Bracknell Forest and allpay launch prepaid citizen card
Bracknell Forest Council has teamed up with payment specialist allpay to build prepaid functionality into its e+ Citizen card. The functionality offers residents a more flexible way of managing their money with the same smartcard while giving them access to other services such as leisure and libraries. Initially, the council is focusing on social care payments but it is also exploring the potential to expand into other areas such as children services. The council has been a leader in the development of smart card technology in local government for many years, having been chosen by the government to lead the delivery of the former National Smart Card Project. The new card - which builds on the functionality of its existing smartcard, used by more than 80,000 people - was launched last month in a limited trial with a further planned roll-out to follow. The solution, which is unique within the market place, can also be made available to other local authorities looking to provide similar schemes for their residents. In addition to being used for services such as retail discounts, leisure and library, the new functionality allows the council to load social care funds onto the card for residents wishing to use this new, secure and convenient way of managing their personal budget payments. Users will also be able to transfer their own money from their bank account onto the card. Through allpay's cloud-based web portal, the council is able to have full oversight of the funds it provides, including the ability to run reports for audit purposes. Service users are able to manage their account through allpay's secure customer portal, allowing cardholders to view transactions and balance information and set up their own payees online. Vincent Paliczka, Director of Environment, Culture and Communities at BFC, said: "The prepaid card system is also much simpler for the social care office to manage, so it improves back office efficiency and lowers costs. It also allows the council to provide a Visa card and online facility to the unbanked."
Pictured: The Bracknell Forest e+ card
allpay Card Services: www.allpay.net
LHC procurement consortium to use Six Degrees Group for IT infrastructure
LHC, a non-profit purchasing consortium providing procurement solutions for maintenance of social housing, schools and other buildings for 150 public sector bodies in England, Wales and Scotland, has turned to managed data services provider Six Degrees Group (6DG) to underpin its IT infrastructure. The new deal sees 6DG hosting LHC's website, core applications, financial systems and business intelligence capabilities with its highly secure private cloud platform. The environment is built on dedicated hardware housed in their own rack in 6DG's London datacentre facility. The solution employs dual-site technology to cut the risk of potential downtime by backing up the deployment on a secondary cloud platform in a geographically diverse location. The result is an environment that can keep LHC's operations running seamlessly and securely.
Six Degrees Group: www.6dg.co.uk
Queen Elizabeth Hospital picks Secure IT Environments for data centre
Modular data centre designer Secure IT Environments Ltd has won the tender process for a new data centre at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust. The new data centre, which will have a footprint of 80 square metres, will support the hospital in the delivery of essential services to support patient care. It has been designed to deliver the best possible Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratio, lowering running costs for the trust and its overall environmental impact.
Secure IT Environments Ltd: www.siteltd.co.uk