IMPLEMENTING DIRECT PAYMENTS IN MENTAL HEALTH

Features: May 5th, 2005

By H Spandler and N Vick Making direct payments to people with mental health problems so they can choose the support they need, offers greater independence and flexibility and facilitates social inclusion. The authors looked at the reasons for the very low take up, despite the attractions offered. They found that implementation was unplanned, ad hoc and opportunistic and suggest what needs to be done to boost direct payments take-up.



GETTING A BETTER CALL CENTRE CULTURE

Features: April 29th, 2005

By Adam Smith Call centres are increasingly becoming key components of public sector customer relationship management strategies. Managing a call centre is a complex task and getting the right culture is vitally important. The author draws on his experience with police control rooms, which are evolving into call centres, to examine staff motivation and other issues that lead to effective and efficient operation.

Building Better Connections: Interagency Work and the Connexions Service

Features: April 22nd, 2005

By Bob Coles, Liz Britton and Leslie Hicks Inter-agency working to deliver seamless services has widespread support and few dissenters. It is crucially important for young people aged 16 and 17 who are not in or are at risk of disengaging with education, employment or training. The authors look at the Connexions initiative, Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnerships launched by local councils and the work of other agencies to support young people. They highlight the weaknesses in joint working and suggest how improvements could be made.

TAKING A GOOD HARD LOOK AT E-GOVERNMENT

Features: April 15th, 2005

By Donato Piccinno E-government has become something of a buzzword, with local authorities racing towards new hardware and software packages that deliver the ‘tick in the box’. From an insider perspective, the author warns that flash ‘eye-candy’ systems are not up to the task. He advises a more considered ‘bottom-up’ solution and suggests that Councils should go back to basics.

INVESTORS IN COMMUNITIES

Features: April 8th, 2005

By Sean Baine, John Eversley and Sheila Camp Quality in personnel management is recognised by awarding ‘Investors in People’ status to organisations that meet high standards. The model has been applied to housing associations and councils for quality performance in investing in communities. The authors describe how the pilot ‘Investors in Communities’ was set up and the results achieved. They also outline a future for this ‘badge of honour’.

CONSULTATION FATIGUE: WHAT ARE CUSTOMERS REALLY TIRED OF?

Features: April 1st, 2005

By David Allen Reproduced by permission of the Public Management and Policy Association. Consultation fatigue is a common complaint across the public sector and it has been so for many years. The author from his experience at the forefront of research argues that the real problem is that action does not follow the surveys. He suggests more focus on what matters to customers to improve public response.

THE PATH FROM SOCIAL EXCLUSION FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Features: March 18th, 2005

Young people from the poorest neighbourhoods in Britain face a major challenge in breaking out of the cycle of social exclusion. Despite numerous initiatives over many years the impoverished situations of most people the authors talked to remained largely unchanged. They explore the reasons for this lack of progress revealed by their interviews and suggest what might be done to break the social exclusion cycle.

WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

Features: March 11th, 2005

As more services go online to meet the December 2005 deadline for e government, the risk of potential crisis situations increases. System failures and other unforeseen circumstances could lead to overwhelming call and email volumes. The transitional period will also bring a need to educate and give additional support. These risks are examined in the light of crisis management experience outside the public sector.

ROUTES OUT OF POVERTY

Features: March 4th, 2005

By Peter Kemp, Jonathan Bradshaw, Paul Dornan, Naomi Finch and Emese Mayhew. Poverty, for many of those who experience it, is a short-lived experience. Much work has been done on the reasons why people become poor and this work by the authors focuses on the ladders used by different groups of people to climb out of it. The insights presented here provide a sound evidence base to help those framing anti-policy measures.

BUSINESS SUPPORT GOES LOCAL

Features: February 25th, 2005

By Hannah Brindle In April 2005 the Business Link organisation, the vehicle used to deliver business support throughout England, will go local with responsibility for services transferred to Regional Development Agencies. In preparation for the move a model has been developed for the delivery of business support which brings together a coalition of support providers and local government agencies. The author describes how the model challenges the RDAs to deliver a genuine customer focus.

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