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As we move rapidly towards the next general election, all eyes are on ideas that will emerge to deliver good growth, reform government and public services and help lift standards of living. Our blog explores the most pressing challenges being faced in the public sector today, towards 2015 and beyond.

30 March 2015

Starting with what already works: shaping an enabling culture in the NHS

The Five Year Forward View should shape a culture that appreciates what works, says Dame Carol Black and Raj Bhamber The media spotlight on the NHS Five Year Forward View when published in October brought a welcome cheer. Too often the NHS has been portrayed as broken. Not only is...

26 March 2015

Managing public pay: challenges for the next parliament

By John Hawksworth Despite cuts of around half a million central and local government jobs over the past five years, the public sector still employs more than 5 million people, or just over a sixth of the total UK workforce. The public sector paybill accounts for around half of general...

Thinking differently about youth unemployment

By Damian Riley and James Langford Over the past three months, we have explored how reducing youth unemployment could contribute to improving living standards in the UK, analysing both the issues for the UK and the four key principles for intervention design, drawn from international comparison: personalising interventions to target...

24 March 2015

The politics of aid in the run-up to the General Election

By Tom Pedrick Follow @thomas_pedrick At our recent international development conference we convened a panel of think-tanks, to compare the aid-related priorities of the three main political parties. The topic of overseas aid may not be a vote-winner, but it can still arouse strong reactions - according to PwC’s Citizens’...

23 March 2015

Five tests for the future government

By Nick C Jones As we head into the formal election campaign, what challenges will the next government face, whatever its complexion? And how might this impact on voters as they exercise real power when putting their cross on the ballot paper? Firstly, while there’s cross-party agreement on the need...

18 March 2015

Will this Budget deliver an election victory?

By Nick C Jones The last Coalition Budget was always going to be delivered with the forthcoming General Election in mind, but in many ways this Budget stayed true to the themes for the last five years, with an unswerving focus on deficit reduction and commitment to stick to the...

16 March 2015

Is public service reform ever easy?

By Charles Lloyd Is public service reform easier in an age of austerity government? This question was raised during our roundtable programme with the Social Market Foundation looking towards the Spending Review. There are arguments for and against. It is often said that austerity provides the imperative for innovation, looking...

11 March 2015

Pharma in 2015 and beyond: Challenges for the next government

By Jo Pisani and Rachel Armstrong As the challenges facing the health sector grow, achieving positive health and economic outcomes in the UK requires strategic partnership working across government, the NHS and Pharmaceutical and Lifesciences (PLS)industry. In the run-up to the 2015 general election, we highlight three areas for immediate...

05 March 2015

What do businesses really want from government?

By Tina Hallett Where can government most help UK businesses to grow? This is a question which is front of mind for politicians in the run up to the general election and forms a central finding in our report Government and the Global CEO: Delivering outcomes, creating value. In terms...

27 February 2015

Delivering the bottom line

By Tina Hallett The first 100 days of a government is usually a defining moment for the success (or otherwise) of the administration. But with multiple parties possibly in coalition after the election in May, we are likely to find that getting off to a flying start in balancing the...

We need new ways of addressing antimicrobial resistance

By Jo Pisani & Alan Milburn It’s a global problem that could claim an additional 10 million lives a year, and the NHS and pharma need to work together to tackle it, say Jo Pisani and Alan Milburn. The UK is ill-equipped to respond to increasing resistance to antibiotics, which...

26 February 2015

Full speed ahead: Manchester – taking control of its transport destiny

By Clement Walsh Against the backdrop of a cross-party commitment to further devolution and the prospect of new investment in major national infrastructure projects - such as HS2 and new airport and road capacity – we’re hosting a series of roundtables across the UK with the Smith Institute to discuss...

25 February 2015

Great expectations for Manchester’s health deal

By Dr Tim Wilson & Jonathan House The expected devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget builds on the city-region’s impressive record on collaborative working across the public sector. While the detail is yet to be set out, there is huge potential for Greater Manchester to take...

24 February 2015

The 2018 University: managing complexity and integrating for the future

By Phelim O'Kane and Caitroina McCusker In our blog ‘’The 2018 University – how ready is higher education to embrace the future’ we considered the challenges facing today’s universities, highlighting that too many conflicting systems mean data is difficult to access and doesn’t provide the insight needed. In this blog,...

23 February 2015

Think digital, act local: transforming relationships between services and citizens

By Mike Wallace, Tim Hoban & Stewart Wilson Digitisation can help local government save money, reinvent services and recast the relationship between the citizen and the state. But councils should go further in exploring digital capabilities, potentially in collaboration with each other and other agencies, as highlighted by a new...

20 February 2015

Youth unemployment: an international perspective

By Damian Riley and James Langford Back in December, we raised youth unemployment as a fundamental part of debates around lifting living standards in the UK, as we head towards the general election. But what lessons can the UK learn from other countries? While many countries experienced the impact of...

19 February 2015

Full speed ahead: London looks to innovation for vehicles and project appraisal

By Grant Klein Against the backdrop of a cross-party commitment to further devolution and the prospect of investment in major national infrastructure projects - such as HS2 and a step change in road capacity – we’re hosting a series of roundtables across the UK with the Smith Institute. Our aim...

17 February 2015

Austerity Government Scene II (a balancing act)

By Charles Lloyd With less than one hundred days to go, the political parties are now, in earnest, reaching out to the electorate to explain how they differ. But in one area, at least, there appears to be a degree of consensus. The next government will be one still under...

10 February 2015

Smart Moves: tapping into growth in public transport

By Grant Klein Follow @GrantAKlein With a growing population and economy, demand on the UK’s transport network is continuing to rise. The challenge for both government and providers is to ensure that transport is a continuing enabler for the growth of our regions and cities. A vital element of this...

03 February 2015

The new digital age: are charities ready for disruption?

By James Bowman and Dominic Putt "To disrupt or to be disrupted. That is the question". OK, if Shakespeare were alive today, he might not have said those exact words but all charities, large or small, need to be asking themselves that same question. In a previous blog, we talked...