Public services news round-up: November 2016

Welcome to November’s public services news round up. This month we look at the autumn statement, sustainability and transformation plans, perceptions of the public sector, criminal justice, person-centred care and training.

If you have any thoughts, questions or challenges then please leave a comment below or tweet us @NCVO or @NJ_Davies.

Autumn statement

On Wednesday the chancellor, Philip Hammond, delivered the May government’s first autumn statement. He painted a gloomy picture of the nation’s finances with lower growth, more borrowing and continued austerity expected over the coming years. The vast majority of the departmental cuts that were announced last year will go ahead and there will be no additional money for health and social care. Similarly, there was little meaningful help offered to those on lower incomes, who have been hit by previously announced changes to benefits.

Overall, this was a budget that will do little to alleviate the twins pressures of reduced funding and increased demand faced by many public services, including those delivered by the voluntary sector. Charities not in receipt of statutory funding will also likely feel the effect due to the limited capacity of publicly funded services.

More positively, the government reiterated its commitment to the devolution agenda championed by George Osborne. There will be further powers devolved to London and Manchester, including the budget for the Work and Health Programme, while work towards a second devolution deal with the West Midlands will continue. This is welcome but, with half of England not covered by existing deals, it must be hoped that this is not the extent of the government’s devolution ambition.

Want to find out more about the autumn statement?

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Involvement of charities in STPs

The King’s Fund has produced helpful research on how NHS sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) have been developed in practice.

They found that although the voluntary sector had sometimes been involved in STP workshops and meetings, they rarely played a significant role in developing the detail of the plans.

Perceptions of the public sector

Deloitte and Reform have published their annual analysis of the state of the public sector.

Perhaps most interestingly, it found that public support for taxes to fund public spending is on the rise for the first time since the 1990’s. 60% of the public now believe that public services should be extended, even if doing so requires tax rises.

State of the criminal justice sector

Clinks is currently gathering evidence for its annual state of the sector report.

If you work in the criminal justice sector please take the time to provide information about your organisation’s criminal justice work, staffing, volunteers, beneficiaries and your experiences of partnership working. The survey should only take around 25 minutes to complete and will close on 16 December 2016.

Person and community-centred care

The Realising the Value programme has conducted a thorough analysis of the evidence for person and community-centred approaches. After working with five frontline sites across England, they have published tools, recommendations and economic modelling to show how they can be successfully implemented.

Aimed at health and care system leaders, commissioners and front-line professionals, the resources from the programme conclude that person- and community- centred approaches are pivotal to improving wellbeing outcomes during financially restrained times.

Upcoming training

Data Protection Seminar

1 Dec, 14.00-18.00 – London
26 January, 13.00-17.00 – Manchester

Get up to date on the latest developments in Data Protection legislation and find out what you need to do to ensure you stay within the law at our Data Protection seminars in London and Manchester.

Writing successful bids

27 January, 09.30 – 16.30 – London

When you write a funding application, how often are you successful? Your time is precious and good funding opportunities few, so make sure every application is as strong as possible Come and learn with NCVO consultants how to make your bid stand out.

Social value boot camp

3 March, 09.30 – 16.30 – London

The Social value boot camp is a practical one-day workshop with an emphasis on knowledge exchange and creating resources that are relevant to your organisation, and can be applied the very next day. This course provides organisations with the knowledge and tools to understand and make use of Social Value Act principles, demonstrate local impact to commissioners and produce stronger proposals for funding and other income.

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Nick was NCVO's public services manager until March 2017. He is also a trustee of the South London Relief in Sickness Fund.

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