Over the last twelve months we have highlighted over 400 news items on collaborative working, to help our alumni keep up to date on collaboration across all public sectors. Sign up to our weekly newsletter to have them delivered directly to your inbox.

Strength in unity – or loss?

07th December 2017

Councils are looking at going beyond shared services to merging to form new authorities. What does this mean for finance and democratic accountability?

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West Berkshire and Oxfordshire team up for digital

07th December 2017

Local authorities to take part in non-binding collaboration agreement. West Berkshire Council and Oxfordshire County Council are planning to share various IT developments and experience under a new digital collaboration agreement.

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Public sector collaboration is vital to amplify drowning message, says safety charity

06th December 2017

The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, run by Royal Life Saving Society UK, is launching on Monday (4 December) with a week-long drive to share the message that alcohol and water can be a fatal combination.

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Plan to merge Inverclyde road department with East and West Dunbartonshire’s

06th December 2017

Council bosses are paving the way for a merger of roads departments in Inverclyde with those in East and West Dunbartonshire. Proposals have been drawn up to share services among the three local authorities to help save money.

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UK Government to raise concerns about British Transport Police/Police Scotland merger with Edinburgh

06th December 2017

The UK Government has dismissed a call to reverse the devolution of responsibility for the British Transport Police to Holyrood after the force's planned merger with Police Scotland was branded "dangerous" and "reckless".

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Greater Manchester trusts come together to form £1.3bn healthcare organisation

06th December 2017

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) and Salford Royal NHS FT have combined to form a new healthcare organisation responsible for serving over 1 million people.

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York Housing Association joins Karbon Homes

06th December 2017

York Housing Association (YHA) has joined Karbon Homes as an independent group member. The new partnership, which was officially approved today (Dec 1) has been supported by YHA’s residents and stakeholders.

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‘Compelling’ West Suffolk council consolidation plan gets initial DCLG stamp

05th December 2017

Plans to create a West Suffolk council by combining Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council have received initial approval from Sajid Javid.

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Javid minded to approve Somerset councils’ merger

05th December 2017

A proposal to merge two Somerset councils has received initial approval from the secretary for communities and local government.

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Rouse: Health devolution means taking decisions collectively to avoid tensions

05th December 2017

Authorities, care providers and CCGs must work closely with the NHS to make health devolution work, says the chief executive of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC).

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Dundee Smart Health And Care Strategy

27th November 2017

Dundee smart health and care strategy - A strategic plan for using technology to support people to live independently and manage their own health and care.

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You’ve Merged or Been Acquired? Congratulations! Now the Real Work Begins.

27th November 2017

Mergers and acquisitions can lead to a more profitable company, but the transition period is challenging. Learn how to navigate this time, encourage collaboration and ultimately grow your business.

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Sharing of services in Cannock and Stafford sparks council control fears

27th November 2017

Cannock Chase District Council and Stafford Borough Council plan to bring environmental services together which covers licensing, fly-tipping, food safety and contaminated land.

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Digital collaboration agreement signed by councils

27th November 2017

West Berkshire and Oxfordshire County Council have signed a digital collaboration agreement. Announcing the agreement in its Digital Services Blog, West Berkshire says that, in the spirit of LocalGov Digital, it’s a non-binding collaborative agreement between the two councils.

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Government and three North East councils agree devolution deal

27th November 2017

Details of the £600m devolution deal for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils that was promised in the Chancellor's Autumn Budget, have been revealed.

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Working together to tackle poverty in Lewisham

27th November 2017

Lewisham is a great place to live, with a strong and diverse community. Yet, despite being situated in the heart of London, on the doorsteps of one of the wealthiest cities in the world, tens of thousands of Lewisham residents live in poverty.

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Scotland in line for three more City Deals

27th November 2017

CITY deals for Tayside, Stirling and the Borders were among the measures unveiled in the Chancellor’s Budget yesterday.

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Budget 2017: Chancellor unveils major North of the Tyne devolution deal

27th November 2017

The Conservatives have sought to put their Northern Powerhouse ambitions back on track after the Chancellor announced a major devolution deal in the North East.

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Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group calls for response to questionnaire

27th November 2017

For several years collaboration with the widest range of partners has been identified as important within the public sector to deliver enhanced services to the community. More recently the Policing and Crime Act 2017 introduced a ‘Duty to Collaborate’ with a specific reference to the blue light services.

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Successful public sector project management is about people, not numbers

27th November 2017

Drew Markham, Service Strategist at Fordway, discusses why successful public sector digital projects are 50% technology and 50% culture.

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Three steps to effective ‘changemaking’

27th November 2017

NLGN recently published a report discussing the need for local authorities to adopt a bold ‘changemaking’ approach if they are to survive, deliver top quality customer service and remain relevant.

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USAR and HART teams in the South West sign collaboration MOU

27th November 2017

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and the region’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are engaging in a mutually beneficial MOU collaboration that promotes both community safety and effective response in the case of emergencies.

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Second devo deal for West Midlands approved as more finally on the way

24th November 2017

The government has agreed a second devolution deal “in principle” with the West Midlands mayor and combined authority to address local productivity barriers, and has also committed to looking into further devo deals across the country.

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‘Best practice’ domestic violence programme announces ambitious plans to expand

24th November 2017

A highly successful, evidence-based domestic violence and abuse identification and referral programme (IRIS – Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) developed by researchers at the University of Bristol has launched as a social enterprise today, with plans to scale up its activity and grow the programme across the UK and internationally.

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Stamped London health devolution deal to focus on NHS property sell-off

21st November 2017

A deal to give London unprecedented devolved powers over health and care has been signed by officials today. The agreement includes calls for the NHS to sell off unused land and buildings in the capital and reinvest the money in community and public services, with surplus land being marked for housing.

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In focus: working together to improve healthcare and social care in north Hampshire

21st November 2017

On the face of it, it is the national NHS/social care crisis in action at two hospitals in north Hampshire.

Last week, The Gazette reported on Autumn Action at Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where a concerted effort was made over three days at the end of October to cut down emergency department waiting times and improve patient flow.

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LGA: Government must speed up devolution to fight funding mayhem

21st November 2017

Councils have urged the government to speed up the devolution process and counteract the spread of funding coming from over 70 different centralised sources.

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Automation in the NHS should be embraced not feared

21st November 2017

The use of robots can help transform the way our healthcare system is managed, says Stephen Sutcliffe, director of Finance and Accounting at NHS Shared Business Services.

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Councils to share fly-tipping service

21st November 2017

Fly-tipping enforcement in parts of south Warwickshire is to be carried out by Rugby Borough Council. Warwick District Council has agreed to trial a shared service for 18 months, which will see Rugby investigate issues on behalf of Warwick and then recommend enforcement action that needs to be taken.

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Cannock and Stafford councils in talks on joining forces to tackle issues like fly-tipping

21st November 2017

Two Staffordshire councils could join forces to tackle issues such as fly-tipping in a bid to save cash.

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Councils and businesses work to support economic growth

21st November 2017

A scheme to support economic growth by upgrading Ings Lane in Kirkbymoorside is scheduled to begin this month.

The work, which will cost up to £475,000, is the result of a partnership between Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and local businesses.

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The digital culture challenge: closing the employee-leadership gap (Infographic)

21st November 2017

Is company culture a roadblock or a catalyst for digital transformation? Does the big moment for an organisation arrive when they have embraced the fact that the prerequisite to digital transformation isn’t a technical issue, but a cultural change?

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New funding announced to support govtech challenges

21st November 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that a £20m fund is to be set up to drive the development of new technologies in public services.

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Launch of pioneering partnership to transform health and social care

21st November 2017

The Brunel Partners Academic Centre for Health Sciences – a pioneering new partnership between Brunel University London, Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust – was officially launched at Brunel’s Uxbridge campus on 17 November.

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Counties and districts clash over suggestion to scrap two-tier authorities

21st November 2017

A report suggesting that scrapping district councils could save £2.9bn a year has prompted anger from the District Councils Network (DCN).

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Councils urged to adopt a bold ‘changemaking approach’

21st November 2017

A new thought leadership report published by NLGN discusses how local authorities must change over the coming months and years if they are to survive, deliver top quality customer service and remain relevant.

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Government to set out proposals to reform care and support

20th November 2017

The First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Damian Green, has announced today that the government will publish a green paper on care and support for older people by summer 2018.

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Developing data driven policy (Q&A)

20th November 2017

The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham has established an ‘Insight Hub’ team that works closely with the leadership of the organisation. In this interview, Sal Asghar, Strategy and Performance Manager, and Pye Nyunt, Insight Hub Manager, tell us how data is being used to drive policy.

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Landmark ‘devolution’ deal will improve health and care in capital, say politicians

17th November 2017

A deal unveiled today will give London’s NHS and councils the “freedoms and powers they need to provide the very best health and care services”, according to the chief nursing officer for England.

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‘Bed blocking’ is being cut at Poole Hospital by new integrated discharge bureau

17th November 2017

A new initiative bringing different parts of the public sector together in an effort to reduce ‘bed blocking’ has been officially opened at Poole Hospital.

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Mayor makes 10 pledges to transform Liverpool City region.

14th November 2017

Steve Rotheram is making ten new pledges to transform Liverpool City Region. He says the devolution process is a journey not a destination, and the Leaders of the region’s six districts had not created a Combined Authority to attract modest additional resources but to deliver transformational change.

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West of Scotland Housing Association ends partnership with Gentoo Group

14th November 2017

West of Scotland Housing Association (WSHA) has officially ended its partnership with Sunderland based housing association Gentoo Group after new rules were introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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Health Education England launches online workshop on improving digital readiness

14th November 2017

Health Education England is launching an online workshop to gather views on digital readiness.

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Partnership provides welfare for fire service staff

14th November 2017

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue has teamed up with Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue (CamSAR) to introduce a new welfare unit for staff to use in the event of long-running incidents.

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Why public sector organisations need a shared services centre

13th November 2017

A new blog post outlining how public sector organisations can benefit from a shared services centre argues that they are one of the most effective ways to maximise resources.

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Reimagining the way councils work

13th November 2017

Andrew Grant, CEO of Aylesbury Vale District Council, recently addressed the AWS Public Sector Transformation Day, where he outlined the journey the council has made from a traditional inwardly focussed council to an innovative, forward thinking and commercially orientated organisation.

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Cotswold District Council’s shared services company Publica launches amid concerns over ‘democratic accountability’

07th November 2017

A new company established by Cotswold District Council and three other councils has officially launched, despite concerns over ‘democratic accountability’.

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Plan to merge two Devon councils is rejected

07th November 2017

The plan to merge South Hams and West Devon district councils will not be recommended to the Government after councillors at one of the authorities voted against the scheme.

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Government Releases Guidance on Data Security for Health and Care Organisations

07th November 2017

Department for health releases document including an assurance framework for 2018 the day before Halloween.

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Do councils face an identity crisis?

07th November 2017

Zurich Municipal’s 2017 Senior Managers’ Risk Report, which examines changing attitudes about the role of the public sector in an era of austerity and commercialisation, has suggested that councils are facing an identity crisis.

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Service transitions are ‘about people, not technology’

07th November 2017

Public sector organisations are underestimating the complexity of managing a service transition and their new services will fail if they don’t get the full backing of their staff.

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Welsh housing associations consider offsite partnership

06th November 2017

A group of housing associations in South Wales are considering setting up the sector’s first offsite housebuilding factory in the region.

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Dundee and Angus empty homes project shortlisted for award

06th November 2017

A joint Dundee City Council and Angus Council project to bring long-term privately-owned empty homes back into use has been nominated for a national award.

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Demonstrating the Health and Social Cost-Benefits of Lifestyle Housing for Older People

31st October 2017

This report by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) for Keepmoat Regeneration/ENGIE sets out the case for developing specialist retirement housing for people aged over 55.

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NHS’ Health And Social Care Network Goes Live With First Customer Crescendo Systems

31st October 2017

Crescendo Systems, a digital dictation and clinical records management firm, has become the first customer on the new networking framework.

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NI planning services could be outsourced to private firm

31st October 2017

A private company could take over Northern Ireland's planning services, it has been revealed.

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Digital customer service journey to be detailed at event

31st October 2017

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Agilisys will be teaming up to showcase their transformation story at the upcoming Local Government Strategy Forum.

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Blueprint For The Future Of Greater Manchester Revealed

31st October 2017

A bold new vision to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old has been unveiled.

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Council turns to robot to help transform its social care services

30th October 2017

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is the latest local authority to turn to technology in order to transform its social care delivery.

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Can technology rescue the precarious state of adult social care?

30th October 2017

A new report has revealed that, while the majority of adult social care is good, future quality is precarious as the system struggles with complex new types of demand, access and cost.

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Scotland faces fire station closures

27th October 2017

Scotland faces the likely closure of many of its fire stations, five years after the emergency services were converted from regional authorities into a single national force.

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Regulator applauds ‘mature partnership’ in second local care system review

27th October 2017

Integration of health and social care in Bracknell Forest, Berkshire, is working particularly effectively according to the latest CQC report.

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Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Bill 2017-19

24th October 2017

A Bill to establish, and make provision about, the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care; and for connected purposes. This Bill is expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 1 December 2017.

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Councils seek ABS merger to become more business-like

24th October 2017

Client demand for a more business-like local authority legal service is driving two London councils to join forces with a regional ABS powerhouse.

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Information sharing: a state of the nation survey

24th October 2017

The Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing is focused on finding ways to improve the sharing of information to enable better outcomes for service users – mainly in the public sector. It is launching an annual state of the nation survey for the public service to gather and track your thoughts, opinions and beliefs about information sharing annually.

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Coastguards move in to community fire station

24th October 2017

Redcar Coastguard Rescue Team is the first in the North East to share a base with firefighters. They have been formally welcomed to Redcar Community Fire Station by Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, Cleveland Fire Brigade and since moving in earlier this year have already attended nearly 50 incidents.

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Re-stating the case for collaboration in public services

24th October 2017

In this testing financial and political climate collaboration between public services has never been more necessary. We need to carry on making the case, says Henry Kippin.

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Four ways to embed a digital culture in public sector organisations

24th October 2017

Four key ways to embed a digital culture within organisations have been identified in a recently published report.

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Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire councils set up firm

23rd October 2017

About 600 workers are being shifted to a new firm created by four local councils in a plan to share services and operational costs. Publica Ltd will be owned by Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire councils.

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Sharing toys or sharing services: what’s the difference?

23rd October 2017

Shared services are becoming more common across the public sector. It is unlikely that local authorities can function in the future unless they work more collaboratively with their neighbouring service providers.

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A body set up to save Welsh public bodies money has been running at a loss

23rd October 2017

Wales’ top public spending watchdog has raised concerns about a body that was set up to save Welsh public bodies money – but which has been running at a loss.

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To give your citizens what they need, it’s time you asked them what they want

20th October 2017

Save money and provide better services by understanding your citizens.

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Data innovation drive receives £6m government funding boost

20th October 2017

Innovate UK is providing £6m over three years to the Open Data Institute (ODI), to advance knowledge and expertise in how data can shape the next generation of public and private services, and create economic growth.

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Kent fire service’s Dirty Dancing parody is a hit

18th October 2017

A fire safety video featuring a Dirty Dancing-inspired version of the fireman's lift has been a hit.

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Brexit offers chance to boost local economies through public procurement

17th October 2017

Brexit brings with it an opportunity to harness the power of public procurement to revive local economies, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies has argued.

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The first devolved homelessness funding package awarded to Greater Manchester

17th October 2017

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has welcomed the government's announcement of £3.8m package to end homelessness and rough sleeping in the city.

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CQC says pharmacy can help stretched health services

17th October 2017

Care Quality Commission report shows that fewer than one in ten patients saw a pharmacist when they could not see a GP, highlighting the potential for greater use of the community pharmacy service.

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Call for councils to share costs and services in Wales

17th October 2017

Councils will have to be more creative and innovative to provide public services against a backdrop of future budget cuts, an expert has said.

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Councils hope almost half of Lichfield and Tamworth residents will pay for garden waste collection next year

17th October 2017

The partnership behind the forthcoming garden waste collection charge in Lichfield is hoping that almost half of residents will be paying to have their green rubbish taken away by the end of next year.

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South West Wales Councils go paperless

17th October 2017

South West Wales Shared Services Group, the body for one of the Principal Areas of Wales, has deployed Citrix ShareFile at Swansea Civil and Family Justice Centre to share millions of case documents securely with different agencies, to speed proceedings for child wellbeing.http://www.information-age.com/south-west-wales-councils-go-paperless-123469039/

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Service awards recognise dedication and hardwork of staff and partners

17th October 2017

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is set to recognise its staff at an awards ceremony this Thursday (October 12).

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How social impact bonds are funding long-term care projects

17th October 2017

Keeping children in residential care is expensive. When Birmingham city council saw an increase in older children entering care, largely through behavioural problems, it launched a six-year programme to find foster placements for them.

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Brighton and Hove council to merge with NHS commissioning body

17th October 2017

Brighton and Hove City Council is to merge with the Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

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London health and care devolution plans to be finalised by end of year

17th October 2017

The agreement for health and care devolution in London is due to be finalised by the end of 2017, according to the chair of the London Health and Care Devolution Programme Board, Will Tuckley.

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‘It’s time to recognise the contribution arts can make to health and wellbeing’

17th October 2017

Arts and Minds, a leading arts and mental health charity, has been running weekly art workshops for people experiencing depression, stress or anxiety in Cambridgeshire for the past seven years.

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Health and education departments to get funding boost

17th October 2017

Health and education are to benefit from the reallocation of money across Stormont departments.

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A digital framework that works for the NHS

17th October 2017

In response to the ever-increasing opportunities to use innovative digital technology to carry out essential admin tasks, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) first developed a ‘Digital Dictation, Speech Recognition & Outsourced Transcription Framework’ in 2010.

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UK joins EU and EFTA countries in signing Tallinn eGovernment Declaration

17th October 2017

The UK has joined all other EU Member States and EFTA countries in signing the eGovernement Declaration in Tallin.

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NHS Spine is a better option for data-sharing than local care records

13th October 2017

NHS England’s Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) are in danger of missing a trick when it comes to sharing patient data.

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Health care and adult social care in England: 2016 to 2017

13th October 2017

This report is an assessment of the state of health care and adult social care in England in 2016 to 2017.

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Socitm Awards recognise excellence in public sector ICT

12th October 2017

A who’s who of public sector technology experts gathered inside the King Power Stadium in Leicester earlier this week as the winners of the Socitm Awards were announced.

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ADASS president: ‘Adult social care reform must be a national priority’

12th October 2017

With an eventful – but ultimately disappointing – Conservative Party conference out of the way, all eyes now rest on the chancellor’s autumn budget and the consultation on the future of adult social care that the government has promised.

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Quarter of GPs ready to swap practice contracts for collaborative deal

11th October 2017

One in four GP partners are willing to ditch their existing practice contracts and join a collaborative funding deal across their local area, according to polling by a leading think tank.

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Topic summary: The human/technology frontier in health and social care

10th October 2017

The frontier between humans and technology has become increasingly blurred; in some instances, we are seeing a merger of human biology and technology into one, in others technology has come to replace traditionally human roles.

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Derry health workers receive ‘virtual’ dementia training

10th October 2017

Health staff in Derry have taken part in an innovative new training programme aimed at allowing them to understand what people dementia experience every day.

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Collaboration of Health Care and Social Services May Decrease Medical Costs and Visits

10th October 2017

A Yale School of Public Health study finds that strengthening and better integrating social services with health care for people in need may improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs. The study—Patterns of Collaboration among Health Care and Social Services Providers in Communities with Lower Health Care Utilization and Costs— is published in the journal Health Services Research.

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Scottish Procurement Alliance delivers £1m rebate for reinvestment in communities

10th October 2017

One year on from its formation in 2016, the Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) used its first AGM to announce a rebate of £1,039,279 to its local authority, housing association and other registered social landlord partners across Scotland.

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Health and care catering sector secures its first accredited professional catering qualification

10th October 2017

The first professional catering qualification for health and social care catering – Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care – developed by the National Association of Care Catering (NACC), Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the awarding body of the Institute of Hospitality (IOH), has been officially approved on the Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework.

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Six months on from the City Deal being signed in Swansea, this is the state of play

10th October 2017

Progress is being made behind the scenes on a £1.3 billion City Deal to create thousands of jobs in Swansea and the wider region, a council leader has insisted.

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Ask the Dentist: Joined-up approach to improving over-65s’ oral healthcare badly needed

10th October 2017

At least 1.8 million people in the UK aged 65 and over could have an urgent dental condition, a new report has suggested. The report, published by the Royal College of Surgeons, warns of at least 1.8 million pensioners suffering with dental pain, oral sepsis or extensive decay in untreated teeth.

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