Welcome to WiredGov Plus

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

The size of the problem will increase

This year’s State of Care CQC report shows that, thanks to the efforts of staff & leaders, the quality of health & social care has been maintained despite very real challenges and the majority of people are getting good, safe careBut future quality is precarious as the system struggles with complex new types of demand, access and cost.

However, the changing nature of demand (increasing numbers of older people who are physically frail, many with dementia, more people with long term complex conditions) is placing unprecedented pressure on the system.

In acute hospitals, this means more people waiting over 4 hours at A&E; more planned operations cancelled, and people waiting longer for treatment.  And in adult social care, the number of beds in nursing homes has decreased across most of England and domiciliary care contracts are being handed back to councils because providers say the funding is insufficient to meet people’s needs; estimates show that one in eight older people are not receiving the help they need.

A very small minority of care was found to be failing people (between 1% & 3% of providers across the services CQC regulates) were rated inadequate.  There is also much care that needs to improve: 19% (2016: 26%) of adult social care services; 37% (2016: 39%) of NHS acute core services; 24% (2016: 33%) of NHS mental health core services; and 6% (2016: 10%) of GP practices were rated as requires improvement.

Researched Links:

CQC:  Most people still getting good care – but health & care system is ‘straining at the seams’, making future quality precarious

CQC:  Most people are getting good, safe care

LGA responds to CQC ‘State of Care’ report

LGA responds to ADASS social care budget survey

If social care goes down, we all go down, warns NHS Confederation in response to CQC report

Patients Association response to CQC State of Care report

The King’s Fund comments on the CQC’s annual State of Care report

Social Care Ombudsman welcomes strong leadership in CQC State of Care report

techUK:  Are you an industry leader in health & social care? We want to hear from you

Care shouldn’t end at the hospital exit

Presumably Public Health spending is being ‘robbed’ to help fill the social care 'black hole'

This problem is not going to be solved by taxing a few people a lot more

With medical staff costs continually rising, we need other alternatives

 
GDPR and paper records – why it’s not all cyber and fines Join us for a webinar on Oct 24, 2017 at 10:30 AM BST.

GDPR compliance regulations will be in effect before we know it, and though most organisations are aware of the law and what it requires, only 10% of people polled in a recent Restore survey say they have sufficient measures for handling paper records.

An individual is behind every piece of personal information recorded on paper. The enhanced individual rights of the GDPR reflect this renewed focus on the individual: the removal of fees for making access requests; the right to require erasure where information no longer serves a purpose; the right to seek compensation should any failure lead to damage. As awareness grows, any increase in the number of individuals using their rights will increase scrutiny on the methods used by organisations to manage paper records containing their personal information.

   Duration: 35 minutes and 20 minutes for questions
   Tuesday, October 24th 10:30 am

Register now
Restore Scan
 
Blog posted by Children’s Commissioner
Over the last year, the issue most often raised with me has been children’s mental health.  It was top of the list in my consultation with children about my priorities for the year ahead and many children have told me about their desperate attempts to access support.  Even primary school children raised concerns about anxiety.  I also hear from parents, teachers & carers about their repeated frustrations when trying to get help for children who need it.
Researched Links:

Children’s Commissioner:  Shining a light on the experiences of children with mental health needs

POST:  Mental Health Service Models for Young People

GDS:  It’s ok to talk about mental health

Why I’m asking urgent questions about the state of mental health provision for children

DfE:  £20m improvement programme for children’s social care

Pinball kids: Children’s Commissioner shines a light on children in care ‘pinging’ between schools, homes & social workers

Helping to ensure continuing ‘care’

‘Cinderella Service’ is given some cost saving advice

Facing a lifetime with mental health issues!

Cautious welcome, with warning of potential issues

Children are mentally vulnerable

Consideration for what’s going on in their minds is a key to success

NHS acts to cut inappropriate out of area placements for children & young people in mental health crisis

Good foster care is critical for the emotional development & well-being of a child

Vulnerable children turned away from mental health treatment report finds

 
‘Catching’ it early can be beneficial

A new £15m programme will see up to 1m people trained in basic mental health “first aid” skills.  The programme will improve personal resilience and help people recognise & respond effectively to signs of mental illness in others.

The campaign - designed & delivered by Public Health England (PHE) - will help people assess their own mental wellbeing and learn techniques to reduce stress.  There will be an online learning module designed to improve the public’s knowledge, skills & confidence on mental health.

These are skills for life, as most of us will at some point either experience poor mental health or care for a loved one trying to cope.  The campaign will aim to build resilience and give people advice, based on what has been shown to work, so that we can all be better at supporting people experiencing poor mental health.
Researched Links:

DH:  New £15m programme to help train 1m in mental health first aid

PM: mental health training for teachers will "make a real difference to children's lives"

 
Don’t ‘feel like death warmed up’

NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health and NHS Improvement have revealed measures to boost the uptake of flu vaccinations along with package of new contingency actions to respond to pressures on frontline services this winter.

Many people with flu show no symptoms, meaning healthcare workers who feel fit & healthy can unwittingly infect vulnerable patients.  Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of influenza and prevent deaths.  It can also ease pressures that a heavy flu outbreak would place on services such as doctors’ surgeries & busy hospital wards, like those seen recently in Australia and New Zealand.

NHS staff are already offered the vaccination for free to protect patients and the public.  This winter, in recognition of how important this is, NHS England will extend free jabs to up to more than 1m care home workers and has set aside £10m to fund it.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  NHS leaders unveil action to boost flu vaccination and manage winter pressures

ScotGov:  Get set to fight flu

DH:  PHE urges those at highest risk of flu to get vaccinated

 
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. 

 
£50,000 per year

The Local Government Association, which represents 370 councils in England & Wales, said official figures show the total number of looked after children reached a new high of 72,670 in 2016/17 - up from 70,440 the year before (a rise of 90 per day).

This also represents the biggest annual rise of children in care in 7 years, as stretched children’s services continue to face increasing pressure.  The LGA said the figures highlight the urgent need for the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement next month to address the £2bn funding gap facing children’s services by 2020.
Researched Links:

LGA:  90 children a day entering care - urgent cash injection needed for children's services

Children in care - National Audit Office

Children's homes 'cost three times Eton College fees' - BBC News

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?

 
Lies, Dammed Lies and Statistics

Policy Exchange welcome the government’s interest in keeping a close watch on ethnic outcomes in the UK - it is what PX have been doing for the past 3 years at the Integration Hub, now based at Policy Exchange. But it is important that their new initiative, the Race Disparity Audit, pinpoints real & not imaginary problems and does not fuel division based on selective analysis of statistics.

For instance, the Audit has found that 2 in 3 white British are homeowners compared to just 2 in 5 for ethnic minorities.  This finding has been widely published across the media.  It is a good example of how what appears on the surface to be a problem recedes when you dig a bit deeper.

Once we control for potentially relevant variables (being an immigrant, age, occupational class, region, English proficiency) then a completely different picture emerges: all Asian groups (including Chinese) are now more likely than the white British to own homes.
Researched Links:

PX:  Welcome for government’s ethnic outcome audit — but a warning too

Cabinet Office:  PM launches world-leading project on impact of ethnicity on everyday life

CBI response to the Government's race disparity audit

CBI: Attracting & encouraging talent from all backgrounds builds inclusive workplaces

Provides a break from the cyber world too!

DfE:  Plans launched to drive social mobility in Opportunity Areas

Social Mobility Commission:  Government housing schemes have little impact on social mobility

NCFE:  Study finds young people are disillusioned by social mobility

NIESR: Inequality Social Mobility and the New Economy

Ban unpaid internships that last longer than four weeks - IPPR

Social Mobility Commission:  First-time buyers relying on parents to get onto housing ladder

30% of officers progress from the ranks

 
Clean energy AND growth is possible

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out an ambitious blueprint for Britain’s low carbon future.

The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future’ builds on the UK’s strong progress to date.  Carbon emissions in the UK have fallen and national income risen faster & further than any other nation in the G7 – since 1990, emissions are down by 42% while the economy has grown by 67%.
Researched Links:

BEIS:  Government reaffirms commitment to lead the world in cost-effective clean growth

BEIS:  Government confirms up to £557m for new renewable energy projects

BEIS:  Boost for island wind projects as UK government announces new funding for renewable generation

WWF responds to UK Government's Clean Growth Strategy

WWF:  Strong winds again deliver more than Scotland's entire electricity needs - new data

techUK:  New Clean Growth Strategy Unveils £2.5bn in Clean Tech Innovation Funding

CCC welcomes publication of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy

BEIS:  The Clean Growth Strategy

CBI comments on the Clean Growth Strategy

 
Do you have the expertise & time?

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is looking to appoint 2 new expert members specialising in climate science and the power sector.

Committee on Climate Change seeks new members
 
Remember the cruelty involved in creating these objects

The UK will impose a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to the poaching of elephants, under plans announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove. 

The proposals will protect elephants & help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory.  These plans will be subject to a 12-week consultation and cover items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date.
Researched Links:

Defra:  Government sets out plans for ivory ban

WWF:  UK ivory trade ban must be confirmed within a year

EU News:  Ending poaching and trade in raw ivory

Stop Ivory Poaching - tusk.org‎

Threats to African elephants | WWF

 
Another small step into the Solar system

The UK Space Agency has awarded more than £3m to UK researchers to support the exploration of life on Mars and examine the polar regions of the Moon

A further £230,000 of funding has been awarded to studies into experiments that could be built & flown to the International Space Station (ISS), which could potentially support future human exploration of space.
Researched Links:

UK Space Agency:  More than £3m invested in space exploration

Dstl is looking for out-of-this-world space scientists to join its programme

STFC:  Bringing Mars down to Earth

The amount of data to be gathered is unlimited

POST:  Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials

Dstl:  History of MOD in space

STFC:  UK to design new instrument to measure climate change and study star formation in space

 
Unfortunately the ‘goalpost’ is continually moving
Britain is to become the safest place in the world to be online thanks to new government proposals.  The Internet Safety Green Paper aims to tackle the growing dangers, while continuing to embrace the huge benefits & opportunities the Internet has brought for British citizens
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Making Britain the safest place in the world to be online

CBI: "Digital levy could end up being a blunt instrument to promote online safety"

They know ‘How to’, but many lack judgement/knowledge of the risk & dangers

Be honest, do you read T&Cs?

 
Help is available

UK small businesses can shield themselves from potential online attacks thanks to a new guide created by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

NCSC:  Small business urged to follow five simple steps to thrive online
 
Celebrating the ‘heroes’ of the Back Office

The best in public sector ICT were recognised at the gala evening for the Socitm Awards 2017.  Presented at the annual Socitm conference dinner, these awards recognise professional technology members who have demonstrated outstanding excellence, innovation, improvement and service to the public sector.

Socitm Awards recognise excellence in public sector ICT

Socitm launches 'Digital Transformation'

 
Michael Fish remembered

While the ‘Great Storm’ of 15 & 16 October 1987 is still one of the most talked about weather events in living memory it was also a wake-up call for the Met Office and other organisations.  

It helped identify gaps in severe weather forecasting capability and highlighted the need for better communication with partner organisations such as emergency services and the public in general.
Researched Links:

Met Office:  30th Anniversary of the 1987 Storm

BBC weatherman Ian McCaskill dies aged 78 | Television & radio ...

 
Several £10k prizes to be won

The ESRC is pleased to launch the 2018 Celebrating Impact Prize.  The Prize is an annual opportunity to recognise & reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers and other ESRC associates who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic or societal impacts.  Application deadline is 16:00 on 23 November 2017.

ESRC launches 2018 Celebrating Impact Prize
 
A safer solution
A remotely operated machine has been sent into Sellafield’s most hazardous nuclear waste store for the first time.  The ‘Avexis’ will help dislodge & clear waste from the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo.
Researched Links:

NDA:  The new robot helping clean up Sellafield

BEIS:  Nuclear Safeguards Bill introduced

NAO:  The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s Magnox contract

 
Honour their Sacrifice

On Sunday 12 November 2017, the National Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.  Starting at 11am, the service will commemorate the contribution of British & Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen & women involved in the 2 World Wars and later conflicts.

No tickets or passes are needed for the event and the public are welcome to watch the ceremony from the pavements along Whitehall and Parliament Street.  There will be video screens north of the Cenotaph, near the green outside the main Ministry of Defence building & mounted outside the Scotland Office and south of the Cenotaph on the corner of King Charles Street.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Find out how you can join the commemorations on Sunday 12 November

 
Getting technical post-Brexit

The Education Secretary, Justine Greening, has announced the first 3 T levels, in Digital, Construction, and Education & Childcare, which will help deliver a generation of home-grown talent post-Brexit.

The first of the new qualifications, with content developed by leading industry professionals from companies including Rolls Royce, Fujitsu and EDF, will be taught from 2020, with the full set of T levels introduced by 2022.

First announced in 2016 and backed by £500m every year in additional funding, the qualifications are a key milestone in transforming technical education in the UK and extends the offer for young people to study a technical qualification at level 3 - equivalent to A levels.
Researched Links:

DfE:  Education Secretary announces first new T levels

What are 'T-Levels'? - Schools Week

 
An improved service at a sad time

The Probate Service is now accepting online applications from personal applicants.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service:  Personal applicants can now apply for probate online
 
It’s ok to ‘Dip soldiers’ again

The Food Standards Agency has announced a change to its advice about eating eggs - infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice.

Food Standards Agency:  New advice on eating runny eggs
 

 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:  David Davis' closing remarks at the end of the fifth round of EU exit negotiations in Brussels

EU News:  Fifth round of Article 50 negotiations with the UK

DIT:  UK & EU set out proposals to WTO members for trade post-Brexit

DIT:  International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox convenes a new Board of Trade to ensure the benefits of free trade are spread throughout the UK

10DS:  PM statement on leaving the EU: 9 Oct 2017

OSSW:  Government sets out vision for post EU trade & customs policy

PC&PE:  Lords debate impact of Brexit on devolution

PC&PE:  Brexit: the EU data protection package report debated in the Lords

ScotGov:  EU funding guarantee

ScotGov:  Businesses voice Brexit fears

Cabinet Office:  Welsh Secretary confident ahead of talks with First Minister

IFG:  How to break the stalemate over European Court

Open Europe:  Visionary or Federalist: Europe reacts to Macron’s Sorbonne speech

OE:  Macron’s push for a deeply integrated EU will face difficulties ahead

OE:  The Repeal Bill must pass Committee Stage – and all sides must compromise

OE:  Germany votes, again

techUK:  Picking Up the Ball and Going Home Remains Worst Brexit Option

techUK:  Deadline Extended for the 2018 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards

 

 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Lords debate impact of Brexit on devolution

 

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:
It was World Mental Health Day last week and to mark the occasion, the Guardian published a supplement looking at some of the developments and issues in the sector. Catch up with the articles online on the network; meanwhile, a selection is below.
New on the network
Why mental health services in England are finally receiving attention

Why mental health services in England are finally receiving attention
With the promise of an extra £1.3bn a year and reform of legislation on the cards, the mental health sector is getting the backing it needs

Staying appy: mental health apps deliver mixed results

Staying appy: mental health apps deliver mixed results
The number of apps geared towards improving wellbeing is increasing, but how helpful are they?

Why don't men seek help for eating disorders?

Why don't men seek help for eating disorders?
In the last six years, men admitted to hospitals for eating disorders increased by 70%, but experts believe many more are being overlooked

Careers
The mental health workforce is 'reaching a cliff edge'. What can be done?

A three-year-old arrived at A&E with a tummy bug. We couldn't save him
Missing something serious is one of the greatest fears of most doctors

Gambling remains a hidden addiction because 'healthcare staff lack training'

A three-year-old arrived at A&E with a tummy bug. We couldn't save him
Missing something serious is one of the greatest fears of most doctors