10 DS: ‘Y’ this route - Proposals for HS2 route north of Birmingham, including locations of new stations, were unveiled last week. The preferred route of Phase 2 includes 5 new stations: Manchester, Manchester Airport, East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds.
The publication of the 211-mile northern Phase 2 route of HS2 (part of the Government’s Mid-Term Review) follows confirmation a year ago of HS2’s 140-mile southern Phase 1 route between London & Birmingham. Phase 1 starts construction in 4 years and opens to passengers in 13 years. The routes announced last week will open 6 years after that.
DfE: No wonder it costs over £200k to bring up a child - Parents will have more choice of high quality childcare, the Government outlined last week in its new report ‘More great childcare’. The new childcare reforms are intended to ensure that the government overhaul childcare qualifications, and provide more choice of quality education & care for parents.
PA: Is it just a matter of time before a new NHS ‘scandal’ - Two years on from the publication of the first Francis Report, and shortly before the launch of the findings of the inquiry into Stafford Hospital, The Patients Association has launched a damning report into complaints handling in England’s hospitals.
The analysis, in a new report 'Complaint handling in NHS Trusts', reveals huge variations in the way in which hospitals display information about how to make a complaint, shows support to patients is incomplete & unclear, and suggests 35% of staff have insufficient training in complaints handling.
Despite the shocking catalogue of poor care at Stafford Hospital, and numerous reports since, this investigation shows significant pockets of the NHS have not led the kind of changed needed to prevent another scandal occurring.
NHS Confed: Don’t waste time & resources by ‘re-inventing the wheel’ - Health & wellbeing boards should take advantage of the experience & connections of established providers of health & care-related services, as well as be open to innovative contributions from new ones if they want to be successful at improving the health outcomes of their communities, according to a new report; Stronger together: how health & wellbeing boards can work effectively with local providers.
But they should tailor their engagement programme to local priorities, using different tools & models at different times, rather than fix rigidly on one structure or process, says the report, which draws on the experiences & learning of local authorities, health providers and commissioners. The report sets out a 12-point framework for building health & wellbeing board and provider engagement.
CO: Staying ‘on theme’ with the previous item - A new initiative, which brings together commissioners from across the public sector, will ‘transform how public services are delivered and arm the civil service with the right commissioning skills for the future’, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, announced last week.
Open to all public sector commissioning organisations, including central government departments, local authorities, health bodies and judicial services, the Commissioning Academy will help senior commissioners learn from the example of the most successful & innovative commissioning groups.
The academy is now open for applications from senior level commissioners to join the first cohorts, starting from April 2013 onwards. Sponsored by their Director General or Chief Executive, those participating in the academy will on completion take forward 100-day plans aimed at transforming their organisation’s commissioning practices.
DH: Assessment of eligibility for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding - If you or a relative received care that was paid for between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012, were not assessed for NHS CH and think you should be, you have until 31 March 2013 to contact your PCT to make a claim for repayment.
GPS: Does this impact on your organisation? - 2e2 UK Limited has recently entered into administration. Customers procuring or about to procure through the IT Managed Services (RM717), PSN Services (RM1498) and RM1557 (G-Cloud) frameworks are advised to consider this prior to engagement or contract signature. 2e2 has stated that existing customers will continue to receive service provision. If you have any concerns please contact the customer service desk.
DfE: Champion state school pupils deserve a chance to attend the best universities - Registration is now open for the Dux Awards. Teachers select a Year 9 pupil as their ‘Dux’ (Latin for ‘champion’), who is rewarded with a visit to one of the Russell Group universities. Registration closes on 8 February 2013 and the events are due to be held from May - July 2013.
ScotGov: There is a slight irony here - Following David Cameron’s speech signalling the UK Government’s intention to hold an ‘in or out’ referendum on European Union membership, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to EU Foreign Ministers to set out the position of the Scottish Government on the European Union and Scotland’s place in it, including the approach to Scotland’s continued membership following a Yes vote in 2014.
Latest White Paper: Serving the Digital Customer in the Age of Austerity - The Public Sector is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the converging pressures of the digital customer and the long-running recession. There has possibly never been a time where expectations have increased exponentially in the same period where budgets have been cut significantly.
Customers' behaviours across all demographics and generations have changed with more and more empowered by digital channels such as the web, social media and mobile. Put simply, this means that your customers, having already adopted these new channels in their everyday dealings with commercial organizations and in their personal lives, expect the same from the Public Sector.
This latest paper explores the idea that if you give your Digital Customers what they want, they will in turn help you do more with the budget you have and perhaps help you make the case for more budget as a result of savings you might be able to drive elsewhere.
Click here to download your free copy of ‘Serving the Digital Customer in the Age of Austerity’.
Please Note that all previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive