Public service reform ... saying and doing

11 Mar 2009 by Karl Hallam

The Government published their latest public service reform document this week. There is some interesting stuff in there, but Cadence contacts who attended the launch were not convinced Gordon Brown's heart was really in it.

The report comes from the Cabinet Office and Liam Byrne is fronting it. He is obviously more excited by the ideas in the report like:

'Empowering citizens - Excellent public services depend on providing not only resources but information and control, therefore the Government will continue to make it easier for people to gain control of their services through shared information and online feedback forums'.

Examples of this approach include:

'Provide people with new opportunities through the NHS Choices website to give online comment and share information about all health services in their area, including direct feedback to all GP surgeries this summer. This gives people more power to influence the way health services are delivered'.

This is obviously influenced by Paul Hodgkin's Patient Opinion, which we have highlighted before. The media coverage picked up on some of the other initiatives under 'new professionalism' including:

'Create a new 'Prime Minister's Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery', looking at freeing up nurses and midwives to lead improvements on the front line;

Work with partners to develop a new fast-track route for talented career switchers and graduates moving into teaching - taking six rather than the current 12 months to complete;

Launch a Masters degree 'Teaching and Learning', with an ambition of 4,000-5,000 participating in 2009/10;

ntroduce a new Accelerate to Headship scheme in September 2010, to offer up to 200 outstanding individuals a fast-track pathway to senior leadership within four years;

Reduce red-tape in policing equivalent to 2,500-3,500 officers over time, including around 690,000 hours of form filling alone'.

Liam Byrne want to do more than talk about the idea of more innovation in public services, as a response to the recession. It is less clear how embedded that approach is in the rest of government.

A good opportunity to hear his views put to test will be at a forthcoming ippr/Price Waterhouse Coopers event, that Cadence are involved in, on the 24th March, when he will go head to head with Michael Gove, Shadow Education spokesperson for the Conservatives.

Other Cadence posts on innovation.

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