Twelve stocking fillers for Christmas

It’s been a year of political change and uncertainty, at home and abroad. Brexit has dominated the headlines and, with the recent agreement on Phase 1, some may now be peering into 2018 tentatively seeking to understand, what next?

But Brexit is only one of many things for government and public service providers to deal with. From digital innovation and cyber security to the election of metro mayors and the launch of the Industrial Strategy there have been many developments in 2017 which will impact on the public sector as well as business in the year ahead.

This means digging deep and exploring the practical solutions to revolutionise public services in the year ahead. In this season of giving, I have delved into our Public Sector Matters and Health Matters Christmas stocking for twelve posts to provide practical inspiration for 2018 and beyond.

  1. Back in July, Sir John Grant, the former UK Ambassador to the EU (and now special adviser to PwC) shared his thoughts on what’s in store for the negotiations. Many of his observations (including to expect plenty of drama on our shores) remain pertinent today.  

  2. Beyond the details of the Brexit negotiations, there are opportunities for businesses and government to think ahead to the practical changes needed to adapt to life outside the EU. Here are Jo Bello’s reflections on the future for our borders post Brexit…

  3. ...and 5 ideas for boosting UK exports from Matthew Alabaster.

  4. New technology offers much promise for future public services. The launch of the £20 million GovTech Fund is welcome to unlock a wave of investment in public services and bring the best of tech, SMEs and startups into the heart of government.

    We have been flying the flag for GovTech for over a year. Here are my reflections, alongside Bhavin Kotecha, on how GovTech innovation can be unlocked and what barriers need to be removed.  

  5. We also have been thinking widely and creatively about new digital applications including the use of blockchain to improve the current prescriptions system.

  6. While digital and data are the new oil in the 21st century, we must not be irresponsible with this gift: the ransomware attacks on the NHS in May were an acute reminder of this. Here are our tips on preventing and handling a cyber attack.

  7. I also shared some wider thinking on the implications of the ‘rise of the robots’ for the public sector workforce, which has been a hot topic in 2017.

  8. The Budget and Industrial Strategy have highlighted the role of infrastructure in boosting national productivity. Housing is perhaps the big non-Brexit issue of our time and in October Matthew Williams imagined three housing delivery needs and the three types of housing association to meet them as part of the national housing challenge.

  9. The Autumn Budget also saw the announcement of a boost of £8 billion to raise the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn. However, an investment is also needed around how we identify and develop infrastructure.  In February, Daniel Hanson shared three key aspects of transport project appraisal which need to be developed to bring real clarity to decision-making.  

  10. Delivering the right skills is also a vital part of solving the UK’s productivity puzzle. In March, Michael Kane examined what a local approach to skills might look like to recognise the needs of local businesses and serve regional economies.  

  11. Throughout the year, we have been knitting together our thinking for what’s needed to improve local public services and boost good, inclusive growth across local economies.  

  12. With large swathes of Whitehall deployed to manage Brexit, 2018 is an opportunity for local public service providers and leaders to take a lead by innovating and improving the services they deliver - including our new metro mayors.

So there you are - a blog a day for the twelve days of Christmas that, with the year ahead presenting unprecedented challenges and opportunities for business, government and public service providers, might just provide a tonic for those seeking inspiration. Have a terrific festive season one and all.


Tina Hallett | Government and Public Services Lead Partner
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