Press release

More power, more choice and better quality of public services

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The 2014 progress report on Open Public Services shows how our reforms are giving people choice and control over the services they use.

The Minister for Government Policy, Oliver Letwin, and the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, David Laws, today published the 2014 update on progress of the coalition government’s vision of Open Public Services for all. This report shows the major steps made towards creating more innovative and more diverse public services. It also demonstrates how this has improved the quality of public services across areas such as health, education and policing, as well as improving life chances for many.

Thanks to wide scale reform of our public services, millions more people now have control over the public services they use. From being able to choose who provides their health and social care services, to being able to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner in charge of local crime budgets, this government’s Open Public Services reforms have shifted decision making powers away from the state and back into the hands of the people who need them. As a result people have greater choice and control – and all at better value for the taxpayer.

Over the last 12 months our Open Public Service reforms have:

  1. Increased choice and control, providing more than 700,000 people with personal budgets to access social care and support that will best suit their individual needs.
  2. Empowered local decision-making. The Troubled Families programme has turned around the lives of 22,000 families, by giving local areas more freedoms to design innovative and integrated services – saving the taxpayer an average of £75,000 for each family turned around.
  3. Opened up public services to a range of providers. From April 2014 people who use mental health services will have more choice about where and how they are supported. They will be able to choose services from a range of providers, including voluntary and private sector providers.
  4. Given fair access to public services, to support the most disadvantaged to fulfil their potential. Around 130,000 of the most disadvantaged 2-year-olds are now eligible for a funded early learning place. From September 2014 this will increase to around 260,000 2-year-olds.
  5. Made public services more directly answerable to the taxpayer and the public. More than 1.6 million patients have had their say on the quality of NHS health services via the new Friends and Family test.

Minister for Government Policy Oliver Letwin, said:

We have given choice and control back to local areas, and back to the people who can make the best decisions about the public services they receive. From increasing the number of people receiving personal budgets for their social care and support, to giving local communities the lead on what types of schools they want in their areas, we are witnessing a transformation of the relationship between communities and public services.

Minister of State for Schools and the Cabinet Office David Laws said:

We want to make sure everyone has a fair chance to realise their aspirations and potential. At the core of our Open Public Service reforms is a commitment to provide greater access and targeted support for disadvantaged families. Providing £2.5 billion by 2015 to 2016 through the Pupil Premium, we are empowering head teachers to tailor support to nearly 2 million disadvantaged children across the country, helping to give them the best possible start.