- Analysis of latest Budget from NCVO
- Dignity in Care – inform the consultation
- Challenging Procurement decisions
- More commissioning news and resources
- Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
- Creating the Conditions for Integration
- Equality Framework for Local Government
- Equality & Human Rights Commission - Human Rights Review 2012
- Poverty map of England
- Ipsos MORI report on public attitudes to government policy to influence behaviour
- National Audit Office report on government plans for shared services
- Updated version of the NHS Constitution
- Local Healthwatch – the policy explained
- Have your say on children and young people’s health outcomes
by Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, NCVO
George Osborne's Budget yesterday offered very little to ease the financial pressure on our members.
My biggest concern is with the cap on income tax reliefs as there is a chance this will impact on donations from the very richest donors.
With colleagues from other organisations, I will be writing to the Chancellor with our concerns.
There were some positives. The Treasury's review of the barriers to social investment is welcome. You may have seen our recently published Social Investment Made Simple guide to help you understand this emerging area. The Chancellor's measures helped yesterday, but there's a long way to travel.
Also positive was the change to the Gift Aid small donations scheme. When this starts in 2013, it will cover gifts of up to £20 in value. This increase - from £10 - wilI, I hope, bring the benefits of Gift Aid to more donors and charities.
There was also help for young people starting up their own business in the form of an enterprise loans scheme. I hope this will include support to establish social enterprises.
So how do we rate the Budget in full? We've analysed all the key elements relevant to members using these criteria:
- What's new?
- Why is it important?
- And what do we think about it?
We've also highlighted some important measures that the Chancellor could have announced - but didn't.
Read our full Budget 2012 Scorecard (pdf 28kb)
Do let us hear you views on the Budget either by replying to this email or by contributing to the lively conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #volsecbudget.
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The NHS Confederation established a commission on dignity in care which has produced its draft report and recommendations. The NHS Confederation is the body representing all providers of NHS services and so this report concerns how each hospital or other provider will ensure that there is dignity for the patient. The draft report sets out ten key recommendations for hospitals and ten key recommendations for care homes to help them tackle the underlying causes of undignified care, as well detailed recommendations on the changes the Commission believes need to take place across the wider health and social care system.
The Commission will use the feedback that it receives during the consultation to help inform its final report, scheduled for publication by summer 2012.
- a) Is the Commission making the right recommendations? If not, how should the recommendations change?
- b) What would you like to see included in the action plan?
- c) Are you aware of a particular tool, set of guidance or good practice example that the Commission should highlight to help spread existing best practice across the health and social care system?
NCVO has published a range of materials on challenging procurement decisions. This includes:
- losing a bid
- basis for challenges
- process of challenging
- advice and support available
See more on NCVO websiteback to top
NCVO, NAVCA and others have produced a joint briefing on The Best Value Statutory Guidance and how to use it. You will recall that this guidance was produced at the end of last year and it applies to all “Best Value” authorities – mostly councils but also some other public bodies. They are required to obtain Best Value when buying goods and services - but that includes social and environmental issues not just price. To give some idea of what this wider “value” might mean in practice, the Local Government Association and the SROI (Social Return on Investment) Network have produced a Guide to Commissioning for Maximum Value This explains how public service commissioners can use social return on investment approaches to maximise the value of their spending and meet both the best value guidance and the new Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
This act started out as a private members’ bill - not government legislation - and has now become law as a result of cross-party support. This marks a major shift in the approach that public sector commissioners adopt. Previously they could take into account wider social benefits in making spending decisions. This Act now obliges them to consider how the goods and services they purchase can improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area. It might include considering the extra value of purchasing from a local company or from a charity. However, this cannot be used in a way that would break other existing procurement rules.back to top
The Department of Communities & Local Government has produced a short document setting out how it sees how integration within communities locally and nationally can be achieved. It has six key themes:
- Common ground. A clear sense of shared aspirations and values, which focuses on what we have in common rather than our differences.
- Responsibility. A strong sense of our mutual commitments and obligations, which brings personal and social responsibility.
- Social mobility. People able to realise their potential to get on in life.
- Participation and empowerment. People of all backgrounds have the opportunities to take part, be heard and take decisions in local and national life.
- Tackling intolerance and extremism . A robust response to threats, whether discrimination, extremism or disorder, that deepen division and increase tensions.
Download “Creating the Conditions for Integration” from the DCLG website.back to top
The Local Government Association (the ‘umbrella’ body for local councils) has published Equality Framework for Local Government. This is a guide designed for councils on what the public sector Equality duty is and what they can do to meet it.
Although it is designed for councils and council staff, it is worth looking at to see what expected good practice for councils is with regard to equality issues and the identification of needs and funding of services. You can download the framework from the LGA website.
The Equality & Human Rights Commission has published its Human Rights Review 2012 subtitled “How fair is Britain? An assessment of how well public authorities protect human rights”. The answer they feel is generally positive - with a long tradition of human rights. However, they identify ten areas where public authorities can improve:
- Health and social care commissioners and service providers do not always understand their human rights obligations and the regulator’s approach is not always effective in identifying and preventing human rights abuses
- The justice system does not always prioritise the best interests of the child. Children will not receive a fair trial,if they do not understand the gravity of charges against them or are unable to participate in court procedures. The juvenile secure estate resorts too easily to control and restraint procedures for discipline
- Police custody and prisons do not always have sufficient safeguards and support when dealing with vulnerable adults
- Investigations into deaths of people under protection of the state are not always independent, prompt or public, potentially breaching right to life investigative requirements
- Providing a system of legal aid is a significant part of how Britain meets its obligations to protect the right to a free trial and the right to liberty and security. Changes to legal aid provision run the risk of weakening this
- The legislative and regulatory framework does not offer sufficient protection of the right to a private life and for balancing the right to a private life with other rights
- The human rights of some groups are not always fully protected
- Counter-terrorism and public order legislation designed to protect everyone can risk undermining several human rights
- Allegations of involvement and complicity in torture in overseas territories, and the government’s failure so far to carry out an independent inquiry into these allegations, risk breaching Article 3
- Immigration procedures can favour administrative convenience over safeguarding individuals’ rights to liberty and security. Periods in detention can be unlawful,l if release or removal is not imminent
The Guardian has produced a Poverty Map of England. The data has been compiled by Credit reference company Experian, (besides supplying information to credit cards companies and banks, it also provides data for the public sector)
The poverty map ranks every English local authority by a set of key poverty indicators, they include:
- Greatest overall risk of poverty taking account of multiple factors
- Greatest likelihood to contain those in current poverty
- Greatest likelihood to contain those who may fall into poverty in the short to medium term
- Greatest likelihood to contain those who may fall into poverty in the longer term
- Greatest likelihood to contain households whose income is less than 60% of the median for England
- Likelihood for the presence of households at risk of long-term unemployment
- Likelihood for the presence of households at greatest risk of experiencing child poverty
- Greatest likelihood to contain households at risk of financial exclusion
- Greatest likelihood to contain households at risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Experian used data from other sources such as:
- Index of Multiple Deprivation,
- HMRC data on Child Poverty and
- Claimant Count data from NOMIS (unemployment).
A key issue for public health, and health in general, is how much and how government influences individuals’ behaviour. Ipsos MORI has produced a comprehensive report, which looks at exactly this issue – asking citizens across 24 countries how acceptable they find different levels of government intervention on four key policy issues:
- eating unhealthy foods;
- saving for retirement and
- living in an environmentally sustainable way
They found that people are more willing to accept government intervention in specific areas - but are resistant to the general notion of government intervention as a principle.
You can download a copy of the report from the Ipsos MORI website.
The National Audit office has published its report on the government programme to save money by using shared services. The headline finding is that “by creating complex shared services over-tailored to individual departments, the government has increased costs rather than made savings”.
See more on the NAO website including Executive summary (opens in new window) (PDF - 74KB) and the Full report (opens in new window) (PDF - 639KB)
The Department of Health has published a new version of the NHS Constitution. Download the 2012 version. This says the constitution will be reviewed every 10 years although this replaces the version published in March 2010.back to top
To help explain recent amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill about local Healthwatch, the Department of Health has published a document to clarify and restate the Government’s vision for local Healthwatch.
The document, which also describes the key policy ambitions for Healthwatch, is aimed at all those with an interest in local Healthwatch organisations across the NHS and social care, including local authorities, local involvement networks, emerging health and wellbeing boards and the voluntary and community sectors.
‘Local Healthwatch: A strong voice for people – the policy explained’ places the role of local Healthwatch within the overall context of the White Paper, and sets out functions, responsibilities, roles and relationships within the modernised health and care system.
The intention is for Healthwatch England to be established in October 2012 and for local Healthwatch organisations to start in April 2013.
Read Local Healthwatch: A strong voice for people – the policy explained
(From DH website)
The Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum is gathering views from children, young people, parents, carers, doctors, nurses and other professionals involved in providing care to children on the health outcomes that matter most for children and young people and how the different parts of the health system will work together to deliver these.
It wants to hear views on four particular areas:
- acutely ill children
- mental health
- children with disabilities and long-term conditions
- public health
How to take part
- get involved in conversations on this website using the links above
- send private comments using this feedback form
- email email@example.com
Please send your views and comments by 30 April 2012.