But what about the ‘Digitally un-empowered’?

Patients will be able to access & interact with their GP record online within 12 months, Jeremy Hunt announced last week.  Speaking at the NHS Innovation Expo in Manchester, the Health Secretary challenged the NHS to make better use of technology so that patients can be empowered to manage their own healthcare needs, while ensuring that their data remains safe at all times.

Mr Hunt made clear that by 2016 all patients should be able to access their own GP electronic record online in full, seeing not just a summary of their allergies & medication but blood test results, appointment records and medical histories. By 2018 this record will include information from all their health & care interactions.

Researched Links:

DH:  Health Secretary outlines vision for use of technology across NHS

Securing public confidence is key to unlocking the power of technology to transform healthcare

Young people want control over consent, confidentiality & comment

Urgent action is a moral imperative – Tim Kelsey

Statement from NHS England and the Health & Social Care Information Centre in response to the Daily Telegraph article, ‘Tesco can see your medical records’

Over 55m patients in England can now book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions & access summary information in their medical record online – according to latest figures

Pharmacist who unlawfully spied on family & friends’ medical records prosecuted

Insurers using subject access requests to see medical information

Making healthcare more human-centred and not system-centred

A&E staff to have instant access to patient records as part of £3m investment

Lab in a bag’ will transform the way we care for patients

Major new report on digital technology

Improve recording of drug allergy to reduce risk of reactions

Using technology to improve delivery of health & care services

Cutting reliance on paper will make patients safer, says NHS England

New Milestone reached for world's biggest microscope – the European Spallation Source

Time for the NHS to embrace Expo-nential Innovation – Dr Mahiben Maruthappu

High-resolution 'laser x-rays' could spot tiny fractures in bone

Pioneering lung surgery

Medical innovations backed by £18m fund

NICE recommends a technology to reduce catheter infections which could save the NHS £ms

Technology branded as "Patient Power 2.0" by Jeremy Hunt

Patients across the country set to benefit from the roll out of proven healthcare innovations

Funding boost for Med-Tech companies developing next generation products

NICE consults on plans to support new device which avoids surgery for enlarged prostate glands

First patients diagnosed through genome sequencing

State-of-the-art medical training facility opens at Daresbury Laboratory

Biosample centre opens to help researchers find new treatments

NICE plans to support device for diagnosing liver damage without surgery

NICE issues draft diagnostics guidance on prostate cancer tests


Free IT Asset Inventory Service

Providing the public sector with the visibility needed to avoid data breach

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Pre-Register now to take a full inventory of your organisation’s network. The service is 100% complimentary and there is no software to install and no obligations.

Ways to highlight problem
NHS England is pleased to announce the winners of a £30,000 international challenge prize to publish or present data on obesity in a new, exciting and useful way.  The challenge to data enthusiasts was to use open data to produce new visualisations, apps or tools that will help to kick start action against obesity.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Obesity data challenge innovators claim £30k prize

A bitter pill for most

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes: the size of the prize

Stricter blood glucose targets for people with diabetes

NICE issues standard on preventing obesity and lifestyle weight management for children and young people

LGA - US-style calorie signs should be introduced by pub, restaurant and cinema chains, say councils

Get people moving to improve nation's health

LGA response to Health Committee report on physical activity & diet

NICE redoubles efforts to reduce harm from alcohol, smoking and physical inactivity

Overweight & obesity levels stabilising

NICE updates weight loss surgery criteria for people with type 2 diabetes

LGA:  Cost of tackling obesity set to rise by tens of millions for councils

Report on obesity treatment in Wales published

Health experts asked how Government can tackle obesity

Did anyone ask Head Teachers & Health Visitors?
‘Named Person’; Court rules policy is in best interests of children and complies with law.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Named Person

Role of Named person

NO2NP - Say No to the Named Person Scheme

Herald Scotland:  Confusion over plans to appoint 'named person' for every ...

Daily Telegraph:  Parents 'face red tape' to complain about SNP's state guardians

Named Person

Investing to support children and families

Children and Young People Bill passed

Welsh charities bag £ms
The use of single use carrier bags has declined by 71% in Wales and donations to good causes are estimated at between £17m - £22m according to the findings of a report commissioned by the Welsh Government.
Researched Links:

WAG:  £17m in the bag for good causes says Minister

Research summary

Minister congratulates retailers and shoppers on the successful introduction of the bag charge

Bags of difference

MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags

Reducing use of plastic bags: MEPs strike deal with Council Presidency

Keep the carrier bag charge simple - MPs tell Government

Plastic bag numbers rise for the fifth year

It's in the bag

Plastic bags: Government response

RoSPA warns parents of nappy sack dangers as latest baby death is confirmed

Maths is the basis of ‘Life & Work’
Students will be taught how to apply their maths skills to calculate interest, work out profit margins and get the best currency exchange rates thanks to a new suite of practical maths courses starting in schools.  The core maths qualifications, backed by some of the country’s biggest employers, are designed to give young people the maths knowledge they need in everyday life - whether they want to run their own business or lead a company.  The new courses address the ‘maths gap’ where students often forget the vital maths knowledge they have learned because they do not keep using it.
Researched Links:

DfE:  New practical maths lessons to prepare teens for world of work

Everyone should know the ‘basics’ after 10+ years of formal education

GCSE results show surge in pupils taking valuable STEM subjects

Maths entries jump at A level as pupils embrace academic subjects

Science & maths send girls' future wages soaring

Support for further education sector to develop maths teachers of the future

Employers want education system to better prepare young people for life outside school gates – CBI/Pearson survey

One law for all
Special planning rules designed to support England’s travelling community will only apply to those who lead a genuine travelling lifestyle, under changes that came into force last week.  The measure is part of a wider crackdown on unauthorised occupation of sites, to ensure all communities are required to abide by the same planning rules.
Researched Links:

CLG:  New rules will offer stronger protection against unauthorised occupation

Councils can quickly stop illegal encampments

Clamp down on illegal encampments

New fund to help councils crack down on unauthorised development

Dealing with illegal & unauthorised encampments

There will be tears at the school gates, and that’s just the parents!
Around 400,000 working mothers have children starting primary school across England & Wales this September, which poses new challenges for their work-life balance.  The TUC is calling on employers to be supportive of working parents (both mums & dads) and allow them to work flexibly to help manage their childcare over this period.
Researched Links:

Let mums work flexibly around staggered primary school starts, says TUC

Flexibility is the key to a happier (& often a more productive) workforce

Innocents online
An international project looking at websites & apps used by children has raised concerns over the personal information collected.  The project raised concerns about 41% of the 1,494 websites & apps considered, particularly around how much personal information was collected and how it was then shared with third parties.  The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) Privacy Sweep saw 29 data protection regulators around the world look at websites & apps targeted at, or popular among, children.
Researched Links:

ICO:  Questions raised over children’s websites & apps

It’s a big, bad e-world out there, but very enticing for children

Are you a champion Adventurer?
Ordnance Survey is looking for inspirational adventurers that are passionate & enthusiastic about Britain, and who are great at motivating others to get out there & enjoy it, to become champions for its #GetOutside campaign.
Researched Links:

Ordnance Survey:  Are you a champion of the outdoors?

True grit at minus 37°
Six British veterans were welcomed to No11 to celebrate the world’s first ever unsupported crossing of the Greenland icecap by an amputee.  The project, called 65 Degrees North, was led by amputee Peter Bowker, who lost his leg as a direct result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
Researched Links:

HM Treasury:  65 Degrees North team praised by Chancellor

Quit Now
Research shows smokers are 67% more likely to quit if their partner also stops smoking and 36% more likely to quit if a friend stops.  Smokers across the country are being urged to sign up to Stoptober, the country’s 28-day mass quit attempt from Public Health England, to receive support & encouragement every step of the way from some of the nation’s top comedians.
Researched Links:

DH:  Sign up to Stoptober with friends, family & colleagues

Speedy applications will provide quicker connection
More than 40,000 SMEs across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme. The Government made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis. Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities, and with more than 1,000 applications now being received each week, Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  40,000 UK businesses have their broadband boosted

No undisclosed conditions allowed
Two homeowners faced a struggle to sell their homes after South Oxfordshire District Council failed to give them full information about a restriction on their properties, the Local Government Ombudsman has found.
Researched Links:

National Ombudsmen:  Council did not tell purchasers about restrictions when they bought their ex-council homes


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov: A stronger Scotland

Electoral Commission recommends change to EU Referendum question

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

The civil service has opened applications for its coveted fast stream, and this year the focus is on diversity. Whitehall still has a few image issues and is still perceived to attract primarily white, well-off graduates. Not ideal for a civil service keen to include a broad range of views in policymaking, because "the general public isn’t made up of Oxbridge graduates who speak Greek and have been on their gap years," sums up one current fast streamer.
If you know someone planning to apply to the fast stream, we've plenty of advice for them, including how to ace the assessment centre.

Also on the network
How to ace the civil service fast stream assessment centre

How to ace the civil service fast stream assessment centre
The chief assessor and a former applicant give tips on how to get through Whitehall’s assessment day

Whitehall still has a diversity problem – here's what it's doing about it

Whitehall still has a diversity problem – here's what it's doing about it
The fast stream attracts predominantly white, well-off graduates, but is working to challenge stereotypes

Also on the network
Councils facing £10bn extra costs need a fair spending review

Councils facing £10bn extra costs need a fair spending review
Government policies such as lower social housing rents will hit local authorities hard, writes the LGA chair

How local councils can help prevent female genital mutilation

How local councils can help prevent female genital mutilation
FGM is child abuse, affecting hundreds of thousands of women and girls all over the UK

News in brief
• Chilcot inquiry: blame will be spread beyond Blair's inner team, sources say
• Some civil servants set to lose out on 1% pay rise
• DWP seeks 2,800 short-term staff weeks after shedding thousands of full-timers
• Rotherham abuse scandal: IPCC working to identify 100 police officers
• Reform Scotland calls for overhaul of local government funding
• Melbourne city council cleared of failing to protect women from anti-abortion protesters