emerson ◽  
V. Totsika ◽  
Z. Aitken ◽  
T. King ◽  
R.P. Hastings ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Laila Aladwey ◽  
Adel Elgharbawy ◽  
Mona Atef Ganna

Purpose This study aims to investigate the relationship between the attributes of corporate boards in UK companies and their tendency to assure their corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. Design/methodology/approach From the agency theory perspective, the authors examine the impact of board attributes on the assurance of CSR reports for the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 350 during 2016–2019. The authors used annual integrated reports, companies’ websites and Thomson Reuters Eikon database for data collection and the logistic regression for data analysis. Findings The results confirm that some board attributes significantly influence a company’s decision to assure its CSR reports. While board size, board tenure, the presence of female board members and female executive directors and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)’ global working experience positively contribute to CSR assurance (CSRA) decisions, the chairman’s independence negatively contributes to it. However, board independence, board meetings and board financial expertise demonstrate no effect on the CSRA decision. Research limitations/implications The authors focus on some attributes of board members, but the authors did not consider board diversity in its broader meaning. Moreover, the effect of board committees and their attributes on CSRA was not addressed. The authors also did not consider the impact of scope, the quality level of assurance service and the differences between assurance providers on companies’ decisions to neither undertake CSRA nor choose between assurance providers. Practical implications The study provides insights into the increasing demand on voluntary assurance to boost the credibility of CSR reports and the role of the board of directors (BOD) in taking this initiative. The findings highlight the importance of board diversity (e.g. gender) in improving transparency and sustainability reporting, which can help policymakers and regulators in shaping future governance policies. Additionally, the findings refer to a drawback in the UK Corporate Governance Code regarding the chairman’s independence, which requires corrective actions from the Financial Reporting Council. The findings raise concern over the small share of audit firms in the assurance service market, despite the growing demand for these services in the UK, which may require more attention to these services from the audit firms. Social implications Companies are increasingly pressurized, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, to discharge their accountability to stakeholders and to act in a socially responsible manner in their business activities. CSR reporting is one of the main tools that companies use to communicate their social activities. Understanding the determinants of voluntary CSRA helps to increase the credibility of CSR reports and the favorable response to social pressure. Originality/value The authors add empirical evidence to the limited literature on CSRA about the role of the BOD in undertaking companies’ social responsibility, improving CSR reporting and reducing information asymmetry. It also highlights the significance of maintaining a balanced BOD in terms of gender, experience and tenure, in minimizing the risk of perpetuating non-transparent integrated reporting.

2021 ◽  
Emer Regina Gates ◽  
Barnaby Hole ◽  
Samantha Hayward ◽  
Nicholas C Chesnaye ◽  
Yvette Meuleman ◽  

Abstract BackgroundProspective cohort studies are challenging to deliver, with one of the main difficulties lying in retention of participants. The need to socially distance during the COVID-19 pandemic has added to this challenge. The pre-COVID-19 adaptation of the European Quality (EQUAL) study in the UK to a remote form of follow-up for efficiency provides lessons for those who are considering changing their study design.MethodsThe EQUAL study is an international prospective cohort study of patients ≥65 years of age with advanced chronic kidney disease. Initially, patients were invited to complete a questionnaire (SF-36, Dialysis Symptom Index and Renal Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire) at research clinics every 3-6 months, known as “traditional follow-up” (TFU). In 2018, all living patients were invited to switch to “efficient follow-up” (EFU), which used an abbreviated questionnaire consisting of SF-12 and Dialysis Symptom Index. These were administered centrally by post. Response rates were calculated using returned questionnaires as a proportion of surviving invitees, and error rates presented as the average percentage of unanswered questions or unclear answers, of total questions in returned questionnaires. Response and error rates were calculated 6-monthly in TFU to allow comparisons with EFU.ResultsOf the 504 patients initially recruited, 236 were still alive at the time of conversion to EFU; 111 of these (47%) consented to the change in follow-up. In those who consented, median TFU was 34 months, ranging from 0 to 42 months. Their response rates fell steadily from 88% (98/111) at month 0 of TFU, to 20% (3/15) at month 42. The response rate for the first EFU questionnaire was 60% (59/99) of those alive from TFU. With this improvement in response rates, the first EFU also lowered errors to baseline levels seen in early follow-up, after having almost trebled throughout traditional follow-up.ConclusionsOverall, this study demonstrates that administration of shorter follow-up questionnaires by post rather than in person does not negatively impact patient response or error rates. These results may be reassuring for researchers who are trying to limit face-to-face contact with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 ◽  
Andrew Papworth ◽  
Bryony Beresford ◽  
Lorna Fraser ◽  
Suzanne Mukherjee ◽  
Andre Bedendo ◽  

2021 ◽  
Ethan Aines ◽  
Zeynep Clulow ◽  
Alasdair Neilson ◽  
Emily Shuckburgh ◽  
Steve Evans

This regional profile for the UK was developed in the context of the BEIS COP26 Futures We Want project. It has been developed with input from in-country academic experts Dr Emily Shuckburgh (University of Cambridge, UK) and Professor Steve Evans (University of Cambridge, UK). It sets out a synthesis of the available evidence base on regional challenges and opportunities for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience measures for India associated with climate change and a global transition to an inclusive, desirable, and resilient net-zero future.

BMJ Leader ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. leader-2021-000465
Sharon Buckley ◽  
Megan Smith ◽  
Jaimini Patel ◽  
Sandie Gay ◽  
Ian Davison

IntroductionThe importance of shared or distributed leadership in healthcare is recognised; however, trainees, early career professionals and others for whom the exercise of leadership is a recent development report being underprepared for leadership roles. Trainee clinical scientists exemplify such groups, being both early in their career and in a profession for which clinical leadership is less well established. Their insights can inform understanding of appropriate forms of leadership development for health professionals.MethodsWe explored perceptions of leadership and its development for trainee clinical scientists on the UK preregistration Scientist Training Programme through semi-structured interviews with trainees, training officers, academic educators and lead healthcare scientists; and through an online questionnaire based on the UK multiprofessional Clinical Leadership Competency Framework (CLCF). Responses were analysed statistically or thematically as appropriate.ResultsForty interviews were undertaken and 267 valid questionnaire responses received. Stakeholders recognised clinical expertise as integral to leadership; otherwise their perceptions aligned with CLCF domains and ‘shared leadership’ philosophy. They consider learning by ‘doing’ real tasks (leadership activities) key to competency acquisition, with leadership education (eg, observation and theory) complementing these. Workplace affordances, such as quality of departmental leadership, training officer engagement and degree of patient contact affect trainees’ ability to undertake leadership activities.ConclusionsFrom our research, we have developed an enhanced model for leadership development for trainee and early career clinical scientists that may have wider applicability to other health professions and groups not traditionally associated with clinical leadership. To foster their leadership, we argue that improving workplace affordances is more important than improving leadership education.

Gerard M Walls ◽  
Orla A Houlihan ◽  
Ciaran Mooney ◽  
Rebecca Prince ◽  
Katie Spencer ◽  

Objectives: Radiotherapy is a key cancer treatment modality but is poorly understood by doctors. We sought to evaluate radiation oncology (RO) teaching in medical schools within the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI), as well as any impacts on RO teaching delivery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: A bespoke online survey instrument was developed, piloted and distributed to oncology teaching leads at all UK and RoI medical schools. Questions were designed to capture information on the structure, format, content and faculty for RO teaching, as well as both the actual and the predicted short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19. Results: Responses were received from 29/41 (71%) UK and 5/6 (83%) RoI medical schools. Pre-clinical and clinical oncology teaching was delivered over a median of 2 weeks (IQR 1–6), although only 9 (27%) of 34 responding medical schools had a standalone RO module. RO teaching was most commonly delivered in clinics or wards (n = 26 and 25 respectively). Few medical schools provided teaching on the biological basis for radiotherapy (n = 11) or the RO career pathway (n = 8), and few provide teaching delivered by non-medical RO multidisciplinary team members. There was evidence of short- and long-term disruption to RO teaching from COVID-19. Conclusions: RO teaching in the UK and RoI is limited with minimal coverage of relevant theoretical principles and little exposure to radiotherapy departments and their non-medical team members. The COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating trainee doctors’ already constrained exposure to radiotherapy. Advances in knowledge: This study provides the first analysis of radiotherapy-related teaching in the UK and RoI, and the first to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on radiationoncology teaching.

Daniel Cottle

Covid‑19 restrictions affected most of the post‑16 learning experience of the students who will begin university courses in STEM in the UK in autumn 2021. Ongoing disruption to learning culminated in the cancellation of normal A-level examinations which were replaced with teacher assessments. Informal discussion with secondary school teaching colleagues reveals some possible consequences for the students’ transition to degree level study in STEM subjects. The main suggestion is that, despite the resilience that students have shown both academically and socially, there have been significant omissions from the normally studied curriculum that may affect their progress on degree courses in STEM including: lack of experimental practice and skills, lack of specific subject knowledge and lack of experience of assessment.

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