British Queen celebrates


The coronavirus crisis has resulted in backlogs across public services, including at record levels in the criminal courts. A new report from the Institute for Government and the Chartered

Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy says the government needs a plan to address these and should provide funding to make permanent the successful reforms introduced during the pandemic.

Published this week Performance Tracker 2020 analyses the disruptions in hospitals, general practice, adult social care, schools and criminal courts, and the changes made in response.

The report says the government should use the spending review to set out a timetable to meet acceptable waiting list numbers, and to provide additional funding to make permanent successful reforms by:

 - providing funding to continue faster discharges from hospital beyond the crisis, a longstanding problem that successive governments have failed to properly address

- investing in hardware and providing additional training to ensure remote medicine in hospitals and general practice, and remote hearings in criminal courts work more effectively, following years of underinvestment in public service IT

- providing additional funding for every child who needs a laptop, router or other technology to properly access remote learning, rather than trying to allocate an insufficient number of laptops to where they are needed most.

Nick Davies, Programme Director at the Institute for Government, stressed: “Public services have faced unprecedented disruption due to coronavirus. The changes made in response – particularly extra funding and far greater use of technology – have prevented critical public services from collapsing. “The government must make some hugely difficult decisions in the spending review. In doing so, it must learn from what has worked, and what hasn’t, since the crisis began and make smart investments in those changes that will help public services to cope with the difficult years ahead.”

Photo by Chmee2, Wikimedia commons.