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News shots …. 10 November 2016



Hull extends Civica deal to contact centre

Kingston upon Hull City Council has added a new element to its strategic partnership with Civica, with a new business process outsourcing contract for contact centre services.

The seven-year deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, covers the outsourcing of the contact centre and the underlying telephony infrastructure. It builds on an earlier contract for Civica to take on the council’s revenues and benefits, debt recovery and financial assessment services.

The new contact centre service is scheduled to become available on 1 December.


CCGs work on personal health budgets tool

Two clinical commission groups, Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale, are acting as early adopters of PHBCHoices, a platform for the delivery of personal health budgets. They are working with Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit, one of the largest in the country, to use the tool that was developed by NHS Shared Business Services using the cloudBuy e-commerce platform.

Building on the self-managed PHB provision, a personal virtual budget is made available to the PHB holder through an online account created by their CCG. The PHB holder can then buy goods and services from the marketplace featuring national, regional and local suppliers, selected to meet the needs of their care plan.

Benjamyn Damazer, head of commissioning at NHS SBS, said: “It is set up for the CCG to enable budget provision and patient management with an ease and simplicity of use for the patient.  Control of what is bought and how it is used is with the patient, but the CCG can retain cash until the patient ‘spends’ their budget by buying goods or services.”


London gets ‘live chat’ for crime victims

An online chat service for victims of crime in London has gone live, run by the charity Victim Support and funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The text based service is free, confidential and staffed by trained support workers to offer emotional and practical

Live chat users will be able to type their comments or questions into the designated section and will receive responses almost immediately. The service operates Monday to Friday, from noon-7.30pm.


TPA launches taxpayers’ app

The TaxPayers’ Alliance launched a free mobile app named YourTPA to give users access to local council data.

They can type in their postcodes to obtain information from nine of the organisation’s research papers with information on individual councils. This covers areas including councillors’ allowances, compensation claims, changes in council tax levels and the money going to trade unions.

Chief executive John O’Connell said: “The TPA believes that transparency and public scrutiny are crucial for cutting out government waste and this free app provides every user with the opportunity to take part in that process.”


Image: Old Town, Hull, by Robert Haywood, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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