Major report on public services calls for reform and transformation of public services

The Public Services Committee has published its first report into lessons from COVID-19 for public services. In the report − the first comprehensive analysis of how public services responded to COVID-19, the Committee discusses lessons to be learned from the pandemic and recommends a number of principles to ‘reform and transform’ public service delivery.

In December 2019, the Westminster Government pledged to a care review in England but information about who will chair the review and what the review will cover has yet to be announced.

This latest House of Lords Public Service Committee report identifies the following weaknesses in public service delivery:

  • insufficient support for prevention and early intervention
  • over-centralised delivery of public services, poor communication from the centre, and a tendency for service providers to work in silos rather than integrate service provision
  • a lack of integration especially between services working with vulnerable children, and between health care and adult social care
  • an inability and unwillingness to share data between services
  • inequality of access to public services and a lack of user voice

The Committee was particularly concerned about public service provision during the pandemic for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, homeless people, and people with complex needs.

With more news about the care review yet to be announced, it seems increasingly likely that we should expect a review with a broad focus.

We await more news with interest. This report is worth a read: A critical juncture for public services: lessons from COVID-19

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