Seven principles of public service reform

Developed as part of a recent review of services for people living with cancer (commissioned by Macmillan) I found that formulating the principles created a framework that then supported the wider research, commentary and policy recommendations. Only one of the seven principles directly mentions cancer, in reference to the issue of cancer poverty, though even it has a much wider application.

The danger in condensing complex ideas into axioms is that they become weak and simplistic. The aim, of course, is that the reduction concentrates the thought, amplifying the essential point while retaining enough nuance to acknowledge a deeper argument.

Comments most welcome ….

I. Let’s do the right things, and let’s do them low cost
The new paradigm is not ‘more for less,’ it’s ‘let’s do things differently (and less expensively!).’ We don’t want less of the same old, we want something we’ve not yet had (but that we can afford!).

II. Inform and empower: promote freedom of choice and autonomy
People with good information make better choices. We must be there when needed, but people want to remain free from us as much as possible and to interact with us on their own terms, when they must.

III. It’s the money, stupid!
Even when cancer does not lead to death, it often leads to poverty. This is often avoidable, and more could be done to avoid it more often.

IV. We must not just learn from the past, we must also learn for the future
We cannot redesign for the people we have already served, we must redesign for the future users of services. We must be adaptive to future generational change including the demands and expectations of the baby boomers, generations X and Y.

V. Increase participation, co-design and build community capacity
People want to help others and people want to help themselves. By building on the social capital in communities, we can increase the capacity for humanity in the care system.

VI. Services must not be defined by existing professions.
New arrangements will promote collaboration, cooperation and coproduction; aligning objectives and budgets and service delivery – towards a seamless service.

VII. Leadership is important
Change is needed and change won’t happen without us taking action. Let’s mobilise our resources to make a difference.

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1 comment
  1. Derek Myers said:

    I love this wordle

    The headline message seems to be:

    “Future people must want less”

    and this stands rather well with the Coalition’s hopes and fears. The hope (big society; necessary cuts;smaller state etc ) is that citizens can be retrained to expect less free services. The fear is that in a consumer society (the only driver for economic growth) free stuff is popular. Witness expectations of free media content; wi-fi; free newspapers. People might expect/want to pay for individual pleasures/ self-development/ experiences but expect dull public services to be utilities, paid for by some other mechanism , but not individual fees.We could call this PAYE !
    In a number of ways the Government is now understanding its popularity depends upon spending money so announcements are made about new pots of money across Whitehall. None of this re-inforces the message of “less”…


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