The argument about the level of ‘froth’ in the Government’s third Annual Report may go on, but for those in the public sector it offers some useful examples of best practice, modernised working practices and joined-up working. The annual report, available in the high street and on the internet, attempts to hand the glory of the achievements recorded in it to the front line staff delivering change.These include staff members of Pensions Direct in Newcastle, a service which allows OAPs to sort out queries over the phone rather than having to write to or visit a benefits office. It also records the principles behind the ONE centre in Milton Keynes, which integrates benefit and employment advice to provide a faster, more convenient service to clients, including a single claim form and one personal adviser. ONE pilots around the country are paving the way for the merger of the Employment Service and parts of the Benefits Agency next year.
Also featured is a head teacher of a West Bromwich School talking about the benefits of schools working together (one of them a Beacon school) to share best practice, and a nurse in Sheffield explains the workings of one of the 34 pilot NHS walk-in centres.