Screening means more proactive healthcare and better (& more cost effective) outcomes

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) has put out an annual call for the first time, which will enable any individual or organisation to submit a proposal for a condition to be considered for a population-wide screening programme.

The call for new screening topics is being piloted this year. The pilot will measure the volume of work that the process may generate & assess its effectiveness. If successful, it is hoped the process can continue on an annual basis.

Any proposals received will be evaluated against UK NSC screening criteria, but any condition previously considered by the Committee will not be included.  The window for submissions for new topics closes at midday on Monday 9 January 2017 and the UK NSC will respond to each submission within 6 weeks after the annual call closes.  There are currently 11 population screening programmes in England.

Researched Links:

DH:  Opportunity to propose new screening topics

CRUK:  More than two-thirds of cervical cancer deaths prevented by screening

CRUK:  Low cancer symptom awareness linked to lower chance of survival

CRUK:  1 in 5 emergency bowel cancer patients had symptoms before diagnosis

DH:  Screening for risk of kernicterus not beneficial

ScotGov:  Drive to increase bowel screening participation

DH:  New STI figures show continued increases among gay men

ScotGov:  Breast screening review

DH:  New improved prostate pack for GPs

WAG:  Aneurysm screening saves lives in Wales

DH:  Rubella susceptibility screening in pregnancy to end in England

DH:  UK NSC recommendations include new bowel cancer screening test

DH:  One millionth screening milestone reached for AAA

PC&PE:  Better communication needed in health screening programmes

DH:  Chlamydia screening and condom schemes encourage safer sexual behaviour in young adults

ScotGov:  Lung cancer test

Home Office:  New phase of tuberculosis screening launched as part of Immigration Rules changes


The Role of Technology & Data
in Revitalising Britain’s Cities

MasterCard commissioned The Guardian journalist Tamsin Rutter to share her views and insights on three cities across Britain, which she felt had demonstrated real leadership in embracing technology and innovation to revitalise their high streets.

Tamsin chose Nottingham, Norwich and Plymouth. Three cities at different ends of England, but each in their own way, ground breaking in how they use technology to deliver transformational solutions.

Click HERE to read Tamsin’s analysis and learn how technology and smart data can help revitalise your high street!

It can be awkward to talk about the ‘Big C’, which leads to missed opportunities

Cancer Research UK is launching its first online course to help people have more confident conversations about cancer.  The FREE course, Talking About Cancer, aims to help prevent cases of cancer & improve early diagnosis.  It is designed for health workers & professionals including doctors, nurses & volunteers who talk to others about cancer, particularly about prevention

The course teaches conversation techniques to advise people how to make healthy lifestyle changes and to see a doctor when they notice an unusual change in their body.  It also covers myths & facts about the disease.

It is taught by CRUK trainers, alongside actors playing roles to show effective & ineffective conversations.  It includes videos & quizzes, and participants can take part in online discussions. The course doesn’t require any previous training in the subject.

Researched Links:

CRUK launches online course to help people talk about cancer

NICE emphasises the importance of urgent referral in suspected melanoma

Change in practice could prevent 250 people a year having major surgery, says NICE

CRUK:  Cancer survival improves in England

Empowering primary care to improve cancer survival rates

CRUK:  3 in 4 don’t know obesity causes cancer

September is Cancer Month

Let’s be clear: early diagnosis is crucial for cancer patients

Working to end variance in cancer care

CRUK:  Are patients being told about opportunities to take part in research?

The NHS needs some planning as it staggers from financial crisis to crisis
Phil McCarvill, Deputy Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation, has responded to the publication of NHS England and NHS Improvement's Planning Guidance for 2017-19.
Researched Links:

NHS Confederation:   Phil McCarvill: The planning guidance for 2017-19 is useful and needs to see ongoing alignment

NHS England and NHS Improvement set out next steps to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View in 2017/18 and 2018/19

NHS Wales follows the Jesuit motto
Healthy Child Wales, a programme that will ensure every child up to the age of 7 receives consistent & universal health services in Wales, was launched by the Minister for Social Services and Public Health Rebecca Evans recently.  Implementing Healthy Child Wales is one of the Welsh Government’s priorities in its programme for government, Taking Wales Forward 2016-21.
Researched Links:

WAG:  Universal child health programme launched

Taking Wales forward: Ministers “hit the ground running” during the first 100 days in office – FM

"Give me the boy until he is seven, and I will give you the man"

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. 

Its common sense really
A new report finds that child sexual exploitation can be tackled best when all partners take responsibility for their roles, while also working collaboratively, with strategic goals clearly identified, understood & agreed across agencies.
Researched Links:

HMIC:  Take the time to listen to vulnerable children, say inspectorates

CQC:  ‘Time to listen’ - A joined up approach to child sexual exploitation & missing children

Ofsted:  Take the time to listen to vulnerable children, say inspectorates

Should have been done years ago

Good’ no longer seems to be appropriate for our ‘Civic Leaders’

Not surprising crime figures fall if reports of crimes are ignored!

Are you entitled to free care?

People who believe their care should have been funded by the NHS, are being encouraged by the Welsh Government to register their intent to make a claim.  Continuing NHS Healthcare is a package of care provided free-of-charge by the NHS for those people with complex & primarily health-based needs.  This can be provided in a care home or an individual’s own home.

People who think they, or someone they care for, may have been eligible for Continuing NHS Healthcare but paid for all, or part, of their care can submit a claim.  Potential claimants have until 31 October 2016 to register their intent to make a claim for continuing healthcare costs which were incurred between 1 October 2014 and 30 October 2015.

Researched Links:

WAG:  Deadline approaching for people to claim for their care

NHS England launches frameworks to increase integration of health & care services and improve the lives of care home residents

At £11bn are they a cost effective idea as you WILL end up paying for them?
The Science and Technology Committee has found that the Government is not being clear on the benefits of smart meters.  The Government lists 11 different objectives for the project, including saving customers money on energy bills, yet the amount of money saved by individual consumers is expected to be small.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government not clear on smart meter benefits

techUK:  Smart Meters an Essential Part of Future Energy Infrastructure

ICO:  Privacy regulators study finds Internet of Things shortfalls

What is a Smart Meter? - The end of estimated bills‎

Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

Smart meters: a guide - Detailed guidance - GOV.UK

Stop Smart Meters! (UK)

Transition to smart meters | Ofgem

Do I have to accept a smart meter? - Which.co.uk

British Gas Launches Customer-Led Connected Home Series

Citizens Advice responds to smart meter IT delay

Smart meter derogation guidance | alternative in-home display unit trials

'The UK aims to have smart meters in place by 2020'

Andrew's view: How can we make the electricity system more flexible?

Latest findings on consumer attitudes to smart meters

Smart grid technology can help UK tackle carbon emissions

Getting smart with your energy

British homes to get smart meters under €315bn Investment Plan for Europe

Smart meters roll-out: sharing the UK’s capabilities

Plans to roll out smart meters by 2020 off-track

Did they get it right?; Still time to have your say
The Boundary commission are 3 weeks into the consultation on their initial proposals, which they published on 13 September 2016.  Since then they have been asking all of you to get involved with the consultation and let them know what you think.  You’re the experts when it comes to local communities, so they want you to tell them if their proposals reflect your community – are the shops, surgeries and schools you use in the same constituency as your home?
Researched Links:

Boundary Commission for England:  The first two weeks – an update from the Commission

Why didn’t Labour complain about electoral bias when the electoral system favoured them?

Committee on Standards in Public Life to hold seminar on referendums in the UK

A chance to recognise their ‘above & beyond’ service

Nominations are now open for The Sun Military Awards which this year features new categories. The Armed Forces and the general public have until 10 October 2016 to put forward individuals and units for an award.

This year’s Millies will introduce several new awards including the Inspiring Others Award – honouring individuals in the Services, as well as the Cadet Forces who have inspired others to achieve more through their awe-inspiring example.  Another new category is the Innovation Award which will recognise firms or individuals who have developed game-changing or life-saving pieces of equipment that transform the work of our Armed Forces.  An awards reception will be held at the London Guildhall on 14 December 2016.

Researched Links:

MoD:  The Sun Military Awards open for nominations - Not forgetting our older / ‘forever young’ heroes;

MoD:  75th Anniversary of the Arctic Convoys to be marked in Liverpool

Two unknown soldiers from World War 1 honoured as they are finally laid to rest

It’s not smart to risk your health

Freshers & university students are being warned of the possible dangers to their health from taking powerful prescription medicines to get higher marks as a new university year begins.   The announcement comes as concerning Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) research showed 14% of those sampled were likely to buy so-called ‘smart drugs’ within the next year.

The misuse of prescription only medicines such as Modafinil and Ritalin remains prevalent despite repeated warnings against self-medication.  Possible side effects of using ‘cognitive enhancers’ include risk of dependence, cardiovascular problems and psychosis.  MHRA has recently launched the FakeMeds campaign aimed at young adults and highlighting the pitfalls of buying medicines online.   Visit www.gov.uk/fakemeds for tips on buying medicines safely online and how to avoid unscrupulous sites.

Researched Links:

MHRA:  Freshers warned to be smart and avoid Modafinil

They may be ‘young & healthy‘ but they are ‘at risk’

LAs could get ‘financial caning’ from roll-out of Academies programme
New figures released recently reveal that the potential cost to council taxpayers of converting all schools to academies is £320m, with an additional loss of £80m every year in business rates income.
LGA:  Councils' potential £320m bill to convert schools to academies
Help ensure a better signal in future
Ofcom is calling on the UK's 20m Android smartphone users to join its first crowdsourced research project for better mobile phone services.  By downloading the Ofcom Mobile Research app, mobile users can join a nationwide panel of volunteers who will help gather valuable information about mobile coverage, reliability of voice calls, mobile broadband performance and users' experiences and habits.  The app automatically measures the performance of mobile and Wi-Fi networks; users don't need to manually run any tests.

Ofcom:  Calling all Android users… join our mobile research project

techUK:  Ofcom launches crowdsourced project for better mobile phone services

Get animated about e-safety
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is calling all 7-19 year old students across UK schools & colleges to enter the BCS e-safety award, part of Animation17.  The annual animation competition, now in its tenth year, is run by Manchester University.  Deadline for entering: 31 March 2017.

BCS calls for UK school students to scratch safely online with Animation17 competition

With preparation it needn’t be a Big Deal
Last week was National Inclusion Week, and the Cabinet Office published its first ever Gender Identity & Gender Reassignment Policy.  GDS team member Laura felt like it was a good opportunity to write about her experience of being transgender and transitioning to her identified gender while working as a civil servant.

Being transgender at GDS


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

IPPR:  Slump in finance sector recruitment in aftermath of Brexit vote

IEA:  Adopt Icelandic style fisheries policy to boost sustainability

ScotGov:  EU discussion with French Government

ScotGov:  FM to give speech in London

ScotGov:  FM highlights importance of membership of single market

WAG:  FM leads first meeting of EU Advisory Group

IFG:  When it comes to Brexit, silence is not a strategy

NEF:  Restricting immigration won’t pay for working people

EU News:  MEPs reject EU Budget 2017 Council cuts: more funds for migration, jobs, youth

ScotGov:  European collaboration on policing


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

Boundary Commission for England:  The first two weeks – an update from the Commission


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:

Last week we were speaking to local council leaders in the hall and corridors of the Labour party conference in Liverpool. With Labour councils controlling huge amounts of public sector budgets, their leaders are ready to offer Jeremy Corbyn some hard-won political advice, writes Jane Dudman in her editor's blog this week.
Meanwhile, David Walker brings the spotlight back onto Brexit, writing that, contrary to what many libertarian Leavers believe, ‘taking back control’ of the UK’s borders will have to mean bigger, not smaller, government.
"The UK cannot leave the EU customs union without HMRC and Border Force employing thousands more", he writes. "[And] as for control of people, tighter migration policy doesn’t just mean more booths at Heathrow. It also requires more command of emigration, more staff to round up overstayers and illegals and closer checks on who leaves the UK."
The civil service fast stream opens today - it’s one of the toughest, as well as one of the most popular, graduate employment schemes in the country. We asked Guardian readers about their own experiences of applying; you can see what they said by clicking here.
And finally, the chance to vote in our Public Servant of the Year award ends tomorrow; read about the five public servants shortlisted and make your choice here. The winner will be announced in November.

Also on the network

Labour must look to local government now for lessons on power

Labour must look to local government now for lessons on power
With Labour councils controlling huge amounts of public sector budgets, their leaders are ready to offer Jeremy Corbyn some hard-won political advice

Disabled people are still being treated as second class on public transport

Disabled people are still being treated as second class on public transport
‘You’re never free of worry’: buses and trains can be a lifeline for disabled people, but cuts and poor planning are preventing independent travel

As public cuts leave people destitute, it's charity workers like me who pick up the pieces

As public cuts leave people destitute, it's charity workers like me who pick up the pieces
When I became an outreach worker ten years ago there was still some vestige of a welfare state. The indignity and devastation I see now is astonishing

News in brief
• Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to retire as Met police commissioner
• Row as David Cameron’s former aide given top diplomatic post without open competition
• Civil Service compensation scheme offer “imminent”— as Treasury sets out framework for cuts
• Council management shake-up to save £850,000
• Liverpool council takes control of markets for £1