Extending the ‘Golden Hour’ to the whole of Wales

A new clinical emergency service to stabilise & transfer the most critically-ill & injured patients to hospital by road & air, ensuring they receive the best life-saving care, will be operational in Wales from April 2015.  The Emergency Medical Retrieval & Transfer Service Cymru (EMRTS Cymru) is the first national service of its kind in the UK and has been developed using the latest evidence from military & civilian experience, in partnership with the Wales Air Ambulance charity.

The service is designed to bring teams of doctors to an injured patient, giving them access to life-saving treatment at the scene of their injury or accident.  It is estimated EMRTS Cymru could contribute to at least a 40% improvement in survival rates from major trauma in Wales and could reduce transfer times to specialist hospital care by more than 40%.  It will mean 95% of the population will be able to access doctor-led care within 30 minutes.

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Compliance Brief: PSN Information Assurance Conditions 

The Public Services Network (PSN) Information Assurance (IA) Conditions compliance is a set of controls that must be met by any Public Sector organisation that is required to access the PSN network. A UK government funded programme, the PSN is one large communications network where public service agencies can efficiently access various types of data from one repository.

PSN IA Conditions Compliance’s purpose is to ensure that information is available to the right people and that the integrity of that information is up-to-date. Organisations that are IA compliant convey confidence to the general public that they are appropriately and safely managing their data.

This latest brief details the pre-requisite IA controls for accessing the Public Service Network and the solutions that enable your organisation to achieve PSN IA Conditions Compliance.

Click here to download your free copy now.

Don’t they realise the only source of money is National budgets?

Extra funds should be added to the EU’s 2015 budget for growth & jobs policies, education, including the EU's Erasmus+ student mobility programme, and EU humanitarian & support work in war-stricken zones, said the Budgets Committee in votes recently. It also recommended that the European Parliament as a whole should reverse cuts sought by the Council of Ministers in planned and actual expenses.

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The grief is bad enough without any legal complications

New laws simplifying what happens when someone dies without leaving a will have come into effect.  The changes have been designed to speed up & modernise the process for dividing the money, property & other assets of someone who has died ‘intestate’ (the legal terms for not having a will).

In addition, Families of missing people will have new rights following law changes which have also come into effect.  Families will now be able to apply for a Presumption of Death Certificate for a loved one who has gone missing and is presumed dead. It can be used in the same way as a Death Certificate and will enable grieving families to close bank accounts, stop direct debits, cancel passports & licences and apply for probate.

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Good news for parents with young children and men ‘of a certain age’

A new data set is now available via the TfL Data Store for app developers to use free of charge.  In addition to listing the location of TfL's public toilets on London Overground, London Underground and DLR stations, the new enhanced data feed now includes bus station toilets.   A map showing where public toilets are on the transport network is already available on the TfL website.   Over 2,000 developers are registered to receive these and hundreds of travel information apps have been produced as a result.

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Funding catalyst for higher education

HEFCE is announcing 3 dedicated calls for bids to the Catalyst Fund, in line with its own & government priorities.  The Fund enables HEFCE to deliver its strategic aims for higher education in research, teaching and knowledge exchange.  Higher education institutions & further education colleges are invited to submit expressions of interest by noon on Thursday 6 November 2014.

These calls for expressions of interest cover 3 specific areas:

  • Universities as anchors
  • Supporting technical education
  • Innovative knowledge exchange in small, specialist institutions
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Worth ‘topping up’ your State Pension?

People can pre-register now and from 12 October 2015 until 5 April 2017 they will be able to make a contribution for a State Pension top up, allowing them to increase the value of their State Pension.  This scheme is open to all those who will have reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 and will be a one-off opportunity.

The top ups can be inherited, with a surviving spouse or civil partner entitled to at least 50% of the Additional State Pension.  The opportunity is being introduced to create a fair option for existing pensioners to increase their pensions ahead of the introduction of the new State Pension in April 2016, which brings together the Basic and Additional State Pensions.  An online calculator is now available to help pensioners weigh up the options.

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Will your organisation be ready?

Socitm is to deliver nine 1 day workshops across the UK this Autumn to disseminate learning about the information & technology implications of health & social care reforms that will come into effect from April 2015.

The workshops will present learning from England’s 14 Health & Social Care Pioneers and from elsewhere in the UK, ahead of the requirement for all authorities with social care responsibilities to implement reporting requirements (April 2015) and integration of health and social care (April 2016).  Events run from 24 October to 9 December in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cambridge, Durham, Exeter, Guildford, Leeds, London & Loughborough.

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Working together to address the problems of homelessness

Launching November 2015, Be The Change is a unique new network of homelessness professionals across the North East & Cumbria, designed to counter some of the most acute challenges they face.  Created by Homeless Link, funded by Northern Rock, and run by its membership, we will encourage & empower professionals to drive change that is so desperately needed in homelessness services across the area.

If you’re based in the North East or Cumbria and you are a graduate of either the Engage to Change or Leading Places of Change programmes – and if you want to help drive real change in the sector and you are ready to commit to making it happen in your organisation, HL want you to join them.  All they need for now is to know whether or not you are interested in finding out more.

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Security check AFTER recruitment

Government departments, suppliers & recruiters must follow a code of practice when recruiting for jobs requiring security clearances.  Cabinet Office guidance on personnel security controls explains that asking for security clearance before or as part of the job application process is not appropriate.  Usually the recruiter can wait for a candidate to be security-cleared; the only exception is where the placement is genuinely urgent and for a short period of time.

There were concerns that workers were being asked whether they held national security vetting clearance for certain jobs before they could apply.  The Cabinet Office and the Association of Independent Professionals & the Self Employed (IPSE) set up a Security Clearance Forum to help government and related organisations follow the guidance.

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2nd October 2014

Do you use social media at work? How does it help you do your job? We have a themed week coming up – Monday 13 October will be the start of our social media week. So send any advice on using social media in public services to
for an article on how the Twitter-shy and Facebook-fearful can get started.

Central Government
Five tips for potential whistleblowers

Five tips for potential whistleblowers
Former Treasury employee who spoke out about malpractice shares what he learned

Universal credit 'undeliverable' says Kerslake

Universal credit 'undeliverable' says Kerslake
Sir Bob Kerslake bows out with a dig at the culture that failed to recognise flaws in benefit reform

News this week
• New chief: John Manzoni, head of Major Projects Authority, will be the first civil service chief executive.
• Cuts to comeKerslake said public sector cuts may continue for another five years regardless of which party is in government.
• Digital gov: Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood outlined the progress made by the Government Digital Service.

Local Government

There's lively debate – and then there's just bullying

There's lively debate – and then there's just bullying
Richard Vize: Old-style politics is inhibiting the radical changes austerity-struck councils must make

News this week
• Doncaster has become one of the first local authorities to take children's safeguarding services out of direct council control.