We need to find an answer to this conundrum
Revenues for pharmaceutical companies need to be 'delinked' from sales of antibiotics to avoid their over-use and avert a public health crisis, says a new report from the think-tank Chatham House.   By 2050, failing to tackle antibiotic resistance could result in 10m premature deaths p.a.  Novel antibiotics to combat resistant pathogens are thus desperately needed, but market incentives are exacerbating the problem.  The current business model ‘requires high levels of antibiotic use in order to recover the costs of R&D.  But mitigating the spread of resistance demands just the opposite: restrictions on the use of antibiotics.’
Researched Links...

Echo Managed Services, the outsourced customer contact specialist, has won a major contract with the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) to provide a helpline service across the whole of England.

Under the agreement, Echo will provide STA with a helpline which will provide targeted support and advice on tests and assessments across the national curriculum, from the early years foundation stage, up to key stage 3.

Find out more…

It always needs more!
Richard Murray, of KF, recently commented on the financial reports from NHS regulators - ‘…. NHS providers are heading towards an unprecedented end-of-year deficit’.
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The best win a contract
NHS England is funding a competition to help improve patients’ lives & NHS efficiency.  Around £100,000 will be available for ideas that will reduce the pressure on urgent & emergency care services.  This competition invites organisations to develop products that will help patients, clinicians & managers improve emergency care.  Businesses with the most promising solution will be offered a government contract to test & prove their innovation.  Deadline is noon on 17 November 2015.
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If NHS needs +£8bn, what do LA’s need for social care?
Local government leaders & directors of adult social care have warned that the ability of councils to provide dignified care for people in old age or for those with a disability is at risk unless urgent steps are taken to plug the burgeoning gap in social care funding.
Researched Links...
Patients are more likely to initially fall after treatment
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association commented on the pioneering report reviewing how well hospitals prevent inpatient falls.
Researched Links...
As always; Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics
Popular studies suggesting a fall in social mobility rely on a single dataset which has been widely challenged, including by the OECD.  A new briefing from the Institute of Economic Affairs, examines the facts around both relative & absolute mobility, finding that a shortage of reliable & comparable data prevents drawing comparisons with other countries.

IEA:  Prime Minister wrong on social mobility

Helping people to achieve what they are capable of

This impacts on the economy as well as individuals
41% of organisations have seen an increase in reported mental health problems (such as anxiety & depression) over the last 12 months, according to the annual CIPD Absence Management survey.
Researched Links...
Training for a digital future
The UK’s first Software Academy and has been opened with a new intake of undergraduates following a successful pilot of the course earlier this year.  While Scotland’s first digital skills academy has welcomed its initial intake of 15 students, who are due to graduate in January 2016.

WAG:  Minister launches UK’s first Software Academy

Scotland’s first digital skills academy opens its doors

DCMS:  £4m fund to kick-start the next ‘Tomb Raider’

‘Appy’ cycling
The popular Santander Cycles app has been updated to make it easier for customers to use, with 1 in 12 hires now made through the app.  Users of the app can now scroll across the docking station map, helping them easily & accurately plot routes across London and find docking stations close by.

Santander Cycles app gets new interactive map to help customers find closest docking stations

Helping preserve a pristine environment
Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has been selected to build a state-of-the-art £200m polar research ship, which will operate in both Antarctica & the Arctic, and will be able to endure up to 60 days in sea-ice.  Robotic submarines & marine gliders will collect data on ocean conditions & marine biology and deliver it to scientists working in the ship’s on-board laboratories.  Airborne robots and on-board environmental monitoring systems will provide detailed information on the surrounding polar environment.
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Time to vote
Nominations for the Sun Military Awards are now open to salute the best & brightest of the UK’s Armed Forces.

MoD:  The Sun Military Awards return to highlight British heroes

Help make the IoT ‘safe’
The FSA and The IT as a Utility Network Plus (a Research Councils UK funded project) are co-funding a programme of work on the Internet of Things (IoT) and food safety.  As part of this programme, applicants are invited to bid for short‐term projects as a proof of concept and to develop an evidence base.   Deadline for submission of applications is 5 pm Monday 2 November 2015.

FSA:  Call for proposals for FSA and ITaaU Network Plus pilot studies

Wales is full of fantastic people
Nominate someone for the St David Awards.  Now in their third year, there are 9 categories – Bravery; Culture; Enterprise; Citizenship; Innovation and Technology; International; Sport; Young Person and the FM’s Special Award.  Closing date is midnight on the 27 October 2015.

Wales is full of fantastic people doing exceptional things, says FM

Every little ‘reduces’
Councils across the country are tackling fast food outlets to introduce measures such as cooking with less oil, offering salad or rice instead of chips, and even using ‘reduced hole’ shakers that sprinkle less salt, as part of the battle against soaring rates of obesity.

ESRC:  Toolkit to tackle fast food takeaways in the war on obesity

The toolkit

Ways to highlight problem

Public Services need continual improvement
A year ago, George Freeman (Life Sciences Minister) helped launch techUK’s Three Point Plan on public services transformation.  The aim was to improve the engagement between the tech industry and Government. One year on, techUK thought it would be helpful to re-cap on their progress against the 3 pillars: better engagement, better information and more innovation.

techUK:  One year on from the Three Point Plan

Future Apple/Google?
Got a laptop, sleeping bag and a fantastic business idea that uses space technology to improve the wellbeing of society?  If so you could win a 6 month business support package to help you develop your idea.  The ESA’s Business Incubation Centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire is holding a FREE 2-day Hackathon (17 - 19 October) for entrepreneurs & problem solvers who want to develop the ‘next big thing’ by using space technology to improve the wellbeing of our society.  Prior registration to the Hackathon is required for each individual to take part and teams will be confirmed on the day.

STFC:  Calling entrepreneurs - funding support on offer

Spare a minute to remember their sacrifice
Find out how you can join the annual commemorations on Sunday 8 November and the Government’s plans to commemorate the Battle of Jutland, which brought together the 2 most powerful naval forces of the time in the largest naval battle of the First World War

DCMS:  Remembrance Sunday 2015 – (DCMS:  Government plans to commemorate the Battle of Jutland centenary)


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  A different path from austerity

ScotGov:  Scotland must have a role in EU talks

ScotGov:  Priorities for BBC Charter Renewal

ScotGov:  Call for progress on amending Scotland Bill


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:

Councils must produce local plans for new homes by 2017 – or else the government will step in and do it for them.
According to Lewis Herbert, the Labour leader of Cambridge city council, this is the prime minister once again looking for a scapegoat. He defended local government's housebuilding record on the network this week, and argued that David Cameron should own up to the damage done by his government.

Also on the network
Devolution can't make the UK more unequal than it already is

Devolution can't make the UK more unequal than it already is
Giving more power to cities is less risky than sticking with a status quo that prolongs the postcode lottery

The council pension pots fuelling local futures instead of climate change

The council pension pots fuelling local futures instead of climate change
Looking for ethical inspiration? Here are the local authorities divesting from fossil fuels

Ten things we have learned about local government this week

Ten things we have learned about local government this week
Devolution might finally be giving councils a place in the limelight, but it's marred by fragmentation and fear

News in brief
• Sir Albert Bore stands down as Birmingham city council leader
• Four cabinet ministers are resisting cuts to their departments
• Coventry leads the way on accepting Syrian refugees
• Millions wiped off UK local government pensions due to coal crash
• Senior civil service is like a 'snake pit' that rejects outsiders, report warns
News in brief
How to create healthier cities – livechat

How to create healthier cities – livechat
Contact us to nominate a panellist for the Q&A on Thursday 29 October from 12.30 to 2pm GMT

Good data can help diagnose the health of cities around the world

Good data can help diagnose the health of cities around the world
Urban health may be difficult to measure but crunching the numbers can help cities to track trends

Cities around the world: show us the healthy spaces in yours

Cities around the world: show us the healthy spaces in yours
Do you live in a city and have a favourite skatepark, rooftop garden, or outdoor gym? Share your photos