When you have a spare couple of minutes, have a look at the recent joint Inspectorates’ (CSSIW and HIW) review of the impact of the Older People National Service Framework in Wales. Why? If you were ever in any doubt about the key strategic problem facing the caring services in Wales, reflect on this sentence from the report:
‘We started to pull together a long list of recommendations to be issued with this report and realized that we were just repeating what has already been said in various strategies and reports…’
Add this to Carwyn Jones’ recent call for a focus on implementation in public policy, and you have the issue: we can all agree on what we should be doing, it’s just implementing it we find so difficult!
All public services have this problem: the heady mix of essential services, politics and monopoly provision all too easily defaults to conservatism, risk aversion and protectionism.
What is Wales’ answer? We have been very clear about what it’s NOT: we are not England, so we don’t believe in markets, choice and competition. But what we do believe in is… cooperation, collaboration and coordination…?
Is that enough? Now THERE’S a question for Wales’ new public policy think tank.
Written by Marcus Longley, Director and Professor of Applied Health Policy