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.

NHS Pressures, Faith Organisations And Community-Based Services – Why Won’t We Use What’s Already There?

20th March 2018

Ten years on from the banking crisis and the start of austerity, cuts are still biting and the effects of real terms reductions in spending are felt by most of us. Yet we also know that the misuse of resources, too, has a huge effect – particularly when it comes to the NHS and social care.

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Adapt or die: How to cope when the bots take your job

20th March 2018

Reports that robots, automation and artificial intelligence are going to put millions of us out of work may sound troubling, but should we believe them? That largely depends on whether we're technology optimists or pessimists. In our Future of Work series we look at how jobs might change in the future.

The Snewing family lived in 62 Falkner Street, Liverpool, for more than four decades. They were saddlers working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And while the horse-drawn economy dominated, they enjoyed a brisk trade.

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Police officer makes unprecedented switch to fire service

14th March 2018

Humberside Police has confirmed the temporary transfer of an officer to take on a senior position with the region’s fire and rescue service.

Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson will become Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s temporary director within the Corporate Management Team on March 14.

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What does Brexit mean for public services?

14th March 2018

Brought to you by the Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services, 'What does Brexit mean for Public Services?' is your audio guide to understanding how exiting the EU will affect the sector.

In this week's episode, we talk to commissioner and economist Vicky Pryce to hear her thoughts on how the negotiations are going so far.

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘one-stop shop’ for all healthcare services in Margate

14th March 2018

Plans have been submitted for a £6.5 million extension to the Bethesda Medical Centre to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for health care services in Margate.

The extension plans mean the Cliftonville centre would able to cater for up to 32,000 patients and offer a wide range of medical and nursing services.

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Shared data project for North of Scotland NHS health boards

14th March 2018

Four health boards in the North of Scotland have launched a project to give their clinicians access to an integrated view of a patient’s health and social care information, via a specially built portal.

The new health and social care portal developed by Orion Health will see information shared from providers in NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland.

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Warwickshire Councils sign up to shared self-service platform

14th March 2018

Civica has won a new five-year, £700K contract to provide its OPENRevenues software across North Warwickshire Borough Council and Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council as part of a new shared services agreement.

The decision to consolidate both councils’ back office systems will allow the local authorities to work together more closely, to make better use of council resources and increase customer satisfaction by helping more citizens to self-serve online.

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Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils work together on smart city pilot

14th March 2018

Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council today announced that they are working together to pilot new smart city services.

The project, a partnership with Cambridge-based technology firm Telensa, will assess the potential quality-of-life and economic benefits of a range of smart city technologies.

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Torus in ‘merger talks’ with city housing group

14th March 2018

The Torus Group is in discussions over a potential “amalgamation” with Liverpool Mutual Homes, the Star has learned.

A source has told the Star of a “merger plan” for the housing organisations. 

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Councils will not be forced to work together, says Davies

06th March 2018

Welsh ministers are scrapping a key element of their council reforms, the local government secretary has said.

Alun Davies said he will not force them to work together on a regional basis.

The condition was a central feature of the changes proposed by his predecessor Mark Drakeford.

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Inspectors praise integration of health and social care in North Lanarkshire

06th March 2018

The health and social care partnership in North Lanarkshire is laying down “strong foundations” to support more integrated working, inspectors have found.

They praised a number of important strengths in the partnership’s strategic plan, which shows how health and social care services will meet local people’s needs in the future.

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Working together, works well

06th March 2018

Robert Scarlett was discharged from hospital just in time for Christmas after almost a year of treatment for breathing difficulties.
It should have been a happy occasion, but sadly Robert’s wife passed away from cancer while he was being treated.

Returning to an empty house after 45 years of marriage, Robert felt lonely and frightened. He had been his wife’s primary carer throughout her battle with cancer, but now could not even walk down the stairs.

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SECAmb teams up with Kent Police

06th March 2018

A partnership between South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and Kent Police will see a vehicle carrying a paramedic and two Special Constables respond to incidents across Medway and Swale.

The joint response unit, which will initially run for a pilot period of six months, will be in operation on Friday and Saturday nights from 2 March and will be assigned to attend incidents requiring a joint attendance.

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Gravesham Council to merge HR department with Medway

06th March 2018

A merger of the human resources departments at Gravesham and Medway councils is set to save both authorities cash.

As council budgets continue to be consistently squeezed by central government, senior officials at local authorities are having to be ever-more imaginative in order to keep essential services running.

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Youth: Dover partnership helping young people stay safe

06th March 2018

Over 1,000 Year 8 students from secondary schools in Dover, Deal and Sandwich will be attending the first ever Dover District Youth Conference to explore issues ranging from online safety, relationships, gangs and crime, and substance misuse.

The conference is being held on Tuesday, 6 March at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover, and has been organised by Dover District Council and the Dover District Community Safety Partnership.

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Councils and housing associations urged to collaborate over new homes

06th March 2018

Seminar hears sector should ‘grow up’ over the potential for turf conflict between associations and council housing companies.

The sector needs go ‘grown up’ over the potential for turf conflicts between housing associations and council housing companies, a seminar heard. Talk should, the seminar heard, turn to prospects for collaboration between both on a new generation of social housing.

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Project looks at how pharmacy data can be shared across health service

06th March 2018

Work is underway to determine how community pharmacists will share patient information with the wider health and social care system.

NHS Digital has commissioned a project to improve electronic information sharing from pharmacies, which will determine how information about services provided by community pharmacy to patients will be shared with other professionals working in health and social care.

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Professional care staff ‘home grown’ thanks to university apprenticeship scheme

06th March 2018

A senior manager at a south Cumbrian care home network has praised a scheme which has allowed staff to gain vital professional qualifications while working in the care sector.

In 2013 Barbara Redshaw, director of nursing at Risedale at Abbey Meadow in Barrow, formed a partnership with the University of Cumbria to train health care assistants. The aim was to help fill a predicted shortfall in trained staff in the future. Five years on, over 55 assistant care practitioners have taken part in the three year course with more to follow.

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‘People need people and people need to be needed’ – a new health and social care mantra?

05th March 2018

Public and 3rd sector services have a fighting chance – if they are more collaborative, strengths-based and focus on Relationships & Purpose says Hugh Irwin.

Public and 3rd sector services have a fighting chance of financial sustainability and at the same time improving outcomes for individuals, families and communities if they work more collaboratively in a strengths-based capacity. But what they all must do is ultimately direct that strengths-based collaboration back to addressing two universal truths and basis of a better life – Relationships & Purpose.

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The MASAF conference – 22nd March 2018

05th March 2018

The MASAF conference is a multi-agency approach as an opportunity  to bring together different sectors and like-minded professionals who want to develop and progress strength based working practices. 

Working at all levels from service delivery to organisation strategy, the day will have an array of speakers, workshops, panel interviews and a call to action to develop and implement Action Learning Sets. This strength based event is the first of its kind and our aim is to truly engage with people at a level that fosters positive change.

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Merger gets official launch date

05th March 2018

Following due legal process, a second confirmatory vote has given the green light for the new landlord to launch on 3 April 2018.

The merger has been both supported and approved by North East Lincolnshire Council as well as 66% of Shoreline customers who expressed their view.

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Hampshire County Council Leader reiterates County stance on Combined Authority proposals

02nd March 2018

Ahead of a Notice of Motion due to be considered at this week’s meeting of Hampshire County Council, (22 February), County Leader, Councillor Roy Perry has made it clear that a Combined Authority only, is being proposed by the Council.

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London council spend on GDPR soars

02nd March 2018

A new policy paper published today from the Parliament Street think tank has revealed that London councils have spent over £1.2m in preparation for the incoming General Data Protect Regulation (GDPR).

The report, GDPR in Local in Local Government, includes survey data revealing that London councils have individually spent up to £300,00 on software, training and consultancy to prepare for the new EU regulation.

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NHS Digital and techUK to address further digital health and social care challenges

02nd March 2018

NHS Digital and techUK have outlined their view on the future challenges they need to tackle to take their partnership to the next level.

They have agreed six main areas to focus on in 2018. These include working with SMEs enterprises so that they might share in NHS and social care business and continuing to increase interoperability in the sector, building flexibility into technology from the outset.

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Monmouth County Communications Center Earns National Award for Outstanding 911 Services

27th February 2018

Washington, DC — The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center recently was recognized nationally for excellence in providing emergency services that utilize the latest advancements in new technology.

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GDPR – what it means for the health and social care sector

27th February 2018

Video: Dawn Monaghan, head of data sharing and privacy at NHS England, head of strategic IG at NHS Digital and director of the Information Governance Alliance, outlines what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will mean for the sector.

Next May, when the EU General Data Protection Regulation comes into force, is not the finish line, says Monaghan, but the start. And it is the start of a marathon, not a sprint.

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Dorset councils merger ‘to go ahead’ says Sajid Javid

27th February 2018

Plans to scrap Dorset's nine councils to create two unitary authorities have been approved by the Secretary of State for Local Government.

In a ministerial statement, Sajid Javid said he had decided to implement the merger having previously said he was "minded" to support it.

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‘No better time for housing organisations to commit to tackle domestic abuse.’

27th February 2018

Elinor Crouch-Puzey details the work the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance is doing to help housing organisations tackle the problem.

With CIH president Alison Inman and now vice president Jim Strang making a commitment to tackling domestic abuse there is no better time for housing providers to join in and commit to tackling abuse in their own communities.

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Universities to investigate how behavioural insights can improve public sector services

27th February 2018

Sheffield Hallam University will lead work in collaboration with The University of Manchester to help tailor vital public sector services using behavioural insights expertise as part of a new government framework.

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Saving millions, maintaining services (case study)

27th February 2018

Wokingham Borough Council’s digitally enabled back office is one of the most technologically advanced in the UK. Having transformed processes, technology, culture and behaviours, it is on course to save £4m per annum by 2020 while maintaining frontline services in the face of reduced funding and increased demand.

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Report waves flag for tech SMEs in care sector

27th February 2018

NHS Digital and tech UK to make joint commitments as one of the short term priorities for their partnership.

NHS Digital and IT industry association tech UK have outlined joint aims to boost the roles of technology SMEs in health and social care and promote interoperability of systems over the next six months.

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Fire services to work together, but merger ruled out

27th February 2018

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by Warwickshire County Council and West Midlands Fire & Rescue Authority that sets out plans for a closer working relationship between the two fire services.

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Five cities to use drones to support local needs

26th February 2018

Five cities and districts spanning the country will be the first to design how drone technology could be used to support their local needs. The announcement follows an open call in November, where over a third of UK cities bid for a place on the Flying High Challenge, run by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre in partnership with Innovate UK.

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Will GDPR make Shadow IT your worst nightmare?

26th February 2018

Romy Hughes, director at Brightman, takes a look at how GDPR is forcing to take the security of Shadow IT seriously

‘Shadow IT’ – or the unauthorised use of applications or services that employees use without the knowledge or approval of their company’s IT department – has always been a thorn in the side of organisations who struggle to keep control of their data. You can’t budget for it, you can’t support it, it stifles productivity because not everyone is working from the same page, and it’s a cybersecurity risk. But, up until now, it has never been a compliance issue as well.

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Free wi-fi to be available at 33 more acute and mental health trusts

26th February 2018

Thirty-three acute and mental health trusts have agreed to deploy NHS WiFi throughout their sites by March.

Letters have been sent to each of the trusts selected to take part in the second stage of delivery of the project, which aims to have free wi-fi internet in place throughout the entire NHS estate by the end of the year.

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RPS Wales welcomes announcement of £100m transformation fund

21st February 2018

The money will be directed towards making the improvements suggested by a parliamentary review of health and social care in Wales.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales has welcomed the news that the Welsh government will invest £100m to transform the nation’s health and social care services.

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Q&A: Using digital communication platforms to work smarter – part 1

21st February 2018

The public sector is increasingly embracing the benefits of the digital workplace, central to which are digital communication platforms. Digital by Default News spoke to Fintan Galvin, founder and CEO of Invotra, to find out how local authorities can reap the rewards of going digital with a suitable digital solution.

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Social housing and social enterprise: a match made in heaven

21st February 2018

Social businesses are full of passion, but can often work in isolation. Jean Jarvis thinks there's huge potential in becoming more connected, particularly with social landlords. She describes how matching her social enterprise Fuse Enterprise CIC with a social housing provider has brought even greater potential for empowerment to communities.

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Police, fire and rescue services to share £42k surveillance drones

21st February 2018

An aerial crime-fighting and rescue tool could save lives and public money, according to emergency service chiefs.

Two drones will be shared between the police, fire service, lowland search and rescue, four-by-four response and county council for aerial surveillance. The devices were unveiled and given a test flight at Suffolk police headquarters on Thursday.

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‘Most difficult’ Angus budget passed as council prepares for job cuts and tax rise

21st February 2018

An Angus budget, drawn up to address an £18 million shortfall, was described by the authority’s leader as the toughest he has ever seen.

The package paves the way for a 3% increase in council tax, the loss of up to 600 jobs in the next three years and the introduction of parking charges on October 1.

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The 2nd Health and Social Care Integration Event

16th February 2018

The Alliance's’s annual conference provides the leading focal point for health and social care integration in Scotland. The 2018 event will focus on Action and will showcase people and organisations working on innovative, engaging and co-produced projects that aim to improve outcomes for people who access and deliver support and services in Scotland.

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Six universities join forces to boost health using data science

13th February 2018

A historic combination of six Scottish universities has been selected for a £54 million programme to improve health through better use of data.

The universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Strathclyde have joined together for the first time in the field of data science and have been selected to be part of a UK-wide project.

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Smarter homes ‘could save NHS and social care system £2.5bn a year’

13th February 2018

Creating more modified homes, which encourage older people to keep mentally and physically fit for longer, could help save the NHS and social care system billions of pounds each year, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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MPs urge more housing help for elderly

13th February 2018

Older people should be given more help with housing to help them stay healthy and reduce the need for residential care, a committee of MPs has said.

They called for the government to develop a new national strategy to deal with older people's housing needs.

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Learning to share – why with collective will, direction and agile delivery, shared services can revolutionise government

13th February 2018

How do you allow civil servants to spend less time doing administration, so that they can spend more time delivering vital services to the public? UKCloud’s Cloud Strategist, Bill Mew, explains why it is hoped that shared service centres, date sharing and shared micro-services are part of the answer!

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Major UK care provider receives £70m lifeline loan

13th February 2018

Four Seasons Health Care, one of Britain’s largest care home operators, has been given a £70m lifeline to keep services running in the face of a deteriorating financial situation.

The company, which runs around 300 homes across the country, has an estimated net debt of more than £500m and has been struggling in the face of the rising social care crisis.

Last week, H/2 Capital Partners, a US-based hedge fund, has offered an increased loan of £70m to keep Four Seasons afloat – nearly double the original loan it was offered last year.

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Care staff are dedicated but the health and care system could work better

13th February 2018

Frontline health and social care staff in Oxfordshire are dedicated and ‘go the extra mile’, according to the national watchdog for health and social care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Oxfordshire in November 2017 to carry out one of 20 targeted reviews taking place in England to assess how the whole system of health and social care works together in those areas. The CQC report, published today (Monday 12 February) says:

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Greater Nottingham ACS: Taking care of something precious

06th February 2018

Dr Stephen Shortt, GP and clinical lead for developing an accountable care system in Greater Nottingham, talks about the collective work to join up health and social care in the region.

Any work to transform the NHS must begin with an honest conversation; an open dialogue between patients, staff and system leaders that acknowledges a simple truth: our health and social care system, as is currently designed, configured and experienced, is not sustainable for the future.

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Contractor Civica takes over council tax, housing benefit and other shared services in east Kent

06th February 2018

Private contractor Civica takes over a shared service that deals with council tax, housing benefit, non-domestic rates, debt recovery and customer services for Thanet, Dover and Canterbury today (February 1).

The three councils have signed contracts with the firm for a period of 7 years plus the option to extend by a further 3 years.

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Council innovation and £1.7 million income set to offset cuts to funding

06th February 2018

A local council is set to fund nearly 10% of its overall budget next financial year from income it will generate itself.
In budget papers published today (Monday 29 January), South Cambridgeshire District Council has said that they expect to generate £1.7 million of income from their housing company – Ermine Street Housing – in the 2018/19 financial year.

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Contingency plans being made for Barnet’s contracts with Capita

05th February 2018

The London borough dubbed the “easyCouncil” for its reputation as one of the most extreme local authorities in Britain for outsourcing public services is to examine how it would handle the fallout should Capita follow the fate of Carillion.

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Bolton links up health and community services with shared care record

05th February 2018

A new shared record linking health, social care and community services has gone live in Bolton.

The Bolton Care Record has been commissioned to support the transformation of care services in Greater Manchester.

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Public sector ‘must be given power to innovate’

01st February 2018

The public sector must be “empowered to innovate”, the new Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said this week.

Speaking at an event to mark five years of the Cabinet Office’s What Works Network on Monday, he said there had been significant progress in the field of evidence-based policy but there was still more work to do.

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VIDEO: Maltby’s joint fire and police station “will save money and encourage working together”

01st February 2018

South Yorkshire’s first joint fire and police station has been officially opened in Rotherham, with the pledge that it will see money saved and skills shared.

The facility in Maltby has been up and running since last October but was formally opened on Monday in front of dignitaries, staff and school children by the Lord Lieutenant for South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe.

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Combined authority announces deal to build 40,000 homes

31st January 2018

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has agreed to work with a coalition of 15 housing associations to deliver up to 40,000 affordable homes.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will use their specific housing grant of £170m to work with Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to build housing of mixed tenure, including affordable rents.

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Ambulance trust says joined up working key to fixing ‘frustrating’ QA Hospital delays

30th January 2018

The ambulance trust serving Portsmouth and surrounding areas admitted delays at Queen Alexandra Hospital are ‘frustrating’ but said: ‘We are all in this together.’ South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) spoke about the Cosham hospital at its board of directors meeting on Thursday.

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Norfolk fire station home to new ambulance response post

29th January 2018

A new ambulance response post has opened in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk thanks to a partnership with the county’s fire and rescue service.

Staff from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) have begun responding from the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service base in Friars Lane, Great Yarmouth. The ambulance service will have a rapid response vehicle permanently based at the fire station and a double staffed ambulance whenever possible to improve responses to patients in the Yarmouth area.

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OBR: UC poses ‘significant risk’ to public spending control

29th January 2018

The introduction of universal credit poses a “significant risk” to public spending control, the Office of Budget Responsibility has warned.

In its Welfare Trends report, the OBR said its estimate of the impact of the roll-out of the new benefits system on welfare spending was subject to many forecast, modelling, behavioural and policy risks, “compounded by the lack of reliable information on how UC is affecting welfare spending today”.

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Scheme giving vulnerable shoppers a safe environment to shop comes to Bath

29th January 2018

Bath College is helping to pilot an initiative at a local supermarket that gives people with dementia and additional needs the space, support and time to complete their weekly shop in comfort, reports Samantha King.

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It’s not just Carillion. The whole privatisation myth has been exposed

24th January 2018

Across Britain, councils have been forced into costly and ineffective PFI contracts. Now many are breaking free.

The era of “private good, public bad” is drawing to a close. Unshakeable faith in Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation creed is being killed off not just by counter-ideology, but by the sheer irrationality, expense and failure of so many private contracts.

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Bradford Council’s health and social care ‘in top 5%’ in country

23rd January 2018

Bradford Council’s health and social care system is set to be reviewed next month by the Care Quality Commission, due to its high levels of performance.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be looking at the Bradford system over a week in February to learn about how people move through the care system.

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Cloud computing: Now hospitals can keep confidential patient records in the public cloud

23rd January 2018

The NHS has given hospitals the go-ahead to store sensitive patient records in the cloud.

NHS Digital, which advises hospitals and doctors on tech issues, has issued guidance on the use of cloud services by healthcare and social care organisations.

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Health and care in Wales must take advantage of tech, says parliamentary report

23rd January 2018

The Welsh government must do more to gain the benefits of technology and innovation to deliver better and more effective care, according to a parliamentary review of the country’s health and care system.

An independent review of health and care services in Wales has found that the country is in dire need of a system change, including better uptake and use of technologies.

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£1.4million mental healthcare project to be introduced in Aberdeen

23rd January 2018

A £1.4million mental healthcare project to be introduced to medical practices in Aberdeen has been hailed as the largest of its kind in Scotland.

Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) has awarded the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) a contract to employ 20 full-time equivalent “link workers”.

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Sky Views: What they haven’t told you about the NHS

23rd January 2018

As the NHS grapples with its annual crisis and a chorus demands that something must be done, it would be easy to imagine the health service does not have a long-term plan.

It does. It is detailed and well-developed. It's just that nobody has bothered to tell us - the taxpayers and the patients - what it is.

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Volunteers ‘pivotal’ in helping free up precious NHS beds

23rd January 2018

A growing army of volunteers is being relied upon in hospitals and the community to take the pressure off the NHS.

Teams of unpaid workers are ensuring patients can be discharged when they are ready, rather than block beds due to a lack of support at home.

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Digital infrastructure plan announced for Liverpool City Region

23rd January 2018

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has appointed a specialist consortium to deliver an action plan detailing how to achieve Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge to make the city region the most digitally connected in the UK.

The Digital Infrastructure Plan will map the city region’s existing infrastructure assets, identify opportunities to best use those assets and suggest potential operating models for the city region’s digital infrastructure. The plan will also set out specific actions to maximise the city region’s digital connectivity and drive economic growth.

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Health funding wasted on short-term bailouts, watchdog warns

22nd January 2018

Extra health and social care funding is being used to deal with short-term pressures rather than long-term transformation, says the National Audit Office (NAO).

The NHS received an additional £1.8bn Sustainability and Transformation Fund in 2016-17 in order to support the integration of health and social care at the local level.

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Health and social care, together at last?

22nd January 2018

How much of the rising pressure on the NHS could be relieved by proper funding and organisation of public health and social care? We are far from achieving either: cuts to public health are making people ill; failures of social care are keeping people in hospital when they could be at home.

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Ripon police to move in with fire service

22nd January 2018

A town's police force is to be relocated to a fire station in the first move of its kind in North Yorkshire.

Ripon’s police and fire services will share a base from early next month, when the local Neighbourhood Policing Team and ten response officers currently based at Ripon Police Station on North Street will relocate to Ripon Fire Station on Stonebridgegate.

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Official opening of new joint headquarters for Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

22nd January 2018

The official opening of the Joint Police and Fire Headquarters (HQ) and Joint Training Centre for Derbyshire Constabulary and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has taken place today (Friday).

Speaking at the official opening, Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, said: “There are more plans already in the pipeline and we will continue to work together to provide a rationalised operational resource that enhances the way in which policing services, and fire and rescue services, are delivered in Derbyshire.”

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North east councils to combine services into 400-strong workforce

19th January 2018

Newcastle City Council has approved plans to begin sharing transactional services with neighbouring Northumbria County Council, a move expected to save around £1.8m. A single workforce of over 400 people will be created, with all the affected staff able to submit their views to a further consultation.

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Welsh government review says a ‘different system of health and care’ is needed

19th January 2018

A full review of the health and care system in Wales has recommended largescale changes to provide better services for people.

The document, commissioned by the Welsh Government, says change needs to happen quickly if there is to be a model of “seamless” health and care developed.

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Growth through devolution: A New Year’s outlook

15th January 2018

A third of people living in England outside London live in one of England’s nine combined authorities, six being cities with directly elected mayors. Some commentators have expressed disappointment that the recent Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2016-17 confirmed that there were no further devolution agreements in 2016-17.

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Department of Health and Social Care

15th January 2018

The change of name from the Department of Health, to Department of Health and Social Care will hopefully have a positive impact on the collaboration between the two streams of work and their funding. This Wiki update sets out the complex structure for health and social care in the UK.

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Homes England will partner with groups of associations to build, says Walkley

15th January 2018

The government’s new delivery agency will use its land assembly and risk-sharing powers to support groups of housing associations to up development, its chief executive has said.

In an interview with Inside Housing this morning, Nick Walkley outlined Homes England’s plans to use its full suite of powers to support the sector’s development ambitions.

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Ed Garcez: Sharing services and solving problems

15th January 2018

Sharing information and technology services across local authorities has changed.

Sharing used to focus on realising efficiencies through economies of scale and user productivity improvements, at the expense of encouraging greater integration and collaboration across services. As shared services have extended beyond the back-office, with some councils merging front-office services, or even merging completely, deeper integration and true partnerships across councils are developing.

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Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals back merger plans

15th January 2018

Three hospital trusts have backed merger proposals that could create one of the largest NHS trusts. The boards of Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals in Essex have approved the formal start of the process.

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Shared Services Strategy for Government – Setting a clear direction for the next ten years

15th January 2018

The Cabinet Office has launched the Shared Services strategy for government. This Shared Services strategy will save the taxpayer millions of pounds by 2028.

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First major phase of Berkshire’s shared care record goes live

15th January 2018

The first major phase of Berkshire’s shared care record initiative has gone live across 18 health and social care organisations.

New computer system Connected Care brings together key health and care patient information, building on Graphnet’s CareCentric shared record software. The shared care record programme has been dubbed Share Your Care.

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“There is no attempt at a power grab here” – Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service could move under governance of Police and Crime Commissioner, says report

15th January 2018

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk has denied a “power grab” as an independent report concluded he should govern the county’s Fire and Rescue Service.

An options appraisal was commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and concluded the “preferred option” for the future of Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) would be to transfer it from the county council into the governance of the PCC.

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Shared Services Strategy to ‘deliver millions of pounds of savings to the taxpayer’

15th January 2018

Increased use of cloud, robotics and shared platforms are at the heart of a new government Shared Services Strategy.

By improving civil servants’ interactions with government back office services, the strategy will support a Civil Service, where civil servants can seamlessly move between departments and roles, allowing the Civil Service to deploy what we need to meet the challenges of the day.

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Councils must be prepared for inevitable tough times ahead

15th January 2018

Local authorities must have robust financial plans to withstand the myriad of challenges in the forseeable future, says Rob Whiteman.

Shortly before Christmas last year, while many of us were already shunting along on the motorway, the government published its provisional finance settlement for next year.

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Blue Monday: The truth about the false divide

15th January 2018

Multiple, interrelated problems are blighting people’s lives simultaneously, and more and more of them are turning to their GPs and other services. But no one professional has hold of the whole thread, and it is difficult to understand where the thread even begins.

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College To Support Increasing Demand On Healthcare Industry With New Centre

09th January 2018

Weston College plans to build a Health and Active Living Skills Centre on land adjacent to the College’s Loxton Campus site.

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Dorset council threatens legal action over proposed merger

08th January 2018

Christchurch Borough Council is preparing to take legal action if plans to merge a number of councils in Dorset are fully approved by the DCLG.

In November last year, communities secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that he was minded to agree to the plans, which would see two unitary authorities created in place of the current two-tier system.

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Chiefs in call for public to give views on future of minor injury units

08th January 2018

The review of the medical centres was launched after it emerged just five patients visited one in a month.

The study will focus on the future of nine minor injury units in Aberdeenshire after a health chief raised concerns that nurses working at some centres saw too few patients to learn on the job.

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NHS to unite councils and housebuilders in new healthy living framework

03rd January 2018

NHS England is to work with local authorities and housing developers across the country as part of a scheme to expand the number of affordable homes available.

This month, it will be inviting applications for housing developers and associations to join a national network that will seek to improve the health of the nation by applying the lessons from the first Healthy New Towns schemes, which saw 10 sites taking part in the pilot.

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Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s trainees have taken part in a full week of prevent and protect training

02nd January 2018

This is the first time the Service has dedicated an entire week of the training course solely to prevent and protect activities including safe and well visits and role plays around issues and vulnerabilities in the community.

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Ten reasons why public sector IT projects fail (and why transformation planning is a necessity)

02nd January 2018

Romy Hughes, director of Brightman discusses the 10 key reasons for project failure and argues that a comprehensive service transition strategy can help the public sector avoid these pitfalls.

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What does the future hold for public sector technology?

02nd January 2018

We are increasingly driving a more digital government, using innovative technologies such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud to transform organisations and to deliver the more inclusive and efficient public services that citizens in this digital age demand.

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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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