Friday, 28 March 2014

Four things that are really worth asking in a job interview

Job interviews, needless to say are one of life's true minefields. The internet is brimming with advice on what to ask, what not to ask, what not to wear, even when to shake a hand... the list is truly endless, and can often be rather intimidating when you are faced with a set of exhaustive instructions on every single aspect of an interview. Ultimately, the key thing to remember is an interview is a two-way street. While they are chance for employers to determine whether an individual has the appropriate attributes to fill a job role, they are also a chance for you to decide if the job is right for you and your career. Given the high unemployment rates we have faced in recent times, it can easily seem as if all the power is in the employers hands, while we do not want too be to selective, it is really important that you are prepared not just to ask questions, but the right ones, in order to get the best possible job role for you. And so, here is a concise user-friendly list on four things that are really worth asking in a job interview:

1. What career progression is available in this position?

This is an important question to ask because it communicates to the employer that you are ambitious and eager to progress in a job role, while also allowing you the chance to get a grasp on where this may take you in your future, and whether or not this is the career path that you want to take.

2. What are some of the largest problems this company and its staff could be faced with? Do you feel I could solve these?

Asking a question like this shows you to be someone who is proactive and wants to make a difference in the work environment. When asking something like this be prepared for the question to also be returned to you, meaning this is a perfect opportunity to show off the research you have carried out for a particular company and offer constructive suggestions on how they may be able improve in particular areas. What's more this will give you taste of the negatives that you may come up against whilst working for an employer.

3. Please could you offer some examples of the projects I will be working on / key tasks I will expected to carry out?

Questions like these allow you to get a firm grasp on what will be expected from you in your job, which in turn enables you to make an informed decision on whether a particular job is matched to your capabilities and career interests. 

4. Is this a new position? If not - what did the former employee go on to do?

While you do not want to be too intrusive, this is a great chance to be able to get a sense of what opportunities might be open to you through the job role. If the position is new, follow up with a question regarding how regularly positions come up, which will indicate a companies growth and the chances available for progression internally.

If you are currently looking for a job, or need some advice on how to perfect your CV, be sure to visit our website where there is lots more helpful information to be found!

New studies show drugs may offer an alternative to surgery for women with the BRCA1 mutation

According to a recent article in the Daily Mail, researchers in Belfast believe they have come up with an non-invasive alternative to reducing the risk of cancer for women who carry the BRCA1 mutation. It is thought that around one woman in every 1,000 carries this mutation (Daily Mail, March 14), meaning a 60-90% lifetime risk of breast cancer and 40-60% risk of ovarian cancer (NHS, March 14). Currently, the only way of reducing this risk is to undergo surgery in order to remove the tissue of the breasts and ovaries, however new research undertaken at Queen's University in Belfast is stating that anti-oestrogen drug treatments could also be used to reduce these increased cancer risks. 

Studies have now revealed that there is a direct link between high levels of oestrogen and DNA damage, the cause of cancer in the ovaries and breasts. Furthermore, they have also discovered that the cells of the women with this gene mutation are also unable to fight the high levels of this hormone that resides in the breasts and ovaries, leaving them particularly vulnerable to DNA damage and the development of cancerous tumours. 

According to the NHS so many women turn to risk reducing surgery because it is believed that they are very unlikely to be able to reduce their risk to below that of 50% (Evans, NHS, March 2012) which leaves them faced only with major life changing surgery. Though still in its early stages, Dr Kienan Savage, who is leading this research, stated: ‘this discovery is very significant in the management of women with the BRCA1 gene mutation.' (Daily Mail, March 14).


Thursday, 20 March 2014

BBC National Short Story Award 2014

The judges have been announced for the BBC National Short Story Award in partnership with Booktrust. They include BBC Creative Director and presenter Alan Yentob. writers Amit Chaudhuri, Laura Dockrill and Adam Foulds and regular judge Di Speirs.
After nine years, the Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, the runner-up £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.

Although the BBC National Short Story Award 2014 closed to submissions on Friday 28 February 2014, the shortlist of five stories will be announced on BBC Radio Four's Front Row during the week commencing 15 September 2014, with each of the five stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4 throughout the following week. The five stories will also be published in a special anthology and be available for free audio download.

The winner will be announced at an Award Ceremony in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House on Tuesday 30 September 2014.

Image: Horia Varlan

20 NHS trusts up for inspection under new approach

The 20 NHS trusts listed face thorough scrutiny between April and June this year as part of the CQC’s new approach to hospital inspections.

These trusts will receive an official overall rating of outstanding, good, requires improvement or poor.
Each main service, such as maternity and accident and emergency, will also be rated in the same way, providing performance information at service and trust-level.
The trusts listed below have been selected for a range of reasons, with specialist trusts included for the first time. Some trusts inspected under the Bruce Keogh Review into high mortality rates are included for a follow-up inspection. Others are trusts judged to have a higher level of risk of providing poor care or are trusts hoping to secure foundation trust status. 
They are:
·       Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust
·       Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
·       Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
·       Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust
·       East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
·       George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust
·       Isle Of Wight NHS Trust
·       Medway NHS Foundation Trust
·       North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust
·       North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
·       North West London Hospitals NHS Trust
·       Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
·       Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
·       Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
·       Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
·       Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
·       Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
·       The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
·       United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

·       Wye Valley NHS Trust


A North Lincolnshire nursing home is fined £3,750 for failure to comply with CQC regulations

Gilby House Nursing Home failed to meet national CQC requirements and has been issued with fines of £3,750.
CQC has issued two fixed penalty notices, one to the provider, Prime Life Limited, and one to the former manager of Gilby House Nursing Home following their failure to notify the CQC within the required timescales about incidents affecting residents at the home.
CQC carried out an unannounced inspection at Gilby House Nursing Home on the 24 October 2013 as part of their scheduled programme of inspections for 2013/14.
After a review of care records, inspectors found that there had been a failure to inform CQC about the death of a person living at the home, and of a serious injury to another resident following a fall..
Due to the Home’s failure to meet legally required national standards, CQC has issued fixed penalty notices of £3,750.
For more details of the findings from the inspection in October 2013, read the full report here.

Image: Images_of_Money, Flickr

Mental Health and Community Health Providers are to be inspected from April

The CQC has announced the second group of mental health and community health providers that will be inspected as part of the new approach to inspecting specialist mental health services.
The providers that are due to be inspected vary in size, specialisms and regions across England as the CQC continue to develop the improved inspection model for mental health and community healthcare.
The providers include:
Community health providers
   Cambridgeshire Community Health Services NHS Trust
   Kent Community Health NHS Trust
   Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
   Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust

Mental health providers
   Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
   Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
   Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
   Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
   Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Combined
   Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
   Bradford District Care Trust
   Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Inspections will begin from April, and by December 2015, every NHS Trust will have been inspected.

Image: Marchin Wichary, Flickr