Headlines: October 9th, 2000

New research aims to find out what users think about and want in the future from public services – and it will form a base to measure whether future surveys show improvement.A ‘league table’ of those services which are highly valued and thought of by users has been culled from the fifth wave of research using the People’s Panel, a group of people who have volunteered to be part of a major research project by MORI, for the Cabinet Office.

In this instance, face to face interviews have been conducted with 1,086 panel members across the United Kingdom.

The research asked panel members about their perceptions of public service performance, how the public sector deals with complaints, and about what qualities members of the public think that public services should have.

Top scoring services were education, health services, libraries and refuse and recycling. Nine in ten are satisfied with their GP and nearly eight in ten with NHS hospitals; nearly nine in ten are satisfied with their libraries and their local refuse/waste collection services and eight in ten are satisfied with their local recycling facilities.

Looking at what people see as priority services, access to health services is the clear winner, with three in five wanting to see a GP within a week.

Other expectations include quick response to 999 calls by emergency services, cutting crime, ensuring children are given the opportunity to realise their full potential in school, and that buses and trains should run on time.

Some services reflect high levels of dissatisfaction: road and pavement maintenance; council housing; street cleaning; youth clubs and facilities for young people; and local councils as a whole.

An electronic summary, along with topline results, is available on the Modernising Public Services Group website at: www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/servicefirst/2000/panel/wave5/index.htm