No excuse for not maintaining their dignity

The Local Government Ombudsman has seen a 25% rise in complaints about the home care received by some of the most vulnerable people in England over the past year.  The statistic is just one of the findings included in the LGO’s Review of Adult Social Care Complaints 2015/16.

Complaints received by the Ombudsman include care workers being late for or missing appointments, not staying long enough and not doing what they should – including not treating people with the dignity they deserve.

Of those complaints the Ombudsman investigated in detail, 65% were upheld, which is 7% higher than for Adult Social Care complaints in total.  The data also reveals those people receiving care in their own home are less likely to be supported by a representative when making a complaint than those living in residential care.
Researched Links:

LGO:  Ombudsman’s annual review highlights concerns about quality of homecare

LGA responds to LGO report on adult social care complaints

Kings Fund:  Health charities warn of £1.9bn social care funding gap

LGA responds to health charities' warning of social care funding gap

The problem is getting worse by the day

NHS England:   Innovation in rural health & social care

‘After Care’ is as important as treatment in hospital

Most of us will all be ‘old’ someday

PIP failing disabled people

Kings Fund:  Older people are paying the price for cuts to social care

Patients Association:  Reaction to new End of Life report on needs of dying people.

Improving home care services for older people

In the vanguard of new care

Legislation to increase transparency in social care unveiled

Vulnerable patients & their families suffering harrowing ordeals due to poor hospital discharge

Integrated care "critically important" for older people with social care needs & multiple long-term conditions

LGA:  Dignified care for elderly and disabled at risk due to lack of funding, councils warn

Using technology to improve delivery of health & care services

LGA responds to UK Home Care Association report

Using hidden cameras to monitor care

Despite the ‘cheers’, there are real fears

This is NOT just a case of inadequate resources

After decades of practice the NHS should be getting it right by now!

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

Simplifying GDPR Compliance
Mitigate Risk and Derive Value

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is currently the world’s most important regulation involving individual’s information as it sets the foundation for how government organisations protect, and derive value from, sensitive customer, patient and citizen information. This latest e-book Hewlett Packard Enterprise sets out a flexible, modular and intelligent approach to GDPR, enabling you to identify and take appropriate action on all data in accordance with the new regulation on key issues including:

  • Personal Data Assessment
  • The Right to be Forgotten
  • Safeguarding personal information
  • Notifying of security breaches
  • The business opportunity

Click here to download this insightful e-book now and find out how your organisation can streamline and drive cost efficiencies into the process of protecting and leveraging personal data, whilst achieving complete GDPR compliance.

A key diagnostic tool

NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention looks at the launch of a vital new resourceBlood Pressure – How Can We Do Better?, which has just been launched.

Each pack has one page of infographics that show how the CCG and local practices are performing in detection & management of high blood pressure, and show the potential for improvement.  And there are 2 pages of practical key messages, written by fellow clinicians in primary care, that tell us how to we can improve care and outcomes for our patients … by doing things differently.

So why is this so important? Well, it’s a fact that high blood pressure affects more than 1 in 4 adults in England, and is one of the leading risk factors for premature death & disability.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Blood Pressure: How Can We Do Better?

Not everyone is capable of asking for checks

Opportunities for action around hypertension highlighted with new resource

BHF:  Study finds oxidants aren't always bad for the heart

Public unaware of the factors that increase the risk of dementia

BHF:  Long-term exposure to air pollution & traffic noise effects blood pressure

Heart Age Tool updated with new interventions & advice

BHF:  Blood pressure treatment breakthrough

BHF:  Anabolic steroid abuse may increase risk of abnormal heart rhythm & stroke

NICE guidance recommends new tests to help rule-out pregnancy complication and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions

Local hypertension profiles launched

Reducing Stroke risk

Still no certainty of who will fund it!
NHS England welcome this judgment by the Court of Appeal regarding the funding of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which sets out 3 important rulings.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Update on PrEP

LGA:  Councils respond to Appeal Court judgement on HIV prevention drug

Clinical commissioning policy proposition on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis : August update on the commissioning and provision of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) for HIV prevention

LGA:  Councils respond to High Court judgement on HIV treatment PrEP

First medicine for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis recommended for approval in the EU

LGA:  Councils respond to NHS England's confirmation that it will not fund new HIV treatment

Further update on commissioning & provision of Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) for HIV prevention

LGA:  Councils respond to NHS rethink over HIV treatment

LGA:  Councils respond to NHS England announcement not to fund new HIV treatment

Update on commissioning & provision of Pre Exposure Prophylaxsis (PREP) for HIV prevention

Most people want & can contribute in some way to ‘society’

As Mencap’s Learning Disability Work Experience Week kicked off, the number of NHS organisations pledging to employ more people with learning disabilities has hit 100, with NHS England calling on more trusts & hospitals to join the growing list.

The pledges have already led to 10 new work experience placements which began last week across NHS trusts, hospitals and in the NHS England main London office, including in the CE’s and Chair’s office, with plans for more & longer term employment opportunities already in the pipeline.

Organisations across the NHS that sign up to the pledge receive a learning disabilities toolkit, developed with NHS Employers to highlight good practice and break down the barriers that both employers & potential employees may face in creating a workplace that welcomes people with learning disabilities. The work is in line with NHS England’s commitment in the Five Year Forward View to become a more progressive employer, and is aimed at breaking down barriers to will help organisations employ more people with learning disabilities.
Researched Links:

NHS England takes new steps to improve learning disability employment

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

Not everyone in the NHS needs to be a ‘Brain Surgeon’ to facilitate a patient’s treatment

De-Stressing the working environment can pay dividends

Many jobs do not require ‘perfect health’

Helps them feel they have ‘a purpose in life’

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. 

They were used successfully BEFORE antibiotics were developed!
Maggots are recognised as a highly successful, cost-effective and safe clinical treatment for chronic wounds.  But convincing patients and even some medical professionals to let them consume our infected skin so it returns back to health is proving a challenge, says Dr Yamni Nigam, founder of Swansea University Maggot Research Group.  According to her recent survey of attitudes towards maggots, just thinking about maggots made 28% of people feel ill.
Researched Links:

ESRC:  Squeamish Brits struggle to accept maggot therapy

The Wonderful World of Medicinal Maggots

maggot therapy - YouTube

Case report: maggot therapy in an acute burn - World Wide Wounds

HEALTH - Healing Treatment, 4,000 Years Old, Is Revived - NYTimes

One would have thought this was already being done!
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced his intention to establish a new body to oversee strategic workforce planning, workforce design & education commissioning for NHS Wales.  The working title for this organisation will be Health Education Wales (HEW).
WAG:  Health Secretary announces plans for new organisation - Health Education Wales (HEW)
Will smoking be totally banned one Day?

The Public Health (Wales) Bill aims to improve the wellbeing of people in Wales, with a particular focus on promoting children & young people’s health, by banning smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds & public playgrounds, in a bid to boost the nation’s health.

The Bill includes proposals to create a mandatory licensing scheme for special procedures such as acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis & tattooing, and prohibits the intimate piercing of anybody under the age of 16.
Researched Links:

WAG:  Landmark Bill to boost the nation’s health introduced

The annual ‘surprise’ weather
With winter on its way, the Met Office is urging the UK public to prepare themselves for the winter ahead.  The Get Ready for Winter campaign aims to help raise awareness of the dangers posed by winter weather and provide tips & advice on how to minimise its impact.
Researched Links:

Met Office:  Get Ready for Winter

LGA:  Salt stocks are high say councils as big chill set to bite

National NHS campaign urges people to stay well this winter

Homeless Link:  London Winter Shelters 2016-17 list published

NHS England:  Stay warm this winter

NHS England:  Mayor of London urges people to stay well this winter as he gets influenza vaccination

Young people leaving themselves vulnerable to flooding

New support gives property owners better protection from flooding

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol – saving lives in winter

More than 4m children to be offered flu vaccination

Floods severely affect children & young people: it's time to stop ignoring their experience

LGA:  State-of-the-art technology being used by councils to help tackle the big chill

LGA:  Households urged to look out for vulnerable during cold snap

Households urged to protect their home’s pipes as temperatures plummet

NHS top doctor says ‘don’t let elderly be lonely this Christmas’

And the results cannot come a moment too soon

NCSC is working with partners to provide the UK public sector with a reliable DNS resolution service with some additional security benefits.

The key benefit being that the service will aim to prevent public sector users from accessing domains known to be malicious, by simply not resolving them.  This service is one of the NCSC's Active Cyber Defence projects, where we are taking positive action to make it much harder for criminals to perpetrate or gain from cyber attacks in the UK.
Researched Links:

National Cyber Security Centre:  Protective DNS service for the UK public sector

NCSC:  Tesco Bank incident

Trying to avoid being in a situation of playing ‘catch-up’

ICO Blog; Protecting your data & privacy
8 weeks ago I said my office would look into the approach WhatsApp had decided to take in sharing customer information with Facebook.  It’s one of the roles of the Information Commissioner to pull back the curtain on how organisations use personal data, and I wanted to give you an update on what we’ve done so far.

Information Commissioner updates on WhatsApp / Facebook investigation

USA missed out on the ‘big one’
An independent review has recommended that FTSE 100 companies aim for a third of their all-important leadership roles to be occupied by women by start of 2021.
Researched Links:

CIPD welcomes new recommendations to increase female representation in FTSE 100 executive roles

BEIS:  Women in senior leadership - launch of the Hampton-Alexander review report

Proposals by the Hampton-Alexander Review

FRC welcomes the Hampton/Alexander report

CBI response to Hampton-Alexander review recommendations: women in leadership

EHRC reacts to publication of the Hampton-Alexander report

BEIS:  The ethnic diversity of UK boards: launch of the Parker review

CBI: Parker Review recommendations - Ethnic diversity of UK boards

To Frack or not to Frack (that was the promise)

A package of 6 research reports have been published to inform ScotGov’s position on whether or not to allow any Unconventional Oil & Gas (UOG) development in Scotland.

This package of research, which addresses evidential gaps identified by the Independent Expert Panel established by the Scottish Government to look at the issues around UOG. The research will now inform a public consultation which will launch in tandem with the consultation on the ScotGov’s draft Energy Strategy and the, parallel, Climate Change Plan, being published in draft form in the early New Year.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Unconventional oil & gas research published

Underground coal gasification blocked

Energy Minister welcomes stakeholder response to fracking moratorium

Moratorium called on fracking

CCC: Exploitation of onshore petroleum requires three key tests to be met

Third Energy is granted fracking permits for a site in North Yorkshire

Faster decision making on shale gas for economic growth and energy security

DECC responds to recent coverage on shale regulation

Telegraph:  Fracking 'could generate £3.9bn for the Scottish economy'

Scotland Shale gas | Energy | British Geological Survey (BGS)

Guardian:  First shipment of fracked shale gas set to arrive in UK

INEOS gets a licence to explore the UK for shale gas

Very little time to register

The Centre for Defence Enterprise is holding a networking event for science & technology providers in London on 17 November 2016.   Registration closes on 14 November 2016 at 5pm.

Jim Pennycook, Head of Operations at CDE, will introduce CDE and give an overview of proof-of-concept research funding opportunities for innovative science & technology providers. There will also be an update on the Defence & Security Accelerator.

Technical experts from Dstl (the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) will provide specific information about the themed competition: ‘the future of aviation security’.  This competition has up to £1m available for fully funded phase-1 projects.
Researched Links:

Dstl:  CDE Innovation Network event: 17 November 2016, London

Editorial Comments – Anything but the USA elections:

Here are a couple of items that have nothing whatsoever to do with the US Presidential election!

First; Did anyone else notice a ‘similarity’ to the EU immigrant crisis, between India’s apparent ‘demands’ for cheaper/easier visa access to the UK for Indian citizens on the PM’s recent visit there?  The UK’s ‘response’ seems to be a desire for India to ‘speed up’ the return of illegal Indian migrants and visa ‘overstayers’.

Turkey is supposed to allow (predominantly) Greece to return some ‘illegal migrants’ to Turkey in return for the EU taking in an equal number of Syrian refugees, etc..  So perhaps we could ‘up’ the number of ‘legals’ from India on a one-for-one basis, if they will facilitate the return of their own ‘illegal’ citizens to India?

Theresa May vows to relax visa system if India takes back 'thousands of overstayers ~ Relaxing visa rules for high-skilled workers from India will help post-Brexit Britain boom ~ CBI: UK-India university bonds are strong, but we can do even more ~ IPPR:  New figures demonstrate 'wild overestimation' of non-EU students overstaying their visas ~ New digital visa application service now available worldwide ~ PX:  Immigration & Integration After Brexit ~ UK Government must take post-study visa problems seriously ~ You’re invited: why Indians should visit Britain ~ Operators ready for introduction of exit checks ~ UK announces health surcharge ~ Reforming the UK border and immigration system: report published ~ Super priority visa service offers greater flexibility for Indian travellers

Second:  There appear to be increasing ‘calls’ to scrap the state pension triple-lock on the basis that it is becoming unaffordable & ‘unfair’ compared to people on benefits & low wages.  Yet, at the same time, pensionable retirement age is gradually increasing without any real understanding how workers in ‘hard/physical’ jobs will maintain their health sufficiently enough to keep working.

However, another news thread has also received some publicity recently – the threat of Artificial intelligence (AI) to the number of jobs that will be available in the coming decades.  There are even calls for a Basic Income to be given to everyone as ‘work’ becomes almost an ‘option’, available only to a small talented elite.

So one wonders whether ‘boredom’ rather than ‘poverty/un-affordable pension schemes’ will be the social/economic problem of the medium future, rather than whether people will (again) live long enough to claim/enjoy their pension!

PC&PE:  Scrap the state pension triple-lock, says Committee ~ DWP:  Lower benefit cap comes into effect ~ Government thinking on AI and robotics needs reboot ~ BCS:  What benefits can AI deliver to the world in the next 10 years? ~ Chancellor sees bright future for Britain’s world-leading innovative industries ~ AlphaGo proves victorious but what does this say about the future? ~ Analytics & big data: how artificial intelligence could deliver genuine social impact ~ JRF:  Poverty costs Wales £3.6bn every year ~ CIPD:  HR must lead the way in ensuring technology unlocks people’s potential ~ Intelligent Machines: The jobs robots will steal first - BBC News ~ What is basic income? | BIEN - Basic Income Earth Network ~ Elon Musk says there's a 'pretty good chance' universal basic income will become reality ~ Ten Reasons to Support Basic Income - Basic Income UK ~ A universal basic income could wind up hurting the poor

 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:

ScotGov:  EU market key for Scottish business

ScotGov:  Brexit risk to NHS recruitment

Scottish Government will intervene in Article 50 legal case

ScotGov:  Statement following JMC (EN)

WAG:  Environment & Rural Affairs Secretary hosts key meeting in Cardiff with UK Government & Devolved Administrations

Wales Office:  Alun Cairns Attends CBI Wales Business Breakfast

IFS:  Outlook for the UK’s public finances has worsened by £25bn since Budget


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

Cabinet Office:  Minister champions a democracy that works for everyone in Scotland


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Hillary Clinton did not manage to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling, but implored young women watching her concession speech to: "never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world."
The fight for gender equality continues and last week, fittingly, was Equal Pay Day, which this year has the theme that women's work is of #equalvalue. Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, writes about the history of the gender pay gap in the public sector and why the issue must be at the forefront of our minds as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
The UK's civil service was widely accused for failing to plan for Brexit - now it has to tackle huge 'unknown unknowns' and prepare for the arrival of a new US president. Jill Rutter of the Institute for Government wrote this piece ahead of the election result, about why preparing for a Donald Trump presidency will be a tall order for Whitehall.

Also on the network

Equal pay day sounds great - but women will work for free to the end of 2016

Equal pay day sounds great - but women will work for free to the end of 2016
Equality isn’t just about equal pay. This November, we must fight for the real value of women’s work, in both the public and private sectors

The UK's future transport systems - livechat best bits

The UK's future transport systems - livechat best bits
A recent online live chat tried to work out what a future transport system for the UK will look like. Here’s a roundup of the best insights from our expert panel

My fire crew runs on adrenaline during bonfire night

My fire crew runs on adrenaline during bonfire night
Our workloads double around 5 November and the job of a firefighter gets very unpredictable - it used to worry me but now I approach the period raring to go

Hard Brexiters are undermining vital public service values

Hard Brexiters are undermining vital public service values
Sir Jeremy Heywood should indeed remember his place: to steer a neutral civil service through tough Brexit negotiations, writes Jane Dudman

News in brief
• Give councils financial incentive to merge, says report
• DfE shelves plan to create social work regulator as executive agency
• FCO director general named as new NATO permanent rep
• Departments need clearer plans to cut fraud and error, says Public Accounts Committee
• Civil service urged to shake up interview panels to address lack of black and minority ethnic leaders
• Leading authors join protest march against cuts to cultural services