Public Services News Round-up: May 2018

This month’s round up includes plans to make the government more transparent, and to improve partnerships between the health and voluntary sectors.

A vision for open government

The Open Government Network  has just released its 2018 manifesto, setting out its vision for how government could work better for people through transparency, participation and accountability. The manifesto proposals are being fed into the development process for the 2018-2020 Open Government Action Plans, that parliament and the devolved administrations use to shape their open government work and reforms over two year periods – for example, around issues such as open procurement data and freedom of information. You can read more on the manifesto in the OGN’s launch blog. Incidentally, NCVO has just joined the OGN’s steering committee, and we’re looking forward to working with colleagues across the Network on open government issues – feel free to drop us a line if you have any views on the topic you’d like to share.

New action plan for health and social care sector

A new action plan setting out to deepen partnerships between health bodies and the voluntary sector launched last month with the backing of key public health bodies, as part the VCSE Review process NCVO has supported. Headline recommendations in the plan include asking health providers to:

  • place a clearer expectation on health leaders to co-design services with users
  • make wellbeing a core outcome for health and social care services
  • make the most of voluntary sector health providers by nurturing small organisations.

The action plan has been jointly agreed between NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care and has been adopted by the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, the partnership programme between those bodies and the voluntary sector.

As part of the launch, the action plan is asking three questions about the recommendations, which can be answered via this survey or to publicservices@ncvo.org.uk by 5pm on 29 June 2018.

Mutually inclusive?

The government has just published a report looking at public service mutuals – organisations which have been ‘spun out’ from the public sector but continue to deliver public services and typically have a significant degree of staff control. The report has some interesting finding around how the competitive contracting environment can in many instances inhibit collaborations between mutual and other delivery partners such as charities.

And the rest…

 

  • Changes to prison education procurement – the Ministry of Justice is launching a new ‘Dynamic Purchasing System’ that will work alongside but separately to the Prison Education Framework as a way for governors to directly commission education provision without subcontracting through the PEF – typically for shorter term needs.
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Michael Birtwistle Michael is our senior policy officer, covering issues around charity tax and finance (including social investment) and the impact of the economy on the sector.

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