They made the ultimate sacrifice

Prince Harry joined families & members of the Armed Forces at the Bastion Memorial Service of Rededication at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, to remember those who gave their lives during Combat Operations in Afghanistan, 2001-2014.

A congregation of nearly 2,000 people, including the PM, bereaved families, veterans and current Servicemen & women attended the service to rededicate the memorial in its new home.  The reconstructed Bastion Memorial is based on the same design as the former Bastion Memorial Wall built in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, which was deconstructed in late 2014 following the end of combat operations.

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Prince Harry leads tributes at the Bastion Memorial Service

The Bastion Memorial, by Major Tom McDermott RTR

MoD:  The Bastion Memorial, it reminds us that they were never alone

13 years of UK military operations in Afghanistan commemorated

Camp Bastion troops say farewell to memorial wall

Remembrance service held in Afghanistan

Helmand memorial honours Royal Artillery fallen

Para musician visits brother's Helmand memorial

Supplier Locator: June update…

Many of WiredGov’s stakeholder departments within Central Government (including HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Home Office, BIS and DCLG) have been working hard to deliver on the Government’s pledge that 25% of all direct and indirect central government spend should be with SMEs by 2015 but there is still a great deal more work to be done. 

Against this backdrop, our Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

The most recent arrivals to the Supplier Locator include:

Arch Pictures Grange Print & Packaging
Moonwater Media Limited Somerset Web Services
We have known this for years so why hasn’t NHS management ‘reformed’ its purchasing?
Lord Carter has worked with 22 leading hospitals to see how the NHS could save money by doing things more efficiently & spreading best practice.  His report finds that the NHS could save up to £5bn every year by 2020 by making better use of staff, using medicines more effectively and getting better value from the huge number of products it buys.  The PM has set out that the NHS must modernise and move to a 7-day service. The size of the NHS means that by doing several small things better, huge savings are possible to help achieve that aim.
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DH:  Hospital productivity report shows how NHS can make large savings

NHS Confederation response to Lord Carter review on procurement

CQC to act on recommendations of report into procurement

NHS Confederation response on the recent announcement into assessing hospital efficiency

Financing the promised £8bn by 2020

In an age when everyone seeks the best price for everything over the internet, surely NHS procurement should provide value for money?

Monitor to undertake first investigation under NHS purchasing rules

NICE launches new Framework Agreement for purchasing information resources

MPs report on high value equipment in the NHS

NHS Supply Chain

Let us hope the ‘efficiency gains’ do not lead to a ‘poorer standard of care’
The Secretary of State has announced the move to a single leader of Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (TDA), the organisations who are together responsible for providing increased support to hospitals to continue to improve care & boost efficiency.  The chairs of both Monitor and the TDA have been asked to run an open & competitive process to identify a chief executive.  The intention is that this appointment will be made by the end of the summer.
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DH:  Government announces Monitor and Trust Development Authority move to single leadership to deliver increased support to hospitals

Hospitals are too expensive for anything but specialist ‘non-mobile’ treatment

Longer independent living is vital for the NHS funding ‘crisis

NHS England’s National Clinical Director for the Frail Elderly and Integration invites us to change our perception of what frailty actually is.  The recent Health and Social Care Information Centre publication reports that the remaining life expectancy at an age of 65 years is 18 years for a man and 21 years for a woman – roughly 5 years more compared with 1980/82 – but that the “Disability Free Life Expectancy” (DFLE) is only 10 years for men and 11 years for a woman.

A “Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing” has been co-produced by NHS England and Age UK. It is underpinned by an extensive evidence base (78 cohort studies) of factors that are strongly associated with loss of independence in later life.  It is designed to target people with mild frailty and was carefully constructed with the help of focus groups to ensure the content was meaningful & acceptable.  Over 200.000 copies of the guide have been requested since it was released earlier this year.  NHS England now plan to conduct a review of its uptake & content and would welcome comments & suggestions for improvements.

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NHS England:  Take the frailty challenge!

Tripping & falling is no joke as your bones get frailer in later years

It saves the state £bns

Being ill when older can be frightening & confusing

New £20m a year fund to help keep people out of hospital and in their own home

‘Choose Pharmacy’ pilot ‘shows potential’ in improving access to local health services, report finds

‘Choose Pharmacy’ pilot ‘shows potential’ in improving access to local health services, report finds

Reduce your dementia risk

New programme to help people in Wales’ most deprived communities to live well and live longer

£10m boost for services to support older people in North Wales is easing pressure on the NHS – Mark Drakeford

It would be deplorable if recent improvements were ‘lost’

Teenagers not in employment, education or training (NEET) are at risk of being left behind by growth if services are not reformed, councils warned recently.  A Local Government Association (LGA) survey reveals just 7% of councils say they have powers & funding to meet their legal duties to identify & reduce teenage disengagement and secure suitable education and training places for all 16 to 18-year-olds.

It follows a combination of 40% funding cuts from central government since 2010, and the removal of council powers over key services to carry out their duty – such as careers advice, national engagement programmes and further education.

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LGA:  Funding cuts without reform to put services for teenage NEETS at risk by 2020

Just throwing money at the problem doesn’t work; co-ordinated action is what gets results

Has the coalition government finally ‘cracked’ this crucial social problem?

Food for Thought when developing rural economy
Cornwall’s first dedicated food village is set to confirm the region’s reputation as the nation’s culinary capital in one of the UK’s first government-backed Food Enterprise Zones (FEZs) bringing jobs, tourism and investment to the area.  Cornwall is 1 of 17 areas in England awarded a share of £830,000 of government funding to develop a FEZ, which is built around a Local Development Order to overcome barriers to planning permission and fast-track the expansion of food & farming businesses within the zone.
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Defra:  New artisan food village to help grow ‘food capital’ Cornwall

No more ‘Mountain Top Stripping’ please

With a rise in holiday makers foregoing the pool or beach for something more active & adventurous on their break abroad, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has teamed up with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to offer advice on how to get the most from your trip whilst staying safe.

It is important to recognise that a range of hazards can arise during any journey in unfamiliar conditions & climates, and although uncommon, tragic accidents have happened.  Where there is an intention to include some element of challenge & physical risk, travellers and their organisers need to be especially well prepared.

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FCO:  Adventure calling

A chance to ‘Make a difference’
The Department for Education is recruiting a second cohort of its flagship policy fellows.  Successful candidates can contribute to the future of education & children’s services and help the government think about making policy differently.  The DfE fellowship aims to widen the pool of people who contribute to making & delivering government policy.  They are looking for exceptional individuals who are interested in a secondment opportunity at the heart of the department.
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DfE policy fellowship

Not just ‘Me First’

The teaching of good character in schools has been backed by the government.  Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wants schools to take the lead in developing the next generation of productive, civic-minded individuals by fostering "good character" among students.  She's allocated £5m to programmes that develop character attributes like "resilience, self-confidence and respect".

Study after study demonstrates the connection between character strengths and getting good grades. Nobel Prize-winning US economist James Heckman has shown that "performance virtues" like "conscientiousness" & "agreeableness" are more predictive of labour market success than IQ.

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DEMOS:  Viewpoint: How do you instil good character?

DEMOS - Students with 'grit' do not push themselves to excess

Rugby coaches to be drafted in to help build grit in pupils

Top award for character-based free school with fencing for all

Winners of the Character Awards announced

Character education: apply for 2015 grant funding

England to become a global leader of teaching character

Measures to help schools instil character in pupils announced

Not so ‘cut off’ from information
A new telephone service offering help & advice to people suffering an electricity power cut will use the number 105, Ofcom has announced.  The helpline is being developed by the UK's electricity industry for launch in April 2016.  It will provide a single telephone number for people anywhere in Britain to contact their electricity network operator to report a power cut or safety concern, or receive reassurance during a blackout.
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Ofcom:  Dial '105' for electricity helpline

Not always ‘safe at home’
Thousands of storybooks that help to teach youngsters how to stay safe at home are being made available free of charge to childcare professionals across Scotland.  The Birthday Party, a free book which has been produced by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), can be given to any professional that works with children who are in Primary 3 or younger from this week.
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RoSPA:  Thousands of children’s home safety books available for free in Scotland

So we may not be ‘doomed’ after all!
The depletion of mineral reserves poses no serious threat to society, a new monograph published by the Adam Smith Institute concludes.   “The No Breakfast Fallacy: Why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of resources” argues that outcries over resource availability from environmentalist groups are based on a misinterpretation of numbers and a misunderstanding of what mineral resources actually are.
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ASI:  The world is not running out of resources after all, says new report

Schools can be at the heart of community life
Whether starting from scratch or improving what you already offer, Use Our School contains a huge raft of support, information and advice for schools, local authorities and sport partners.  Enter the new web resource now and explore their films, infographics and a host of other essential tools.
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Sport England:  Use Our School launches


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

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ScotGov:  Scotland Bill changes proposed

Law Society of Scotland welcomes introduction of Scotland Bill

ScotGov:  Scotland’s voice must be heard in EU Referendum


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

Last week the Guardian Public Leaders Network, alongside the Society Professionals networks, has launched Clock Off, a campaign to promote work-life balance in public services. Here we examine the results of our survey of public and voluntary sector staff, in which 93% of respondents said they were stressed some, most or all of the time. And this snapshot of the reality for government employees reveals that 90% of council staff believe stress is a fact of working life.

Do you agree? What helps you unwind? Tell us on Twitter (@Guardianpublic) with #ClockOff and share your photos and stories with us here.

Revealed: how the stress of working in public services is taking its toll on staff

Revealed: how the stress of working in public services is taking its toll on staff
Long hours, a lack of breaks and a fraught working day are all too common for workers in public services

Government staff suffer longer hours, fewer breaks and increased stress

Government staff suffer longer hours, fewer breaks and increased stress
Guardian survey reveals 93% of staff feel stressed as five years of relentless budget cuts take their toll

Stress in public services: how do you unwind? Share your photos and stories

Stress in public services: how do you unwind? Share your photos and stories
From exotic Bake Off creations to a glass of wine, show us how you find a work-life balance

Also Popular
Open data on council spending is largely unread by voters

Open data on council spending is largely unread by voters
Financial transparency has not created the army of armchair auditors the government was hoping for

David Cameron's implementation taskforces could be good for Whitehall

David Cameron's implementation taskforces could be good for Whitehall
The Cabinet Office committees could get Whitehall moving again, if only they can avoid bureaucracy

News in brief
• George Osborne moves to peg public finances to Victorian values
• Most governments fail to achieve impact, survey finds
• Home Office making police cuts without understanding
• Tower Hamlets mayoral election re-run hit by claims of irregularities
• Wales to introduce e-cigarette ban
• Police detaining fewer people displaying mental illness, figures show