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Public Eye - Summer 2015

With the General Election over and the first Conservative government in power for almost 20 years, change is sweeping through the public sector.

With the General Election over and the first Conservative government in power for almost 20 years with their first budget, change is sweeping through the public sector.

What remains constant, however, is the need for public bodies to find fresh ways to provide high quality and much-needed services within tighter budgets.

In this issue, we speak to a number of public sector innovators, including Julie Griffin, Head of Co-operative Working at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, about the authority’s ambitious services redesign, which aims to improve lives through partnership and adaptability.

Umesh Prabhu, Medical Director at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust is also breaking the mould. A strong focus on staff engagement has helped the Trust reduce mortality rates while achieving a cash surplus. In a special feature, Umesh explains how the “WWL Way” is being shared with other trusts and public sector bodies as a best practice model.

Devolving power was a key theme of the Conservative Party manifesto and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, was the first time any government has signalled so clearly its intentions for decentralising power. In his article, Simon Goacher says no one should underestimate the appetite to rebalance the political and economic landscape of the UK away from Westminster.

Nonetheless, we have seen on numerous occasions that pre-election pledges do not always become a reality. Will this be the case with the much publicised UK Bill of Rights? John Riddell provides some fascinating thoughts.

Other articles in this issue address how different areas of the public sector are reacting to change and doing things differently. Edwina Farrell discusses how Vanguard GPs are at the forefront of reforms to make the NHS more patient-focused; Tony Yeaman looks at what ambulance services need to do to deliver high-quality, cost-effective services against an ever-changing demand; and Chris Webb-Jenkins explains how the Care Act heralds seismic changes in the way we look after individuals needing support.

We hope you enjoy the read. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding any of the articles we have included in this issue or if you would like further information on a topic we haven’t covered. Your views are always important to us and we welcome your feedback.

We will also be hosting events in the coming months on hot issues in the public sector, please refer to In Focus to find out more details.