In the News

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But will the other 3 (plus the EU & NATO) agree? -
First Minister Alex Salmond has launched the SNP’s blueprint for an independent country: Scotland’s Future – Your Guide to an Independent Scotland
 
‪The guide (which runs to 670 pages & 170,000 words) outlines the shape of a Scotland the SNP claim will emerge in the event of a vote for independence in next year’s referendum.  The guide sets out their case for independence and outlines the journey, following a yes vote on 18 September 2014, that Scotland will make to independence day on March 24, 2016.
Scotland’s Future – blueprint for a fairer country ~ Independence - 650 questions answered ~ Most detailed independence blueprint ever ~ Scotland’s billion euro boost ~ Spain will not veto an independent Scotland joining EU ~ Childcare for all ~ It is time for the truth on Scottish defence ~ ICO warns marketing rules must be kept to during lead up to Scottish referendum ~ FDA: Scottish Government's White Paper ~ ScotGov:  But do the FM’s figures add up when analysed in hard-headed Glasgow? ~ Welsh Secretary: Four nations of the UK are ‘Better Together’ ~ ScotGov:  What they want is not necessarily what the RUK will agree to give them (6th item) ~ See also last week’s newsletter (Newsletter Archive 25/11/2013) - Bountiful fiscal future or ‘fairy gold’ and ‘Plan B’ for the navy’s nuclear submarine base Faslane
 
Time for top bosses to start earning their mega-salaries and take e-security seriously - The UK’s top companies are not considering cyber risks in their decision making, a new survey from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has revealed. The survey of FTSE 350 firms showed only 14% are regularly considering cyber threats, with a significant number not receiving any intelligence about cyber criminals.
 
To tackle the growing threat the government is working with industry to develop an official ‘cyber standard’ which will help stimulate the adoption of good cyber practices among business.  Backed by industry, the kitemark-style standard will be launched early next year, as part of the £860m cross-government National Cyber Security Programme.
UK companies must do more to tackle cyber threat ~ Online threats: survey shows impact of cybercrime ~ UK cyber security standards: research report ~ Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership ~ BIS:  A case of ‘Not if, but when’ your organisation’s ICT systems are breached (7th item) ~ EU-funded project to take biometric security systems to the next level ~ (Commission proposes rules to help protect against the theft of confidential business information) ~ CBI warns cyber security proposals could put businesses at risk ~ Home Affairs Select Committee report on E-crime & cyber security ~ Intelligence & Security Committee annual report published ~ Defence partnership tackles cyber security risks ~ Oxford will host Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre ~ Cyber Security Centre ~ CPNI: Cyber Security ~ The UK cyber security strategy: landscape review ~ MPs publish report on Defence & Cyber Security ~ Chatham House: Cyber Security ~ SIS: Cyber Security
 
It is difficult to see how one central policy can fit the needs & demands on services of so many diverse countries - The joint responsibility of Member States and the EU institutions to uphold EU citizens' rights to live & work in another EU country is underlined in a policy paper just adopted by the European Commission.
 
The Commission's paper outlines 5 concrete actions to strengthen the right to free movement, while helping Member States to reap the positive benefits it brings.  The policy paper clarifies EU citizens' rights to free movement & access to social benefits, and addresses the concerns raised by some Member States in relation to the challenges that migration flows can represent for local authorities.
Free movement of people: 5 actions to benefit citizens, growth & employment in the EU ~ Participation of migrants in the democratic process – Towards inclusive citizenship ~ The Migration Observatory ~ Non-Active EU migrants and access to welfare - MigrationWatch UK  ~ CEBR: Curbing EU immigration could cost UK £60bn in lost GDP by 2050 and drive up national debt ~ German coalition echoes UK concerns on EU migration and access to benefits ~ Lords call for flexible approach to managing migration ~ Border control must improve before Turkey joins EU, says Home Affairs Committee
 
Joined-up working can be made to work - New figures show that the government’s ambition to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families is on track at its half way stage. New figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that 18 months in to the 3-year programme over 62,000 families are being worked with and over 22,000 have been turned around: with children back in school; levels of youth crime & anti-social behaviour significantly reduced; and over 1,400 adults from some of England’s hardest-to-help households now in continuous work.
Troubled Families programme on track at half way stage ~ CLG:  Applying the Pareto Principle to social care of families who are in / cause trouble (4th item) ~ MPs publish report on Community Budgets ~ Troubled Families programme ~ Massive expansion of Troubled Families programme announced ~ Jobcentre Plus Advisers for troubled families ~ Report shows savings from troubled families work
 
How good is the care in your area? - Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a new interactive online map to showmembers of the public the quality of dementia care & support in their local area. The map is part of a landmark ‘state of the nation’ report which shines a light on the quality of dementia care in England.  
 
It will show a regional & local picture, based on a range of data including:
* Diagnosis rates
* How often anti-psychotic drugs are prescribed to patients
* Referral rates for further investigation
Putting dementia on the map and driving up standards of care ~ NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia: winners announced ~ Dementia isn't the end of fun! ~ Risk averse carers hasten dementia decline ~ TKF: Lack of GP engagement limiting progress on care co-ordination ~ Indicators to improve dementia care proposed for QOF 2014/15 ~ Launch of pioneering dementia care pilot projects ~ Report marks progress in first year of Dementia Challenge ~ Commissioning health & social care for people with dementia ~ Majority of people living alone with dementia feel lonely, Alzheimer’s Society reports ~ Making dementia care personal ~ Record numbers of people with dementia in care homes ~ Alzheimer’s Society launches Dementia Friends information sessions ~ DH:  The more we talk about it, the less there is to fear
 
Even a weekly phone call tells them they are not alone - The Silver Line Helpline has launched across the UK for every older person who needs information, friendship, advice and protection from abuse or neglect.  It is the only free, confidential, 24 hour service for older people and, as well as the helpline, trained volunteers will become Silver Line Friends providing regular friendship calls.   Silver Line Scotland will be delivered by Age Scotland, answering calls from 8am - 8pm on weekdays, in partnership with The Silver Line.
 
According to a survey ‘a chat on the phone’ is perceived to be the best way to combat loneliness, with 9 out of 10 older people saying they would find it helpful (87%).   And yet in the survey I in 4 older people say they never or seldom have a chat on the phone (25%). According to the Department of Health, loneliness has been estimated to be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and twice as damaging as obesity.  
Launch of the first free 24 hour helpline for older people
 
Can the police ever be truly independent in an investigation of themselves?MPS officers to face gross misconduct in relation to supervised investigation following incident in Downing Street ~ Statement from Deborah Glass regarding supervised investigation into Downing Street incident ~ IPCC re-determines investigation into conduct of Police Federation representatives after a meeting with Andrew Mitchell MP ~ Plebgate officers misconduct decision must be re-determined  ~ Telegraph: Police officers keep their jobs despite faking official records
 
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! - Action Fraud, the City of London Police and Get Safe Online are warning consumers to take extra care when shopping for tablets, games consoles, electrical items and other Christmas gifts online.  Fraudsters conned consumers out of more than £12m over Christmas last year through online shopping & auction scams.  Action Fraud received more than 10,000 reports, with the average loss to victims more than £1,700.
Christmas shoppers warned to take care with online shopping – (Keeping children safe online after Christmas tablet buying boom)
 
Not a moment too soon - Ofcom has taken a significant step towards improving telephone calls for disabled consumers by proposing to approve BT’s enhanced text relay service. Text relay is a vital service as it enables people with hearing and/or speech impairments to communicate with others via the telephone.  A relay assistant acts as an intermediary to convert speech to text and vice versa for the two people in conversation. Ofcom last year said that a ‘next generation’ text relay service must be made available to all landline and mobile customers by 18 April 2014.
Ofcom proposes to approve first improved ‘text relay’ service

£154m Expected Savings for Nottinghamshire County Council Using Idea Management and Employee Engagement - What do you as a public organisation want? You want to save money and improve your processes over short timescales.  You want to work faster and improve your productivity and service while removing costs. You want your employees to feel engaged and involved in your innovation process. You want to be able to manage relationships, networks and ideas in one place. You want to be transparent and accountable.

Find out how and why an increasing number of public institutions are using idea management tools to achieve these goals and outcomes, such as:

  • Ministry of Justice has launched a major open-policy forum and consultation to crowdsource ideas and opinions from the public on out-of-court disposals.
        
  • The West of England AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) is connecting its networks and bridging the gap between private and public sectors.
        
  • Nottinghamshire County Council is engaging its employees through open dialogue and innovative collaboration. 

Click here to access the above case studies and download the latest guide.

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