Headlines: February 11th, 2010

A new report shows that public services are struggling to keep their clients satisfied. Figures from the UK Customer Service Index show national public services, including the NHS and Jobcentre Plus rated 12th of the 13 sectors that it measured and local services faring little better.

Councils, police and local GP surgeries are all in the bottom half of the service league table which is based on a sample of 26,000 adults. Organisations are tested against 20 factors of customer satisfaction, including professionalism, problem solving, timeliness, quality and efficiency.

National public services scored 69 out of 100 in the satisfactions survey,with only the utilities sector scoring lower with a rating of 68. Local services did a little better and gained a satisfaction score of 72 out of 100, making them ninth in the table.The highest ranking national body was the Identity and Passport Service, which scored 77. Ambulance Services scored best in the local sector, scoring 82.

UKCSI chief executive Jo Causon said although the public sector was focused on delivering excellent frontline customer service the results suggested the public were yet to feel the benefits. She added: “We have to remember that a number of these organisations are dealing with people in times of great personal stress and this places an even greater emphasis on the need for quality customer focus.”