Troubled Families: Is Lily The Pink Dead?

Jason Lowther

Whatever happened to the Troubled Families Programme (TFP)?  Three weeks before last year’s general election purdah period, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles heralded the Government’s three year programme as “a triumph…[that will] turn around the lives 120,000 of this country’s hardest to help families…[saving] the taxpayer over a billion pounds”.  After the election, Prime Minister Cameron announced the success rate had been 99% which had “saved as much as £1.2 billion in the process”.

Fast forward a few months and the headlines have taken a rapid reverse:

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Reimagining the public service ethos

Steven Parker

There are many ways to imagine the public service ethos – as an old-fashioned approach to public service delivery, or one that can be improved by closer working between different sectors.  A recent example of this is a report on ‘the new public service ethos’ (Localis 2016). The report noted a clear perception of the public service ethos among public sector staff, but that a lack of awareness between the public and private sectors had led to a perceived ‘cultural misalignment’ between them. It concluded that different sectors need to work together more closely to provide value for local public service delivery.
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Can we commission for outcomes?

Anniina Tirronen

‘Outcomes-based commissioning’ has become the dominant approach to commissioning services in the United Kingdom, with similar concepts such as value-based purchasing and payment by results being explored in the United States and Australia.  Instead of determining the volume or exact nature of services, outcomes-based commissioning focuses on desired ‘outcomes’, such as changes, healing or other effects that take place as a result of services, allowing producers and clients to shape the way targets are reached.  But what effect does commissioning for outcomes have, and is it a better way to commission services?

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Can High Speed Two Bridge the North-South Divide? Weighing the Evidence

Rebecca O’Neill

The Government recently announced its preferred route for Phase 2 of HS2 from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds. This news will be welcomed by many in the North of England who believe that the new high speed rail line will bridge the ‘North-South divide’, referring to the cultural and economic differences between the South of England, in particular the South East, and the North. Currently, the gap between the two geographical areas in terms of life expectancy and economic trends has grown to the extent that they are almost separate countries.

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‘Secret plans to close hospitals’: the perils of centralism

Catherine Staite

The Kings Fund’s warning, that there are ‘secret plans’ to close hospitals, comes as no surprise to local government. A number of local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, Sutton and Camden have decided to publish the NHS’s ‘Sustainable Transformation Plan’ (STP) for their area, against the wishes of the NHS, because of concerns about lack of transparency and particularly the lack of engagement with communities about the best outcomes.

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