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In brief …. 2 October 2015



In brief …. 2 October 2015

Land Registry extends open data

A new raft of data on land transactions will be made available for re-use from the end of the month. Land Registry has announced that, two year after it made Price Paid Data available under the Open Government Licence, it is extending the availability to Additional Price Paid Data, which captures transactions from 14 October 2013 to the current month.

It said this will provide access to approximately 6,600 additional transactions per month, and includes sales to non-private individuals, transfers under power of sale and repossessions, and buy-to-let transactions where they can be identified by a mortgage.

A new ‘other’ property type field will be added to the current fields to show non-residential properties. Similarly, an extra transaction category type will help separate the newly available data from standard data.

Land Registry has also made some changes to the linked data transaction records. When a transaction record is corrected the uniform resource identifier will be fixed, rather than replaced, to prevent the emergence of broken references to the record.


Spelthorne runs engagement app

Spelthorne Borough Council has made a smartphone app available as a new service channel for residents, and is giving an iPhone 6 away in a prize draw for those who download it before 23 October.

It enables users to learn more about council services such as bin collections and parking, as well as make payments and report graffiti, antisocial behaviour or dog fouling.

Councillor Joanne Sexton, Spelthorne cabinet member for communications, said: “We have already seen a 10% reduction in calls to customer services as residents started to use the app to report things, find out information for themselves and make payments.”

The council used Capita Software Services’ Engage platform, which makes the app available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Paul Millard, operations director at Capita Software Services, said: “Engage is hosted in the cloud and is totally configurable. With no need for coding knowledge or in-depth technical experience to set up, users can develop and publish an app quickly and easily, making it ready and available for customers.” 


Scottish NHS commits to open data

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has called for views on the priorities in using open data to support the country’s health service.

It has said that it is working on an open data strategy, in line with that set by the Scottish Government and  the G8 Open Data Principles. Its Information Services Division is running a number of pilots which will involve releasing data for re-use over the next few months.

“This will be an opportunity to explore licensing arrangements, see how the content will look on our website, and figure out how we can streamline the production of plain text files that can be downloaded and analysed locally,” the NSS said.


South Gloucestershire signs for NPS care portal

South Gloucestershire Council has signed a two year contract to use NPS Integrated Care, with an option to extend a further two years, making it the first organisation to sign up for the online portal which enables people to manage their own care needs.

Portal supplier Northgate Public Services said it provides a secure, online environment for the agencies involved in supporting a person’s care, including GPs, the voluntary sector and housing providers. It claimed that in the long run it will enable more people to stay in their own homes for longer and take greater control of their own care needs, while reducing costs for the council and helping it to meet the requirements of the Care Act.


Axelos launches development programme

Axelos has set up a programme for members to track their continuing professional development with ITIL, PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile methodologies with a scheme by which they can assess their abilities against industry benchmarks. They will also be able to make use of exclusive content and activities.

Those taking part will be able to earn a digital badge for obtaining the required points, which they can share on online platforms.

Peter Hepworth, Axelos chief executive, said: “There are millions of practitioners with either ITIL or PRINCE2 qualifications, and we want to champion these professionals by giving them a means to develop their knowledge and skills.  This new programme is all about offering additional value for IT service management and project management professionals which goes beyond passing an exam and gaining a qualification.”


Survey shows care workers want mobile tech

Most care workers are still using paper client records, despite 85% recognising that mobile technology is needed in care homes, according to a new survey from management systems provider Advanced Health & Care. The survey of 103 care workers revealed that 79% of organisations are still using paper records and that 73% of workers are spending time at the end of their shift updating them.

Respondents came from a range of small, medium and large sized organisations. Despite 92% saying they would be happy to use a mobile device as part of their role and 85% saying they needed mobile technology, most care workers are still not using mobile devices. 86% of those surveyed who do use mobiles felt that it improved their working day, cutting out unnecessary administration and freeing up more time to focus on delivering care.

George Thaw, managing director of Advanced Health & Care, said: “It is clear that frontline staff recognise these and the many other benefits that such technology could bring, but the care sector is still lagging behind other industries by not investing in mobile software. However, with an aging population set to create even more demands in the sector this is not a sustainable approach to delivering quality care of the future.”


Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0




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