Due to the Government purdah on EU-related news items the next 2 newsletters will be published bi-weekly on 13 & 27 June.

Why is their (apparently) no ‘cure’ for this perennial NHS problem?

A new report reveals (yet again) that too many people who complain to the NHS are not getting the answers they deserve when things go wrong.  This latest shapshot of investigations by the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman shows the devastating consequences families suffer when complaints are not resolved locally.


Five years ago Mary Portas reviewed the decaying state of Britain’s high streets and town centres and recommended a path forward to give them a new lease on life.

The Portas Review was a great start, but failed to realise the foundational role of technology and intelligent data in driving a resurgence of Britain’s high streets.

In particular, three key areas can help accelerate progress and bring together local communities: 

  • Embedding electronic payments in a city/town’s DNA
  • Improving access to city/town centres
  • Maximising growth potential through intelligent data analytics

CLICK HERE to download your copy of “Five Years after the Portas Review: A Path to Revitalise Britain’s High Streets”, and learn about specific measures that can help revitalise your high street!

Perhaps they figure the ‘departed’ won’t be able to complain to the PHSO!

Hospice UK has published a new report - A low priority? How local health and care plans overlook the needs of dying people.  The report is based on the results of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request sent to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and health & wellbeing boards (HWBs) about whether or not end of life & palliative care was included in their needs assessments and local strategies.

Trying to ‘do better’
The Care Quality Commission have published their strategy for 2016 – 2021, developed following a year-long consultation period when thousands of people, providers, staff & partners shared their views about the future of regulation.  The new strategy is intended to help encourage services to innovate & collaborate to drive improvement, and ensure people receive good, safe care.  See Information on our strategy for the 4 priorities CQC have set out for the next 5 years and to view the documents.

CQC:  Our new 5-year strategy 'Shaping the future'

Information on our strategy

Simple things are sometimes the most (cost) effective

A GP surgery is leading the way in the fight against antibiotic resistance with simple tests that dramatically reduce unnecessary prescribing.

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov 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.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Good concept let down by poor implementation?

The NAO reported on the Cabinet Office’s Next Generation Shared Services strategy in 2014, which included the creation of 2 independent shared service centres to provide back-office functions for up to 14 departments & their arm’s-length bodies.  The report found that while the 2 centres have led to some cost savings, the programme is not progressing as planned.

Why add to the risks they face?
Lariam, the anti-malarial drug sometimes prescribed to British troops, should be considered only as a drug of last resort, says the Defence Committee, in its report on the MoD’s use of the drug.
Researched Links...
Shouldn’t everyone be ‘equal’ under the (same) laws in this country?
An independent review into the application of Sharia Law in England & Wales has been launched by Home Secretary Theresa May.  The Home Secretary committed to an independent review of the application of Sharia Law as part of the government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy.
Researched Links...
Even more of a multi-function blue light service
The Home Secretary has unveiled a programme of reform for fire & rescue services that promises to be as radical & ambitious as that delivered in policing since 2010.  Speaking at an event hosted by Reform, Theresa May praised the achievements of F&RS, whose fire prevention work has contributed to a fall in the number of fires in England of two-thirds in the last 15 years, while the number of fire deaths has almost halved during the same period.  She also outlined the scale of the challenge still facing F&RS and underlined the need for reform.
Researched Links...
Can ethics ‘win-out’ over self-interest?

The CPSL is undertaking a review of ‘Ethics for Regulators’ to explore how regulators live up to the 7 principles of public life.  The Committee will undertake a ‘health-check’ of the way in which regulators manage ethical issues in their own organisations and the extent to which the unique characteristics of regulators create or demand any specifically tailored ethical solutions.

Olympic Pause for Thought
Public Health England (PHE) and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have published their advice for travellers planning to visit Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games (5 - 21 August) and the 2016 Paralympic Games (7 - 18 September).  The advice covers a variety of health & safety topics for travellers, including information about the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.  They currently recommend that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to areas where there is active Zika virus transmission, until after pregnancy.

DH:  Health & travel advice for Rio 2016

Will the sun shine on your bid? 
Creative coastal entrepreneurs can now bid for a share of £90m government funding available UK-wide over the next 4 years to support their plans to reel in jobs and revitalise our much-loved seaside areas.  Since 2012, the government has invested over £120m in seaside areas through a dedicated Coastal Communities Fund.  Grants of between £50,000 and £4m are available.  Bids for the latest round in England will close on 30 June 2016.  Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland applicants should prepare bids now for when their applications will open in early July.
Researched Links...
A ‘counter-balance’ to recent HM Treasury ‘Project Fear rants’

The share of UK exports going to fellow Single Market countries has plummeted in the past decade and is now lower than it was when Britain joined the EEC in 1973, a new Civitas analysis shows.  Since 2007, the share of the UK’s world exports going to the other 11 founder members of the Single Market has fallen from 68% to just 36% in 2015 – back to the level it was at in 1971.  Overall, the real value of British goods exports to the 11 other founder members has grown by a mere 2.5% over the 23 years of the Single Market – a compound annual growth rate of just 0.11%.


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

Vote Leave - the campaign for a Leave vote in the EU referendum

Britain Stronger In Europe

Open Europe

FIS:  Brexit could add two years to austerity

NIESR: Lower output & higher taxes - the impact of reducing immigration

PC&PE:  EU law making needs greater transparency

Civitas:  EU share of UK exports is in dramatic decline, new analysis shows

ONS:  Migration Statistics Quarterly Report

Migration Watch:  NS sub-national population projections for England

PC&PE:  Northern Ireland and the EU referendum key issues

RUSI - Northern Ireland’s Delicate Peace Process at Risk Should the UK Leave the EU

Editor’s Note:  We suggest readers monitor the ‘News’ sections of the 2 campaign sites for the 2 differing views.  The WGPlus newsletter will mainly limit itself to highlighting ‘normal’ EU-related news, plus Think Tank items, PC&PE reports, etc.


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:

Sean Brennan works in local government, a sector which often attracts a lot of derision from certain red tops. "It is inaccurate, headline-grabbing drivel that causes people to think we all earn £200k per year, drive expensive cars, work four hours a week and retire aged 30," says Brennan. "In truth, I earn £30k for a 50-hour week, drive a Toyota Aygo and cannot afford a mortgage. I’ll currently retire at 68 with an £18k pension. Bring on the gold."
In his polite rebuttal, Brennan explains the real difference he and his colleagues make.

Popular on the network
Francis Maude's legacy on shared services is looking shaky

Francis Maude's legacy on shared services is looking shaky
Many private firms are apparently clueless about how politics affects public services

Would local government be better off outside the EU? A head to head

Would local government be better off outside the EU? A head to head
We speak to two prominent local politicians on different sides of the EU referendum debate

Tories will try anything to shackle unions, but ultimately they will fail

Tories will try anything to shackle unions, but ultimately they will fail
Government attempts to stop public sector staff paying union subs through payroll check-off were political

Gove's prison reform cannot undo the harm already inflicted by cuts

Gove's prison reform cannot undo the harm already inflicted by cuts
Cuts to prison budgets have gone hand in hand with an alarming surge in deaths, self-harm and assaults

News in brief
• Purdah period set to silence officials on EU referendum from Friday
• Ambulance delays linked to 35 deaths in past five years
• Londoners to be sent to Canterbury after council bidding war for housing
• Birmingham children's services to be run by trust following failures
• Prisons get urgent £10m to tackle suicide and disorder
• Theresa May accuses fire and rescue services of significant failings