Government to Publish White Paper on Public Service Reform

The Governments plans seem to revolve around three principles:

  1. Diversity: Public Services will be opened up to a ‘range of providers competing to offer a better service’. Suppliers include private sector companies and charitable bodies
  2. Choice: The Government will aim to carry on Tony Blair’s agenda of increasing choice in public service provision. This means giving patients the freedom to ‘choose which hospital they get treated in or parents having a genuine choice over their child\’s school’
  3. Delivering Services at the Lowest Possible Level: The changes will also see services being delivered at the lowest possible level i.e. giving more people the right to take control of the budget for the service they receive

The Head of Policy at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, Gillian Econopouly, said that “Opening up the delivery of services is a welcome step to ensuring the public sector can benefit from the skills and expertise of a wide range of providers. Evidence from the recruitment market demonstrates that the public sector is not always best placed to deliver every type of service. When the in-house recruitment bank for the Health Service, NHS Professionals, took over many of the functions provided by the recruitment industry, it proved far less effective and consistently made annual losses. But recruiters – experts in sourcing, vetting and placing candidates – have provided schools, hospitals and councils with access to a highly trained and cost effective workforce. Whilst we await more details from the forthcoming Public Services White Paper, it is essential that any reforms that widen access must ensure quality, not just cost of service, remains the principal consideration in the bidding process.”

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