Helping people to achieve what they are capable of

The PM has set out his plan for extending opportunity in Britain, with ‘stronger families, improved education and a welfare system that helps people into work’.  In a keynote speech, the PM said there was a persistent failure by previous governments to deal with stalled social mobility and a lack of economic opportunity for many people.

The PM set out 3 key strands of work:

  • Stronger families
  • First-class education
  • Well-paid jobs
Researched Links:

10DS:  Cameron's 'one nation' mission to improve life chances for all – (Welfare reforms will consign millions of working families to poverty, warns TUC

JRF responds to the PM’s speech on welfare reform

JRF comment on the child poverty measure

IEA:  The focus of welfare reform must be broader for substantial savings

IEA:  Child poverty measures lead to narrow thinking

IEA:  Scandinavian success is not due to high taxes & welfare spending

Only the highest standards are good enough

Report reveals continuing investment of HEFCE Student Opportunity (SO) allocation in activity to widen access and improve student success

Up to 1,000 failing schools to be transformed under new measures

PM praises Troubled Families programme success

Preparing children for a successful future through the Ebacc

Work Programme helps drive long-term unemployment to 5 year low

UKCES:  Government boost to help low paid workers progress in their careers

Benefits of the Living Wage

CIPD - Employment outlook remains strong but pay rates continue to disappoint

The Impact of the National Minimum Wage on Productivity, Business Performance & Employment - NIESR

Share more profit with your workers, CSJ tells big business

Are there other & better alternatives than just ‘Bring back Grammar Schools’?

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

Be honest – could you raise a family on the Minimum Wage?

Deficit reduction is not all about raising taxes, reducing services or cutting benefits

Breaking the cycle of disadvantage

New Paper:
10 ways Google is transforming Public Sector frontline services

Real-life examples of how Google for Work is helping the public sector to cut costs while improving service delivery

This latest white paper outlines ten examples where Google for Work solutions, supplied through G-Cloud, are helping public sector organisations meet the challenges and seize the opportunities created by adopting new technologies in the 4 key areas of Cloud, Mobility, Big Data and Social.

Click here to download this indispensable guide to how Google is currently helping public sector organisations address their current challenges, providing a platform to experiment, innovate and move further along the road to “digital maturity” - without breaking the bank.

Roadmap to a ‘Fiscally’ United Europe

The presidents of 5 European institutions have published a report entitled ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union’, commissioned by leaders at the Euro Summit in October 2014.  The report, written by the presidents of the European Council, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank, lays out a roadmap for further integration of the euro area.

ECB President Mario Draghi said. “We need a quantum leap in European integration”. The presidents also advocate eventually establishing a euro area treasury to jointly take decisions about certain elements of national budgets.  In spring 2017, the EC will make specific proposals on how to pool sovereignty further.

Researched Links:

Roadmap for the future of the Economic and Monetary Union

5 Presidents' Report sets out plan for strengthening Europe's EMU as of 1 July 2015

Options for the UK in the event of a vote to leave the EU

Will this be the last time we vote as countries rather than ‘provinces of the United States of Europe?

Even though the proposed FTT will have the greatest impact on the UK

Let’s hope ‘pooling’ works better for the NHS than for the euro group

A new report commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and based on sector views, proposes to the Government to use next month's Budget to divert £1.3bn into a transformation fund each year until 2019/20, equalling a fund of £5.2bn by the end of the decade, to develop a new health & social care system.

The report identifies the significant contribution that preventative measures can make.  For example, spending just £1 on local friendship networks can save almost 4 times that amount on mental health services whilst £1 spent on school-based smoking & bullying prevention can save as much as £15.  The report also recommends that the transformation fund should be supported by a pooled health & social care budget of at least £6.6bn in 2016/17, eventually leading to the pooling of all money for health & social care.

Researched Links:

LGA:  Invest £5.2bn in prevention to overhaul health & social care, Government urged

We won’t be able to afford the NHS unless we ‘solve’ this problem

Cinderella needs a Fairy Godmother urgently

NICE:  Supporting people who need social care, as they move between hospital & home

NHS England:  Sampling the Debenham experience – Professor Alistair Burns and Professor John Young

Good practice saves lives
A year after the launch of Sign up to Safety, 260 NHS organisations have set out ambitious plans to save lives by reducing avoidable harm.  This figure far exceeds the campaign’s target to get 180 organisations to sign up in its first year.  It means that Sign up to Safety is in a strong position to reach its aim of saving up to 6,000 lives over 3 years through the reduction of preventable harm such as medication errors, blood clots and bed sores.
Researched Links:

DH:  Scheme to improve patient safety is on track to save 6,000 lives

Should the attempted ‘silencing’ (especially in public sector organisations) of Whistle-blowers become a legal offence?

ScotGov:  Improving hospital care for older people in acute care

Independent National Whistleblowing Officer

New powers to close wards to new admissions

WAG:  New report shows NHS is delivering high-quality care

NHS England launches new Medicines Optimisation Dashboard

Get your entries in for the Kate Granger Awards

CIVITAS:  Failure to train enough doctors & nurses is costing the NHS money and undermining patient care

People should be more involved in decisions about the medicines they take to ensure they get the best outcomes from them, says NICE in new guidance

New agreement with Monitor to deliver better patient care

New laws for more open & safe NHS care come into force

Formal launch of MyNHS

Scottish NHS safety drive

Statement on our systemic investigation into quality of NHS investigations of avoidable harm

Spot checks reveal no systemic concerns about patient care in Welsh hospitals

New candour proposals for care

Preventing harm to people with drug allergies

You may get more than you wanted purchasing online

The government has launched a new online cyber security training course.  The interactive course will help people working in procurement protect themselves, their businesses & their suppliers from cyber-attack.  The training is freely available online & will help UK businesses protect themselves from information breaches and other threats potentially costing £ms.

Procurement professionals deal with a ‘wide range of sensitive commercial & financial information which is central to the successful operation of many businesses’.   The course will increase awareness of common cyber risks & threats procurement professionals may experience in the workplace and how to prevent & deal with them.  It provides advice on how to safeguard digital information, raise awareness of cyber issues with suppliers and gives examples of how to deal with issues such as information breaches in the workplace.

Researched Links:
BIS:  New cyber security training to boost procurement security
Will this end the ‘Blame Game’
Changes came into force recently that will make it easier for millions of consumers to change to a new broadband or landline deal.  As of Saturday 20 June, a new ‘one touch’ process places the responsibility for the broadband or landline switch entirely in the hands of the company to which the customer is moving.
Researched Links:

Ofcom:  Easier broadband switching

A true medical advance
MenB and MenACWY vaccination programmes launched this summer will protect babies & young people against the meningococcal bacterium.
Researched Links:

DH:  New programmes to protect against meningitis & septicaemia

ScotGov:  Meningitis B added to routine vaccinations

Time to start reading Dickens again?
A return to low solar activity not seen for centuries could increase the chances of cold winters in Europe and eastern parts of the United States but wouldn't halt global warming, according to new research.  Some solar physicists believe there's an increased risk that we're heading towards the lower end of a cycle - last seen during the so-called 'Maunder Minimum' which ended 300 years ago.  This coincided with colder winters in the UK & Europe, with 'frost fairs' held numerous times on a frozen River Thames.
Researched Links:

Met Office:  Scientists show a decline in solar activity could not halt global warming

‘Root & Branch’ reform is so difficult to achieve despite the best of intentions

PM David Cameron has announced a new Child Protection Taskforce to ‘drive forward fundamental reforms to protect the most vulnerable children in our society and give them the opportunity to succeed’.  It will join 10 other implementation taskforces already established across government to monitor & drive delivery of the government’s cross-cutting priorities.

The taskforce’s work will build on the government’s reforms to create a care system that ‘puts children’s needs first’.  This includes the appointment of a Chief Social Worker to champion reform in the profession, a £400m investment in social work training, and cuts to bureaucracy to free up social workers to do what they do best.

Researched Links:

PM announces new taskforce to transform child protection

NCA:  Rotherham investigation update

LGA:  Calls from councils for disruption orders to combat child grooming

While being ‘relentless in our search for the truth’, we must be careful to highlight any good practices

Unlike Manchester, No TV headlines for this report!

IPCC update on investigation into Essex Police’s north Child Abuse Investigations Team

Read about how the government design & provision of services is being changed from John, one of GDS’s technical architects
‘I’m here to make sure government stories are a success, using my years of experience within the technology sector.  As a consulting architect, I’m to bridge the gap between GDS and other departments & agencies, helping communicate best practices.  It’s my job to help define & design government systems & processes to meet user needs, and this involves making sure all stakeholders are on the same page’.
Researched Links:

GDS:  Government technology boring? Not from where I’m standing

New challenges, new solutions for law & order
The police service must change further in order to meet the needs of the public within a climate of continuing budget pressures, according to a group of experts from across the policing spectrum.  A short discussion document detailing options to be considered in the national debate has been produced through 2 national events and public consultation through polling & focus groups. This document is intended to encourage the next stage of the debate, with further views sought from the police service, interested parties and the public.
Researched Links:

HMIC:  Stimulating a sea-change in policing

Will it be enough to restore public trust in police standards?

Police will have to ‘Stop & Think’ first

Police disciplinary hearings to be held in public

Home Secretary announces £10m Police Knowledge Fund

Home Secretary's College of Policing speech

Police & Crime Commissioners welcome new plans to coordinate chief police officers

Police accountability: Landscape review

NHS Agency staff costing too much?
A new agreement has been launched to help the NHS, and other public sector bodies, reduce their reliance on agency staff and save money.  The new Workforce Management agreement has been developed to help the NHS manage their workforce in an efficient way, by increasing the use of flexible workers (known as bank workers in the NHS).
Researched Links:

Crown Commercial Service:  New agreement launched to help NHS reduce reliance on agency staff

Better value for money
The government’s Major Projects Authority (MPA) published its annual report. This is part of an on-going commitment to improve project management and transparency for taxpayers, as well as making greater efficiency savings.  A number of projects have successfully completed over the last year.  These include the Home Office’s National Crime Agency and The Cabinet Office’s Electoral Registration Transformation Programme.
Researched Links:

Cabinet Office:  Major Projects Authority annual report shows improvements to government projects


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

Wales Office:  Welsh Secretary - Time has come for National Assembly to become a Parliament

ScotGov:  Scottish role in future of BBC

ScotGov:  Rallying call on new powers for Scotland

Electoral Commission:  New report on the Scotland referendum can offer lessons for future referendums

ScotGov:  What next for Human Rights?

ScotGov:  Guarantees sought over green investment


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:

It's a cherished Thatcherite ambition to get people out of public bodies and into “productive” work, but in last week's column David Walker argues that there's little evidence to back up a theory that an expanding private sector automatically hoovers up ex-public sector people.

Meanwhile, as part of our campaign to help public servants unwind after a stressful day, here are some tips on how to combat stress and here's why public sector workers need a Samaritans-style helpline. What helps you relax? Tell us on Twitter (@Guardianpublic) with #ClockOff and share your photos and stories with us here.

Most Popular
Public sector staff made redundant by Tory cuts will have nowhere to go

Public sector staff made redundant by Tory cuts will have nowhere to go
Thatcherites believe the private sector will hoover up ex-government staff. The evidence isn’t strong

Whitehall meddling forced me to quit as an NHS chief executive

Whitehall meddling forced me to quit as an NHS chief executive
I came to realise the endless meetings and answering to political diktat were not really helping anyone

'Some chief executives are surprised by the loneliness' – Dame Mary Marsh

'Some chief executives are surprised by the loneliness' – Dame Mary Marsh
The former head of the NSPCC talks to Jane Dudman about a career dedicated to public good

Why public sector workers need a Samaritans-style helpline

Why public sector workers need a Samaritans-style helpline
Working in health and social care is emotionally draining yet too little thought is given to supporting caregivers

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

News in brief
• Michael Gove has issued grammar rules to civil servants
• Outgoing senior Welsh Government civil servants stand to gain £400,000 in redundancy payouts
• Government does not know how many homes built on land released by departments
• Disabled people in fear of imminent closure of Independent Living Fund
• Businesses and students urge Lancashire to approve Cuadrilla fracking plans