CPS Completes study on Sustainable Development in Health and Social Care

The East of England Public Health group have published a major study researched and written by the Centre for Public Services (with the Nuffield Institute for Health, at Leeds University). The report assesses the contribution of health and social care to sustainable development in the region.

The study quantifies the impact of the Health and Social Care system on the economy, labour market, social inclusion and the environment in the East of England.

The study was commissioned by the East of England Public Health Group, the Department of Health and the Health Development Agency, together with regional partners such as the East of England Development Agency, East of England Regional Assembly, Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridge Workforce Development Confederation, Environment Agency and Strategic Health Authorities in the region. The project also included widespread consultation with a range of stakeholders and partners across the region. The final report is available from the East of England Public Health Observatory.

CPS helps to retain in-house services in Manchester

CPS assisted GMPTE and UNISON to develop an in-house alternative to outsourcing and privatisation, saving jobs in the process. (6/01/2004). With help from CPS the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) UNISON branch has persuaded the Executive not to outsource IT services. A Best Value review in 2001 found that the IT department of the GMPTE, needed substantial improvement. An ‘executive partnership’ and outsourcing were on the agenda and the local UNISON branch protested, campaigning widely on the need for an alternative option. They commissioned a report from the Centre for Public Services on the alternatives to outsourcing.

Subsequently GMPTE has taken the decision to substantially increase the IT budget and give temporary staff permanent employment. It also commits management to provide a ‘strategic and long term vision’ for the service. Branch Chairman Tony Wilson said: “This has not only been a resounding success, it’s also reassured our members who fatalistically said the Best Value process would inevitably lead to more privatisation.”

CPS helps to retain in-house services in Northamptonshire

A CPS report on the alternatives to a strategic partnership with the private sector helped Northamptonshire UNISON retain in-house services. (16/12/04) Northampton County Council and Milton Keynes Council were planning the largest joint strategic partnership in Britain covering a wide range of council services. The project was a government pathfinder project. Amey and HBS were shortlisted. The project was eventually defeated in Northamptonshire but went ahead in Milton Keynes.

Northamptonshire County Council was proposing to transfer over 2000 jobs to the private sector as part of a strategic business partnership with Hyder, in a deal worth an initial £766m. Both branches commissioned CPS to develop an in-house service improvement strategy and the report was widely distributed in the two authorities. CPS also produced briefing papers analysing the bids, held meetings with UNISON members and presented alternative options to the respective councils and Labour Groups. HBS and the council eventually agreed to terminate their relationship due to an ‘unbridgeable financial gap’, effectively recognising the validity of many of the issues highlighted by CPS.

Care Homes Saved in Stoke

CPS assisted in the drawing up of a Best Value alternative to care home closures, cuts and privatisation, saving seven care homes in Stoke-on-Trent. CPS assisted in the development of an alternative to narrow sighted and wholescale residential care home closures. Stoke Council was considering a proposal for the closure of eight care homes in the city but now plans a programme of investment and modernisation, saving all but one home. The decision will retain and improve the Council’s capacity to deliver social care services and save much needed jobs in the City.

CPS had worked with Stoke UNISON and councillors to promote an alternative Best Value solution to privatisation and budget cuts. CPS first prepared a critique of the proposal for privatisation, budget cuts and care home closures. CPS also worked with the UNISON branch, staff and councillors to develop and alternative Best Value report arguing for the retention of the homes and a programme of investment, modernisation and service improvement to meet the challenge of an ageing population and increased demand for social care in the future. Mick Burrows, from Stoke UNISON, said the work of CPS had: “Helped to achieve a result that is second to none“.