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Posts about: Government sector

The Public Sector’s Traditional Approach to Procurement

5 March 2019

Willie Sutton, the famous American bank robber was once asked why he robbed banks, and his response was simple and to the point – ‘because that’s where the money is… in its most compact form’. However now, in a sense, the most money in the most compact form is not in financial institutions but in public procurement with the UK public sector spending over £250 billion on goods and services in the year 2016/17. Out of this vast amount of cash, central government accounts for £118 billion, local government £70 billion, the NHS over £66 billion and public corporations £8 billion.  Even a tiny saving on these enormous sums adds up to a great deal of money and perhaps just as significantly, the way this money is spent has great impact on the businesses and third sector organisations that bid for these contracts, the employees who gain their livings delivering these goods and services,  and the communities that they live within.

Local Government Procurement

The Importance of Rail to our Growth Agenda

30 January 2019
Train on railway transport

Fundamental to our plans for a sustainable future is our need to reduce our environmental impact and transport is currently a major polluter. This means we will have to drastically reduce carbon intensive travel options such as air travel and fossil fuel vehicles. Rail is the most ecologically sound clean-air option for long distance and local commuter high-demand routes. This is why we need to prioritise investment in rail.

Transport and connectivity are an essential aspect of sustainable growth. The question is ‘What is the right type of rail – high-speed, intercity, local commuter rail or light rail?’. The reality is we need them all. We need to link our primary, secondary and tertiary cities and towns so that knowledge, manufacturing and commerce can flourish, and people can access employment from where they live.


Love food, hate waste

9 January 2019
Food Waste

2018 has been another year that has seen increasing attention to the food waste problem. There has been a concerted effort to promote prevention actions to raise awareness of the types of behaviours that are causing food to end up in the bin. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign continues to provide useful advice such as checking the temperature of your fridge, how to plan and make food last longer and go further. The supermarkets have also made pledges by signing up to a new food waste reduction roadmap and a government-funded pilot scheme.  However new research has questioned whether awareness campaigns on their own are sufficient to adequately prevent food waste at the level needed. This suggests the need to rethink and reconsider current approaches.


Developing people, improving emergency care: Caroline Poole’s 2018 journey

3 January 2019

In December 2017 I began my Clinical Fellowship, with a focus on evidencing the “state of the nation” of leadership for the allied health professions (AHPs), and its relationship to quality and productivity.  Colleagues at Kingston University Enterprise Limited undertook a fabulous evaluation1 to provide the answers.

We found that AHP leadership was hugely variable and highly complex – 41 different job titles from 43 job descriptions for the “go-to” AHP lead! Little wonder that it was confusing, that AHP leaders were difficult to find and often missing at the decision-making table.

So what?  We found that AHPs in trusts investing in senior leadership were more engaged with improvement work and sharing AHP innovations that impact positively on the quality of patient care.   


Student residences: Why one size no longer fits all

29 November 2018

student residences demand changesClayre Massey, associate at Sheppard Robson, discusses why architects have a responsibility to create better student experiences and address issues of mental health.

Research highlights that around half of students going to university see themselves as customers. The “student-client” has arisen from the higher price of education, and led to a growing scrutiny of the quality of facilities on campuses. Universities have responded by increased investment in many aspects of campus life, with directors of estates using design to attract students in an increasingly international marketplace.

But have student residences kept pace with shifting expectations and requirements?

A typology that often conjures up images of tired halls of residences, student living is surely a fundamental way of boosting the student experience, shaping mental wellbeing and breaking down the perceived barriers of going to university. Where students live, in my view, holds the key to making the whole university experience more inclusive. Read more…..

An interview with Peter Smith on the future of NHS Procurement

23 November 2018

peter smith and the future of nhs procurementFormer UK Health Minster, Dan Poulter, recently shocked the nation with evidence to suggest that the NHS is being “ripped off” by two billion pounds per year.

In a column in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “In short, our hospitals are getting ripped off left, right and centre. And with £18 in every £100 you pay in tax being spent on the NHS, that means you’re getting ripped off.”

Buying more diligently and implementing cost-saving practices is a must if our NHS is to survive a time of great uncertainty. With this in mind, the NHS also has approximately 1.5 million employees that need to be informed and inspired ready to implement the next innovations that will change NHS procurement forever. Read more…..

Facilities management professionals: Designing a better future with Perry Timms

23 November 2018

facilities management professionals skills 2I have the pleasure of coming to Salford in December to speak to FM professionals about “The skills shortage and shifting workforce demographics”

My brief is this:

  • Attracting a diverse range of new talent
  • Developing professional career pathways for the FM workforce
  • How to measure performance in a meaningful way
  • The transition from traditional hard FM models into customer-focused workplace solutions Read more…..

NHS Procurement Conference Presentation Dos and Don’ts

22 November 2018

Peter Smith is the expert in procurement who will be chairing our NHS Procurement conference in December. The objective of this conference is to help solidify NHS procurement processes, understand the Future Operating Model (FOM), harness NHS buying power more effectively and create savings for our health service.

Ahead of our conference, he has put together this handy guide as to what makes a presentation to a procurement audience valuable, insightful and, above all, useful.

You can find his full list of presentation “Dos and Don’ts” below!


Design for dementia: adapting the built environment

2 November 2018

design for dementia‘Design for Dementia’ is a Design Guide which aims to assist designers and others working in the built environment to tackle the challenge of dementia in society. Dementia is a growing issue associated with the demographic of an ageing population.

The premise of ‘Design for Dementia’ is that 70-80% of people living with dementia continue to live in their own homes rather than in any specialised form of housing.  They continue living in the same neighbourhoods and use the same local facilities and centres. Read more…..

Exiting military officers: natural born NEDs

26 October 2018

Ok, so it’s obvious that the business world is no war. Yet, operating in a fierce business environment requires a combat strategy. Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCOs) who have served in the armed forces know how to make decisions in extreme conditions and cope with stress in high pressured environments.

Often, people in the armed forces gain leadership skills. Some people are born to be natural leaders, from an early age, they are willing to take charge of situations. Yet, we are all born with the potential to become a leader, if nurtured.

Onboarding Officers is a unique development programme specialising in accelerated non-executive director training to help develop and nurture the skills of exiting military officers and senior NCOs to become world class Non-Executive Directors (NEDs).

Can military experience transform into commercial leadership?


If we take a step back, many successful organisations would suggest so, the biggest names in business who have world-class and, in some cases, award-winning skills – have a military background.

So, what lessons can businesses learn from exiting military officers and SNCOs? Very few organisations teach management, logistics and efficiency like the armed forces, so it comes to no surprise that many exiting military officers are now climbing the business ladder to success.