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Local Authority round-up 27/10/23

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.


Government to invest £42.6 million in adult social care reform

The Department for Health and Social Care has announced that £42.6 million will be invested into trialling and expanding new approaches to providing adult social care, as well as improving services for unpaid carers.

This investment, known as the Accelerating Reform Fund (ARF), will focus on three key objectives:

  • that people have choice, control and support to live independent lives
  • people can receive outstanding quality and tailored care and support, and
  • that people find adult social care fair and accessible.

Local authorities are invited to register for a share of the ARF, so as to take forward projects relevant to their local needs and work collaboratively with local partners in their Integrated Care System regions, including the NHS, care providers and voluntary and community sector groups.

The Government intends that all projects consider the needs of people who receive care as well as unpaid carers, and ensure they are inclusive of the diverse needs of local populations.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence will be offering hands-on support to local authorities to develop local partnerships and deliver projects.

For more information please click here.


Government to introduce new procurement regime for healthcare services

The Department of Health and Social Care recently published the draft Provider Selection Regime (PSR), set out in the Health Care Services (Provider Selection Regime) Regulations 2023, which is intended to come into force on the 1st January 2024. This publication was supported by the draft statutory guidance provided by NHS England. This new regime will apply to local authorities when they are procuring healthcare services.

The PSR intends to remove the procurement of health care services, when procured by relevant authorities under the PSR, from the scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (the PCR).  In doing so, the PSR seeks to give the relevant authorities to which it applies more flexibility in selecting providers for health care services, with an aim to promote greater integration and collaboration, reduce the bureaucracy and cost associated with the current rules, and enable the development of stable partnerships. As such, it is hoped the PSR will ensure all decisions are made with a view to securing the needs of patients, improving the quality of the services, and improving the efficiency in the provision of the services.

The new procurement processes under the draft PSR include:

  • Direct Award Process A
  • Direct Award Process B
  • Direct Award Process C
  • Most Suitable Provider Process
  • Competitive Process

To prepare for the introduction of the PSR, we will be providing an in-depth analysis of the specific regulations under the regime, including an exploration into each new procurement process, in our ‘Procurement in a Nutshell’ publications, click here to sign up to the mailing list.

The PSR, and the draft statutory guidance, can be found here.

Planning and housing

Local Authority spends £5 million to tackle homelessness

Thanet District Council (TDC) purchased 42 homes to help tackle the increasing demand for social housing.

The TDC said it currently has 1,600 families on its housing waiting list, and the local authority is struggling to provide accommodation. The ongoing cost of living crisis, coupled with the cost of the private rental market rising, have been blamed for the dramatic increase in demand for council housing.

To combat the rise in homelessness, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said:

“We are investing over £1 billion, through the Homelessness Prevention Grant, over the next three years, including £3.1 million for Thanet between 2023 and 2025. Councils can use this funding flexibly, including to provide temporary accommodation.”

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Webinar series: Data Protection

Register your interest for our on-going webinar series on ‘Data Protection’ for in-house lawyers, DPOs and senior management in private and public sector organisations. The series will run throughout 2023, providing attendees with up to date information on key Data Protection topics. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have. The next in our series ‘Data transfers – crossing borders’ will take place on 14 November 2023.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

Immigration Update: Managing Compliance and Tricky Immigration Law Issues in the Workplace

Our Employment department will be delivering a legal update, via Zoom, on the 14th November 2023 at 10am .This webinar will address the key issues regarding immigration law and will provide practical tips for managing compliance, within the workplace, in practice. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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