Most of us will all be ‘old’ someday

Home care visits to elderly people should last for at least half an hour and focus on what they can or would like to do rather than on what they can’t do, says NICE.  It is predicted that almost 1 in 4 people in England will be aged 65 & older by 2035.  This comes at a time when the social care sector is facing up to a funding crisis.

NICE’s first guideline for the social care sector sets out ‘recommendations that are aspirational but achievable’.  Many of the recommends require a change in attitude rather than additional funding.  What’s more, a number of local authorities are already getting it right and delivering high-quality services.
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Social Media Management:
Now You Can Cut Costs Without Cutting Services 

UK councils are constantly facing cuts from the government, with future funding models predicting cuts of over 60% by the end of the decade. A local government analysis found that this year 60% of councils will perform some sort of service reduction to help meet the budget gap (LGA).

But what if a cut in budget doesn’t have to mean a cut in service provision? What if councils could increase the efficiency of services, to not only increase local satisfaction, but also save money?

The aim of this latest whitepaper is to provide a way in which local government can cut costs by using Social Media Management in 3 main areas:

  • reacting to the community
  • raising awareness
  • business organisation

Click here to find out more and download your copy of this paper.

Charity should not begin with ‘mugging’ the elderly & frail
NCVO's CE Sir Stuart Etherington led a review into the self-regulation of charity fundraising over the summer of 2015.  It took evidence from stakeholders in order to identify what changes are required to rebuild public trust in fundraising by charities.
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Easier said than done one suspects
Universities & colleges across the country are now legally required to take steps to prevent students from being drawn into terrorism.  Guidance specifically addressing the issue of extremist speakers was approved by Parliament last week.
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‘Survivor’s guilt’ is a real issue
People who have been bereaved by suicide have used their experiences to lead the revision of a support guide to help others affected by someone taking their own life.  Those bereaved by a suicide are at increased risk of mental health & emotional problems and may be at higher risk of suicide themselves, so receiving the right support is essential.

DH:  You are not alone: Help is at Hand for anyone bereaved by suicide

Guidance:  Help is at Hand

Variation on a familiar theme
NHS England’s National Medical Director has outlined an emerging strategy for Personalised Medicine in the NHS, saying it ‘would entail a move to using diagnostics, genomics, data analytics & other emergent technologies to identify the underlying cause of disease’.
NHS England: Gearing up for one of the most fundamental changes in NHS history
Too often the Abuser ‘convinces’ the Abused not to complain
Police in England & Wales have been issued with new guidance on domestic abuse which advises officers on how to prosecute without relying on a victim.

College of Policing Domestic Abuse Guidance

An ‘army’ of observers will help ensure there is no hiding place for abusers

And here is some funding from CLG
Local authorities that need help in supporting victims of domestic abuse are being urged to bid for a share of a £3m government fund.

CLG:  Councils, bid now to support victims of domestic abuse ~ The deadline for bids is 1 October 2015

Not if, but when
The latest figures reveal that 74% of small businesses and 90% of major businesses, has had a cyber breach of security in the last year.  Speaking at the Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit, the Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey revealed more than 1,000 businesses have now adopted the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials.  He also announced a new £500,000 fund to help universities & colleges ‘develop innovative teaching & learning to provide the cyber security skills needed to protect the UK now and in the future’.
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‘Unfit housing’ let by ‘unfit landlords’
In response to a government consultation, the LGA has called for ‘stronger sentencing guidelines for magistrates and a wider range of penalties’ so that the small minority of rogue landlords who exploit their tenants are properly held to account for renting out sub-standard accommodation.  Councils are also calling for support to make robust decisions around what constitutes a ‘fit & proper person’ to hold a landlord licence and have broadly supported the idea of a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords.
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Some of us are old enough to remember the dis-advantages of no-choice utilities
Based on the outcomes of utility privatisation for the government, shareholders & customers since the 1980’s, there is no case for renationalising the utility sector, a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute has found.  The paper, ‘Utility Gains: Assessing the Record of Britain’s Privatized Utilities’ assesses the various utility sales of telecoms, gas, water and electricity companies during the 1980’s & 1990’s and looks at how government, shareholders and customers fared since the privatisation process. 

Adam Smith Inst:  No case for renationalising utility sector, new paper finds

Who better to ‘put the message over’
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is inviting schools & colleges across the UK to enter the BCS e-safety award, part of Animation16, which will see entrants create a 1 minute animation film where children explain the top tips of how to keep safe online.

BCS:  BCS invites UK school students to enter e-safety animation competition with Animation16

Cheap & too dangerous?
Trading Standards inspectors will carry out spot checks on hundreds of retailers selling fancy dress costumes in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. The costumes will be subjected to flammability testing to assess whether they are safe for sale & compliant with safety standards.

BIS:  Nationwide investigation launched into fire safety of children’s fancy dress

Not everything is more expensive in London
Londoners can join guided walks around the Capital for FREE during TfL's Autumn Ambles weekend.  The 37 walks, taking place on 17 & 18 October, range from short strolls to taxing trails.  All walks are led by experienced Walk London guides, start within easy reach of public transport and there's no need to book.  For details of all the walks, visit the Walk London website.
TfL:  Grab your boots for an autumn amble
A comforting thought for female students just off to University
New research has found that median earnings of English women around 10 years after graduation were just over 3 times those of non-graduates. Median earnings of male graduates were around twice those of men without a degree.

IFS:  Graduate ‘premium’ more significant for women

A Degree’s value depends on its degree of requirement by employers

What the welfare system is intended to ‘tackle’
A new £100m government programme, based upon the existing ‘Troubled Families’ initiative, would help to improve the lives of some of the most excluded people in society, support the integration of local services, and reform poorly targeted spending, according to a new report published by IPPR.
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Facilitating a joined-up & cost effective welfare system
When it comes to delivering digital services all over government -  doing stuff that matters, at scale & under pressure, the DWP team developing the Universal Credit (UC) Digital Service is impossible to ignore.  Their mission is to simplify the welfare system, and to help more people to move into work, while supporting the vulnerable.   Watch a video demonstrating the UC Digital proof of concept developed by DWP & GDS following the 2013 reset of UC.
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 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

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ScotGov:  New proposals for cross-border co-operation on energy

ScotGov:  Inequality is the ‘legacy of recession’

ScotGov:  BBC must be bold and catch up with devolution


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 no secret that Whitehall still has a diversity problem – one of the commenters on a public leaders article last week was even willing to bet a year's income that most civil servants come from one of two universities.
But for the first time this year Whitehall has signed up to National Inclusion Week and appointed four external diversity advisers, including the 30% club founder Helena Morrissey, to help it look more like the nation it serves. Jane Dudman examines what's happening to address what was once described as a "bear pit" culture in the senior civil service.

Also on the network
Birth of the space age exhibition: how we got the Russians on board

Birth of the space age exhibition: how we got the Russians on board
For us at the British embassy in Moscow, it became an exercise in relationship-building, Russian style

Open House London: the best government buildings – in pictures

Open House London: the best government buildings – in pictures
From No 10 to parliament’s ancient halls, here are some of the most impressive, and normally inaccessible

Want a new tram? Ask the Chinese

Want a new tram? Ask the Chinese
As Addis Ababa unveils its rail system, funded by China, UK councils are also eyeing up eastern opportunities

News in brief
• Morale in Northern Ireland's police service is at rock bottom
• Care home visits as short as five minutes criticised
• NHS warned of exodus of young doctors as registrations to work abroad soar
• National Audit Office launched Kids Company inquiry
• Civil service has appointed new diversity advisers
• Councils called for new powers to tackle rogue landlords
What you’re saying about ...
The government wants to demolish your town. What do you do?

The government wants to demolish your town. What do you do?
A new play invites audiences to argue whether a council should close down a mine or relocate their town