Department of Health Guide for Constituency Staff

The Department of Health has produced a helpful guide for constituency staff, which has been sent out by email to Office Managers. The Ministerial correspondence – Guide for constituency staff is designed to help constituency office staff find their way around the health and social care system, and identify which organisation is best placed to help them with their constituency enquiries and casework. The guide explains the roles of the NHS trusts and arms-length bodies (ALBs) in the health and care sector, and includes contact…

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Tickets for weekday tours now available

Tickets are now available for audio tours, guided tours and family tours this February half-term and Easter. Follow in the footsteps of the Queen’s procession at the State Opening of Parliament and view Pugin’s magnificent gilded throne canopy in the Lords Chamber. Pass through Central Lobby, the heart of Parliament, and see the Speaker’s Chair and despatch boxes in the Commons Chamber. Tickets can now be booked for tours on: Tuesday to Friday, 10 to 17 February Tuesday to Friday, 7 to 13 April All Saturdays…

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Proposal to Create a “Public Service Ombudsman”

The Government published a draft bill on 5 December that would create a Public Service Ombudsman for UK reserved matters and public services in England. The draft bill would abolish the existing Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman, merging their existing responsibilities into a single Public Service Ombudsman (PSO). The draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill aims to simplify the public service ombudsman system, while also ‘modernising’ aspects of it. The Government expects its proposals will “make it easier than ever before to rectify complaints about…

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Vote 100: exhibition on women’s suffrage in Portcullis House

Come and see the Vote 100 exhibition on women’s suffrage and the Speaker’s Conference on Electoral Reform 1916-17. Date: Friday 6 January – Friday 3 February Location: The Atrium, Portcullis House This event is open to all passholders; no need to book. For further information, please contact the Vote 100 Exhibition Project team by email (vote100@parliament.uk) or on x1296.

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British Red Cross Emergency App

Did you know that the British Red Cross has a free ‘Emergency App’? Their unique app delivers real-time alerts, severe weather warnings and practical advice in an emergency.  You can set up alerts for your own area, and also for other areas where you may have friends or relatives. It’s available free for IOS or Android from their website: http://www.redcross.org.uk/emergencyapp

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MAPSA Christmas Jumper Day – Thursday 15th & Friday 16th December

MAPSA has decided to jump on the Christmas jumper bandwagon and hold their own event in Parliament. This is part of Save the Children’s nationwide event so it’s for a brilliant cause as well as being highly amusing. This is open to anyone, MAPSA or non MAPSA members so please tell your friends and get everyone involved – and most importantly please donate! MAPSA will award a prize to the best jumper, so on Thursday and Friday, please send in pictures of you and your jumper on the Parliamentary…

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Brexit co-ordinated inquiries publication begins on Monday

The House of Lords EU Committee – Parliament’s largest body responsible for scrutinising the European Union – will publish six reports on Brexit in six days, starting on 12 December. The reports will identify key issues across a broad range of policy areas, making recommendations to the Government on what it should prioritise in Brexit negotiations. These six reports will be followed in the New Year by further reports, ahead of the Government’s proposed deadline of March for triggering Article 50. Taken as a whole,…

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MPs to be surveyed about mental health

According to a report on the BBC News website, MPs are to be surveyed about their mental health with questions about depression, their sense of self-worth and their drinking habits. The report says: Former health minister Dr Dan Poulter is conducting the study alongside King’s College London. The Tory MP said he had seen colleagues clearly struggling with very low mood and behaving erratically under stress. Researchers say it could establish if mental health issues are more prevalent among MPs than the general population. The…

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Future Parliament: event video now online

How can new technology build capacity, strengthen scrutiny and improve public engagement within the legislative process?  Does Restoration and Renewal present a rare opportunity to experiment with more innovative working practices? We gathered leading thinkers and practitioners from Parliament and the tech arena to examine these themes at the opening event of Parliament Week 2016. Watch the event in full on YouTube – including w4mp editor Bill Thompson in a rare public foray. Read the first of three posts on the day’s key take-aways Explore the online…

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Updated: List of Ministerial Responsibilities

At long last, the List of Ministerial Responsibilities has been brought up to date. This useful document gives the names, postal addresses, email addresses and telephone number for all of the current Government Ministers, and also lists their specific responsibilities. You can find a link to it on the first page our hotlines list on the intranet.

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