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    December 2014
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    Toshiba air conditioning shortlisted in three categories of national technology awards

    Air conditioning training equipment

    Air conditioning training equipment

    Training centre

    Training centre

    Toshiba Air Conditioning, a division of Toshiba Carrier UK Ltd, has been shortlisted for three major awards in the National ACR Awards 2015.

    The company is a finalist in the Training Provider of the Year category for the creation of a nationwide network of air conditioning training centres, while the latest advance in Toshiba’s Total Refrigerant Leak Protection and Management System is shortlisted in the prestigious Air Conditioning Product of the Year category.

    The company has also been shortlisted for the Best Marketing Campaign for its powerful promotional initiatives over the past two years that have gained high profile coverage across the industry.

    This latest recognition follows Toshiba’s recent success in being announced as a finalist in CIBSE’s Building Performance Awards 2015, in the ‘Training Initiative of the Year’ category.

    David Dunn, Toshiba general manager, said: “It is obviously very pleasing to be recognised by our industry peers in this way. Particularly as it is for our initiatives in the vitally important areas of training and environmental protection.”

    “As a major supplier, we see it as our responsibility to take the lead in best industry practice. In little over a year we have accelerated our training initiative and established a UK-wide network of training centres, and become one of the most important providers of air conditioning training in the country.

    “That is a considerable achievement, and reflects a huge amount of work and energy by everyone involved, both at Toshiba and our distributors.

    “On the refrigerant front, our refrigerant leak protection system is unique in the market and gives end users and building occupants total assurance. It is winning converts among some of biggest air conditioning ends users in the market.”

    The winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner, being held at Birmingham Town Hall on 29 January 2015.

    Dumfries & Galloway Council appoints Ctrack for advanced vehicle tracking

    Dumfries & Galloway Council has awarded a four-year contract to Ctrack

    Dumfries & Galloway Council has awarded a four-year contract to Ctrack

    Dumfries & Galloway Council has awarded a four-year contract to ctrack for the provision of an advanced vehicle tracking solution across its entire fleet that is expected to generate operating efficiencies, enhance health and safety, and reduce environmental impact. Under the agreement, web-based ctrack will be used across more than 600 vehicles made up of cars, vans, HGVs and buses, along with specialist assets such as gritters, sweepers and refuse collection vehicles.

    The contract was awarded following a competitive tender process, which identified Ctrack as best placed to support Dumfries & Galloway Council’s diverse tracking requirements across a wide range of services including social work, construction, building services, road maintenance and waste management. The telematics solution will replace an existing system that no longer meets the needs of the council and will be rolled out over the coming months.

    In particular, the tracking solution will include Driver ID to provide greater insight into the status and whereabouts of mobile employees historically or in real-time by allowing visibility and reporting by driver as well as by vehicle. Meanwhile, vulnerable lone workers will be provided with panic alarms to enable them to operate safely in isolated or unfamiliar locations without being cut off by giving direct access to assistance in case of an emergency or accident.

    Councillor Colin Smyth, chairman of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee commented: “Using advanced communications technology, this vehicle tracking system will enable us to be more efficient and responsible.  It will reduce fuel use, minimise carbon emissions, protect staff, and provide enhanced service levels, meeting our fleet needs now and in the future.”

    John Wisdom, Managing Director of Ctrack said: “We are working with an increasing number of local authorities because of our ability to develop and support advanced vehicle tracking system that are tailored to meet precise operational needs. Councils have diverse vehicle fleets responsible for a wide range of services, so any telematics solution needs to reflect these unique requirements with high levels of scalability, functionality and flexibility.”

    Dragon Promotional Offer To Support Dyslexia Awareness Week

    Dyslexia Awareness Week started on the 3rd November and runs through till the 9th November, Nuance Communications has announced that it is offering a 10% discount on Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Home Premium and Professional editions, and Dragon Dictate for Mac 4, in order to help encourage an equal learning and working environment for people of all abilities. Dragon’s speech recognition technology and play-back function helps to make it easier for people with dyslexia to share their knowledge and creativity, without being hindered by the conventional keyboard and mouse. The offer for customers in the UK and Ireland is available through Nuance’s online store and its authorised reseller partners. It begins on 3 November and ends on 31 December 2014.

    Dyslexia Awareness Week – which is arranged by the British Dyslexia Association – aims to raise awareness of dyslexia and the resources available to help people with the condition. It is estimated that one in 10* of people is thought to be dyslexic. Without access to solutions like Dragon, their ability to communicate effectively can be compromised, impacting success in the classroom or workplace. Research suggests that use of speech recognition by students who are dyslexic generates significant improvements in reading, decoding, spelling and comprehension. In recognition of this, some education institutions, like Oxford University, allow Dragon to be used in controlled exam conditions by students with learning requirements.

    One of many recent example of how Dragon creates an equal pathway to success in education, is student Aidan Clancy. A pupil at Ripon Grammar School, Aidan has severe dyslexia and dyspraxia. This summer, he secured three A-grade A-levels while using Dragon to complete his exams. Talking about the challenge of transferring his thoughts to the PC using a conventional keyboard, he said, “We thought there must be a solution using technology. We found out about voice recognition software and I re-sat my A-levels using it and did so much better. The technology allows me to put down on paper what’s in my head. I’m nowhere near as tired after an exam and no longer get the headaches.”

    As well as being well-suited to people with dyslexia, Dragon – which boast accuracy rates of 99% – helps with the needs of those exhibiting early signs of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) , or students who are English language learners. This is because Dragon offers a complete voice solution by touching on virtually every aspect of the computing experience – making it easy to navigate, command and control your computer by voice, and supporting fast, accurate dictation for both local applications, such as Microsoft Word, and web applications, including email and social media. Dragon’s ‘Read That’ feature lets students listen and follow what is being read on the screen, which reinforces word pronunciation. Meanwhile, its ‘Play That Back’ feature enables users to hear their own voices, self-assess their writing, and make edits and corrections. Furthermore, by leveraging the latest advancements in Nuance speech recognition science and technology, the Dragon family is faster and more accurate than ever before.

    Commenting on the promotional offer, Jonathan Whitmore, UK, Ireland and Middle East Regional Sales Manager, Nuance Communications, said: “Dyslexia Awareness Week reminds us of the challenges that people with all assistive requirements face every day when it comes to sharing their thoughts and knowledge. For them, the keyboard and mouse can hamper what they’re able to achieve academically or professionally. Dragon introduces them to a new world of opportunity, which we hope more people will be encouraged to embrace via the current promotional offer on Dragon.”

    Dragon’s ability to assist students has been recognised by disability campaigning organisation

    RADAR, which recently merged with a number of charities to form Disability Rights UK. RADAR honoured Nuance with the ‘Technology Provider of the Year’ award for Dragon NaturallySpeaking software at its ‘People of the Year’ Awards. This accolade reflects Nuance’s commitment to developing and supporting desktop speech and imaging solutions that helps to transform people’s personal and professional lives.

    Explaining why Dragon was chosen as the winner of the ‘Technology Provider of the Year’ category, RADAR’s former CEO and current CEO of Disability Rights UK, Liz Sayce, said: “Dragon NaturallySpeaking stands alone as a product that has proven itself time and again to be a brilliantly effective alternative interface between a PC and its user. Dragon has provided people with the independence and freedom to search the internet, keep in touch with family and friends, and pursue their education or work interests and activities. We applaud Nuance’s determination to bring the benefits of Dragon to as many influential people as possible, to heighten awareness of what for many is an essential life-line to the connected world.”

    For many years, people from all walks of life have used Dragon to be more productive, save time and capture their ideas at the speed of thought – at home, in the office, the courtroom, the classroom, the exam room, or even on the road. Globally, Dragon’s power and performance has been reflected in the many awards and accolades it has already won, recognising the multiple benefits it brings to PC and Mac users of all abilities.

    For more information & video testimonials please visit: An online press kit is available on Join the conversation by liking Nuance on Facebook, or by following Nuance on Twitter at @NuanceUK and @NuanceInc.

    Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Deploys Dragon Medical | 360 Network Edition to Enhance Patient Care

    IMG_0327Nuance Communications, Inc. announced at the beginning of this month, that the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust in Liverpool has deployed Nuance’s front-end speech recognition solution in order to help enhance patient care through the quick and accurate creation of detailed clinical notes. The deployment enables 180 members of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit’ nursing and medical team to use Dragon Medical | 360 Network Edition which has been integrated into the Clevermed Electronic Patient Records (EPR) BadgerNet Platform – to provide a complete managed service solution for real-time patient data management. Funding for the speech recognition element of the project came from a successful application to the NHS England Nurse Technology Fund.

    As people talk up to three times faster than they type, Dragon Medical’s accurate front-end speech recognition solution for healthcare helps to enable doctors and nurses to quickly and accurately capture the entire patient story anywhere, anytime in its clinical workflow, clinical systems and processes. A ready-to-use, cloud-based speech solution for medical professionals, Dragon Medical helps to enable the Unit’s staff to easily dictate notes directly into the patient record, ensuring the most up-to-date information is captured accurately and made easily available to clinical care teams. This was an important consideration for Alder Hey because quick access to up-to-date and comprehensive patient information is particularly important in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit given that a condition that may leave an adult unaffected for 24 hours, can cause a young child’s condition to deteriorate rapidly.

    In addition to ensuring a more complete and real-time capture of the patient record, Dragon Medical helps the Unit navigate the changes and challenges of today’s complex healthcare environment while doing what matters most – caring for patients and supporting families – by reducing the amount of time doctors and nurses spend on administration.

    “Speech recognition has raised the bar on the quality of our clinical notes. There is much more detail, the notes are easier to read and the quality of the information is so much better,” said Peter White, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. “Our experience is that nurses use a slightly shorter period of time to produce reports of a higher quality.  Now we can capture the progress and treatment regime of the patients much more fully and accurately.”

    The Dragon Medical implementation project – led by Alder Hey’s PICU EPR Project Nurse Lead, Elaine Scott – will include all of the unit’s clinical documentation (case notes, discharge and referral notes) and nurse charting by the end of the year. Elaine reported, “Nurses involved in managerial tasks have also seen a decrease in the amount of time producing emails and filling forms.”

    “The Dragon Medical deployment at Alder Hey represents a pattern that we see emerging across the country. As the NHS moves toward implementing electronic health records (EPR) by 2018, increasingly more trusts are looking at Nuance speech recognition as the most effective interface to them, while enhancing efficiency, productivity,  patient safety and patient care,” said Frederik Brabant, chief medical information officer, for Nuance Communications in EMEA.

    Today, Nuance’s solutions are used by more than 500,000 clinicians and 10,000 organisations globally. Its speech recognition solutions for healthcare are available to NHS Trusts nationwide through an NHS Framework Agreement. In the UK, Nuance has already partnered with suppliers to install speech recognition-based solutions at Trusts across the country, including London’s Great Ormond Street, NHS Northumbria, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and more.

    Connect with Nuance on social media through the healthcare blog,,,

    Electric Vehicles for just about every application

    New hospital transporter buggy launch, March 31st 2014. Pictured left to right: assitant director of nursing and CQ Lesley Crosby, volunteer drivers Rolf Stobbart, Brian Rosan, Barbara Kelly and disability advisor Toni Tuthill

    New hospital transporter buggy launch, March 31st 2014. Pictured left to right: assitant director of nursing and CQ Lesley Crosby, volunteer drivers Rolf Stobbart, Brian Rosan, Barbara Kelly and disability advisor Toni Tuthill

    New hospital transporter buggy launch, March 31st 2014. Pictured are volunteer drivers Brian Rosan and Barbara Kelly

    New hospital transporter buggy launch, March 31st 2014. Pictured are volunteer drivers Brian Rosan and Barbara Kelly

    Bradshaw Electric Vehicles is Britain’s largest manufacturer of industrial electric vehicles, supplying to both the UK and world market since 1975.

    Celebrating our 40th anniversary next year, we are proud to be the largest UK-based manufacturer of electric vehicles, growing a loyal customer base across an ever-increasing range of industry sectors. Continuing to develop our showcase of products; we are the preferred supplier for a growing number of global customers looking for electric tow tractors, electric tow trucks and electric utility vehicles.

    The Bradshaw product range includes ride on and pedestrian controlled tow tractors, load carriers, utility vehicles and personnel carriers.  Our tow tractor range is ideal for transporting waste and recycling or making general deliveries.  With a tow load capacity of up to 25,000kg, our range of tow tractors come with options such as PVC door cab or sliding door cab, the decision is yours and will depend on the number of regular stops to be made.   We offer a range of service options and vehicles that can be adapted to meet client’s briefs, whatever the time of year and the changing needs may be.

    Our products are now used across a diverse range of industries including industrial waste movement and recycling, in manufacturing and line feed, logistics and distribution, hospitals, railways and airports.  If a client has the need to transport goods, then we can supply a tailor-made vehicle to suit their requirements.

    Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey recently took delivery of a new PFB500 vehicle from Bradshaw Electric Vehicles.

    The pedestrian controlled vehicle is being used to deliver goods around the hospital, which serves more than 400,000 people across north-east Hampshire, west Surrey and east Berkshire.

    A 3 wheel vehicle, with a maximum speed of 6.4kph, the PFB500 was ideal for Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, meeting the requirement of a small vehicle but with a big enough payload capacity of 500KG.

    The vehicle comes with safety features including an emergency stop button, safety cut out and body protection switch, which automatically stops the vehicle if it comes in to contact with the operator.

    As a company we not only prides ourselves on a safe, robust and versatile product range, we also offer a bespoke design service, enabling us to design and bespoke manufacture an electric vehicle to suit a client’s individual requirements, providing a solution to a very particular need.

    Whatever your requirements, Bradshaw Electric Vehicles has something to suit your needs.

    To find out more about how a vehicle from Bradshaw Electric Vehicles could help you, visit or call 01780 782621

    NHS Trusts turn to Physio Med to support staff wellbeing – occupational physiotherapy helps reduce sickness absence

    Occupational physio

    Occupational physio

    Two NHS Trusts in the North of England have turned to Physio Med, one of the UK’s leading physiotherapy providers, to help improve the health of staff and reduce levels of sickness absence.

    Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust have both awarded contracts to Physio Med after successful trial periods.

    Through working with Physio Med since 2009, the Employee Health and Wellbeing department at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has made fast track access to physiotherapy available to the 2,800 staff at Bradford District Care Trust and another 1,200 at Incommunities.

    Bradford District Care Trust reported a 60 per cent increase in productivity among staff who received treatment in 2013. The patients, including school and district nurses, social workers, and healthcare support workers, also reported an average reduction in pain of 68 per cent.

    At Incommunities, which is one of the largest social housing providers in Yorkshire and the Humber, productivity amongst the staff treated by Physio Med  increased by 31% and they reported a 64% reduction in pain.

    Joanne Hoban, Acting Head of Service at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The employees at Incommunities and Bradford District Care Trust all provide vital community services and it is in everyone’s interests to ensure they are fighting fit and able to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

    “By the nature of many of the roles within those organisations the employees can be susceptible to musculoskeletal injuries and in fact across the two organisations approximately two thirds of those employees who sought treatment had conditions that were work related or work aggravated. By working with Physio Med we are able to provide fast track access to physio treatment and help them to reduce the pain of these conditions and get back to work as quickly as possible so we are delighted to be able to continue to provide this service.”

    Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s 3,500 staff provide inpatient and community mental health services and learning disability, drug and alcohol and other community services, across Cheshire and Wirral, plus some specialist services in Liverpool, Warrington and Halton.

    The nature of the services provided mean that many of the job roles are physically demanding and the in-house physiotherapy service provided by the Trust was under increased demand, with some staff suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) waiting more than two weeks for an appointment. This led to employees being absent from work and others working at reduced levels of productivity.

    After a successful trial the Trust asked Physio Med to implement a service providing fast-track access to physiotherapy in order to promote staff health and wellbeing, improve productivity and reduce sickness absence.

    Any employee who suffers a musculoskeletal injury or disorder (MSD) can be referred to Physio Med by their line manager. The employee is then contacted within four working hours by Physio Med’s award winning Physiotherapy Advice Line (PAL) service, for telephone triage to ensure they are clinically appropriate for treatment, and then has an initial assessment call with a Senior Chartered Physiotherapistwithin a few working days, which incorporates a series of evidence-based clinical questions and series of movements to facilitate diagnosis. The employee is then either advised on the best way to self-manage the condition to assist the healing process or referred for face-to-face treatment.

    The initial trial found that approximately 62% of Cheshire and Wirral employees that have used the service successfully self-managed their condition without the need for face-to-face treatment, with remainder being referred for face-to-face treatment within Physio Med’s network of approved practitioners in a timely manner.

    Andrea Snagg, Head of Occupational Health at Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “From healthcare and nursing staff that can face quite physically demanding situations, to estates and domestic teams, and even admin staff, they are all at risk of suffering MSDs and we need to help them back to full fitness as quickly as possible to enable us to provide services to patients.

    “We benchmarked our in-house provision against Physio Med’s PAL service and the initial results have been really positive. 85 per cent of those who report an MSD are still in work when they are referred which can have a huge effect on productivity so being able to give them timely access to treatment and helping them return quickly to full fitness is a huge benefit to the Trust.”

    Mark Fletcher, Clinical Director of Physio Med, said: “Evidence shows early physiotherapy intervention on musculoskeletal injuries can prevent acute conditions becoming chronic, promote swifter recovery and return to the workplace and improve productivity levels. By providing fast-track access to physiotherapy to employees these Trusts are demonstrating commitment to ensuring their health and wellbeing and we are delighted to be playing a role in that.”

    Physio Med has a UK-wide network of 2,500 senior Chartered Physiotherapists in 780 approved practices and received the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Clinical Excellence Award in 2012.

    For further information about how Physio Med works with clients visit

    Rise to the Challenge of Project Success

    Project Challenge 3Project Challenge EXPO Autumn 2014 

    A leading resource for project, programmes and process professionals

    14th to 15th October 2014, Olympia, London

    FREE entry for delegates

    In the modern public sector project management is no longer an isolated function. Today, project, programme and process management are considered core components of successful strategy and accountable delivery.

    Granted, the project management sector is thriving. The Project Management Institute (PMI) predicts that by the year 2020 15.7 billion new project managers will be needed to fulfil demand in a skills sector set to grow by US$6.61 trillion. If we fail to meet that challenge, a staggering $3.44 billion of GDP will be at risk.

    Yet even in this context, project failure rates remain alarming. Up to 70% of projects worldwide risk failure according to KPMG, Gartner and McKinsey and Company. The reasons are complex, but one thing’s for sure: in the future the project manager who is equipped with advanced knowledge and evolving techniques will be the project manager who wins.

    Featuring 40 free seminars from eminent speakers, plus an exhibition floor packed with leading suppliers, new market offerings and advanced PM solutions, Project Challenge EXPO is widely regarded as the leading resource for professionals keen to hone their skills, develop their organisational strategy, and break the project failure cycle once and for all.

    2014 Presentations Preview

    Global Trends in Project Management
    Philip Diab, former Chair of the PMI Global Board of Directors

    Project Challenge 2

    Explore the major themes emerging from PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® research plus data from IBM, McKinsey, and the Conference Board, for a global benchmark report on major trends in project management.

    PRINCE2® Agile – There’s a New Kid on the Block!
    Keith Richards, Director, Keith Richards Consultants KRC and
    Mike Acaster, PPM Portfolio Manager, AXELOS

    AXELOS is developing a PRINCE2 Agile manual and qualification, for PRINCE2 practitioners looking to incorporate Agile approaches and techniques. As the demand for Agile in complex situations grows, this combination may be just what organisations are looking for!

    Building a Clients Project Control Function
    Simon Springate, Head of Project Controls, Europe, CH2MHILL

    CH2MHILL supports iconic projects including the Olympics 2012, CrossRail, HS2 and Thames Tideway. They share their expertise on how to bring people, tools and process together in a harmonious and productive manner.

    Automating Governance Using PPM systems
    Guy Jelley, Chief Executive Officer, Project Portfolio Office

    Project Portfolio Management (PPM) gives better control of projects, but can automation be used for complex decisions like project stage gates or key document approvals? With examples of positive outcomes of project governance automation.

    >Project Challenge 1Project Challenge EXPO Autumn 2014

    Making the programme visible – enabling Enterprise-level
    Making the Programme Visible – Enabling Enterprise-Level Decision-Making
    Richard Butterfield – Service Development Director, Amey Consulting, Rail and Strategic Highways
    As one of Network Rail’s largest suppliers, Amey is pursuing an enterprise approach to the management of its complex portfolio of projects and programmes, enabling executive level focus on critical milestones and critical resource allocation.

    Plus many more…

    Agile • Beneficial Change • PPM • Sponsorship • Risks and Benefits • PMO • Integrated Assurance • Project Controls • Recruitment • CIPD

    Exhibitors from the worlds of:

    • Change Management
    • Consulting
    • Cost Control
    • Enterprise Management
    • Portfolio Management
    • Prince2
    • Process Management
    • Programme Management
    • Project Management
    • Recruitment
    • Resource Management
    • Risk Management
    • Training

    Don’t forget, registration for Project Challenge EXPO is completely free for delegates. Visit and click on register to secure your place.

    Follow Project Challenge EXPO:

    Twitter: @projchallenge, #projchallenge

    Synching Cities: Data Openness Across Europe

    Manchester, UK, has been transformed over the past 20 years to become a leading European city for digital technologies. Mancunians have embraced the concept of the ‘smart city’, seeing the internet integrate with digitally enabled systems across the board and bringing everything into a well-oiled system of activity and communication. The concept of open data is essential to this ambition. Access to information is not only valuable to the individual but also on a city-to-city basis, where it can provide the foundations for commerce, dialogue and new initiatives. Adrian Slatcher, Senior Digital Development Officer at the Manchester Digital Development Agency, joins us to highlight the big areas of progress being made to our world…

    Download the rest of the article here:

    P.S. Don’t forget if Adrian Slatcher is speaking at the Smart Data for Government Event taking place in London between 23-24 September 2014.  If you work in Central or Local Government / NHS / Police then subject to our approval you could be attending the event free of charge.  Simply enquire at 020 7368 9737 or email using the subject line: FREE PASS REQUEST SMART DATA FOR GOVERNMENT

    Viglen wins Toshiba ’Partner of the Year’ and ‘Educational Partner of the Year’ awards

    From left to right: Mark Byrne, Head of Corporate, Education & Public Sector, Toshiba; Nick Offin,  Head of Channel , Toshiba; Bordan Tkachuk, CEO, Viglen;  Neil Bramley,  Sales Director Northern Europe, Toshiba

    From left to right: Mark Byrne, Head of Corporate, Education & Public Sector, Toshiba; Nick Offin, Head of Channel , Toshiba; Bordan Tkachuk, CEO, Viglen; Neil Bramley, Sales Director Northern Europe, Toshiba

    Viglen, a British IT company, has been awarded Toshiba UK’s Platinum Partner of the Year and Education Platinum Partner of the Year, in recognition of its all-round performance and commitment to excellence within its Toshiba partnership and also its specialism within the Education market.

    Achieving Platinum partner status is recognition by Toshiba of a level of excellence at reselling Toshiba products and consistently adding value to the relationship. The award winners were judged by Toshiba as demonstrating a level of excellence at not just reselling Toshiba products, but consistently adding value to the relationship through product knowledge, support, aftersales and integration services to enhance the Toshiba customer experience.

    Viglen has grown its partnership with Toshiba from scratch over less than a decade to become one of the largest Toshiba resellers in the UK.  As a result Viglen customers are benefitting from enhanced levels of support, expertise and resources, reducing the cost and simplifying the process of ICT procurement.

    Commenting on the award, Viglen chief executive Bordan Tkachuk said; “As a PC manufacturer, Viglen benefits from a very close level of partnership with Toshiba.  By pioneering a range of unique support and value-add services, Viglen is able to offer a level of bespoke service to enhance Toshiba’s already strong product portfolio, ensuring that together we offer one of the strongest mobile computing propositions available with justified performance, flexibility and value.

    “This has undoubtedly helped in consolidating our position as a leading ICT supplier to the UK Education and Public Sector.”

    Ofsted award CACI contract to deliver new social care inspection IT system

    Ofsted has awarded CACI a contract to deliver new Social Care inspection IT system

    Ofsted has awarded CACI a contract to deliver new Social Care inspection IT system

    CACI has won a major contract to supply a new inspection solution for Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, to be used in its 4,600 plus inspections of social care providers each year.

    Ofsted inspect and regulate all services involving care for children and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages throughout England, working with providers to promote their improvement, monitor their progress and share best practice.

    The new contract with CACI covers Ofsted’s social care remit and is part of their vision to use technology for the better safeguarding of children. The CACI inspection software, OfficeBase, will be used to integrate and manage the core areas of Ofsted’s social care processes, covering areas such as registration, scheduling, inspection and enforcement, with accurate, timely and quick-to-access management information as a key outcome. OfficeBase will be a key enabler to the efficient and effective delivery of Ofsted’s social care business, and will be used by more than 200 staff involved in over 4,600 inspections of social care providers each year.

    Commenting on the contract, Ollie Watson, Business Development Director at CACI said;
    “Following a rigorous procurement process, we are delighted to have been awarded this significant contract by Ofsted. The partnership is both strategic and high profile and demands the highest levels of collaborative working. We’re also proud to be playing a part in ultimately supporting professionals to make the very best decisions for safeguarding our children.”

    Central to Ofsted’s decision to implement OfficeBase was its ability to securely capture, share and access safeguarding information. Through an extensive implementation programme, where OfficeBase is required to interface with a range of other IT systems, the launch of the new solution will help Ofsted streamline processes in this area and drive efficiency across a broad remit.

    Concluding Tom Zebedee, Head of IS at Ofsted commented, “We are pleased to be working with CACI on this implementation and are looking forward to using OfficeBase to support our core inspection and regulatory work.”

    Nuance announces free “Five Reasons To Speech Enable The EHR” whitepaper

    Nuance Communications Inc, has announced the availability of “Five Reasons To Speech Enable The EHR”, a free whitepaper published to address the current contradiction of the potential benefits of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems being undermined by the time it takes to use them. Studies have shown navigating an EHR can add up to 90 minutes to a medical professional’s day. With EHRs due in force in the NHS by 2018, the availability of the whitepaper and its recommendations could help ease the transition to the broader uptake of EHRs and save doctors’ time when using them.

    The whitepaper, which is available here , focuses on five EHR-related areas that would benefit from being speech-enabled. It explains how a speech-interface – which facilitates the creation and maintenance of accurate, detailed and up-to-date patient records that are easy to navigate – can help to improve doctors’ and nurses’ satisfaction at work, by enabling them to spend more time with their patients and less time on administration.

    It also explains how a speech-enabled EHR helps to put the patient back at the centre of care, in part by enabling them to see the creation of their own file or record in real-time. It also gives them the reassurance of knowing their consultation and the next course of action have been captured correctly, in their presence together with their doctor.

    “Five Reasons to speech enable the EHR” explains how speech recognition increases healthcare institution’s return on EHR investment and further exploit their potential; this is because speech removes the biggest barrier to broad EHR adoption and use – that of having to learn another administration task.

    The whitepaper outlines how speech also helps resolve the challenge of structured and unstructured data. Thanks to speech using normal, natural, language, it captures more – and higher quality – data then that achieved when typing or taking notes. This more comprehensive data provides medical institutions and professionals with access to richer and more detailed data for analysis, to facilitate better decision making in the future.

    Through the creation of more accurate clinical documents, the level of patient safety and care is raised, as documents can be shared quickly, reducing the chance of life-threatening errors being made along the patient’s care pathway. It can also reduce or clear patient report backlogs, which is another cause of patients’ conditions worsening in advance of a diagnosis being documented and treated.

    Nuance is deeply invested in a new generation of sophisticated and powerful applications, underpinned by voice and clinical language understanding (CLU), that reinvent the way doctors and patients experience healthcare, providing direct access to the healthcare information that matters most.  Already, more than 750 global developers are utilising Nuance technology to humanise healthcare and pursuing the promise of virtual assistants in medicine.

    Nuance’s speech recognition solutions for healthcare are available to NHS Trusts nationwide through an NHS Framework Agreement. In the UK, Nuance has already partnered with suppliers to install speech recognition-based solutions at Trusts across the country, including London’s Great Ormond Street, NHS Northumbria, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and more.

    Connect with Nuance on social media through the healthcare blog, What’s next, Twitter and Facebook.

    Nuance Communications

    Nuance Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit

    Pension changes leave public sector workers trapped

    Jamie Smith-Thompson - managing director of Portal Financial

    Jamie Smith-Thompson – managing director of Portal Financial

    In a Ministerial Statement issued today the Government announced that it will prevent public sector workers from transferring their unfunded final salary pension to a private pension, in order to protect the Exchequer and taxpayers, leaving millions of people trapped in a scheme that may be inappropriate for their circumstances in the future.

    The last Budget introduced unprecedented flexibility over pension funds, and was widely welcomed. Those with unfunded state-backed final salary schemes are now being excluded from these new freedoms, and will never have control of their fund. Although many final salary pensions provide a generous index-linked retirement income, there are those who choose to transfer the cash value to a private pension prior to retirement in order to take advantage of benefits such as 25% tax-free cash, flexibility on withdrawals and the option to leave the money to named beneficiaries.

    Public sector workers affected by this change may well be asking the obvious question – why are the Government doing this now? Certainly it brings greater control back within the Treasury, but it isn’t as if there was a great glut of people already transferring public sector pensions away before this point in time. Yes, it suited some people very well, but the majority were quite happy where they were.

    Do the Treasury believe that this year’s budget would see more people taking up this option if they did nothing to stop it? Maybe. Or is it a case of the Treasury closing the exit door on these schemes before they start to reduce the benefits they provide in real terms as part of a long term plan to make them affordable to maintain. Only time will tell.

    The restrictions being put in place are, of course, fine as long as the benefits on offer suit you, and as long as you trust successive Governments to make good on their promise to deliver them. So that’s the key question for those affected to ask – do you trust the Government not to make unilateral decisions on public sector pensions in the future?

    If you think you may be better off transferring out, or if you can’t quite bring yourself to trust the Government to do the right thing by you, then getting advice on your options early is crucial. It’s likely that an awful lot of your colleagues will be thinking the same thing…

    Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director of pensions specialist Portal Financial, comments: “We expect to see many people now choosing to transfer while they still have that option, and our experience is to act now, because it can take a while to transfer funds into a private pension and any outstanding applications that are not completed by the deadline will remain as they are.”

    Ealing commemorates First World War with poppies and art

    Cllr Julian Bell in poppy field at Perivale Park

    Cllr Julian Bell in poppy field at Perivale Park

    The Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell visited Perivale Park on Monday, 21 July to see the field of poppies that has been planted there marking a hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War.

    Flowers have been symbolically planted  at six sites across the borough by the council’s parks team and it is hoped they will flower each year in time for Armed Forces Day in June.

    Gunnersbury Park Museum is also paying tribute to the centenary with two Arts Awards projects celebrating a very special collection of prehistoric flints which was brought back from the Somme by Major Frederick Sadler; a First World War soldier who lived in Acton.

    The first of the Unearthing our First World War Heritage Arts Awards take place from Monday, 28 July to Friday, 1 August; for children aged seven to 11 years old.  This session is an Explore Arts Award and is fully booked.

    The following session, from Monday, 18 to Friday, 22 August; for young people aged 14 to 21 years old is a Bronze Art Award and there are still places available.  To sign up, please contact Lisa D’Agostino at Lisa.D’ or 020 8992 2247/1612.

    Children will meet a costumed character of Major Sadler who will explain the collection and talk about life in the trenches. Throughout the week children will also work with the production company Chocolate Films to create an animation about Major Sadler and his collection that will eventually be screened at Gunnersbury Park during Open House Sunday, on 21 September.

    The young people taking part in the Bronze Art Award; from Monday, 18 August will work with the artist Stuart Simler to create a sculptural installation that will also form part of Gunnersbury Park’s First World War Centenary exhibition in the Orangery on 21 September.

    Both Arts Awards will be fun but hard work – children and young people must come to all five workshop days and if necessary continue with their artwork at home.  All of their work will go towards achieving the nationally recognised, Arts Awards.

    Unearthing our First World War Heritage is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) First World War: then and now grant.  HLF is also donating £4.7million to radically restore Gunnersbury Park by 2017 through its Parks for People programme.

    Ealing Council leader, Councillor Julian Bell said:

    “It was very moving to be pictured among the poppies which are such a simple and poignant reminder of the First World War.

    “I am grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing the funding for the Major Sadler projects. It’s important that children and young people know about the First World War and the impact it continues to have on our modern day lives.  Innovative art schemes like this that encourage them to use their imagination and creativity to interpret important historical events are a really fantastic way to remember the past and foster a lifelong interest in art and learning.”

    To find out more about events at Gunnersbury Park and the restoration project itself, visit

    Charity borrowing on the increase, suggesting sector’s confidence is growing

    Patrick Crawford, CEO, Charity Bank

    Patrick Crawford, CEO, Charity Bank

    The value of loans approved by Charity Bank for charities and other social sector organisations almost doubled in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

    Over the first six months of this year, Charity Bank approved loans worth £11 million compared to £6 million in the first half of 2013, an increase of 83%. During the same period in 2012, the Bank approved £5 million in loans.

    Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, says, “Our experience is that charities and other social sector organisations are starting to regain confidence about the economy, and becoming more ready to borrow in order to grow their activities where it is prudent to do so.

    “Social sector organisations can benefit if they diversify their sources of revenue and embrace mixed funding, including borrowing. By doing so they can strengthen their organisations, grow their revenues, unlock other funds and expand their impacts.

    “The increase in demand for our loans has also been prompted by the effect of cuts in public sector spending on the social sector, compounded by the lack of finance for smaller charities from large commercial banks.”