We should reward those who speak up and reprimand those that ‘hide’ issues

CQC have announced the appointment of Dame Eileen Sills, the Chief Nurse at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, as the first National Guardian for speaking up safely in the NHS.  As the National Guardian, she will help to lead a cultural change, initially within NHS trusts & NHS foundation trusts, so that healthcare staff always feel confident & supported to raise concerns about patient care.

The need for an independent National Guardian for the NHS was highlighted in Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak Up review in February 2015, which found that patients could be put at risk of harm because vital information about mistakes & concerns was not being raised by NHS staff routinely.  As part of her role, Dame Eileen will lead, advise & support a network of individuals within NHS trusts, appointed as ‘local freedom to speak up guardians’, who will be responsible for developing a culture of openness at trust level.  She will also share good practice, report on national or common themes and identify any barriers that are preventing the NHS from having a truly safe & open culture.

Researched Links:

CQC appoints first National Guardian for the freedom to speak up in the NHS

Should the attempted ‘silencing’ (especially in public sector organisations) of Whistle-blowers become a legal offence?

Cover-ups in ‘bad practice’ lead to repeated mistakes in NHS treatments

We seem to have been talking about this for decades

Good practice saves lives

Would all the child abuse, sexual exploitation & poor patient care still go on if they were rewarded and not ‘punished’?

Duty of Care to ‘client/patient’ NOT irresponsible managers

Remember Staffordshire Hospital

Yet again we find the NHS cannot investigate itself

And about time too!

Achieving the best outcomes for the NHS requires ‘highlighting the worst’

Thursday 21st April
Prospero House, London Bridge

Funding Transformation

As pressure mounts to justify investment in digital and service redesign, the Socitm Spring Conference returns to provide you with a better understanding of the latest policy developments and best-practice thinking.

This event will give you key tips on the policies and working practices required to deliver ROI.
Key issues to be discussed will include:

  • Delivering digital differently: how should we provide public services in the future?
  • Making the case for investment: enabling innovative, cost-effective business models
  • A new form of supplier partnerships: can we make better use of public-private funding?
  • Health and social care integration: implementing a whole place approach
  • Open systems: establishing common platforms, publishing accessible and reusable data
  • Promoting diversity: empowering women in a digital world

Click here to book before January 18th and claim the Early Bird Discount or visit the conference website for full details.

Many jobs do not require ‘perfect health’
With nearly half of disabled people not in work, the TUC has published its manifesto to ‘promote equality for disabled people and challenge discrimination against them’.  For some disabled people it is particularly hard to get a job – just 20% of those with learning difficulties, 22% with mental illness or phobias, and only 33% of those who suffer from depression or anxiety are in work.
Researched Links:

TUC calls for practical action to implement disability equality in new manifesto

‘Disability’ does not mean ‘inability’ in a work situation

Like many other medical conditions, epilepsy does not preclude having a successful career

Everyone deserves a chance

Can your design skills help others to help themselves?

WAG:  Support to work for almost 6,000 people thanks to £7.2m EU-backed programme

‘Frailty’ may be inevitable with age, but its ‘management’ can still allow an ‘active’ lifestyle

The concept of frailty as a long-term condition brings with it the opportunity to adopt a much more proactive, person-centred, community-based approach to care.  Achieving this requires a new approach to care, particularly through supporting self-care.  This new approach will be enabled through a wider awareness of frailty and a greater shared understanding of the condition.

The ‘frailty fulcrum’ is an animated model for frailty that has been developed with these opportunities in mind. This model aims to provide a ‘common language’ for frailty that can be shared between individuals, carers and professionals.  It offers an interpretation of frailty that is meaningful, relevant & sustainable for people living with the condition, throughout their journeys of care.

Researched Links:

NHS England:  The Frailty Fulcrum

Patients are more likely to initially fall after treatment

Longer independent living is vital for the NHS funding ‘crisis

NICE:  Leading a healthier lifestyle can delay dementia, disability and frailty in later life

Elderly will reap the benefits of partnership working – Katie Walkin

Minister meets award-winning falls prevention nurse

Take the frailty challenge! – Professor John Young

Robin the robot helps take care of 94 year old Italian Grandma Lea

Evidently it’s not just little girls that are made of ‘sugar & spice and all things nice’

A new campaign has launched encouraging parents to get “Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake.  The Change4Life campaign follows revelations that 4-to-10 year olds consume over 5,500 sugar cubes a year, or around 22kg - the average weight of a 5-year-old.

A new Sugar Smart app has been launched to help parents see how much sugar there is in everyday food & drink. The free app works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar it contains in cubes and grams.  Change4Life has created an eye-opening short film to warn parents about the health harms of eating & drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay.

Researched Links:

DH:  5 year olds eat & drink their body weight in sugar every year

LGA:  Bottles & cans of alcoholic drinks should include calorie count signs

Make children exercise at school?

Ways to highlight problem

Childhood obesity demands bold Government action committee report finds

Junk food TV advertising

New evidence review of measures to reduce sugar consumption

Introduce sugar tax to combat obesity crisis, says Unite

PHE urges parents to cut sugary drinks from children’s diets

LGA:  Soft drinks firms must commit to sugar reduction in popular drinks to combat obesity crisis, say councils

New drive to cut the amount of sugar Welsh children eat and drink

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

Supplier Locator: January update…

Many of WiredGov’s stakeholder departments within Central Government have been working hard to deliver on the Government’s pledge that 25% of all direct and indirect central government spend should be with SMEs by 2015 but there is still a great deal more work to be done.

Against this backdrop, our Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.The most recent arrivals to the Supplier Locator include:


P for Production Ltd


Baltic Training Services

Click here to find out how to register your company with the Supplier Locator.
Project management is not an ‘optional extra’ for successful delivery
A third of major government projects due to deliver in the next 5 years are rated as in doubt or unachievable unless action is taken to improve delivery.  Greater transparency on project performance is required.
Researched Links:

NAO:  Delivering major projects in government: a briefing for the Committee of Public Accounts

Not just ‘major’ projects now

HMRC 'Aspire' to unachievable transformation

Infrastructure & Projects Authority:  New government body to help manage & deliver major projects for UK economy

HMT:  Consultation on National Infrastructure Commission launched

Another attempt to ‘kick start’ house building
The PM has announced that the government is to step in and directly commission thousands of new affordable homes.
Researched Links:

PM: the government will directly build affordable homes

LGA:  475,000 homes with planning permission still waiting to be built

CLG:  Shared ownership boost for budding homeowners

CLG:  Tens of thousands of homes supported by Housing Zone funding

Looking down for a better way
On 20 November 2015, the Space for Smarter Government Programme (SSGP) on behalf of the Earth Observation (EO) Working Group hosted a Discovery Day to explore how EO could transform UK public sector policy delivery.

techUK:  Can Earth Observation (EO) transform UK public sector policy delivery?

There’s not enough ‘downside’ for management failure
By the end of the first Tuesday in 2016, Britain’s top bosses will have made more money in 2016 than the average UK worker earns in an entire year.
Researched Links:

High Pay Centre: Fat Cat Tuesday 2016

Adam Smith Inst - Fat Cat Tuesday is pub economics, not serious analysis

TUC: Fat cat pay shows the government is making wrong choices for a fair economy

But what do many of them actually ‘do’ that justify such rewards?

Have Hedge funds and ‘corporate raiders’ moved into the charity sector?

Looking for ‘brightest & best’
The Civil Service have announced their 2nd round application window for the Government Economics Service, Government Operational Research Service and the Government Statistical Service will open on 1 February 2016.  The Fast Stream programme offers talented & ambitious graduates an accelerated route to leadership.  Successful applicants will have the opportunity to take on some of the biggest social, economic, political & security challenges facing the UK today and the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives.

Civil Service Fast Stream second round application window opens 1 February 2016

July Shell closure was just a precaution
The FSA has published 4 investigative reports commissioned following an event that occurred in July 2015 where exceptionally high levels of E.coli were recorded at shellfish beds along the South and South West coasts of England.

FSA:  Shellfish official controls: high E.coli event along South & South West coasts of England

Everyone must follow the rules
With reports suggesting the UK could go to the polls this year for the EU referendum, campaign groups are already starting to mobilise support.  The ICO’s therefore wants to remind campaigning groups & political parties that they must comply with data protection & electronic marketing rules in the lead up to the referendum.

ICO:  9 points EU referendum campaign groups should remember if they don’t want to break the rules

30% of £bns is not small change
Public procurers will be more able to spot & prevent bid-rigging and save taxpayers’ money with the launch of a new e-learning package.  The CMA and the CCS have worked together to create the e-learning module which will help more than 4,000 central government procurers root out attempts to win contracts through anti-competitive conduct.  In 2013/14 the UK public sector spent £242bn on procurement of goods & services. Evidence suggests that cartels – of which bid-rigging forms a part – overcharge by up to 30%, costing taxpayers millions of pounds and leading to poor service.
CMA:  Public procurers learn how to spot bid-rigging

 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Scotland’s place in Europe

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

Many public servants were among the 1,196 people celebrated in the 2016 New Year honours list. There were damehoods for Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Ofqual's Glenys Stacey, and Heather Rabbatts, former chief executive of Lambeth council, as well as knighthoods for Robert Stheeman, chief executive of the Debt Management Office, Alan Yarrow, former Lord Mayor of London and retired civil servant Jon Day.
On the network we've created a full list of the local government officers honoured this year, and a wider list of people working in public services who also received awards.

2016 New Year Honors
The public servants honoured in the 2016 New Year honours list

The public servants honoured in the 2016 New Year honours list
More women will receive damehoods and CBEs this year, with services to Ebola crisis particularly recognised

Local government chiefs receive New Year honours in 2016

Local government chiefs receive New Year honours in 2016
More than 30 serving and former local government officers and politicians receive medals

Also on the network
With Sir Nicholas Macpherson gone, it's the Treasury's chance to modernise

With Sir Nicholas Macpherson gone, it's the Treasury's chance to modernise
An internal shuffle is more likely than a corporate type from outside Whitehall to replace the perm sec

Why the UK is failing on infrastructure, the cornerstone of Tory policy

Why the UK is failing on infrastructure, the cornerstone of Tory policy
New NAO report says uncertainty in major public sector projects puts the austerity programme at risk

Five ways to become a better, more responsible public sector manager

Five ways to become a better, more responsible public sector manager
By clearly allocating responsibilities, you can help create a more positive, honest and can-do culture

News in brief
• Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nicholas Macpherson to step down
• More than 300 senior public officials paid more than David Cameron
• Britain should resettle 3,000 refugee children, MPs say
Junior doctors in England to strike next week after talks break down
• Top Defra adviser calls to break up Environment Agency after flooding
• Home Office to take on responsibility for fire and rescue services