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DHThe best medical care has always been a mixture of the latest ‘clinical care’ and basic ‘compassion’ - The expansion of a scheme to help foster a culture of compassionate patient care was announced by Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter recently.   

The scheme, called Schwartz Center Rounds allows NHS staff to get together once a month to reflect on the stresses & dilemmas that they have faced while caring for patients. Robert Francis QC specifically pointed to the positive impact of Schwartz Center Rounds in his report.

Research pilot sites in America & England show staff who attend Schwartz Center Rounds:
* Feel they communicate better with their patients & colleagues
* Feel less isolated & more supported
* Feel better able to cope with the emotional pressures of their work
* Understand better how their colleagues think

The Department of Health will give a grant of almost £650,000 over the next 2 years to the Point of Care Foundation to expand the scheme.  By the end of the 2 years of the grant, around 40 additional Trusts should have established Schwartz Center Rounds.

The Point of Care Foundation will also have developed a national network of trainers & mentors who will continue to spread Rounds to new organisations into the future.   For the first time ever, they will also be piloted with GP practices, district nurses and in the community.
Press release & links ~ www.pointofcarefoundation.org.uk (website under construction) ~ Evaluation of both UK pilots ~ Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare ~ Scroll down for more related publications ~ CQC:  Can anyone still believe the NHS doesn’t need to change how it delivers its services? (1st item) ~ CQC:  Time for the NHS to be run to DMS standards? (2nd item) ~ Monitor:  Good Practice must be spread to all NHS Hospital Trusts (4th item) ~ WAG:  Ensuring Nursing Care is ‘fit for purpose’ (4th item)

COMonitoring the ‘SNAFU’ potential of government projects - Recently the performance of the government’s most expensive & important projects were revealed for the first time.  These projects are worth over £350bn and affect all of our lives.  The Major Projects Authority’s (MPA) annual report overturns Whitehall secrecy and will help further improve project delivery.

Before the last General Election there was no central picture of how projects were performing. Since its launch in 2011 the Major Project Authority has had a significant effect and is ensuring each major project is reviewed regularly. 

This means that:
* the MPA has helped save taxpayers over £1.7bn - £100 per working household.
* the success rate (running to time & budget) is set to more than double for these projects
* the MPA has used its extensive powers to re-scope or close failing projects, such as FiReControl and the NHS National Programme for IT
Press release & links ~ Major Projects Authority’s (MPA) annual report ~ Major Project Authority ~ CO: Capabilities Plan for the Civil Service ~ Level playing field for all civil servants to drive up performance ~ NAO: Lessons from cancelling the Intercity West Coast franchise competition ~ NAO: The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games: post-Games review ~ MPs publish report on assurance for major projects ~ AS: Significant weaknesses in management of ICT programmes ~ BIS: Government names new Chief Construction Adviser ~ HMT: Government is on track to cut cost of delivering infrastructure ~ PC&PE:  It is harder to name one government ICT success than 10 expensive failures (3rd item) ~ £20m initiative gets underway as Deputy Minister unveils ‘green’ research centre ~ WAG: Wales' first commercial-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plant (last item) ~ Cracking the code to cut costs and carbon ~ GPS: Procurement update: May 2013 ~ Top tips to help small organisations win government contracts ~ NAO: The Efficiency and Reform Group ~ More Scottish companies winning public contracts ~ EHRC publishes guidance on public sector procurement ~ NAO: Police procurement
WAGOne public sector organisation which certainly isn’t ‘rubbish’ - The Welsh Government has beaten tough competition from central & local government to win a prestigious award for an initiative that is at the leading edge of public procurement in the UK.

The Waste Infrastructure Procurement Programme won the ‘Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year’ award in the Government Opportunities Excellence in Public Procurement annual awards.

The programme, which is the first of its kind in the UK, supports local authorities to establish affordable, sustainable waste infrastructure in Wales. The £750m programme, which is delivered through partnerships between the public & private sector, will reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfill and produce enough renewable energy to power up to 11% of Welsh homes.
Press release ~ Waste Infrastructure Procurement Programme ~ “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt ~ “Building our way to economic growth” – Jane Hutt ~ Public sector to save up to £25m a year through new National Procurement Service for Wales ~ National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS) ~ Buy4Wales ~ Councils plot shared course on highways ~ Maximising the impact of Welsh Procurement Policy ~ Welsh Government wins top Civil Service award for groundbreaking procurement policy ~ McClelland procurement review published ~ Making procurement work for Welsh economy and communities ~ Commitment to Welsh business reinforced by Welsh Government Infrastructure Investment Plan ~ Welsh recycling rates continue to rise ~ New recycling industry body and sector plan support Welsh economy ~ Company plans to be one of the largest plastic recovery businesses in the UK
ScotGovWhy would a UK navy order its warships from a foreign country to support Scottish shipbuilders? - The MoD should provide clarity to Clyde shipbuilders on the contract for the Type 26 Global Combat Ships as soon as possible, Transport & Veterans Minister Keith Brown said last week.
Press release ~ Type 26 ~ RUSI: The Type 26 Global Combat Ship – a Renaissance Warship? ~ The Herald (Scotland): Hammond - Scots yards would not build UK ships ~ Options for the Scottish yards (para.58) ~ PC&PE:  As the song goes: ‘Why are we waiting’ (4th item)

EU News:  Does 1 or 2 years ‘contribution’ grant possibly decades of benefits to ‘foreigners’? - After several formal & informal contacts between the European Commission and the UK authorities, the Commission has decided to refer the United Kingdom to the EU's Court of Justice because, in breach of EU law, it fails to apply the 'habitual residence' test to EU nationals who reside in the UK and claim social security benefits.

Instead, the UK applies a so-called “right to reside” test, as a result of which EU citizens cannot receive specific social security benefits to which they are entitled under EU law such as child benefit.
Press release & links ~ Government launches Balance of Competences Review on the Free Movement of Persons ~ Immigration speech by Prime Minister ~ Employment: Commission proposes to improve application of workers' rights to free movement ~ CAB - Welfare system should be fair and debate about EU migrants free of political rhetoric

Latest Case Study: Council Implements Major GCloud Programme Following Channel Shift Success - Like many authorities, Aylesbury Vale Council viewed channel shift as an opportunity to deliver cost effective services for all Council customers and then downsize customer facing services and reduce referrals to the back office with a philosophy of “Fix First Time.”
In July 2012, a single Customer Portal was created to initially enable customers to order and pay for garden waste bins online, with ambitious targets of 30% take up, 7000 registrants and £250,000 in new revenue by March 2013.
To date, these initial targets have been far exceeded with £360,000 generated revenue from over 10,000 registrations.
This inaugural proof of concept success around a traditionally high-cost and time-consuming process has enabled AVDC to implement further channel shift programmes, procured through G-Cloud, on high volume contact services such as Licensing and Council Tax.
Click here to find out more and download the full Aylesbury Vale case study.

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