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In brief ... 20 February 2015



Cotswold harnesses aerial images

Cotswold District Council has reported that is now making use of aerial imagery from Bluesky, after the company delivered processed data on 1,164 sq km from flights in 2014.

The council's staff has begun to use the data in property investigations, the management of trees in conservation areas, and supporting staff in dealing with planning enquiries.

"The Bluesky aerial photography has been very well received," said Sean Ashton, the council's GIS officer. "Many of our users are familiar with aerial photography through online mapping sites such as Google. However, the Bluesky imagery is much more up to date, and provides a consistent record of both the urban and rural environment."


NHS SBS launches clinical information framework

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched a framework for the procurement of clinical information systems, estimating its potential value of £1.25 billion. It will save healthcare organisations from going through the full OJEU process, instead holding mini-competitions on the framework.

It is divided into six lots of different clinical systems: core, theatre, integrated emergency care, child health, maternity and specialist electronic prescribing.

It will operate for four years with an option to extend for a further two, and suppliers will be able to bring forward new releases throughout the period.

NHS SBS director of procurement Peter Akid said: "This framework is about achieving a far more efficient and strategic way of procuring complex clinical systems that reduces procurement timescales and saves tens of thousands of pounds in the process."


LookingLocal claims surge for Universal Credit searches

Searches for content relating to Universal Credit on LookingLocal platforms have increased sharply in the early weeks of 2015, the organisation has reported.

This week it said it had served 21,200 pages on Universal Credit, compared to 150,000 for all of last year. The increase reflects the Department for Work and Pensions' gradual roll out of the scheme.

Guy Giles, managing director of LookingLocal, said: "With such a pivotal piece of welfare reform coming on-stream nationwide, it is important that organisations like councils and housing associations are able to provide claimants with high quality information on Universal Credit and associated advice while minimising their contact management overhead. Our solutions are designed to help customers self-serve in a way that is most convenient to them."

Image: Cotswold Water Park; from Bluesky

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