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WiredGov Plus provides a weekly roundup of news from the UK Government and Public Sector. To save your time, we research & validate the links to websites / documents and selectively add additional background links as appropriate.

Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the Newsletter Archive

Makes a lot of (business) sense

A £10m investment by NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), which is aimed at transforming back office functions across the health service, has led to 48 NHS organisations signing contracts for a range of finance, procurement and employment services.

Since the beginning of 2017, a number of leading NHS providers have made the switch to shared services, whilst more than 40 NHS organisations have renewed or extended their relationship with NHS SBS.

It means that, in total, NHS SBS now provides at least one business service to well over 100 different NHS providers and arm's length bodies across the country.  In addition, 100% of England's NHS commissioning organisations (currently around 250) use NHS SBS's finance & accounting service - via NHS England's Integrated Single Financial Environment (ISFE) - whilst almost a third of commissioners also benefit from other business services (employment services and/or procurement) provided by NHS SBS.

By investing in ‘best of breed’ technologies, like robotics & automation, NHS SBS is providing the means for trusts to meet NHS Improvement (NHSI) spending targets and the efficiency savings identified by Lord Carter, whilst supporting the delivery of national policy, such as Sustainability & Transformation Partnerships.

Researched Links:

NHS SBS:  £10m investment revolutionising NHS Business Services

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS)

NHS SBS Corporate - Future Services Programme update

 

The Socitm Annual Conference 2017
9 - 10 October 2017 - King Power Stadium, Leicester

With 3 weeks to go, sign up now to join 350+ public sector ICT colleagues and peers at The Annual Socitm Conference 2017.

Tackling key policy issues at the heart of ICT, join your colleagues and peers to discover technologies available to drive your IT strategies forward.

Key topics for 2017:

  • GDPR & the future of local government data
  • Cyber security in local public services
  • Boosting collaborative leadership​
Guarantee
your place
click here
 
Good news for thousands
The NHS, working with Public Health England (PHE), have announced a new drive to prevent heart attacks & strokes saving thousands of lives by taking a more integrated approach to cardiovascular care.  New PHE analysis suggests that there is now an opportunity to prevent more than 9,000 heart attacks and at least 14,000 strokes over the next 3 years with better detection & management of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  NHS launches new drive to save thousands of people from heart attacks and strokes

DH:  New approach to preventing heart attacks & strokes

An example of why the NHS has to continually ‘invest’ in research / pilot schemes

 
‘Recovery’ depends on supported aftercare
Quality of life for cancer patients will be tracked as part of ambitious plans by NHS England to radically improve care & support for people once treatment ends.  The new approach is set to drive improvements in after care which includes personalised plans for people with cancer outlining not only their physical needs, but also other support they may need, such as help at home or financial advice.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  New quality of life measure for recovering cancer patients

NHS England:  Patients to benefit from £325m investment in NHS transformation projects

Exploiting data to improve cancer care: apply for contracts

TUC: Half a million workers now covered by TUC’s Dying to Work Charter, as Royal Mail signs up

Nurses have the ability to transform future care

National survey shows cancer patients feel increasingly positive about their NHS care

Cancer Research UK - Prescription history could help GPs diagnose cancer earlier

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

 
Steps, narrow doors & small rooms make them unsuitable

With 1 in 5 of the overall population in England set to be over 65 in a decade, a ‘residential revolution’ needs to provide more homes that support our ageing population, the LGA set out last week.  

LGA analysis reveals the number of these specialist homes for older people will need to increase by 75% by 2035.  Only 0.6% of over 65 live in specialised accommodation, with a form of care support such as 24/7 on-site staff.  This is 10 times less than in more developed retirement housing markets such as the USA or Australia.
Researched Links:

LGA:  'Residential revolution' needed for England's ageing population

It’s difficult to be ‘Merry’ on your own

Elements of care should not be provided in isolation

JRF - Great British Bungalow sell off: 1 in 4 forced council house sales could be bungalows

Longer independent living is vital for the NHS funding ‘crisis

 
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. 

 
Comforting for those living alone
The NHS is trialling new wearable sensors, based on technology used by NASA and the CGI film industry, to help identify older patients at risk of falls as part of a new drive to tackle frailty.  The technology will help make one small step a lot easier for the over-65s (although giant leaps may still prove a challenge).
Researched Links:

NHS England:  NASA meets Hollywood as new technology helps tackle NHS frailty in older people

NHS Digital:  More patients to benefit from programme to widen participation in digital health

NHS Digital welcomes Health Secretary's digital healthcare vision

We lose our ability to ‘bounce’ as we get older

DH:  Health Secretary challenges NHS to deliver digital services nationwide

With medical staff costs continually rising, we need other alternatives

Online for better health

A healthier outcome which could be self-financing

NHS innovates to provide better care

 
Without them they won’t achieve their goals

The Government must accelerate ambitious reforms that will modernise the way government works, argues a new report by the Institute for Government.  With the challenge of Brexit and growing pressures on public services, it is more important than ever that these reforms succeed.

The Professionalising Whitehall report says that countless major government projects – like Universal Credit, the InterCity West Coast franchise competition or the electronic tagging of offenders - failed because key activities, from contract management to the design of digital services, were not performed properly.

In each of these cases, departments either lacked the specialist skills that they needed or failed to make effective use of what they did have.  To successfully deliver on major projects, government departments need people with specific skills sets & experience.

Researched Links:

IFG:  The Government must professionalise Whitehall to meet the complex challenges it now faces

NHS England:  Practical guide for large scale change launched

Carefully calculate the project budget and then triple it for an under-estimation!

Start as you mean to go on!

Not just ‘major’ projects now

Return to in-house development, but have they the skills to deliver?

AXELOS:  PRINCE2® 2017 Update -  Bringing structure to project management

AXELOS:  DevOps plus – delivering services not just products

AXELOS:  How communication helps change & project management success

 
As usual they want the English taxpayer to pay for it
The Scottish Government will bring forward Free Personal Care for under-65s by April 2019.  Health Secretary Shona Robison is seeking urgent assurances there will be no cuts to disability benefits for people set to benefit from ‘Frank’s Law’ before these are transferred to the Scottish Government.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Frank’s Law guarantee needed

Free personal care for Scotland’s under 65s, but who will pay for it?

A lot of ‘promises’, but little detail on how they would be funded; especially in an independent Scotland

 
An NCSC statement on the Equifax cyber incident
A spokesperson for the NCSC said:  "We are aware of a cyber incident affecting Equifax and are working with partners to understand any potential impact in the UK.  At this stage it is best not to jump to conclusions about the scale of any UK impact.  It can take some time to understand the true impact of incidents like this, and we continue to investigate."
Researched Links:

National Cyber Security Centre:  Statement on the Equifax cyber incident

DCMS:  Data laws to be made fit for digital age

techUK:  Data Protection Bill Begins its Journey in House of Lords

 
They will be remembered in a ‘corner of a British field’
Artist Alison Wilding RA and sculptor and maker Adam Kershaw will create the National Memorial to British Victims of Terrorism Overseas. Their work will be entitled ‘Still Water’.  The Memorial is expected to be installed at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, by the end of 2017, with a dedication event likely to follow in the Spring of 2018.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  ‘Still Water’ to become new national memorial to British victims of terrorism overseas

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke ~ If I should die, think only this of me ...

 
Brexit is not just about access to the Single market

Commentators seem gripped by the idea that the country is heading towards national decline, but new research from The Henry Jackson Society clearly demonstrates that the UK is well positioned to thrive post-Brexit.

“Towards a ‘Global Britain’: Challenging the new narratives of national decline” takes aim at declinist narratives.  The report sets out why the U.K. has strengths across a range of areas that will empower it in the years ahead, including in its economy, military and culture.
Researched Links:

HJS:  Towards “Global Britain”: Challenging the New Narratives of National Decline

RUSI:  Zapad-2017 - Why Do the Numbers Matter?

Just how united would a United States of Europe be in practice?

But where is the money to come from after Brexit?

If they insist on a ‘Hard’ Brexit why would our Armed Forces put their lives on the line to defend them?

 
Cheaper, but will it be fit for purpose?

The launch this week of Britain’s national shipbuilding strategy, with an order of five vessels to be designed and built in English shipyards, sees the UK’s aspiration to compete in the global warship export market.

The core design of these new ships is called the Type 31 export (T31e) frigate, although there are already questions as to whether the type is a frigate or a corvette.  Either way, the proposed price tag (£250m/$325m per vessel) makes them attractive to the Treasury, but questions remain over the international market.
Researched Links:

RUSI:  What Rivals Will Britain’s New T31e Corvette be Facing?

DfT:  Brexit Britain will have the world's best maritime industry

DfT:  Government pledges to double UK fleet flying under the Red Duster

MoD:  DSEI maritime conference 2017

Defence Secretary Keynote Speech at DSEI 2017 – 13 September

RUSI:  Russian–Western Dialogue: All Thoughts, No Action

RUSI:  Zapad-2017: Moscow’s Rules

 
Moving to a cashless society

GOV.UK Pay - the government’s secure online payment service is now ready to start offering GOV.UK Pay to local government.

The product will help them:

  • take online card payments and issue refunds
  • ensure their payment experience meets the Digital Service Standard
  • use payment processes that are fully Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant
Researched Links:

GDS:  Local government services to start using GOV.UK Pay

 
Even legal experts need guidance

New advice for conveyancing solicitors, developed jointly by HM Land Registry and the Law Society of England & Wales will help solicitors spot & avoid ever-evolving threats of fraud. 

HM Land Registry:  Joint advice to help solicitors beat property fraud – (HM Land Registry:  New online service: Request Historic Copies (HC1)
 
Pure research provides unexpected use

Technology originally developed to witness black holes colliding is now being used to grow human bone in a laboratory, which could revolutionise the treatment of bone injuries in a new technique known as ‘nanokicking’.

STFC:  Growing human bones using gravitational wave technology

 
Why STEM subjects are so important in education

Dstl is looking for the people with the best ideas to join its graduate recruitment scheme.  Dstl works to harness science & technology (to protect our nation) – bringing together the best ideas in sometimes unexpected ways.

Dstl opens graduate recruitment scheme for 2017 ~ Dstl supports STEM at DSEI

 
Not everyone maintains good eyesight with age

RoSPA assessors will be supporting older drivers during an ITV documentary series looking at why and how the elderly still get behind the wheel.

RoSPA assesses older drivers for ITV documentary series

 
Why take the risk?

Following an article in The Mirror (9 September) which suggests that some people believe that raw chicken dishes are safe to eat, the FSA are reiterating their advice not to eat raw chicken.

Food Standards Agency advises against eating raw chicken dishes ~ Celebrity chef says he loves raw chicken dish – and people ... - Mirror
 
Floating on the ‘air waves’ as well as water

Tens of thousands more people will soon be able to commute by modern river boats fitted with Wi-Fi and USB phone chargers for a better passenger experience.

DfT:  Thousands of commuters to benefit from UK-built river boats with Wi-Fi
 
Industrial scale ‘fly-tipping’

The Environment Agency issues warning to prevent landowners becoming a victim at the hands of waste criminals.  Organised criminals are known to be targeting sites in the West Midlands where they are either requesting to store waste which has been baled or claiming they will use the site for other means like vehicle storage, and then filling the site with baled waste instead.

EA:  Landowners warned to be vigilant of fraudsters
 
It is not as simple as ‘dropping off’ aid at an airport/port

Over 60 tonnes of UK aid has now reached the Caribbean to support the victims of Hurricane Irma, with another 60 tonnes on the way on board HMS Ocean.  British military troops along with DFID logisticians supported the restoration of electricity to the main power station on the British Virgin Islands as part of the ongoing recovery operation.

Six UK medical health experts have been deployed to Antigua to assess the capacity of healthcare provisions on affected islands in the region.  The team, made up of experts from UK-Med and Public Health England, will measure the current state of public health and any potential threat of disease breaking out.

Previously (see second link) FA Mounts Bay, pre-stationed in the region, provided initial assistance to Anguilla to clear the runway.  It then continued to British Virgin Islands to establish security of supplies, and fix basic infrastructure and shelter to people.  After travelling to US Virgin Islands to resupply, she returned to Anguilla to deliver reconstruction materials and arrived in the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday with further supplies and will be delivering humanitarian aid & disaster relief on Wednesday.
Researched Links:

MoD:  UK aid continues to arrive for Hurricane Irma victims

DIFD:  Hurricane Irma: UK government response in numbers, 13 September 2017

DIFD:  £1.3m raised for Hurricane Irma British Red Cross Appeal

DIFD:  Hurricane Irma: FS interview on BBC Today Programme

MoD:  Hurricane Irma - UK military provides relief to the Caribbean

EU mobilises further assistance for Hurricane Irma hit islands

FS visits hurricane hit islands

DIFD:  Hurricane Irma: Sir Alan Duncan's statement, 12 September 2017

This is an annual deployment pre-hurricane season

Hurricane Irma: Foreign Secretary's visit to the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean

DIFD:  £1.3m raised for Hurricane Irma British Red Cross Appeal

RUSI:  Wave of the Future – Reflections for Resilience Planning Following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

 
Editorial commentary; Charity should begin at home

Recent events such as hurricane Irma and the subsequent ‘fallout’ from the UK’s claimed (by some) apparent lack of action/aid, has brought the question of our commitment to 0.7% of GDP being spent on foreign aid into question again.

In March 2015, MPs found that £6.3bn of Britain's aid budget had been handed to major agencies to help hit the target of spending 0.7% of nation's income on foreign aid (including the EU which then ‘claimed it as their own ‘aid’ one presumes).

UK's foreign aid goes to EU in rush to hit targets, say MPs ... ~ Civil Servants spent extra £bn in 8 weeks to hit aid ... 

It now turns out that most of those UK ‘territories’ ‘flattened’ by hurricane Irma will currently not be eligible to access this funding, despite their obvious need for even the most basic of re-built infrastructure, while some of Britain's £1.5bn foreign aid research budget is being used to cut smoking in China and keep homes in India cool.

Guardian:  UK urges changes to international aid rules to help hurricane-hit ... ~ UK's £1.5bn aid fund still spent on India and China | Daily Mail ...

To add insult to injury, countries like China are rapidly expanding their naval forces while the UK is (apparently) not even able to utilise all those ships it currently has, thus directly impacting on our Irma relief efforts.

Royal Navy, a 'laughing stock' after military spending cuts delay Irma ... ~ China's 500-Ship Navy Suddenly Appears on the Horizon | RUSI

While closer to home there are other urgent demands on the Treasury:

  • Removal & replacement of unsafe building cladding on social housing and other public buildings
  • Retrofitting of sprinkler systems to most of those buildings
  • Boosting defence spending to ensure adequate manning levels and funding of maintenance/running costs of existing equipment & buildings
  • Boosting funding of equipment replacement costs to take account of drop in £ (up to 20%) when purchasing from USA, etc.
  • Funding public sector pay demands after years of restraint
  • Adequate funding of NHS and social care

Much of the above could be funded if we spent ‘our money’ on our needs, BUT it turns out the all this money is not actually ‘our’ money as (In the year ending March 2017), the public sector borrowed £46.6bn or 2.4% of GDP.  This was £25.6bn lower than in the previous full financial year but is currently likely to rise.

Guardian:  BK budget deficit to increase this year amid living standards squeeze ...

We are in fact paying interest on borrowings to fund the foreign aid, while we cannot even control where it is going in situations like the current one!   Some foreign aid spending is highly desirable, but the weakness of the current system is all too apparent in the current crisis.

Now this is how Foreign Aid ought to be spent! ~ Editorial Commentary - Which would you choose; ‘Your Granny’ on a hospital trolley in A&E / unable to get social care, or a crying unaccompanied refugee child already in a ‘civilised’ EU country? ~ No wonder UK taxpayers think it is often a waste of their money ~ Editorial Comment: Helping refugees is not the only important issue to consider when dividing the ‘economic cake’ ~ Editorial comment; Points to ponder on the Syrian migration crisis ~ Targeting Foreign Aid
 

 More contributions to the Brexit process

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

Researched Links:

Brexit microsite

DExEU:  Landmark Brexit legislation passes Second Reading

DIFD:  UK offers deep security partnership with EU post-Brexit in the face of growing global threats

BEIS:  Written ministerial statement on energy policy

DfT:  Brexit Britain will have the world's best maritime industry

DfT:  Government pledges to double UK fleet flying under the Red Duster

ScotGov:  EU Withdrawal Bill

WAG:  FM takes step to protect Wales post-Brexit

ScotGov:  Future CAP support

LGA:  Councils: displaying food hygiene ratings must be made mandatory after Brexit

EU News:  The State of the Union 2017: Catching the wind in our sails

Open Europe:  How the German elections may affect Brexit

Open Europe:  Parliamentary battle over Repeal Bill will really heat up in October

Open Europe:  UK has much to offer EU on foreign & security policy but needs to spell out how it will work

Legatum Institute:  Mutual Interest - How the UK and EU can resolve the Irish border issue after Brexit

IFG:  Customs arrangements after Brexit could cost UK traders £4bn

Civitas:  Rapid population growth requires strategic thinking in Whitehall and wider public debate

CBI: EU data transition deal needed urgently

 

 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Defending the Scottish Parliament

 

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:
New on the network
As an NHS boss, there is little I can do to reassure EU staff about Brexit

As an NHS boss, there is little I can do to reassure EU staff about Brexit
Carolyn Regan: About 10% of my trust’s workforce is from the EU. We urgently need some clarity

Seven of the UK's healing hospital gardens – in pictures

Seven of the UK's healing hospital gardens – in pictures
Hospital gardens can have an impact on the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and visitors

My medical outlook changed after I jabbed my finger with a needle

My medical outlook changed after I jabbed my finger with a needle
I realised I needed to do more to protect myself and think twice before rushing in to help, says Philip Berry

The NHS must embrace digital services or risk being left behind

The NHS must embrace digital services or risk being left behind
Richard Vize: Online services are challenging our model of primary care. The NHS must adapt

Health and Care Innovation Expo
Catch up with the news from the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2017
NHS boss puts service on high alert in case of heavy winter flu burden
Patients' illnesses could soon be diagnosed by AI, NHS leaders say