Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 28 May 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

28 May 2021

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Welcome to the NAG newsletter for 28 May 2021. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.

This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins. Manage or create a subscription - previous bulletins can now be found here.

COVID Stories

DHSC - Personal Protective Equipment Survey  

The Department of Health and Social Care has put together a survey to understand the experience of providers that have received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) via their local authority or Local Resilience Forum. The responses will be used to improve communications about PPE, the quality of PPE and to discover any problems regarding PPE that need resolving. Please pass this on to providers who use PPE to ensure issues are documented and lessons can be learned in the future - the deadline for completing this survey is 18 June 2021.

DHSC Supply of Non-Clinical Visors and Face Coverings for public sector workforces and members of the public interacting with these workforces

To support the reopening of the economy, as we follow the Roadmap out of lockdown, it is vital that people continue to adhere to the regulations requiring them to wear non-clinical visors and face coverings where applicable.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has a strong supply of non-clinical visors and surgical masks, including disposable masks which can be used as PPE in certain settings, but which can also be used as face coverings for source control. Government departments and their arms-length bodies can access these items from DHSC at zero cost.

DHSC are re-emphasising that councils are not unnecessarily purchasing non-clinical visors and face coverings, when this stock is available for free for your public sector workforces and members of the public interacting with these workforces.

Please contact ppefuturedemand@dhsc.gov.uk if you have any queries.

COVID-19 and local death management

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has updated the statutory guidance for councils in England on Schedule 28 to the Coronavirus Act, which provides powers to support local and national death management.

Non-COVID stories

The Sourcing Playbook

Government guidance on service delivery, including outsourcing, insourcing, mixed economy sourcing and contracting.

Delivering outstanding public services is a critical function of government. The introduction of the Outsourcing Playbook in 2019 set out a series of simple guidelines and rules to achieve this by improving our decision making and how we deliver public services. Through the publication of version two of the Playbook in June 2020, and now its rebrand as the Sourcing Playbook, which continues to focus on the same key commercial principles and the new title better reflects its focus on choosing the best model for delivering public services. In addition, the Sourcing Playbook now includes 'The Consultancy Playbook', which provides guidance on how departments can maximise value for money when sourcing consultancy services.

New DPS to support buying digital social care record systems

To help social care and NHS organisations make the switch to Digital Social Care Records, NHSX has launched a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), providing organisations with quicker and easier access to a list of quality-assured, accredited supplier solutions for digital social care records. All suppliers have signed up to a minimum set of requirements around functionality, standards and interoperability to ensure they are compatible with both social care and NHS systems. Please do share with your care provider colleagues. For more information, visit the Digital Social Care website.


Care leaver funding

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced £51 million funding to extend support to care leavers. The funding will be used to target a range of schemes to support those that are either in or leaving care, including £33 million investment in 'Staying Put', which helps looked after children stay with their foster carers after their 18th birthday if they wish to; £3.6 million to extend the 'Staying Close' pilot which gives extra support for young people leaving residential care; £12 million for councils to continue to provide Personal Advisors to support care leavers up to the age of 25; and, £2.7 million to provide intensive support to care leavers at high risk of homelessness, as part of the Government's Rough Sleeping strategy.

Cultural Investment Fund

The Cultural Investment Fund has launched. Council culture, library and museums services are able to bid for:

  • £18.5 million for the Cultural Development Fund which will support places outside of London to invest in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that are designed to make places more attractive to live and work in and to visit
  • £18.8 million for the Museum Estate and Development Fund which is available to non-national Accredited museums. Grants from this fund will help museums to carry out work on vital infrastructure and maintenance issues, including helping museums to be more environmentally sustainable.
  • £5 million for the Library Investment Fund (LIF) to fund the refurbishment of library to make it more suitable for delivering cultural events like plays and writing workshops or health and wellbeing classes, or to make libraries more accessible or environmentally sustainable. 

There will be a webinar on Wednesday 2 June which will focus on the LIF programme and support potential applicants on how best to prepare.

Funding for green technologies

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced a £166.5 million funding package yesterday aimed at accelerating the delivery of green technologies. This includes £60 million to support the development of low carbon hydrogen, £37.5 million to fund a programme of greenhouse gas removal methods, and £20 million to support the development of the next generation carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technologies so they can be deployed at scale by 2030. The Government has said that this funding for "innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry", the allocations of some of which have been announced, will help to create over 60,000 jobs across the UK.

Local Authority Treescapes Fund extension   

The Forestry Commission has extended the application deadline for the Local Authority Treescapes Fund until 30 June. Up to 50 grants worth between £50,000 and £300,000 are available for local authorities to transform neglected green spaces. 

Cycling and walking investment 

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed in a meeting with local authority transport leads this week that bidding for Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans capital funding will open on 7 June and close on 2 August. Funding will be made available in October. Please email my colleague simon.jeffrey@local.gov.uk for more details and slides from the presentation. 

Sharing Best Practice

ICT Category Strategies required

Cambridgeshire County Council are looking to develop their ICT Category strategy and are looking for good recent examples of ones you may have published you’re happy to share  with Terry.Hazlewood@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

Showcasing and sharing best practice across the sector is one of the LGA’s core tenets – so if you ever want to publicise and share examples of good practice to the wider audience, or like Cambridgeshire you’re looking to others in the sector who have already led the way with a good piece of work then please feel free to use the LGA as a conduit for these purposes.

Request for information

Crystalisr is a local initiative within the South London Sub-region to create a marketplace for anchor institutions to interact with local businesses – the objective being community wealth building.  The marketplace will operate as a multi-stakeholder platform co-operative, and the Crystalisr team is currently benefiting from support from Co-operatives UK and the Co-operative Bank to build the platform out.

As part of their development work, we are looking for data sources to help us to understand how to measure community wealth, and how to create a monitoring dashboard to report on how successful we are in enabling local SMEs to be fit to supply, and compete for contracts awarded by anchor institutions – ie to monitor our progress in community wealth building. Please contact david@mapleworks.co.uk if you have any information or would like to be involved in the project.


Design in the public sector: Innovative approaches to low energy housing - 15 June 2021

This is the second webinar in a series of four, run by the LGA in partnership with the Design Council as part of the Design in the Public Sector programme 2020-21. The webinars intend to disseminate design skills among public sector professionals and provide councils with a platform to share their insights and experiences of tackling climate challenges focusing on various topics.

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) - Net Zero Week 14-18 June 2021

In partnership with iNetwork, YPO are hosting a week of free online webinars to help you on your journey to net zero. There is a packed line up of industry experts, public sector organisations and suppliers to share their net zero journeys so far, strategies and top tips. They’re hosting 12 free webinars, with over 30 speakers from across the public sector, plus industry experts for a full week of activity and debate, as we consider how this global priority can be achieved on a local and regional basis and what role procurement has to play.

Modern Slavery Due diligence in combatting labour exploitation – 24 June 2021

Join the Supply Chain School for their free due diligence in combatting labour exploitation workshop.

This course is designed to illustrate what due diligence looks like and how you can embed essential elements of this into your organisational processes; identify and create a policy and strategy; understand the principles of risk assessments focusing on labour exploitation and the role supply chain mapping plays in addressing the risks and; understand what peer organisations are undertaking this area through sharing amongst the group.

Microsoft Envision: UK Public Sector – 22 - 24 June 2021

A virtual event hosted by Microsoft aimed at supporting the public sector by sharing insights, best practice and expertise so you can take action in shaping the future of your organisation.

In conversation with industry experts and thought leaders, together they will explore challenges and opportunities that align with the public sector's key themes:

  • Day 1: Empowering People
  • Day 2: Inspiring Innovation
  • Day 3: Achieving More

LGA Annual Conference – 6-8 July 2021

Our Annual Conference 2021 is now less than two months away and is being held virtually again this year and it has been agreed will be FREE for all member councils this year.

From Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 July, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading central and local government politicians, as well as expert speakers from within and outside the sector.

Booking is now open on our website for this year's annual conference. Please share and promote the conference to your contacts and encourage them to sign up and read more about this year's Annual Conference.