Rehabilitation is key to work
Rehabilitation is the "missing link" in returning ill and injured people back to work. This was the theme at a conference on partnerships between health professionals and the insurance industry last week. Consultant Occupational Therapist, Emma Bowd told delegates: "The level of support a worker has in both medical treatment and in returning to work after injury in the UK has been inconsistent." She added that a stronger partnership between workers, employers, insurers and health professionals would get people back to work quicker.

Frank McCarthy dies at 49
Managing director of Lloyd's broker Morgan Read and Sharman, Frank McCarthy, 49, died peacefully at home. He leaves a wife and two children.

CMG buys Eurasoft SA
European IT services group CMG has acquired Eurasoft SA, a Paris-based information systems company. To the year end December 31, 1998, Eurasoft's turnover was £1.46 million. The total consideration, which will be paid in cash, is £3.28m.

FSA prepares for Year 2000
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is hosting "Preparing for the Millennium Weekend", a one day event taking place on November 19. Keynote speeches will come from Michael Foot, the FSA's managing director of financial supervision, and Martin Owen, head of the FSA's Y2K unit. There will be 600 delegates present at the conference which has been organised by City & Financial in conjunction with the FSA.

Corporate disclosure
PricewaterhouseCoopers is to publish a report into the "corporate disclosure gap" in the financial services industry. The report includes the views of analysts, investors, banks and insurance providers asking them about current reporting requirements, and whether the system is suitable. The report will be available from November 30.

E-commerce spend to rise
The spend on e-commerce will rocket over the next two years, according to a study by e-commerce software and services provider Intelligent Environments (iE). Research into some of the UK's top 100 general insurers showed that while two per cent of the average insurer's IT budget goes on internet based e-commerce, that figure is likely to soar to ten per cent by next year.

Lloyd's boosts security
Lloyd's is enhancing its secure trading capabilities by piloting an internet Virtual Private Network (VPN) service on the Lloyd's Insurance Network (LIN). The new system allows workstations to connect to Lloyd's-based applications over the internet via a "secure tunnel". Tim Gregory, general manager of Lloyd's IT services, said: "Security and accessibility to back office systems via the internet has long been an issue and, therefore, we are seeking to address this with this pilot."

No training in company cars
A new survey shows that company car drivers are not being trained by their employers on avoiding road accidents. A survey by Pay Magazine reveals that, although 21% of company car drivers make claims compared to 16% of private motorists, only ten per cent of companies advise on careful driving and fuel-efficiency.

Government awards to Devitt
Devitt Insurance has won two Government awards for staff training and development. The Department for Education and Employment presented both Devitt Insurance and its internal training manager Kevin McAlpin with the National Training Award.

Independent opens offices
Insurance recruitment specialists Independent Appointments has opened two new regional offices in Bristol and Sheffield.

Memorial for Griffiths
A memorial service has been held for Kenneth Griffiths, honorary vice president for life of the Liverpool Insurance Institute, at Liverpool parish church. A packed congregation heard former colleagues speak of Griffiths' achievements and memorable sense of humour. Giffiths, who died after a short illness aged 90, was the first broker president of the Liverpool Insurance Institute and endowed examination prizes for students.

Audatex opens training facility
Computerised estimating systems provider, Audatex, has opened a new training and conference facility at Thatcham, the motor insurers' research centre. Audatex says it expects 2,000 delegates to pass through the centre each year. The centre boasts two classrooms equipped with AudaWorkstation work consoles for each delegate, and a conference room. It officially opens today.

Folgate joins HSBC panel
Folgate Insurance has joined HSBC Select's panel of seven household insurers. The telephone broking arm of HSBC Insurance Brokers has also invested in policy administration software from Cheshire Data Systems. Bob Bright, managing director of HSBC Select, said: "Folgate Insurance is well recognised for its competitive household products which offer a real complement to the products of existing members." Steve Jenkins, of Folgate Insurance, said joining HSBC Select's panel would significantly increase the distribution of its products. Seven insurers belong to HSBC Select's panel, including, Axa, Royal & SunAlliance, Norman, Legal and General, Zurich, Norwich Union and BCP at Lloyd's.

Hastings pilots training scheme
Hastings Direct is to pilot a new claims negotiator training programme developed by the Insurance and Related Financial Services National Training Organisation (IRFSNTO). The programme is being used at Hastings Direct's professional development centre in East Sussex. David Stevens, one of the first staff members to have done the training, said: "It has given me a much broader understanding of the insurance industry and the legislation behind the rules we abide by at work." Tom Evans, of IRFSNTO, said: "We are very pleased to have been able to work with Hastings Direct in developing this new and unique training programme, which we feel is a positive contribution to improving standards within the insurance industry."

Glass's eSalvage success story
Glass's Information Service's eSalvage site which helps dispose of total loss vehicles and plant through both contract and tender processes is proving a great success. Since its launch last June, the service claims it has attracted around 20 enquiries from insurers, accident management companies and salvage dealers each week.