News story

PM sets out vision for public service reform

Prime Minister David Cameron has set out his vision for public services reform promising to transform the way schools, hospitals and council services are run.

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

In an article for the Daily Telegraph, the PM said that “complete change” was needed in the public sector to improve standards for users.

The changes, to be set out in a White Paper within the next fortnight, could allow non-public providers to run schools, hospitals and council services such as maintaining parks, adult care, special schools and roads maintenance.

Outside providers would be offered payment-by-results contracts, increasing their earnings as the quality of services improves.

The PM said:

This is not about destabilising the public services that people rely on; it is about ensuring they are as good as they can be. These are practical reforms, driven by a clear rationale that the best way to raise quality and value for money is to allow different providers to offer services in an open and accountable way.

Our public services desperately need an injection of openness, creativity and innovation. These reforms will bring that - and that is why I am determined to see them through.

Mr Cameron said opening up public services to private sector providers was an important part of the “Big Society”.

I would argue that our plans to devolve power from Whitehall, and to modernise public services, are more significant aspects of our Big Society agenda than the work we’re doing to boost social action.

Statements and articles: How we will release the grip of state control.

Published 21 February 2011