WIREDGOV NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
|Around a third of disabled people in the UK experience difficulties|
New accessibility regulations have come into force setting a legal duty for public sector bodies to make their websites accessible.
Public sector websites launched on or after 23 September 2018 must meet accessibility standards. This includes publishing accessibility statements, explaining how accessible their websites are. The deadline for public sector organisations to make all existing websites accessible is 23 September 2020, and the compliance date for mobile applications is 23 June 2021.
Around a third of disabled people in the UK experience difficulties in accessing public, commercial and leisure goods & services. The aim of the legislation is to help make sure online public services are accessible to all users, including people with disabilities.
Government Digital Service (GDS) will monitor public sector websites & apps on their accessibility from 2020. You can find out more about accessibility, including our guidance at GOV.UK/accessibility-regulations.
|Editor’s choice of other ICT items of note:|
|Care Home residents are entitled to the ‘best & most appropriate’ care|
The Patients Association recently launched its Care Home Charter to improve medication practices for people living in care homes across the UK.
Developed in collaboration with experts in health & social care and endorsed by NICE and the RCN among other organisations, the Charter aims to help support residents living in care homes to be actively involved in decisions about their care. It also provides a guideline for care home staff to follow in order to improve medication practices.
It Charter was developed in collaboration with an expert panel consisting of nurses, pharmacists, care home managers and speech & language therapists, with additional input from representatives from national bodies including NHS England and the CQC. It has been piloted in 22 care homes across England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
The Charter consists of a 9-point guideline for care home residents & their families, and is designed to promote & advance shared decision-making and improve patient safety. It emphases the importance of residents being involved in regular monitoring & review of medications, and states that medicines should only be given with a resident’s consent, unless they lack the capacity to provide it.
In addition, the Charter also provides a 9-point guideline for care home staff to follow, stating that medicines should not be hidden by staff in food or drink, unless it is in a resident’s best interests and all legal requirements have been met. Other key points include that staff should ensure that an advance care home plan is in place for the resident, and that optimal oral and dental care is provided.
Get involved: Do you work in or manage a care home and want to adopt the Care Home Charter? We can support you to do just that – email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
|Editor’s choice of other Health, Social care & Homelessness related items of note:|
|A lot of people are currently worried!|
Advice & information if you are an employee or customer of Thomas Cook.
The Insolvency Service has confirmed that winding up orders were made against Thomas Cook Group plc and associated companies. All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled. All of Thomas Cook’s retail shops will close with immediate effect.
This will be a hugely worrying time for employees of Thomas Cook, as well as their customers. Government will do all it can to support them. If you are an employee or customer of Thomas Cook, this page will provide you with the advice & information.
We are working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to help passengers return to the UK. Depending on your location, this will be either on CAA-operated flights or by using existing flights with other airlines. This will apply to both ATOL protected passengers and those who are not protected.
If you are already abroad you will find all the information you need about your arrangements to return to the UK on the CAA website.
If you are due to depart from a UK airport with Thomas Cook Airlines, please do not travel to your UK airport as your flight will not be operating and you will not be able to travel.
Passengers with ATOL protection who are yet to travel are entitled to a full refund on any future bookings.
Customers without ATOL protection should speak to their credit card provider or the company they booked their holiday with. You can also speak to your travel insurance provider to see if you are able to claim back any of their costs.
If you work for Thomas Cook and have been told that you are being made redundant, the Insolvency Service has advice about claiming money you’re owed and information about where you can seek support.
The government’s Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service stands ready to help people find a new job as soon as possible by offering tailored support.
The government also intends to convene a cross-government taskforce to support employees, alongside local stakeholders. The taskforce will consider existing support schemes and will also monitor the impact on local businesses.
WARNING: Action Fraud are aware of reports on social media that criminals are using the Thomas Cook liquidation as an opportunity to lure victims into financial scams.
|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.
Against this ambitious 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.
|The government is reaching for Space, if not yet the Stars|
Space Minister Chris Skidmore last week spoke at the UK Space Conference 2019.
Some extracts from his speech:
It is here on earth that space has the opportunity to make the greatest impact, whether that is in better health screening and diagnosis, improving our telecommunications, delivering smart cities and autonomous vehicle networks, or helping to safeguard our environment as Andy has so eloquently spoken about……
…. commitment for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 into law ….. to understand the nature of the challenge, and how we will meet it, we need satellite technology and improved earth observation to deliver the measurements needed, just as it has been satellite technology that has exposed the true scale of global warming……
That’s why I’m delighted the PM has announced £20m for new space weather forecasting & technology. The effects of adverse space weather, such as solar winds, can disrupt key satellites, damage spacecraft electronics and cause problems across GPS and mobile phone networks. It’s a problem that many of you in this room will know only too well, but there are still worrying gaps in our knowledge of how to properly forecast these events……
And when it comes to the UK’s strengths in satellites, only last week, I was visiting the National Physical Laboratory, discussing the potential of the TRUTHS mission. This new mission will allow us to recalibrate earth observation data from satellites all around the world, painting a picture of our changing climate that is more accurate than ever before…..
And we will also seek to extend our international partnerships with other space agencies. I’m delighted to see in the programme that I’ll be meeting representatives from over 10 space agencies, and I’d like to thank them all for making the trip to Newport. …..
And this morning the UK is celebrating another agreement, with Australia, to develop a ‘space bridge’ between our two nations. It’s a sign that as the United Kingdom we are taking a truly global approach to space……
A key part of this is to build on the unique position that the UK can play in the future of space launch. …..And today, we have announced an additional £1.3 million to be invested into planning for three potential spaceports around the UK. ………………….
This is why I’ve called for a National Space Council, to be led at cabinet level, informing the delivery of a new National Space Framework for government. And I was delighted that this call has now been agreed to. Work is now beginning on both the Council and Framework, and I look forward to playing a key role in this……
|Editor’s choice of other Business / Commercial items of note:|
|Editor’s choice of other Policy & General items of note:|
|Editorial Commentary; Yellowhammer is ‘nothing’ compared to the predictions for the ‘Millennium Bug’|
Just over 20 years ago I (along with many other individuals / teams in other organisations in both public & private sectors) was given the task of preparing a ‘Yellowhammer’ (i.e. worst situation) report for my Council’s Management Board.
Compared to the temporary shortages and long queues at seaports forecast by Yellowhammer 2019, we were evidently faced with virtually all equipment with computer chips in them stopping working at Midnight on 31 December 1999.
Planes would ‘drop out of the sky’, navigation aids, automatic machinery & equipment, lifts in care homes, engine management systems, many domestic appliances and …. ‘you get the picture’, would stop working. On top of this electrical power distribution would be impacted along with communication systems.
For example, there wouldn’t just be a shortage of medications, there would be no distribution of medications as petrol / diesel pumps would not be working (no power for the pumps) and hospital operations would soon cease as stand-by generators ran out of fuel. Many drugs / vaccines would not be safe to use after a few hours and Doctors & nurses would have to cope with skills & facilities of battlefield hospitals similar to those in the Boer War!
Shops would be shut (no lights) and food in freezers would spoil (we even had had to consider what this would mean for mortuaries)!
We had just around 18 months to react to the situation (not 3 years) and there would be no chance of a ‘Benn Act’ to extend the crunch date!
Suffice to say that generally speaking most problem solving projects were the model of what can be achieved through co-operation between all the individuals & organisations involved:
More contributions to the Brexit process
Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views:
Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the