19 Nov 2021
by Carole Broughton

News in brief w/e 19 November 2021

Preparing for the pandemic: lessons for government on risk management

A report by the National Audit Office has concluded that the pandemic has exposed a governmental vulnerability to whole-system emergencies. Although there were plans for an influenza pandemic, there were no detailed plans for many non-health consequences and some health consequences of a pandemic like COVID-19, with deficiencies in planning and risk management. There needs to be collaboration on risk identification and management across government departments, local authorities, the private sector and internationally, with national resilience strengthened.

The government’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons for government on risk management - National Audit Office (NAO) Report

HMRC webinars on what counts as working time

HMRC is offering four live webinars on what constitutes working time, an issue that can cause confusion to employers. HMRC will cover what does and doesn't count as 'working time' when calculating minimum wage pay, common mistakes and pitfalls, the importance of accurately recording working time, and enforcement. These webinars are general rather than specific to social care.

Registration (gotowebinar.com)

Offence of using a mobile phone while driving to be extended

The Department for Transport (DfT) intends to amend the law so that the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving captures drivers who are using their phone for ‘standalone’ functions, as well as those using interactive communication functions.

Using a mobile phone while driving consultation outcome

There will be various exemptions, for example where a mobile is being used to pay for parking.

Use of expired COVID-19 PCR tests

We understand the use of expired PCR tests is still an issue, resulting in a void result.  Please see our previous news item for more on this: Warning about using expired PCR tests.

There is a second webinar by UKHSA on the registration of PCR tests, how this should be done and why it is important on 26 November at 10.00 am:

Register for webinars on registration of PCR tests

Two thirds of UK population don’t know about learning disabilities

A new 'Talk to Me' survey has highlighted how two thirds of people in Britain don’t know what a learning disability is.  Mencap has developed a set of educational tools and online resources here.  These include a guide to Communicating with people_updated (1).pdf.

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