Junior Doctors must wish they were negotiating with TfL over an improved 24/7 service

The basic salary for a Tube driver is £49,673, with 43 days annual leave. The salary for a customer service assistant is £30,000, rising to £50,000 for a station supervisor, with 52 days annual leave.

LU is creating 700 new jobs to run the Night Tube service - offering total protection of work-life balance - over 6,000 people have applied for the new roles.  Demand for a 24-hour Tube service is clear - late night Tube use has increased at double the rate of day-time trips and night bus usage has risen by 173% since 2000. There are already over half a million users of the Tube after 22:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Editorial Comment:  Tube drivers rightly claim that they may face the emotional strain of dealing with the results of suicide attempts.  However doctors, nurses, police, F&R staff unfortunately have to deal with a much wider range of accidents, illnesses and fatalities, many just as traumatic.

Researched Links:

TfL:  LU condemns Union's cynical approach to the night tube

The Guardian:  Tube strike FAQ: myths busted and questions answered

ASLEF - London Underground

The Telegraph:  How much do tube drivers get paid, and why are they striking

BMA:  Junior doctors pay England (Foundation year is after 5 years of training/study – without pay - not just one year’s training/supervised experience – with pay - for a tube driver)

 In Pursuit of Public Sector Data Quality - White Paper
 Acquire, Cleanse and Manage Data

Data is the lifeblood of any government organisation, enabling it to make better informed business decisions and to interact effectively with its citizens, customers and suppliers alike.  Data is an asset, probably the best asset any organisation holds.  Yet many organisations are failing to realise the true benefit of their data assets because they are unaware of its poor quality or fail to understand the financial and customer impact of poor data quality, typically circa 11% of operating budget.

This latest white paper sets out the following key steps to ensure the accurate and cost effective management of data;

  • Data Collection and why it is important
  • The Goal of Data Quality
  • Reducing the Cost
  • The Challenges

It equips the reader with an understanding of key principals and processes to efficiently achieving improved data quality and hence operational performance.

Click here to find out more and download your copy the full white paper.

Patient Care, not just treatment
NHS England’s first strategy for end of life care in England, published in 2008, has succeeded in reversing the trend of increasing the proportion of deaths taking place in hospital. This revised & updated version of the Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals: The route to success ‘how to’ guide, published December 2015, marks another significant milestone to improve the quality & experience of care at end of life for patients and their families.  It offers practical advice & support for frontline clinicians & leaders for the work required to transform end of life care in acute hospitals.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals: The route to success ‘how to’ guide

If there is no dignity in care, people might go to Dignitas

It is not so much dying that worries us, as HOW we will die

In some ways it is the ‘perfect’ career for women; ‘brains not brawn’ & opportunities for working from home

A ‘Socitm Women in IT’ group is being established by the Society to improve the visibility of women in IT; through raising the profile of talented & experienced women working to deliver local public services, promoting them as role models and presenting greater opportunities for public speaking & other engagements.

An immediate goal is to address the under-representation of women in IT.  It is important to use the group to gain insights into the barriers preventing women joining IT and progressing their careers.  The longer term aim will be working with young women at the point at which they are considering career options to assist and identify ways & means to support them into IT and IT management.

Researched Links:

SOCITM:  Women in IT


A chance to be recognised

Women who take the lead

And an ’Appy’ time will be had by all

Men & women are equal on ‘brainpower’ so deserve equal opportunities

Time for employers to accept that most professional, technical & managerial jobs need ‘Brains not Brawn’

Not every ‘illness’ has ‘visible’ symptoms

The PM has announced almost £1bn of investment to enhance mental health services across the country.

  • £290m to provide specialist care to mums before & after having their babies
  • first ever waiting time targets to be introduced for teenagers with eating disorders & people experiencing psychosis
  • nearly £250m for mental health services in hospital emergency departments
  • over £400m to enable 24/7 treatment in communities as safe & effective alternative to hospital
Researched Links:

DH:  PM pledges a revolution in mental health treatment

LGA responds to Government announcement on mental health services 11 January 2016

NHS Confederation: Mental Health Network welcomes PM's focus on mental health

ScotGov:  Mental health funding

When Mother & baby are at their most vulnerable

Is it because we cannot see / touch mental health symptoms?

Healthcare models of the future NHS

Joined-up care in early years

A police cell is not a mental health ward

SME Supplier Locator Update…

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

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:

Britannic Technologies

Info Technology Supply

McGowan Transcriptions

Monks and Crane Industrial Group

Hashtag Promo & Design


P for Production Ltd


Odyssey New Media


Click here to find out how to register your company with the Supplier Locator.
A Bill of fundamental different views
Following an analysis of the Trade Union Bill, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has advised Parliament that a number of measures in the Bill may breach the right to strike.
Researched Links:

EHRC warns Trade Union Bill could breach people’s human rights

TUC welcomes peers’ concerns over Trade Union Bill

Committee on Standards in Public Life:  House of Lords 2nd reading of the Trade Union Bill

ScotGov:  Opposition to Trade Union Bill

Trade Union Bill 2015-16; UK Parliament

Majority of British people say electronic balloting to vote for strikes is appropriate

First Minister to meet PM

Parliament asked to withhold Bill consent

TUC welcomes Scottish Government’s opposition to the Trade Union Bill

Jimmy Reid Memorial Lecture

Welsh Government moves to block UK Trade Union Bill

Protect partnership working

Picketing code to be updated to tackle intimidation

Government right to drop social media plans in Trade Union Bill, says TUC

FDA condemns Government’s ‘hypocrisy in its most brutal and blatant form’ in denying unions statutory electronic balloting

New reforms will tackle the ‘endless’ threat of strike action

Independent watchdog slams government trade union proposals as “not fit for purpose”

New steps to tackle taxpayer-funded support to trade unions

New legislation to make strike laws fair for working people

Trade Union Bill will shift the balance of power in the workplace, warns TUC

A simple ‘push’ of a finger could save your family’s life
As part of a new Fire Kills campaign launched by Fire Minister Mike Penning, households are being asked to regularly test their smoke alarms to prevent fire deaths.  A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.  But just half of all householders who own smoke alarms say that they test whether they are working on a regular basis.
Researched Links:

Home Office:  Fire Minister urges households to test smoke alarms

Fire safety in the home: Fire Kills - GOV.UK

FireKillsCampaign - YouTube

Festive fire safety

Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning over winter

Brandon Lewis raises the alarm over tenant safety

Fire deaths fall to lowest number on record

£3m fund means thousands more tenants will have working smoke alarm

Official statistics reveal fire deaths fallen by 40% in last decade

Don’t Give Fire A Home this winter

Charred clocks bring an emotional reminder that it’s Time to Test

Lose some sleep but save a life this weekend: When you change your clock, test your smoke alarm

Hard-wired for sound: Love to hate your smoke alarm

Water companies ‘awash’ with bigger profits
The Public Accounts Committee has published report calling for the water regulator, Ofwat, to adopt new measures intended to secure a better deal for customers
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Water regulator must act to secure better deal for customers

CCW:  Public Accounts Committee report echoes CCWater concerns

Ofwat response to the Public Accounts Committee report on economic regulation of the water sector

Ofwat plans to open market for water and energy from waste

Scottish Water to remain in public hands

Ofwat welcomes Government review into retail competition for household water services

CMA publishes new guidance on water mergers

Ofwat welcomes CMA’s final decision on Bristol Water’s price determination appeal

How much are the UK’s natural resources worth?

Fall in average water bill reflects growing influence of customers in shaping prices, says water watchdog

Deal on water bills is a victory for customers in Wales, says watchdog

Profits and investment in the water industry - Water UK

Profits and dividends - Ofwat

Ofwat criticised for letting water companies pocket profits

Right to Rent a property
Landlords in England are being reminded that, from 1 February 2016, ‘right to rent’ rules go live.  The new law means that, landlords will have to carry out checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.  Landlords should now start carrying out ‘right to rent checks’ as these can be done from 28 days before the start of a tenancy agreement.

Home Office:  Landlords in England get ready for right to rent

Always be suspicious if you didn’t initiate the correspondence
Some customers are receiving fraudulent emails pretending to be from Land Registry.  Find out how to spot these fake emails.
Researched Links:

Land Registry:  Beware of phishing emails

Land Registry have changed their warning of cancellation letters

Land Registry:  Witnessing of deeds from 18 January

‘Lighter’ may be desirable, but it can put your health at serious risk
Shoppers are being warned about highly toxic skin lightening creams – likened to paint stripper - which put users at a greater risk of cancer.  The Local Government Association is urging people to be wary of illegal lotions containing poisonous ingredients after councils seized dangerous creams from shops & supermarkets in recent raids.
Researched Links:

LGA:  National alert over dangerous skin lightening creams

Skin-lightening risks - Live Well - NHS Choices

7. Illegal skin lighteners - Southwark Council

Skin Lightening Treatments - Parliament

What are your views on social care?
What do you think of your children’s home, fostering service, adoption agency, adoption support agency or residential family centre?  Ofsted’s social care online questionnaires for children’s homes, fostering services, adoption agencies, adoption support agencies and residential family centres are now open. You can give us your views until 3 April 2016.

Ofsted:  Point in time questionnaires for social care services


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Councils giving more power to people

Scotland Office:  David Mundell - The year of a new Scottish Parliament speech

ScotGov:  Federal BBC a ‘win-win’ for viewers


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

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

As former head of the civil service and one-time chief executive of Sheffield city council, one might expect Bob Kerslake to take a narrow view of the trade unions with which he has had many a bruising encounter.
"I most assuredly do not," he wrote on the network last week in a scathing attack on the trade union bill, which aims to dramatically curtail the powers of public sector unions. He describes the bill as "partisan and disproportionate", and fears that the measures it introduces demonstrate "a worryingly authoritarian streak in this government that is not comfortable with scrutiny and challenge".

Also on the network
Is change afoot in Whitehall, with so many bosses stepping down? Unlikely

Is change afoot in Whitehall, with so many bosses stepping down? Unlikely
Jill Rutter: This is quite normal in civil service terms – but it could threaten gender equality

Our collective shame: the treatment of children in custody

Our collective shame: the treatment of children in custody
Mary O'Hara: Despite abuse by G4S staff, young people in prisons remain low on the empathy scale

The forgotten casualties and hidden health problems of gentrification

The forgotten casualties and hidden health problems of gentrification
Leo Hollis: Most studies focus on the families forced to leave, often overlooking the fate of those left behind

News in brief
• Government has 'worrying authoritarian streak' says ex-civil service boss
• Temporary staff in Whitehall paid up to £1,000 a day, watchdog reveals
• One in five regional museums at least part closed in 2015, says report
• Around 40% of local authorities cutting budgets for smoking cessation services
• First junior doctors' strike ends amid fresh optimism over deal
• Environment Agency chairman Philip Dilley resigns over job demands
• Majority of councils ‘acted cautiously’ over spending local welfare support