Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 17 December 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

17 December 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

COVID-19 stories

Supporting councils with business engagement

The LGA commissioned Shared Intelligence to undertake research to identify and capture the learning from councils’ extensive contact with businesses over the last 18 months in the context of COVID-19. The 'Supporting councils with business engagement' report sets out how councils can engage more effectively with businesses in the future to support economic recovery. This firm foundation built through the pandemic gives an opportunity to bring a strong business voice into local action and policy making.

Adult social care support

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced a package of new measures to protect the social care sector from COVID-19. The support package to protect the care sector this winter includes a £300 million fund to support the recruitment and retention of social care workforce. The funding can be used to pay for bonuses and bring forward planned pay rises for care staff, and to fund overtime and staff banks. Other measures include the deployment of specialist vaccination teams to ensure all care home residents and staff, as well as people who are housebound and their caregivers, are offered the booster. Care homes will be able to request follow up booster visits from vaccination teams for staff and residents and home visit payments for GPs will be increased to further ramp up the home care programme.

Working safely during COVID-19

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have updated the working safely during COVID-19 guidance for several sectors which cover a range of different types of work including construction, shops, restaurants and offices. Councils, trade bodies and other business networks can use the Government's Working Safely Business Toolkit and Working Safely guidance overview (which includes information about materials on face coverings, ventilation, employee vaccines, testing, and other guidance) to support communications to businesses about working safely.

Designated Settings Indemnity Scheme extended

The Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, this week announced the extension of the Designated Settings Indemnity Support (DSIS) which offers targeted and time-limited state-backed indemnity arrangements to care homes which are registered, or intending to register, as 'Designated Settings', and which are unable to obtain sufficient insurance cover. DSIS initially provided cover for 'Designated Settings' until the end of March 2021, and was subsequently extended until 30 September. Now, following a further review of DSIS, it has been extended until 31 March 2022 in order to maintain the current level of support for these vital settings.

Non-COVID stories

New procurement thresholds and a change re VAT

The Cabinet Office has published a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN) outlining the new threshold values for the Public Contracts Regulations and setting out a change for estimating contract values which will be inclusive of VAT. The provisions will apply to all contracting authorities and are effective from 1 January 2022.

Climate action and energy transition

Councils have a key role to play in helping to deliver the transformation needed to achieve a green and fair energy transition, according to a new report by the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO). The report, ‘Empowering climate action through local authorities: opportunities and challenges in the energy transition', is based on roundtables with councils and insights from polling of the public. It highlights how councils’ best practice work on climate change, and their role as a critical link to local communities, will be pivotal in helping to achieve the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050.


How to achieve organisational change in local government – LG Commercial Capability Knowledge (Lunch) Bites

Wednesday 12 January 2022, 12–1pm | Online
The Local Government Commercial Capability team at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) launches its inaugural lunch and learn series 'Knowledge (Lunch) Bites'. This first event will focus on an important element of successfully embedding sourcing and contract management best practice in local government – achieving organisational change. Three speakers will share knowledge and insights on how to drive successful change:

  • Professor Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council
  • Gintare Geleziunaite, Head of Change Strategy and Advisory at Department for International Trade
  • Doctor Paulina Lang, Behavioural Science Lead, Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office.

'Supporting adults with learning disabilities to have better lives' framework webinar (launch and introductory session)

Wednesday 26 January 2022, 2–3.15pm | Online
This free introductory webinar will tell you more about the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services' (ADASS) and LGA's 'Supporting adults with learning disabilities to have better lives' framework. The session is designed for council staff working with people with a learning disability, Directors of Adult Social Services (DASS), health staff, and others with an interest in services for people with a learning disability. The aim of the framework is to help DASS work with colleagues and partners to identify how they can improve support to adults with a learning disability and ensure that the care and support in their area is delivering positive outcomes and is good value for money.

LGA National Construction Conference

Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 February 2022, 10.30am–12.30pm | Online
Our National Construction Conference will again be a virtual conference and will be held across two mornings at the start of February:

  • Day 1 will include sessions on modern slavery in construction, progress of the Building Safety Bill and its implications, as well as the issues facing an industry recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Day 2 will focus on how climate change is having an impact on the construction industry. There will be sessions looking at how the industry is coming together to tackle issues such as the reduction of carbon emissions and how as clients of the industry, councils can make decisions to change behaviours and thereby help meet net zero national and local targets. Booking details can be found in our webinar section.


The LGA Procurement team manages several LGA webpages dedicated to your needs. Please email guy.head@local.gov.uk if you would like any information added to our webpages: