Archives for June 8th, 2001

PUBLIC SECTOR PEOPLE BRACED FOR CHANGE

Headlines, PublicNet: 8 June, 2001

The ‘no barriers and no dogmas’ approach of the new Administration will have a massive impact on people at all levels in the public sector. In addition to the removal of barriers with the private and voluntary sectors there is also the removal of demarcation barriers between the professions within the same organizations. The doctor – nurse divide is an example. Elsewhere the setting up of one stop shops will involve ‘generalists’ giving increasingly detailed advice on a range of subjects previously reserved for the professional.Trade unions and professional bodies are already flexing muscles in an effort to preserve the status quo. Unison, Britain’s biggest trade union representing 1.5m public sector workers, is planning to call on delegates at its annual conference on June 17 to back its militant strategy of opposition to increasing the involvement of the private sector. Labour’s core trade union supporters have been infuriated by Tony Blair’s campaign pledges, in which he has made clear his intention to make much wider use of the private sector in hospitals and schools.

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LABOUR VICTORY BRINGS CHANGE OF COURSE FOR PUBLIC SERVICES

Headlines, PublicNet: 8 June, 2001

The radical change in public services promised by Labour for its first term is much more likely to delivered in its second term. The last four years has seen a growing recognition that successful change cannot be delivered within the organization but needs to involve working across boundaries and through partnerships that cross between the public, voluntary and private sectors. Prime Minister Tony Blair summed up this recognition when he said: “Public services will not improve unless a range of private and voluntary organizations are allowed to deliver them.” He also said: “There will be no barriers and no dogmas.” Former small business minister Patricia Hewitt signaled the importance of public services to the new administration when she said: “Public service reform will be Labour’s toughest challenge in our second term.”The election campaign has brought insights into the way in which the ‘no boundaries no dogmas’ approach will be put into action. NHS trusts will be able ‘buy in’ services from the private sector and 20 treatment centers will be set up under public private partnerships. Private companies will be invited to run any schools not just those that are failing. Elsewhere in the public sector there are models of partnership working. Liverpool City Council has formed a company with BT to run council services. The London Borough of Croydon has set up a strategic partnership with Capita. These developments by innovative pioneers are likely to become the norm.

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