Surely now English MPs should be the only ones allowed to vote on ‘England only’ legislation? - Wales will get new financial powers to take control of its own economic destiny as the UK government agrees to key recommendations for devolution from the Silk Commission
A Wales Office statement confirms that:
* Welsh ministers are to be given borrowing powers, so that they can borrow money to invest in Wales
* Landfill Tax & Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales will be devolved, as the Silk Commission recommended, ensuring the Welsh Government has an independent funding stream to pay back the money it borrows
* a referendum will take place so that the people of Wales can decide whether some of their income tax should be devolved to the Welsh Government, in the same way as it is in Scotland
Powers for Wales in biggest devolution in decades ~ LGA responds to Welsh devolution announcement ~ ‘Wales needs control of Stamp Duty Tax to boost Welsh economy’ – Jane Hutt ~ Silk Commission ~ UK Government publishes its evidence to the Silk Commission ~ WAG:  Scottish Devolution / Independence is ‘not the only game in town’ ~ ~ JRF:  No need to wait for Independence to tackle poverty & social exclusion ~ WAG: Scottish referendum deal proves UK status quo 'unsustainable' ~ Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons established ~ ~ Report of the Commission
Help develop good practice model for older patient care in hospitals - In 2012, a report by the Partnership on dignity in care highlighted the importance of staff listening & responding to patient feedback.  This point was echoed in the Francis report and underlined as an area for action.
Yet evidence indicates the NHS still has a long way to go to improve this aspect of patient care.  Often older patients are not asked for feedback about the care they received during their stay in hospital.  They can also be reluctant to give honest feedback and sometimes feel they are not taken seriously when they do.  That's why the partnership is launching a 2-year project to work with patients & nurses to help address this issue.
The project will evaluate & improve known methods & systems for engaging & motivating nurses to consistently listen & learn from older patients to improve patient experience. A scalable good practice model will be developed, as a result of this evaluation, to disseminate our learning widely to other hospitals & care settings.  The model will be tested in 2 hospital pilot sites and tools & resources will be developed to be used across the country.
NHS Confed: Could your trust be a pilot site for our patient feedback project? ~ Emergency admissions to hospital: managing the demand ~ NAO documents ~ Group interaction among elderly is the key to significant health outcomes ~ 2.3m fewer overnight hospital stays needed if all areas perform as well as top 25% ~ Successfully delivering care closer to home could improve outcomes for patients & save the NHS £3.4bn p.a. ~ Dangerous cuts are putting vulnerable people at risk ~ Greater integration of health care has led to improved care processes, more satisfied staff & reduced use of hospitals ~ TKF: Response to the DoH's announcement of 14 integrated care pioneer areas ~ Rural Health Plan breaks down barriers between hospital & community care ~ DH:  Can nursing still be called the ‘Caring Profession’? ~ PC:  Devising a code is easy, getting staff agreement is not difficult, achieving 100% compliance is the tough bit (2nd item)
Valid criticism shouldn’t obscure success in other similar (but much smaller) ‘convergence’ projects - The Committee of Public Accounts has published its 30th Report of this Session which examined progress in delivering Universal Credit and the problems there have been in implementing the programme.  The DWP has stated that Universal Credit will ‘simplify the benefits system by consolidating six means-tested working-age benefits into a single system intended to encourage claimants to start work or earn more’. 
In February 2013 the Department ‘reset’ the programme following a Major Projects Authority review which expressed serious concerns about the programme lacking detailed plans.  It is highly likely that a substantial part of the expenditure on IT development will have to be written off.  Since then the Department has been working to address these concerns, but has yet to submit revised plans for approval by ministers, HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office.
Committee publishes report on the early progress of Universal Credit ~ JRF response to Universal Credit implementation report ~ Award winning government service achieves 98% satisfaction rate amongst customers ~ IfG responds to PAC report on Universal Credit project ~ Citizens Advice warns problems with Universal Credit cannot ‘be kicked into the long grass’ ~ Benefit sanctions – ending the ‘something for nothing’ culture ~ Benefit cap: 36,000 accept work help ~ JRF response to DWP welfare sanctions statistics ~ Commission welcomes court decision overturning abolition of Independent Living Fund ~ Poll shows support for removal of spare room subsidy) ~ Major Projects Leadership Academy celebrates first set of graduates ~ Public Accounts Committee publishes four reports ~ MPs publish report on the dismantled National Programme for IT in the NHS ~ Government launches new guide to infrastructure delivery ~ MPs publish report on assurance for major projects ~ CO:  No more silos in a future Civil Service? (2nd item)
Please don’t overload Santa’s sleigh - With just 50 days to go, kind-hearted members of the public are reminded to show their support through service charities this Christmas. The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has to deal with a high volume of gifts & parcels from loved ones, so members of the public are being urged to donate to existing service charities instead.
Public urged to show Christmas support through charities
Generally ‘comparing well’, but even greater accuracy in future - Ofcom has introduced improvements to its voluntary accreditation scheme for price comparison websites, to help consumers when they are choosing a new service or switching. These sites can apply to Ofcom for independent accreditation, which gives assurances to consumers that they are receiving accurate, transparent and comprehensive pricing information.
To further improve the accuracy of the information provided to consumers, Ofcom has decided that accredited websites will now face ‘spot checks’ every 3 months and must also update their price comparison data at least every 2 weeks, down from 8, and have a fair & timely process for handling complaints. The changes follow a review of the Price Comparison Website Accreditation Scheme, which generally found it to be working well.
Ofcom improves accreditation scheme for price comparison websites ~ Travel industry warned not to mislead consumers when selling holidays ~ OFT advises price comparison websites how clearer information can improve consumer trust
Less re-invention of ‘NHS wheel’ - NHS commissioners for Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire have signed up to work in partnership with national NHS organisations to undertake a review of local health services with a view to improving health care for local people.
The review will result in a written report in the summer of 2014, which will set out the commissioners’ preferred arrangement of health services for the area.  It will take into account what people want and what is clinically safe and sustainable for the long-term needs of the population of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes.
Clinical commissioners sign up to innovative whole-scale review of health services in Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes ~ NHS Confederation - Are the NHS reforms working?
The future of care will see little left for inheritance - A new government-backed organisation could be established to run a national care loans scheme to help people meet the cost of care in their old age, local government leaders are proposing. The deferred payment scheme would work in a similar way to student loans, with people able to borrow to pay for care, but against their estate, to help them manage the shift towards individual responsibility to meet personal care costs
LGA - National care loans scheme proposed by councils ~ DH:  Remember that the Government has no money, ultimately it has to obtain it from the ‘tax-paying public’ (2nd item)
They will never ‘improve’ until they are made to live within their budget - The annual report on the EU budget for 2012 financial year has been published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA).  In most spending areas of the EU budget the report finds that the legislation in force is still not fully complied with.   Looking at the EU budget as a whole, the ECA’s estimate of the error rate for spending is 4.8 % for the 2012 financial year (3.9% in 2011).
The estimate of the error rate is not a measure of fraud or waste.  It is an estimate of the money that should not have been paid out because it was not used in accordance with the legislation concerned. Typical errors include payments for beneficiaries or projects that were ineligible or for purchases of services, goods or investments without proper application of public purchasing rules.
EU accounts signed off, but errors persist in all main spending areas, say EU Auditors – (British taxpayers liable for £800m of misspent EU funds ~ Budgets Committee approves amending budgets ~ EU budget 2012 – member states must step up EU funding checks, say MEPs ~ Protecting taxpayers' money: European Parliament committee endorses Commission proposal to fight fraud against the EU budget ~ Court of Auditors report shows EU budget management on the right track ~ Statement by Budgets Committee Chair Alain Lamassoure on EU Budget 2014 talks)
Youth has never been a barrier to success in IT - Europe's outstanding women, girls & organisations making an impact in the digital world were announced at ICT 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania recently. The winners included Digital Girl of the Year (11-14 years): Amy Mather, UK.  At 13 years old, Amy has been coding for 3 years and has inspired people of all ages with her keynote speeches at the Raspberry Jamboree, Campus Party EU and Wired: Next Generation.  She teaches older pupils how to code during her school lunch breaks and with the Manchester Girl Geeks.
Digital Woman, Girls of the Year named at ICT 2013

 Channel Shift in Public Services, Thursday 5th December 2013, Manchester - Capita's National Channel Shift Conference comes one year on from the publication of the Government Digital Strategy setting out how the government services will become digital by default. With the growing use of mobile and social media, this event will provide you with the practical information you need to improve your channel shift strategy and transform your services.

Featuring high-level and practical input from those at the forefront of this agenda including local government, police, housing, third and private sectors, this conference will help you gain transferable knowledge on how to use communication to support digital self-service processes, manage demand and bring customers to the new channels.

Click here to book online now or for more information please contact Fran Langham on 020 7960 7751 or email at

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