Hello again everyone,

I hope you’ve had a good week. It seems much easier to find a seat on the train or a desk in the office so lots of people must be away enjoying a break. For those opting to stay at home, let’s hope the weather holds out.

This week I have been out and about a lot meeting colleagues in regions to discuss how the Programme is meeting their priorities. There is lots of support for a more tailored approach. Making the BCF work is a major concern, alongside maintaining services through the winter in a very pressured care market.

At the integration catch up on Thursday we discussed the delay to the second phase of the Care Act, the Spending Review, Local Digital Roadmaps and the National Information Board and Vanguards.

As you will know, last week, the Government announced its intention to defer the second phase of the Care Act reforms. This is a clear sign that Government is listening to the concerns identified by local councils and the LGA.

The delays however will inevitably impact the Care and Health Improvement Programme and discussions about what we do next, when and the best way forward will be held at the next board meeting on 11 August.

The 2015 spending review was launched this week with an announcement set for 25 November. Submissions are expected on the 4 September. Our main focus will be on closing the funding gap and securing more money to embed a much bigger prevention strategy across the country.

In November 2014 the Government published Personalised Health and Care 2020, a framework for action that sets out a series of commitments and actions on how information and technology can be used to support the delivery of health and care.

One of the commitments was for areas, by April 2016, to develop local digital roadmaps that outline plans for moving to being paper free at the point of care by 2020. 

In the next few weeks we anticipate that guidance for producing these plans will be published and there will be further details over the autumn on how local areas can share good practice and work. 

Over the summer, the National Information Board (NIB) will be consulting on overall plans around technology and information across health and social care and relevance for local areas and you can still sign up to the events taking place across the country. 

The Vanguard support programme is being finalised by NHS England and is due to be published by the end of the month. 

Femi Adedeji

This week I'm using my blog to introduce you to Femi Adedeji; Femi is the new Health and Wellbeing Officer who recently took the baton from Pauline Rootsey who left to take up a new post at Bexley Council. Femi comes with a background in health communications gained from spells working for the NHS and recently worked on Care Act compliancy for a Mental Health Trust.