Constant threat is the new norm for digital organisations; even charities!

Britain’s businesses are being urged to better protect themselves from cyber criminals after government research into cyber security found two thirds of large businesses experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year.

The research also shows that in some cases the cost of cyber breaches & attacks to business reached £ms, but the most common attacks detected involved viruses, spyware or malware that could have been prevented using the Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that while 1 in 4 large firms experiencing a breach did so at least once a month, only half of all firms have taken any recommended actions to identify & address vulnerabilities.  Even fewer, about a third of all firms, had formal written cyber security policies and only 10% had an incident management plan in place.

The Government is encouraging all firms to take action: the 10 Steps to Cyber Security provides advice to large businesses, and the Cyber Essentials scheme is available to all UK firms.  The Government is also creating a new National Cyber Security Centre offering industry a ‘one-stop-shop’ for cyber security support.

A new national cyber security strategy will also be published later in 2016 setting out the Government’s plans to improve cyber security for Government, businesses & consumers.

Researched Links:

DCMS:  Two thirds of large UK businesses hit by cyber breach or attack in past year

Ensuring the safety of the UK

Ministry of Defence Implementation of Cyber Essentials Scheme

Top UK firms urged to get a cyber ‘health check’ (includes link to 10 Steps to Cyber Security)

Charity Commission:   Charities remain at risk of online extortion demands - Lizard Squad


Empowering a More Mobile Workforce:
Delivering £3Million Efficiency Savings to DCLG

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has recently migrated to desktop virtualisation software and other tools in a move that will save £3m a year while boosting efficiency and flexibility for mobile workers.

DCLG is also part of the Public Services Network (PSN), which requires each user’s access to be secure so the solution had to meet all government security requirements, including encryption of any personal data.

 “We have saved around 40 per cent on our desktop budget. We used to spend around £7 million a year providing desktops and infrastructure, and we now spend £4 million per year on a better service that users prefer. Darren Scates CIO and Technology Leader DCLG.

Click here to find out more and download the full DCLG case study.

A death without sympathy or proper care

A national review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that people from certain groups in society are experiencing poorer quality care at the end of their lives than others because providers & commissioners do not always understand or fully consider their specific needs.  In ‘A different ending: Addressing inequalities in end of life care’, the CQC reports that only 67% of the 40 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) it surveyed said that they had assessed the end of life care needs of their local populations – meaning that 1 in 3 had not.

Of the 27 CCGs that had reported that they had assessed the end of life care needs of their local populations, only 18% (7) had reported that they had commissioned specific services for at least one of the population groups considered in its review as a result – this includes people whose social circumstances make them vulnerable, older people, people with dementia, a learning disability, a mental health problem, or a chronic progressive illness other than cancer.

The impact of this could be that local health & care services are not fully equipped or ready to help these particular groups of people in their areas to get truly personalised care at the end of their lives.

Researched Links:

CQC:  Action needed to ensure high quality & personalised care for everyone at the end of their lives

NHS Confederation responds to CQC report on end of life care

A matter of concern for most people (eventually)

NHS England: Realising ambitions - improving palliative & end of life care for all in 3 steps

This is NOT just a case of inadequate resources

Patients are being sent home alone, afraid & unable to cope and in some cases without their relatives or carers being told, resulting in devastating consequences, according to a report by the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.  The report highlights cases investigated by the Ombudsman service where people have been discharged from hospital before they are fit to leave or without making sure they can cope on their return home.

Last year the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman saw a 36% increase in discharge related investigations. These found that people’s deaths or suffering could have been prevented if hospitals carried out the right checks before discharging people.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor said:  ‘Our investigations have found that some of the most vulnerable patients, including frail and older people, are enduring harrowing ordeals when they leave hospital.  ‘Poor planning, coordination and communication between hospital staff and between health and social care services are failing patients, compromising their safety and dignity.  ‘Health and social care leaders must work harder to uncover why ten years of guidance to prevent unsafe discharge is not being followed, causing misery and distress for patients, families and carers.’

Editor’s Note:  Some years ago my wife’s Aunt (in her late 70s at the time) had to ‘overnight for observation’ after collapsing in the street.  Having seen her settled into a ward, we gave the Sister our contact details, so she could phone us in the morning to arrange the discharge.   We then went home (about 4 miles away).

Next morning, we were surprised to receive a call from the Aunt at her home.  She had been ‘turfed out’ of the bed in the middle of the night (there had been a bad multiple car crash) and sent home to an empty house.  At no time were we notified of the discharge – even to give us the option of having her stay the rest of the night with us (my wife is a trained nurse).   One phone call could have saved the cost of an ambulance and a potential medical emergency.  The hospital gave no reasons for its actions!

Researched Links:

NO:  Vulnerable patients & their families suffering harrowing ordeals due to poor hospital discharge

NICE:  In the bag - making moving between hospital & social care better

NHS Confed comments on the Ombudsman’s report on NHS discharges

‘After Care’ is as important as treatment in hospital

Something for IPSIS to start with!

Time for a ’Paul on the road to Damascus’ moment for multi-culturalists

Britain is too complacent about its ability to manage diversity and urgently needs to adopt a ‘more muscular’ approach to integration, Trevor Phillips writes in a new Civitas publication.   In a new pamphlet, Race and Faith: The Deafening Silence, Phillips says that many liberals have been ‘reluctant to accept that different sets of values & behaviours exhibited by some groups present a serious challenge to the process of integration’.

‘Any attempt to ask whether aspects of minority disadvantage may be self-inflicted is denounced as “blaming the victim”. Instead, we prefer to answer any difficult questions by focusing on the historic prejudices of the dominant majority. In short, it’s all about white racism.

‘This stance just won’t do any more.  In fact, in today’s super-diverse society, it is dangerously misguided. Social liberals have to make a decision.  Do we stand by our fundamental values at the risk of offending others; or should our desire to preserve social unity be allowed to compromise much of the social progress of the past half century?

Phillips argues that the new era of ‘super-diversity’ – with more different groups of people arriving in Britain than ever before in the country’s history – requires a shift away from ‘organic integration’ towards a policy of ‘active integration’.

Researched Links:

Civitas:  Squeamishness about diversity and the challenge of integration risks catastrophe – Trevor Phillips

Will this help the government integrate migrants?

How do you say ‘Settle Down Now’ in 20+ languages?

Two way integration policies will benefit refugees and locals, says EESC

'Passive tolerance' of separate communities must end, says PM

Demos - Time to Tackle the Under-Representation of British Muslims in Top Professions

Welsh Secretary meets representatives from Muslim & Jewish communities to discuss extremism threat

Baroness Warsi hears communities’ views on integration

Key policy areas will be affected by the dynamic and volatile nature of UK identities, report finds

Foresight:  The Future Identities project

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, the WiredGov 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.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

A walk of Remembrance down memory Lane

Thousands of people who were involved in the Battle of the Somme will be personally remembered in a project launched last week, as part of the national Somme commemorations on 1 July 2016.  The stories & sacrifices of the men & women who played their part in the Battle of the Somme will be remembered on individually designed ‘memory squares’, created by the public, uploaded to an online gallery, and then printed onto tiles to form the ‘Path of the Remembered’ which will be laid in Manchester on 1 July.

To take part, members of the public can visit www.somme100path.co.uk where they can see examples of memory squares and then design & upload their own.  They can be designed by hand or on a computer. The designs can be as artistic or as simple as people choose, and don’t necessarily have to have a personal connection. The website contains information and help with researching someone to commemorate.

5,000 online designs will be printed on to individual ceramic tiles and then laid as a path, forming part of a free concert taking place in Heaton Park on the evening of July 1.  FREE tickets for the evening concert at Heaton Park can be obtained by visiting: www.quaytickets.com/sommeheatonpark/Online/default

Researched Links:

DCMS:  Make your mark on the Path of the Remembered

A ‘sacrifice’ that must not be forgotten

If we ignore history we will forget its lessons

Could your pension be boosted by a ‘hidden pot of gold’?

A new DWP website has been launched by the Pension Tracing Service (PTS) to help people more easily & quickly locate their lost pension savings.  The PTS is a FREE service that enables people to search a database of more than 320,000 pension scheme administrators.  There is currently an estimated £400m in unclaimed pension savings.

DWP:  New Pension Tracing Service Website Launched

The problem is that any really ‘fair’ system would cost a fortune to run

The Women and Equalities Committee has called into question the workings of the current public appointments process following its pre-appointment scrutiny of the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Committee calls for public appointment process review

Commission welcomes appointment of new Chair and Scotland Commissioner

Who you know, rather than What you know!

Editorial Commentary:  Brexit would ‘lead to armed conflict’?

Having read / listened to an onslaught of comments from the IMF, POTUS, etc. over the past few weeks and now being told by our own PM that Brexit would ‘probably lead to collapse of the EU’ and ‘increase the risk of Europe descending into war’, one has to wonder why all these people/organisations didn’t try harder to meet Mr Cameron’s original fairly minor requests for treaty change last year. 

This latest Project Fear’ assault was accompanied by a one-sided announcement on potential whiskey tariffs (Defra:  Leaving the EU could put scotch whisky exports on the rocks).   No mention about EU countries potentially losing one off their biggest export markets for wine as, due to UK tariffs, we would all switch to New World, etc. wines that would be cheaper (Could be a ‘driver’ for a quick tariff deal there one suspects!)

If the UK is so essential to the ‘peace & ongoing harmony’ of a successful ‘growing ever closer’ union why did they not try to meet our wishes for change even halfway?  One is inclined to the view that; ‘Perhaps the PM and his Remainers doth protest too much’ (with apologies to the Bard).

While there are many ‘unknowns’ with Brexit, we can anticipate what our future will be in an EU moving to full political & monetary union (Roadmap to a ‘Fiscally’ United Europe and PC&PE:  Completion of Economic and Monetary Union 'unlikely' by 2025), with the UK outvoted & sitting on the margins with little influence as millions of recent immigrants (now full EU residents) legally seek work in the UK. 

In some respects ‘Leavers’ are like the 18th & 19th century emigrants who sailed to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.  They cannot be totally SURE of the future that awaits us on leaving our ‘known world’, but they are pretty sure that (in the long-term), it will be better than what the future will hold if we remain in the EU.

One final point; During the Scottish referendum, the ‘full might’ of two separate Government press organisations/budgets was utilised to put the opposing claims of the Scottish Government (Project Wishful Thinking) on one hand and the UK government (Project Fear) on the other. 

However, during the current EU referendum there is only one viewpoint being put with the full resources of a government press organisation (Project Fear).  Voters might like to reflect that the greater volume of announcements on behalf of the ‘Remain’ camp may not, therefore, be due to a number of irrefutable facts supporting that point of view, but rather a greater capacity to make assertions – often unsupported by detailed information for voters to analyse.

Researched Links:

10DS:  PM speech on the UK's strength & security in the EU: 9 May 2016

Editorial Commentary: Examining the ‘sacrificial entrails’ of past promises & current announcements to anticipate the 2030+ future

Ensuring the safety of the UK

Does anyone know the size of the problem over the next 5 years?


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

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

Researched Links:

Vote Leave - the campaign for a Leave vote in the EU referendum

Britain Stronger In Europe

Open Europe

NIESR: Uncharted territory: the Implications of Leaving the EU Think

NIESR: Prospects for the UK economy

ICO:  EU campaign firm fined for sending spam texts

PC&PE:  Completion of Economic and Monetary Union 'unlikely' by 2025

Editor’s Note:  We suggest readers monitor the ‘News’ sections of the 2 campaign sites for the 2 differing views.  The WGPlus newsletter will mainly limit itself to highlighting ‘normal’ EU-related news, plus Think Tank items, PC&PE reports, etc.


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 the EU referendum approaches, 40% of the general public said membership was detrimental to public services, in stark contrast to those working in the sector. A new report by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (Cipfa) attempts to disentangle some of the complex issues surrounding the European Union, to give voters a better understanding of how a vote to leave might impact on health, local government, higher education, security and other parts of the public sector.
One thing is for sure, according to Cipfa's Rob Whiteman: "Decoupling the British state from the EU will cause tremendous upheaval for public services for many years."

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Parish councils suit city dwellers too, not just rural Britain
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This time round, police and crime commissioners know how tough it gets

This time round, police and crime commissioners know how tough it gets
Tom Gash: With voter turnout more than double 2012 level, PCCs are here to stay – but must prove their worth

I can't say I'm shocked that 96% of public sector leaders are white

I can't say I'm shocked that 96% of public sector leaders are white
In the UK too many BME people are blocked from senior roles by the old boys’ club

Smart infrastructure is the key to sustainable development

Smart infrastructure is the key to sustainable development
Moving towards low-carbon, climate-resilient transport and infrastructure is the best route to reducing poverty

News in brief
Barnet council chief steps down after election blunder
Independents swept aside in police and crime commissioner elections
• Sadiq Khan officially takes over as London mayor - as it happened
• Junior doctors prepare for fresh talks over contracts
• Civil service redundancy shake-up could lead to industrial unrest
• NHS mental health funding is still lagging behind, says report
Event: integrating social care and health
At 17:30 on Tuesday 5 July at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth, we are convening a high-level debate at the LGA annual conference and we hope you will join us. There will be a brief introduction from the Guardian and KPMG, followed by contributions from an expert panel that will frame a conversation with our audience of local government leaders. This will continue over a private invite dinner.
To register interest, contact gpsevents@theguardian.com stating whether you are interested in attending the debate and meal or debate only.