News and Ideas

Exempt Front Line Ambulance Staff From Working Longer

This is an e-petition running on the UK Government website:

"John Hutton's report in March 2011 exempted "uniformed services" from the working longer section of his report on Public Sector Pensions. Upon further clarification during the negotiations that the uniforms in question belonged to the Army, Police and Fire Service and that the Ambulance Services were not included. Subsequently there is a real concern that if ALL frontline 999 Ambulance Staff (Paramedics, Technicians and any assistant role) will be expected to undertake the full range of duties then the number of ill health retirement applications will increase and the vulnerability to assaults by members of the public is likely to increase and the cases of stress related illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also likely to increase and the associated costs will need to be funded from public monies. As a representative of Ambulance Staff I call on the Government look to exempt front line Ambulance Staff from working longer and maintain their ability to retire at aged 60."

Rather close to home for me, so I gave this my vote. You might want to as well by heading to: UK Government e-Petitions Website

More Updates!

I will shortly be adding the automatic conversion of Word and PowerPoint documents to PDFs, so they can be automatically added to portfolio entries and ultimately, your CPD profiles. This will run as a batch process overnight, once every 24 hours. The only change you will notice is an extra file attached to your portfolio entries. At some point, I will need to change the CPD profile creation tool to take account of this. For now, if you keep your original Word document for example, you will still be prompted to manually download and print off your evidence when you create a profile.

As always, if you have any feedback, please get in touch.

Sneak Preview!

I couldn't resist giving you a sneak preview of a forthcoming feature...the ability to email portfolio entries. You can see a demo of this here:

You will be able to use this feature after 09:00 on the 8th January.

Portfolio Builder website updates coming!

First off, may I wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope it wasn't too hectic for those of you who had to work...I got off this year, but my wife is on nights (she is a sister at a busy city ED), so we are feeling some of the pain!

The website continues to do really well, with over 1300 users, 5000 portfolio entries and 9000 audit entries. Your suggestions are vital in order to keep the website fit for purpose, so please, if you have any ideas or frustrations, let me know. I can't promise to implement everything and timescales are always rather dependent on what is going on, but I keep tinkering now and again.

Which rather nicely brings me on to a forthcoming website update. Put the 8th January in your diary, because the website will be unavailable (gasp!) for one hour on that date, between 08:00-09:00. This will allow me to do some boring backend stuff, but will also enable a couple of useful features.

The first is the ability to upload evidence from your portfolio entries in a more flexible way, including the ability to upload multiple documents and manage existing evidence better.

Secondly, I notice that more and more of you are using your mobile phones to update the site. To make it easier to update your portfolio from phones (particularly iPhones, which do not allow uploads on web forms), you will be able to email your entries, along with attachments (for example a photo of a certificate) to the website and it will automagically create a portfolio entry for you!

Finally, a note about web browsers. A lot of you are still using old versions of internet explorer. If you have Vista or Windows 7, please update to IE9, or use an alternative such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox. These will provide the best browsing experience, although I accept that many users of the site do so from work, where you have no choice over web browser and I will try to support the older versions as best I can.

Here's to a great 2012!

Merry Christmas

Wishing all users of the site a very Merry Christmas, particularly if you have drawn the short straw and are working (again)!

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