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The architecture of public services in the UK is in transition. Across the National Health Service, Local Authorities, neighbourhood schools and libraries our public service institutions are being remodelled

Within this context, we at the Transition Institute believe that there is an unrivalled opportunity to transform public services for the better; ensuring that they deliver real social value to the people that use them and pay for them.

The Transition Institute was co-founded by Social Enterprise London and NESTA and was officially launched in May 2011. Our philosophy is based upon conversations with passionate supporters of public services, shaped around the need for informed, impartial debate about new emerging structures in the sector; such as public sector spin-outs.  

We are working to ensure that the Transition Institute provides the space and platform for these debates, building the knowledge and research necessary to support a growing community of partners committed to embedding innovation and social value into public services. Our streams of work being developed focus on research, a network and incubation support for spin-outs.

Since the soft launch of the concept of the Transition Institute five months ago we have been looking at how new public sector spin-out organisations such as Your Healthcare, delivering health services in Kingston, and NAViGO delivering mental health services in North East Lincolnshire, have developed and emerged to become successful public sector spin outs.  

Our focus on the transition process of spinning out is revealing a number of emerging themes such as the importance of leadership, staff empowerment and the need for peer support.  The Transition Institute’s upcoming publication on these change management essentials will be launched online at the end of November.

What is clear from the outset is that the leaders of these new models of public services are inherently passionate about what they do and the community they serve. They embrace their new freedom to be innovative in how they deliver services and can test the status quo to achieve radically better results for users.

What the Transition Institute has tried to achieve so far is a better understanding of how these successful spin-out organisations have realised their current success - in order for us to be able to capture and disseminate the information and support re-shaped public services which create the maximum possible social value.

More widely, it is essential that the social value of public services is taken into account by commissioners, the essence of the Social Value Bill currently going through parliament.  The most crucial question any public procurement process must ask is: how much will an organisation bidding for the contract deliver to the community above and beyond the service?

Whether that is in the form of providing training opportunities for local people, re-investment into local services or business support for local SMEs, the current financial climate pushes this question to the fore.

This is a part of the equation which will ensure that any organisation running public services independently of the public sector are those which see public services as about more than delivering a service for the lowest possible cost. Instead, we will have public services delivered by organisations which go out of their way to create the most benefit to society and provide real value – both social and economic – for our communities and our society.

 



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Written by Dom Potter   
Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:23
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:28
 

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