When it’s your own care it gets very personal

NHS England and the Local Government Association have named the first 8 sites that will, for the first time, blend comprehensive health & social care funding for individuals and allow them to take control of how it is used.

The first wave of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme will go live on 1 April 2015, providing some 10,000 people with complex needs with greater power to decide how their own combined health & social care budget is spent.  The start of the programme is a key first stage in the delivery of the NHS Five Year Forward View that was set out in October 2014.

4 groups of high need individuals – older people with long term conditions, children with disabilities & their families, people with learning disabilities, and people living with serious mental illness – will be able to take control of their budget to deliver an agreed care plan.  As part of the programme, local voluntary organisations will help patients with personal care planning & advocacy.

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NHS England & local councils announce radical power shift as first 10,000 high-need services users gain control of their own integrated health & social care budgets

Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme

techUK launches its Vision for Interoperability to Make Integrated Care Happen

Socitm:  Health & Social care will be a key issue in General Election5m patients to benefit from new era of patient care

True integration must bridge the divide between services & the people they serve

It’s time for something different for families like oursund

People should be more involved in decisions about the medicines they take to ensure they get the best outcomes from them, says NICE in new guidance

Older people in care homes – a new NICE briefing to help LAs

New person-centred models of care in the pipeline, NHS England announces

England faces great adult social care squeeze

£70m investment in the Welsh NHS will help reform services

£31.7m boost for ‘life-changing’ SEND reforms

Better care plans to help elderly & reduce hospital visits

CQC publishes its 5th annual report on the state of health & care services in England

IPPR - Half of people with long-term conditions asked say ‘named contact’ could cut GP visits

Compassion & empowerment for older people in England

Improving care for children & young people with cancer

New advice on mental wellbeing of older people in care homes marks bold step forward

Major national survey prompts CQC to call for improvements in community mental health care

Joined-up working required for effective stroke rehab services

In it for the ‘Long Haul’

Implementation is always the main issue

It’s like running a car; the older we get the more ‘maintenance’ we need

No excuse now for sub-standard care due to ignorance of standards

But are the NHS & LAs flexible enough to make the necessary changes to service delivery?

Investing in dementia training

Demos: Financial ‘health-check’ before collecting your pension

The NHS is not the only ‘care service’ with a funding ‘Black Hole’

ScotGov:  Free Personal & Nursing Care

More people needing social care than family carers available from 2017

Self care: making health everybody’s business

LGO reports on key emerging trends in adult social care complaints

AS:  Social care in Scotland needs to be better planned & organised

Age UK uncovers unfair care funding postcode lottery


The Low Carbon Agenda & Government ICT: Green Clouds on the Horizon?

The Government ICT Strategy sets out to deliver better public services for less cost, and to release savings by implementing technology that increases public sector productivity and efficiency. A key aspect of the strategy is cloud computing.

In parallel with the drive to adopt cloud computing for its business benefits, the government wants to reduce its impact on the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy and resource consumption, as reflected in the Cabinet Office supplement — the Greening Government: ICT Strategy.

This latest white paper provides public sector organisations with advice and guidance to help them make appropriate use of "green" cloud services and helpfully explains:

  • Cloud computing and UK government strategy
  • Why cloud computing is green
  • The Greening Government: ICT Strategy
  • How carbon offsetting works

Click here to download your copy of 'Greening Government ICT: How Cloud Can Help'

Some personal care problems can be resolved quickly & cheaply using common sense
People with serious medical conditions are able to carry heavy medical equipment with them on their mobility scooters from 9 March 2015. This will mean people who depend on specialist medical equipment can now load it on powered wheelchairs & mobility scooters to travel outside their home.  It will increase the upper weight limit on these vehicles by 50kg to 200kg, in cases where the extra capacity from necessary medical equipment.  Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, a charity who funds specialist equipment for children with disabilities & terminal illness, had campaigned for the change.
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DfT:  Regulation change to support children with disability

Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children,

‘Reassurance’ is key to their state of mind
As part of Change Day NHS England is supporting “John’s Campaign” which supports people with dementia.  The campaign calls for family & carers of people with dementia to be allowed to remain with them in hospital for as many hours of the day & night as necessary.  Campaigners point to the difference between the treatment of family & carers when it comes to being with sick children & people with dementia.
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NHS Eng:  It’s time for a change on dementia too

In it for the ‘Long Haul’

NHS Change Day 2015 – making a difference

Paid to train, no student debt, good employment prospects for both women & men and vital for future UK economic success

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, believes that IT apprenticeships have a vital role to play in helping to fill the emerging skills gap the profession faces and is calling on employers to support apprenticeship schemes.  The Institute has been named as 1 of 3 assessment organisations for the Digital Industry Trailblazer apprenticeships.  The first two IT apprenticeships to launch are Network Engineer and Software Developer. Apprentices studying these via a training provider assessed by the Institute will be given BCS membership for the length of their apprenticeship.

The Digital Industry Trailblazer standards published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have been purposely aligned with the new Professional Registration of IT Technicians that the Institute, together with the Gatsby Foundation will launch later this year.  An individual awarded an IT Trailblazer apprenticeship will be eligible to apply for a place on the professional register.

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BCS:  Apprenticeships vital to encourage more young people into IT profession

Digital Industry Trailblazer standards (need to scroll down)

Over half of primary school teachers say science is getting squeezed out - CBI

Gov.UK:  Information & communication technology (ICT) apprenticeships

Minister for the Cabinet Office announces new initiatives for young people in cyber security

DfE:  Surrey college to train young cybersecurity experts announced

Apprenticeships could compensate for likely IT talent drain

EC joins forces with companies to deliver over 250,000 extra training courses & thousands of new digital jobs

techUK:  New report highlights UK tech growth

Lords say digital skills will make or break the UK

New qualifications launched to meet UK demand for digital skills

Celebrating the resurgence of apprenticeships
Deputy PM marks National Apprenticeship Week in a video message, calling for more young people to boost their skills and get involved.
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SFA:  National Apprenticeship Week 2015: Deputy PM's message

10DS:  Government rolls-out flagship Degree Apprenticeships

PC&PE:  Quality Apprenticeships have doubled but need to be increased further

SFA:  UK businesses could gain additional £18bn revenue from apprenticeships

LGA:  Devolve funding to allow councils to boost number of quality teenage apprenticeships

MoD:  Apprenticeships offer the way

Young apprentices brief Prime Minister at No.10 Cabinet meeting

TfL celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

BIS:  Apprenticeships no longer just 'jobs for the boys'

DfE:  Traineeships programme helping many into apprenticeships and jobs

WO:  Baroness Randerson urges young people to get an apprenticeship to boost job prospects during Airbus visit

Apprentices more likely to succeed if they have completed meaningful work experience

Test your knowledge of apprenticeships with SFA quiz

Apprenticeship vacancies up by almost a third

New university technical college to serve booming Hull economy

Apprenticeships could provide a NEET solution to youth unemployment (4th item)

Opening up a world of independent travel
A trial is underway at Pimlico Tube station to assist blind & partially sighted people to navigate independently, using Bluetooth beacons and a smartphone app.   The Wayfindr system has been developed by ustwo, a studio which builds digital products & services, in response to the RLSB Youth Forum's desire to be able to navigate London Underground (LU) without assistance.
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TfL:  Young vision impaired Londoners set a new direction for Tube travel

A police cell is not a mental health ward
The Home Office has funded the launch of a pilot to provide an alternative place of safety for people detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983.  At the 2014 Policing & Mental Health Summit the Home Secretary announced that the Home Office would fund the Richmond Fellowship to deliver an alternative place of safety in Sussex.  The pilot will run for 12 weeks.
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HO:  Home Secretary launches alternative place of safety pilot

Richmond Fellowship

Deaths in detention of hundreds of people with mental health conditions could have been avoided, new Inquiry finds

HMIC:  Vulnerable children & adults need care, not custody

Mental health illness prevalence in criminal justice system a scandal

Deaths in or following police custody continue to fall but mental health remains an issue

IPCC to investigate Humberside Police's detention of mentally ill woman

Police custody is regularly being used to detain people whose only ‘crime’ is that they are suffering from a mental disorder, a joint inspection has found

NHS Confed:  Partnership working the way forward, say mental health providers & police chiefs

Providing better help and support for mental health services

Giving ‘rogue’ employers a criminal record
Employers who carry out ‘back-door’ criminal record checks on potential employees could face criminal charges after it has been finally outlawed.  There is a well-established lawful process for checking criminal records, but some rogue employers have tried to bypass that by demanding prospective employees use their rights under the DPA to see information held about them.
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ICO:  Law change outlaws ‘back door’ criminal record check

EU migrants to ‘Pay in’ before UK taxpayers ‘Pay out’
New regulations mean that under Universal Credit no EU households will be able to access means-tested benefits in the UK without having worked here first.  Action has already been taken to halve the amount of time EU jobseekers can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Child Benefit & Child Tax Credit and means that if they don’t have a job after 3 months they will lose their right to reside in the UK.  New migrant jobseekers are also now unable to claim Housing Benefit.
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DWP:  EU jobseekers barred from claiming Universal Credit

And about time too

Home Secretary has announced a package of reforms to improve the police complaints & disciplinary systems.  The powers are part of a series of changes that aim to make police misconduct hearings more open & visible as well as increasing protection for police whistleblowers.  They include:

  • Requiring disciplinary hearings to be held in public (from 1 May 2015)
  • Ensuring the chair of the hearing is legally qualified (January 2016)
  • Protecting police whistleblowers from unfair disciplinary action (1 May 2015)
  • Allowing compensation to be withheld from chief officers who are found guilty of misconduct (1 May 2015)
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HO:   Police disciplinary hearings to be held in public

Justice must be seen to be done

Co-operation rewarded
The Communities Secretary has hailed the life-changing impact of the government’s Troubled Families programme, which has now turned around more than 105,000 of the hardest to help households in England.  New figures show that the programme had already saved taxpayers an estimated £1.2bn, from a maximum government investment of £448m.
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CLG:  More than 105,000 troubled families turned around saving taxpayers an estimated £1.2bn

Just throwing money at the problem doesn’t work; co-ordinated action is what gets results

‘Drowning’ in problems

An innovative employment opportunity
Graduate recruitment: Join the UK’s innovation agency - We help many of the most innovative ideas & businesses in the UK achieve commercial success.  If you’ve graduated in the past 12 months or will be graduating this year and want to be part of the UK’s economic future, why not apply?  All successful applicants must be able to attend Assessment on 28 April 2015.
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Innovate UK:  Graduate recruitment - Join the UK’s innovation agency


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

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ScotGov:  Greater gains from more fiscal control

PC&PE:  Smith Agreement "best of both worlds" for Scotland

Scottish tax revenue £400 per head higher than UK

Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland 2013-14

IFS:  Scotland’s fiscal position improves in 2013–14 but this is set to stall as oil price falls bite

ScotGov:  Swift action needed on welfare

ScotGov:  Call to keep Smith promises

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

Are you a female public servant wanting to climb the career ladder? You'd be better off in Canada. For International Women's Day we looked at the best and worst countries in the world to be female and in parliament or the public sector. Let us know what you think of the gender diversity in your organisation on Twitter via @Guardianpublic.

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Greater Manchester's transport plans: a blueprint for the rest of the UK?

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What the civil service spends on travel – in charts

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News in Brief

• Treasury 'not ready for next financial crisis', said Pasc chair Bernard Jenkin
• Labour would avoid 'another Andrew Lansley health bill disaster', said Lord Falconer
• More than 105,000 households 'helped by troubled families programme'
• Councils using aggressive enforcement and bailiffs to recover debts, said charity StepChange
• Scottish councils have piled up record debt of nearly £15bn