Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 20 August 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

20 August 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 20 August 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.

National Procurement Strategy

Diagnostic Benchmarking Exercise – September 2021

We are getting closer to opening up our 2021 diagnostic exercise for the National Procurement Strategy and we’ve now started user access testing. Please let us know by emailing productivity@local.gov.uk if there has been a change in personnel, or you now form part of a shared service or if you didn’t complete last time and want to nominate a council lead.

As part of PPN 05/21 National Procurement Policy Statement public sector contracting authorities will be asked to benchmark themselves over the next couple of years and the LGA has negotiated to have our own sector specific National Procurement Strategy recognised as a core set of values to be benchmarked against. Note we have also extended the invite for colleagues in Wales to take place.

COVID stories

Fraudulent companies shut down after abusing COVID loan support

Two separate companies submitted false documents to at least 41 local authorities and the Government’s Bounce Back Loan scheme to secure £230,000 worth of grants put in place to support businesses during the pandemic. LV Distributions Ltd and SIO Traders Ltd were wound-up in the High Court in separate hearings on 27 July 2021 following confidential enquiries conducted by the Insolvency Service, which proved neither company ever traded. Please contact piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk if you’ve been affected by this.

Vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes guidance

This week the Government published translated versions of operational guidance on the vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes. This has been produced to support the implementation of regulations which require service providers at all Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care homes to ensure that anyone who works or volunteers indoors at the care home must demonstrate that they have been vaccinated or have an exemption. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published the latest adult social care update. DHSC have also published a letter from Claire Armstrong, Director of Adult Social Care Delivery at DHSC, explaining the background to the latest changes.

PPE recycling scheme in Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove City Council recently launched an innovative scheme to collect and recycle facemasks, gloves and other PPE. The council has joined forces with recycling company Reworked to provide PPE recycling bins and hand sanitiser stations in busy areas of the city centre, including the popular SEA LIFE Centre, Komedia and i360.

Non-COVID stories

Children’s social care

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care is keen to hear from more social workers as it moves into the next stage of its work. If social workers from your authority would like to take part in a series of short, anonymous polls, more information including how to sign up is available from the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care. We have also published our response to the Review’s Case for Change. In this, we highlight a range of issues where we believe more focus is needed in the review, including raising the status of social workers, considering the context in which services are operating and looking at the role of partners.

Peers needed for our Care and Health Improvement Programme (CHIP)

Are you currently working or actively involved in leading, delivering, supporting or commissioning health or care? Do you have a role or active interest in the new agenda around integrated care systems, place-based partnerships or primary care networks? If so, we want to hear from you! The LGA CHIP Team is expanding its pool of peers as part of a new programme of peer reviews taking place through to April. If you would like to express an interest, ask questions or want an informal chat, please email integration@local.gov.uk, indicating your job role, very brief outline of experience and an initial idea of what time commitment you could offer. We look forward to hearing from you.

UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy 

First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have announced the UK’s first-ever Hydrogen Strategy, which drives forward the commitments laid out in the Prime Minister’s ambitious 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution by setting the foundation for how the UK government will work with industry to meet its ambition for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

Integrated Care Systems (ICS) guidance on provider collaboratives 

As the Health and Care Bill makes progress through Parliament, the NHS is actively preparing for the establishment of statutory integrated care systems. These arrangements are designed to strengthen and support the local partnership working that will be essential as we re-build from the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHS has recently published ‘Working together at scale: Guidance on Provider Collaboratives’. It offers principles to support local decision-making and suggests the functions and forms that systems and providers may wish to consider. This is available on the dedicated workspace for ICS Guidance on the FutureNHS Collaboration Platform.

NHS White Paper consultation response

NHSE/I has published their response to the consultation on the NHS Provider Selection Regime. These documents set out the proposed regime that should apply when healthcare services are arranged in future, following removal of the current procurement requirements.

Procurement Guidance for Electric Vehicle Charging Points

We recently had a query on procurement of electric vehicle charging points and it reminded us that the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association published updated guidance on procurement of electric vehicle charge points a little while ago. In case you’ve not seen it the General procurement guidance for electric vehicle charge points is here.

HMT Public Works Loan Board Guidance

HMT have confirmed that councils are allowed to use Public Works Loan Board borrowing to restructure existing debt even if they are pursuing banned commercial investment. The Debt Management Office has published guidance covering borrowing from the facility and outlining what authorities can finance through the PWLB, after restrictions banning borrowing for primarily yield purchases were implemented in November.


Contract management e-learning

Following previous information on the free e-learning available to councils through the Government Commercial College, we’ve been looking through the hundreds of local government colleagues who have already taken up the offer and have either completed the e-learning or are in progress. We've had some great feedback on the e-learning too. If you or colleagues haven’t registered yet there is still time. You can sign up on the Government Commercial College website.

CIPS applied learning route to MCIPS

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is currently taking applications for its online applied learning programme - successful completion delivers full Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS) status. An alternative to the examination route, participants are assessed via assignment and project work and the entire content is delivered virtually. Due to high demand, if you feel this route to your professional accreditation MCIPS is right for you, then please do not hesitate in emailing anita.hicks@cips.org


Procurex National

15 September 2021

Procurex National is back for 2021. The event will take place in an innovative hybrid format both live in venue and streamed online. Connecting buyers and suppliers across from the UK, Procurex National, once again featuring the UK Infrastructure Show and co-located with P4H England, will provide a wealth of skills development, networking, collaboration and product showcase opportunities for organisations that are actively working with or hoping to work with the UK’s £284bn public procurement marketplace.

Building Housing Retrofit Skills

15 September 2021

The UK’s housing stock will need to be carbon neutral by 2050. Councils are working hard to retrofit their own housing stock, whilst building construction skills in the community to build a pipeline of skills. This webinar will share a number of good practice examples from experts and councils who are creating local green jobs in the area of housing retrofit.

Levelling Up procurement: using government spend to transform local economic outcomes

16 September 2021

In the webinar Localis will be looking to ask;

  • How would it be possible and what would be necessary to make the reform of public service commissioning align with the government’s overarching strategy to ‘level up’ opportunities, particularly in left-behind places?
  • Given the need to squeeze the most out of the local pound and spending allocations over the next Spending Review period and drive post-pandemic recovery, how can we challenge government suppliers?
  • What metrics should we look to in assessing any impact on skills, jobs and business growth from changes to procurement practice?


  • Darren Knowd, Chief Procurement Officer, Durham County Council and chair, National Advisory Group, Local Government Association
  • Jeffrey Matsu, Chief Economist, CIPFA
  • Professor Chris White, Director of Industrial Policy and Insight Centre at the MTC, Visiting Professor of Industrial Strategy at Loughborough University

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement

16-17 November 2021

The National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year, from the 16 to 17 November. Last year, we saw a hugely successful 2-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.

LGA Procurement homepage

National Procurement Strategy

Achieving Community Benefits – Social Value

Modern slavery in supply chains hub

Counter Fraud Hub

Climate Change Hub

Pass the Planet campaign