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In brief …. 25 February 2016



NHS.UK Alpha investigates registers

Data about GP practices could become available on registers, based on work being carried out by NHS.UK Alpha.

The team looking into digital services for the NHS says in a blogpost that it has been looking at how people can gain access to data on GPs, and is leaning towards the use of registers. It suggests one of practitioners in the hands of the General Medical Council, one of all GP practices held by the Organisation Data Service, and a register of practitioners prescribing at practices, cared for by the NHS Prescription Service.

It says the data should be subject to the Open Government Licence, which allows users to do anything with it as long as they provide attribution.

”We must seek out opportunities to make data open as a side effect of delivering services,” it says. “Open, well documented, cared-for data enables smaller, less well connected teams to do more and to do it faster.”

Digital tools for Universal Credit

The Department for Work & Pension has unveiled a group of digital tools to support claimants of Universal Credit and work coaches understand the system and find jobs.

Its Universal Credit Digital Service design team has followed the led of Personal Independence Payments and the Pensions Tracing Service in prototyping then testing the applications with ordinary users.

Among the tools is an online map that shows travelling time on public transport from hope to a possible place of work, an interactive app to discover what types of job a person could do, and a mobile-friendly jobs board.

In a blogpost, the says it has also begun to explore how it can follow people's existing job-seeking behaviour to make it more straightforward to bring together jobs for which they have applied and share them with a jobs coach through their Universal Credit account.

Defra published food datasets

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a collection of datasets from the National Food Survey for the years 1974-2000.

The data has historically been used to produce official government statistical estimates of average expenditure, purchases and derived nutrient intakes for the population of the country. It can now be downloaded as open data.

The survey results are already published annually as statistical datasets, but access to the underlying diary data itself might open up new kinds of uses.

Ealing takes up MyAccount

The London Borough of Ealing has launched a new MyAccount digital customer platform in an effort to encourage self-service by residents. The service is based on the Agilisys Digital platform.

Alison Reynolds, Director of Customer Services at Ealing Council, said: “By giving our residents their own personal MyAccount they are able to access key council online services in one place and see everything relevant to them in real time.  This is a great step forward for both the council and for our residents across the borough who are set to benefit greatly from this new service.”

The move follows closely on another London borough, Haringey, beginning to use the platform.


Civil Service opens apprenticeships

The Civil Service Fast Track apprenticeship programme will open next month, including a range of tech and digital openings.

It allows successful applicants to work towards a Level 4 apprenticeship, while gaining on-the-job practical experience for a career in the civil service, alongside a full time salary. After completing the scheme, apprentices can progress their career by applying for a range of digital and technology roles within the Civil Service.

They will also be eligible to apply for the Fast Stream graduate scheme without a degree.

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