Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 12 November 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

12 November 2021

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Welcome to the merged National Advisory Group (NAG) and SOPO (Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government) e-bulletin. Feel free to forward this email to your colleagues and / or suggest they sign up to receive it themselves.
This e-bulletin is now delivered through our corporate service which handles all of our e-bulletins and through which you can create or manage your subscriptions and read previous editions of this e-bulletin

LGA launches sustainable procurement toolkit

Sustainable procurement – delivering local economic, social and environmental priorities

As COP26 draws to a close this week, we have launched our sustainable procurement toolkit which has been developed for commissioners, procurement practitioners and contract managers. Spending more than £60 billion every year, our procurement teams are uniquely placed to put environmental issues at the forefront of the decision-making process and use our collective purchasing power to drive the transition to net zero and deliver real change. The guidance has been developed as a response to the National Procurement Policy Statement, which was published in June 2021. It looks to address the core principles set out in the statement, and support contracting authorities to consider social value outcomes when delivering local priorities – notably, creating new businesses, new jobs and tackling climate change, achieving net zero and reducing consumption and waste. The toolkit has been developed to be practical – it focuses on issues where the most positive impacts can be made. It takes the reader step-by-step through the procurement process of 12 separate topic areas including climate, energy, embodied carbon, adaptation, transport, waste, SMEs, ethical procurement and reducing inequalities.

COVID-19 stories

COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers

The Government's 'vaccination as a condition of deployment' (VCOD) policy will now be extended to all health and care staff. The key points are:

  • Staff working face to face with patients or service users will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to be deployed, unless they are exempt.
  • COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccinations are not included in the policy scope.
  • Once the regulations have been laid and approved in Parliament, there will be a 12-week grace period before the regulations come into force. Therefore, the policy is expected to come into force in April 2022.

Further details can be found in the consultation response. Once approved by Parliament, the following amendments will take effect in the coming months:

  • An unvaccinated new starter can be deployed in a care home 21 days after receiving one dose of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine
  • Staff vaccinated overseas can be deployed but may need to receive a top-up vaccine dose, as per UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice. The government intends to run the self-certification process for people vaccinated in care homes until the end of the proposed grace period which is expected to be 1 April.
  • Clinical trial participants will need to evidence their participation in order to be exempt from the requirement
  • The definition of authorised vaccine will be aligned across the two policies.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stakeholder toolkit, which includes posters, social media assets and Q&As, will continue to be updated over the coming days.

COVID-19 home care guidance update

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated the guidance for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the COVID-19 outbreak – to reflect the latest clinical advice from the UKHSA. The document brings together guidance for councils, social care staff, registered providers, and commissioners, who support and deliver care to people in their own homes in England. It covers personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccinations, hospital discharges and testing, information collection, and governance.

COVID-19 commercial rent debt – new laws and code

The Government plans to introduce new laws and a Code of Practice to help resolve commercial rent debt accrued during the pandemic. Currently, tenants who are unable to pay commercial rents are advised to negotiate with their landlord; and there is an expectation that the landlord will waive some or all rent arrears, if they are able to do so. The changes, which will come into force in March 2022, will establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not reached an agreement on COVID-related rent arrears. This new process will only apply to certain businesses, such as gyms and those in the hospitality sector, which accrued rent arrears during mandated closures.

Non-COVID stories

Tackling the HGV driver shortage

The Department of Transport has launched a review to improve compulsory ongoing training for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers. HGV drivers currently need to undertake five days of mandatory training every five years – however, many are not paid for attending this training. The review will look at how the process can be improved to reduce the burden on drivers and make the industry more attractive for returning drivers and new starters. Alongside this, the Government is looking to implement new short-term measures to improve facilities for HGV drivers at lorry parks.

Call for economic growth good practice

The LGA is looking for examples of economic growth good practice from councils in order to share learning across the sector. These case studies can cover a wide range of areas including regeneration, support to SMEs and more. If you have examples of projects you would like to share, please complete our case study form or email productivity@local.gov.uk for more information.

Business in the Community launches call for evidence

Business in the Community’s 'place taskforce', with representation from the LGA’s City Regions and People and Places Boards, has launched a call for evidence into the role of business in place-based regeneration. It is setting out to capture and showcase ‘what works’ in transforming the prospects of a place, exploring the role of business and cross-sector partnerships, with the aim of creating a blueprint for business engagement in place-based transformation. The findings will be shared through a report in April 2022 and the ambition is for the blueprint to be utilised – from business leaders to local policy makers – to increase engagement in regeneration, and inform policy, at a critical moment as the levelling up agenda takes shape. If you would like to contribute to the LGA’s submission to the call for evidence, please email esther.barrott@local.gov.uk

Adult social care national recruitment campaign

The DHSC has launched its adult social care recruitment campaign, 'Made with Care', which will run across broadcast and social media for the next five months encouraging people to join the adult social care workforce to help fill more than 105,000 current vacancies.


2021 National Social Value Conference Wales: 'Leading the movement' | Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November

The National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year from 16 to 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. Register for this free event

Public sector sustainability: 'Strategies for reaching net zero' | Wednesday 17 November

Crown Commercial Service, in partnership with SUSTx, will be hosting an all-day online event that brings together sustainability experts to share knowledge and practical solutions on how to respond to the net zero challenges we face as public sector organisations. This event provides a unique opportunity to learn from some of the key players and take away actionable insights.

Social care markets: 'CHIP market viability and shaping programme' | Monday 22 November

The Care and Health Improvement Programme (CHIP) will deliver a programme of activities to support adult social care commissioners in relation to current market viability and future market shaping. Speakers from councils, care providers, and partner organisations, will share their knowledge and expertise on topics related to market viability and market shaping at this programme launch event. Register for this free event

Tech essentials: 'Connected places and the future of the public sector' | Thursday 25 November

The LGA, along with partners from central government and local councils, will be hosting this online webinar to promote awareness around connected places. The event will illustrate the importance of security practices that are needed to design, build and manage innovative connectivity and technology in local areas. Register for this free event

Social Value Portal webinar: 'The road from COP26' | Wednesday 1 December

Social Value Portal are continuing their series of webinars about the role of social value in tackling the climate crisis. The 'just transition' is about making sure that as we move to a net-zero carbon economy we don’t create more inequality – for instance, by making sure that new jobs and skills are created to replace the ones that are lost as we move away from carbon-intensive industries and processes. Register for this 90-minute webinar

Digitech21 technology and procurement summit for the public sector | Thursday 9 December

During this round table discussion, Crown Commercial Service wants to hear your news (good and bad) – to talk about the current challenges you face, how you feel about your role as public sector buyers in the future, and the direction of the procurement landscape. Good practice, issues and challenges being faced, networks being formed, and hot topics for the future, will inform the agenda and shape the ‘digital buying community of practice’ in the year ahead.

Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) Conference | Tuesday 14 December

Fighting Fraud and Corruption Locally (FFCL) is the English strategy on countering fraud in local government. It was developed with the involvement of more than 200 councils and is supported by a range of partners including the LGA and Solace. The 2020 launch event had to be cancelled but the strategy will now be discussed at an in-person conference in London which will provide an opportunity to hear about good counter-fraud practice during the pandemic and to congratulate those who won FFCL Awards in 2020. To find out more about this event, and to book your place, please email the FFCL secretariat on FFCL@cifas.org.uk


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