Jonathan Werran 16 May 2013

Charter sets ambitious standards for public services

Ministers have published a charter setting out standards of service the public sector should achieve and what users should expect to recieve.

The Choice Charter has been published alongside the Government’s second annual update on the Open Public Services programme - which outlines the Coalition’s agenda for modernising the delivery of public services.

The charter is aligned to the five Choice Frameworks coving choices available to people accessing NHS care services, social housing, social care, education and funded early education.

Among achievements listed in the update are the Community Organisers programme - which has recruited 195 mentors who could, in turn train up to 5,000 people to take control of neighbourhood decisions – the 81 Free Schools and 2,886 academy schools and the extension of payment by result schemes for getting people back into work and drug rehabilitation.

The Government also published its response to David Boyle’s independent review of barriers to choice in public services, endorsing his recommendations to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds get access to better public services.

Mr Boyle’s review, published in January, concluded that less articulate and confident people, often from lower socio-economic groups, are more likely to be denied choice in major services such as health and education.

David Laws, minister of state for schools and the Cabinet Office said the Open Public Services programme was giving individuals and communities greater power to mould services around specific needs.

‘Thanks to David Boyle’s review, we have been able to understand the barriers that stop people from exercising choice and have put plans in place to dismantle those hurdles,’ Mr Laws said.

‘In a digital age, people expect to be able to access the services they want at a time and place that works for them, said Oliver Letwin, minister for Government policy.

‘Through the Open Public Services programme we are releasing the Government’s grip on local service and unleashing a wave of bottom up innovation that is transforming how services are delivered, accessed and experienced.’

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