ScotGov:  If the vote is negative the whole of the UK will need to answer the West Lothian question before deciding what new Devo Max powers could be agreed - An historic accord that paves the way for a referendum on an independent Scotland was signed in Edinburgh last week. 

The 'Edinburgh Agreement', will see a Section 30 order laid in the Scottish Parliament and at Westminster to give Holyrood the power necessary for a single question referendum, 'ensuring that the 2014 vote will be designed and run by the people of Scotland'.

After the order has been agreed, the Scottish Government will bring forward legislation to Parliament to enable the referendum to be run. This will set out the proposed date, franchise, the wording of the question, rules on campaign finance and other rules governing the conduct of the campaign.
Press release & links ~ Referendum on independence for Scotland ~ Official referendum site ~ Guardian: Why did Scotland and England unite? ~ About constitutional reform ~ Inquiry: The Referendum on Separation for Scotland ~ WAG: Scottish referendum deal proves UK status quo 'unsustainable' ~ Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons established ~ RUSI: A' the Blue Bonnets: Defending an Independent Scotland ~ PC&PE:  As the song goes: ‘Why are we waiting’ (3rd item) ~ DHI: Scotland in Europe ~ Re-Shaping the Public Finances ~ BBC - Robert Black: Free public services need 'revisiting'

AUKWhat we need to see is a ‘Fall in Falls’ - The National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) and Age UK have launched the Falls & Fractures Declaration, a response to the changes & reforms within the NHS.  AUK and the NOS aim is to highlight the major burden falls & fragility fractures are having on health & social care in the UK.  The Declaration is a 5-year commitment to reduce the number of hip fractures & falls-related injuries in older people.

As Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK says: '1 in 3 people aged over 65 falls every year, often with devastating consequences for their quality of life and at very significant cost to the NHS.   But falls are not an inevitable part of ageing - many falls can be prevented and there is much that can be done to help people who have fallen not to fall again.'

The economic & human cost of falls:
* The combined cost of hospitalisation & social care for hip fractures is £2bn a year or £6m a day
* Falls account for 10–25% of ambulance call-outs for people aged 65+, costing £115 per call-out
* Half of those who sustain a hip fracture never regain their former level of function & 1 in 5 dies within 3 months
* A co-ordinated national falls strategy could reduce the number of falls between 15% & 30%
Press release & links ~ National Osteoporosis Society's (NOS) ~ AUK: Preventing falls ~ AUK: 220,000+ people aged 60+ break bones due to a fall ~ DH:  Balancing the cost of preventive action against the need for health costs to fall (1st item)

OfstedWhy are they running from a ‘Place of Safety’? - The Running away report published by Roger Morgan documents the views of children living in care and asks why they ran away.  

As well as this, children in care were asked what they thought the dangers of running away were and what could be done to prevent them running.
Press release ~ Running away (2012) ~ TCS:  Is it possible to provide a ‘place of safety’ without also providing a legal way to ‘ground’ children in care? (3rd item) ~ Urgent reforms to protect children in residential care from sexual exploitation ~ Former young runaways share stories with minister ~ New suite of resources to support missing children & families ~ Ofsted reports on the protection of vulnerable babies and young people ~ HO: For some it may seem to be the only 'solution' to their problems (2nd item) ~ DfE: Search result on ‘Runaways’

ICOShould the ICO investigate the police for not ensuring that personal data in the Downing Street security log & police notebooks were kept secure? - An Information Commissioners Office investigation into a data breach at Greater Manchester Police has concluded with the force being fined for failing to take appropriate measures against the loss of personal data

The action was prompted by the theft of a memory stick containing sensitive personal data from an officer’s home.  The device, which had no password protection, contained details of more than a thousand people with links to serious crime investigations.

The ICO found that a number of officers across the force regularly used unencrypted memory sticks, which may also have been used to copy data from police computers to access away from the office.  

Despite a similar security breach in September 2010, the force had not put restrictions on downloading information, and staff were not sufficiently trained in data protection.  The findings prompted the Information Commissioner to use his powers under the Data Protection Act 1998 to impose a Civil Monetary Penalty of £150,000.
Press release & links ~ ICO - Council fined £70,000 for losing highly sensitive data ~ ICO:  It’s not just the bad publicity, the ICO could fine an organisation as well (4th item)

CO:  A new home for the Online Government - GOV.UK, the new online home of government services & information, has been released.  This is the first phase in the creation of a single domain for government, addressing the needs of users previously served by the Directgov & Business Link websites.

The release of GOV.UK is a key element in the Government's Digital by Default agenda, which aims to transform public services online – making them better & cheaper for taxpayers and more effective & efficient for government.

The 17 October release of GOV.UK is about replacing the Directgov and Business Link sites, which have now closed in the first stage in an orderly 3-stage transition to consolidate all government websites on to a single domain

The 2nd & 3rd stages involve the transition of 24 government departments and a handful of agencies/non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) by March 2013 and then of the remaining agencies/NDPBs by March 2014.
Press release & links

NHS Confed:  Many older people are still taxpayers - Mike Farrar, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said recently; 'Access to NHS services should always be based first & foremost on clinical need, not on age' when commenting on the report 'Access all ages’ from the Royal College of Surgeons and Age UK.
Press release & links ~ Age UK exposes age discrimination in surgery ~ NICE: Age 'should not be barrier to treatment' ~ Ageism and age discrimination in secondary health care in the United Kingdom ~ Successfully delivering care closer to home could improve outcomes for patients & save the NHS £3.4bn a year

CLGTime to save a life - A hard-hitting campaign offers a timely reminder that changing our clocks isn't the only important task to carry out over the weekend of 27/28 October - the clear Fire Kills message is that it's time to take life-saving action and test our smoke alarms too.
Press release & links

Accredited G-Cloud ToolkitSecure Collaborative Software as a Service (SaaS) for GovernmentChosen by 80% of central UK government departments, Huddle is enabling public sector organisations to increase efficiency, improve productivity and reduce costs through better information management and secure cross-firewall collaboration.

What is Huddle? – A secure cloud-based content collaboration platform for UK government and the public sector. It enables government departments, stakeholders, agencies and consultants to store, discover, share and work on content together securely in the cloud.

Who uses it and what for? - Huddle is currently used by 80% of central government departments numerous local councils and NHS organisations. It supports collaboration on complex pan-government projects, enables the secure distribution of information internally and externally and provides granular audit trails for all actions against public sector documents.

The latest Government Cloud toolkit provides an overview of Huddle’s government-ready, secure content management and collaboration technology and demonstrates what has already been achieved with case studies from government organisations such as Cheltenham Borough Council, and the UK Liberal Democratic Party.

Click below to access and download the G-Cloud Toolkit.


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