Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 23 July 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

23 July 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 23 July 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 - or read previous bulletins.

COVID stories

Self-isolation exemptions for critical staff

This week the government has announced a range of exemptions for critical workers which we’ve tried to capture for you below:

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that from the 19 July double-vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work rather than self-isolate with testing mitigations in exceptional circumstances. This will include staff who have been contacted as a close contact of a case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, or advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app.

Guidance on the management of staff, patients and residents who have been exposed to COVID-19 has been updated. The update includes information for fully vaccinated staff who have been identified as contacts attending work in exceptional circumstances.

The Government has also produced guidance on when a limited number of named workers may be able to leave self-isolation for the purpose of undertaking critical work. The exemptions – mainly in 16 sectors including essential transport, food supply, emergency services and energy – will allow people identified as contacts by NHS Test and Trace or the app to carry on working if their failure to do so would have a “major detrimental impact” on the “availability, integrity or deliver” of essential services or risk national security. It only applies to named workers who are fully vaccinated and will not be an exemption for all employees in a sector and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

The guidance is intended to operate until August 16, when a wider exemption from self-isolation will apply to fully vaccinated contacts.

New working arrangements

The National Joint Council for local government services has issued guidance on working arrangements now that COVID restrictions have been lifted. The circular provides advice on face coverings, self-isolation and considerations to be made for clinically extremely vulnerable people when returning to the workplace.

Non-COVID stories

Modern Slavery in public sector supply chain –

e-learning course

As part of Government’s efforts to tackling modern slavery in global supply chains, the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Unit and Joint Security and Resilience Centre have produced an e-learning course for public sector commercial staff on the practical steps they can take throughout the commercial lifecycle to identify and mitigate modern slavery risks.

The e-learning course should give users a strong set of skills to:

  • Recognise how modern slavery can manifest in supply chains.
  • Spot modern slavery risks in procurement and critically interrogate the assurances suppliers provide (such as social audits).
  • Drive improvements in modern slavery due diligence to create better outcomes for workers.

The access to this course is funded by the Government Commercial College (GCC), and it is at nil cost to learners. The e-learning is available to public sector staff who have access to the GCC website. 

The e-learning guides users through a fictional personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement as a case study but the learning is applicable to staff working on other types of procurement. You can also find the associated guidance documents designed for buyers and suppliers of PPE.

Electric vehicle charging – CMA Report

The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has set out measures to ensure a national network of electric vehicle charge points is in place ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. It has suggested that the roll-out of on-street charging by councils is not happening quickly enough and rural areas risk being left behind with too few charge points due to lack of investment.

Adult social care workforce

The LGA has published a new shared vision and priorities on what a social workforce strategy should include alongside the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Care Provider Alliance, Care and Support Alliance, Skills for Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Think Local Act Personal. These priorities have been developed based on shared understanding from leaders in adult social care of the key workforce challenges which they say must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Electric taxis

We have been contacted by Clipper Cabs, a UK-based company specialising in electric taxis. They are looking to work with a council to run a pathfinder trial to get a small fleet of electric taxis up and running in order to improve air quality locally and encourage taxi drivers to go electric. If this is of interest, please contact Dr Alexander Howard at alex@clipper.cab. As usual, this is should not be read as an endorsement of Clipper Cabs. Interested councils should undertaking their normal due diligence.

NAO Good Practice Guidance: Managing the Commercial Lifecycle

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a good practice guidance to reflect upon findings and recommendations drawn from 209 reports concerning 350 commercial arrangements that it has published over the past 20 years – including recent examinations of commercial activities triggered in response to the global pandemic.

Webinars of the week

Low-carbon infrastructure webinar

An effective partnership between councils, government, industry and communities is essential to delivering our net zero ambitions. This LGA webinar on 29 July will look at how to produce the strategic and economic case for a local approach to delivering low carbon infrastructure such as buildings, transport, energy, waste and land-use.

Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally roundtable

The board of Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL), the counter fraud and corruption strategy for local government, are running an online roundtable to discuss and share experiences of COVID-19 and lockdown and its ongoing implications for local authority counter fraud. The roundtable is open to local authority staff. It will be held Friday 30 July, 10.00 am. If you wish to attend please email rachael.tiffen@cifas.org.uk.


Central Government TOMs Mapping Tool Consultation Launch

27 July 2021

As the lead organisation for the National Social Value Taskforce working group, Social Value Portal will be launching consultation to seek feedback from stakeholders on the tool and supporting guidance documents.

They will be joined the following speakers from our team who will each present, followed by a Q&A session:

  • Nathan Goode – Head of Data and Analytics
  • Cindy Nadesan– Strategic Account Manager for Public Sector
  • Philipp Cyrus – Senior Researcher

A local-national partnership to deliver low-carbon infrastructure

29 July 2021

The LGA commissioned WPI Economics to produce a business case for local delivery of low-carbon infrastructure and projects, identifying key areas from buildings and peatlands to green transport and sustainable energy production that councils can add significant value. You will hear the findings of this work and the economic, social and environmental benefits that could be realised across job creation, health and carbon emissions from a local path to net zero.

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement 

6-17 November 2021

The 2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year, from 16-17 November. Last year, we saw a hugely successful two-day virtual conference, with over 800 delegates from across public bodies and anchor institutions in Wales.


The LGA Procurement team manages a number of webpages dedicated for your needs – please contact guy.head@local.gov.uk if you want anything uploaded to our webpages.