In the News

Being ill when older can be frightening & confusing

A vital service that will ensure the voices of older people affected by cancer are heard is among 10 initiatives awarded flagship funding.  They share in over £10m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Silver Dreams Fund.

Receiving £1m, The Older People’s Advocacy Alliance UK (OPAAL) will use the funding for a project to roll out advocacy services across the country to provide crucial support for older people affected by cancer by recruiting & training older people themselves affected by cancer to support their peers.

Volunteer advocates & Cancer Champions will use their experience of cancer to provide a deep understanding of the difficult issues faced by those suffering with the disease.  They will provide a ‘comprehensive, independent & personal advocacy service tailored to the specific needs of each individual to ensure that any problems are identified & addressed’.

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Think Cloud for Government 2014 – 25th March, Business Design Centre, London

Think Cloud for Government 2014 – 25 th March, Business Design Centre, London

Putting Cloud first for a 3 rd successful year!

Think Cloud for Government is the only dedicated Public Sector Cloud event in the UK and as such is a must attend event for anyone seeking to engage with the latest knowledge and developments in this constantly evolving sector.

This year we have a number of leading names from within the Public Sector:

  • Stephen Kelly - Chief Operating Officer, UK Government
  • Tony Singleton - Chief Operation Officer and Deputy Director of Operations, Government Digital Service
  • Denise McDonagh CBE – Chief Technical Officer at the Home Office
  • Joan Miller - Director of Parliamentary ICT, Houses of Parliament
  • Stephen Allott – Crown Representative at the Cabinet Office
  • Dr Ken Ducatel – Head of Unit- Software, Services & Cloud for European Commission
  • Christian Coltart – Transformation Manager for Melton Borough Council
  • Anthony Kemp – Director of Corporate Resources at London Borough of Hounslow
  • David Wilde – Chief Information Officer at Essex County Council
  • Chris Chant – Ex-Director of the G-Cloud Programme

Think Cloud for Government 2014 is free to all public sector attendees.

Click here to register and find out more.

Being rare turns out to be quite common

It is estimated that there are over 6,000 rare diseases affecting over 3.5m people in the UK, including an estimated 150,000 people in Wales.  The Welsh Government has launched its Wales Rare Disease Plan, which aims to ensure the efficient use of expertise and the targeted use of health care resource to improve detection, diagnosis & prevention of rare diseases as well maximise the benefits for all patients & families affected by a rare disease.  

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Child molesting by another name?

Ahead of International Women's Day, International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, said global action must be taken to stop girls being forced into marriage.  1 in 3 girls in the developing world will be married by their eighteenth birthday and 1 in 9 is married by age 15, some will be as young as 8 years old.

These girls often face immediate pressure to have children, are subjected to violence, drop out of education and are at greater risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.  According to current trends an estimated 220m more girls will have been married as children by 2030.

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Apprenticeships could provide a NEET solution to youth unemployment

The government must be far more proactive on long-term youth unemployment if young people are truly to benefit from the jobs recovery, warned the TUC ahead of the first ever NUS students and work summit in London last week.

While recent falls in unemployment are very welcome, says the TUC, over 900,000 young people are still unemployed.  More than 250,000 young people have been unemployed for longer than 12 months – compared to just over 100,000 at the end of 2008.

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Was the current Ukraine Situation a ‘foreseen threat’

‘The Army 2020 plan does not present a convincing blueprint for an Army that can effectively counter uncertain threats and unforeseen circumstances’, says the Commons Defence Committee in its recent report, Future Army 2020.  The Committee calls on the MoD ‘to justify how the conclusion was reached that an Army of 82,000 Regulars and 30,000 Reserves represents the best way of countering future threats’.

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Are the Welsh being ‘cannier’ than the Scots in their approach to Devolution?

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones has welcomed publication of the Silk Commission’s second report into the future of Welsh devolution.

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Is somebody watching you?

RUSI has announced the launch of an independent review of Internet surveillance practices in the UK and their control & oversight.  It will convene an independent panel of experts with backgrounds in technology, civil liberties & intelligence and it will report after the 2015 general election.

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They may not be ‘disproportionate’, but they will certainly be ‘greater’

Businesses should do more to reassure customers in rural and remote parts of Scotland that they will not suffer disproportionate delivery charges, Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said last week.

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Government tries again

From 30 June 2015, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will close, Minister of State for Disabled People Mike Penning announced last week and funding will be transferred to local authorities and the devolved administrations.  Current users of the fund – which was first set up as a transitional arrangement more than 20 years ago – will then receive support through the mainstream adult social care system. 

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But compensation does not ‘buy’ healthy retirement

Victims of the fatal asbestos-induced cancer mesothelioma who can’t trace a liable employer or an employers’ liability insurer will soon be able to apply for compensation packages worth an average of £123,000.  The government has increased this from the initial £115,000 debated in the House of Commons in January after making savings in the administration costs of the scheme.  Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer or their families can apply for compensation from April 2014 and will receive a payment of around £123,000 from July this year, as part of a £380m package. 

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Legal or budgetary reasons?

The Department of Health has decided that funding Independent Midwives UK members’ insurance will not give patients protection.  This follows independent advice that the business model proposed by Independent Midwives UK is unlikely to be successful in providing long-term protection for patients, regardless of the amount of funding provided.  The timing of the decision has been driven by a new EU Directive. Soon all regulated healthcare professionals, including independent midwives, will require indemnity insurance to continue to practise.

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WiredGov Survey Report: How Are Public Sector Budget Cuts Hurting Talent Acquisition?