PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM DELIVERY AND PREVENTION UPDATE
High quality public services work in coordinated, connected ways to empower the people who use them. This was the premise set out in the Christie Commission's report and is the vision that we are continuing to progress towards; building on the pillars of prevention, partnership, people, and performance.
We see prevention in particular as the route to tackling the most difficult and entrenched problems that people face in our communities and to achieving our goals of reducing inequalities and driving inclusive growth. Solutions, however, rarely fit neatly within traditional organisational boundaries and their impact is not linear, making the delivery of targeted action and policy initiatives all the more complex. We believe that an ethos of collaboration across the public, private and third sectors can enable us to deal with this complexity in a more cohesive way and to make the best possible use of the total resources available to us.
There are a number of key reforms ahead including the de-centralisation of local government functions, financial and democratic oversight, reform of education to empower communities to drive improvement in schools, further health reform and the next phase of our review of enterprise and skills agencies. Individually and collectively these reforms, like those that have been implemented in the past year, seek to improve outcomes for people at every life stage. By focusing on outcomes we hope to develop and deploy the public service workforce in a way that establishes a truly preventative culture, one which forges deeper relationships with local people and is more open and responsive to what communities most value.
Below are just some examples of how, since Draft Budget 2016-17, we have continued to drive forward our ambitious programme of reform across public services.
Empowering communities and the workforce
- Launched 'Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity - a governance review', seeking views on how education, from early years through to secondary schools, is delivered and how we can deliver greater devolution of powers to schools.
- Over £1 million of support provided through the Housing Voluntary Grant Scheme to voluntary organisations undertaking projects focused on preventing homelessness.
- Committed to seeing that all adult social workers receive the real Living Wage from 1 October 2016 giving up to 40,000 people, mainly women, doing some of the most valuable work in Scotland, a pay rise.
- £2 million provided through Community Choices Fund to support public authorities and community organisations to run participatory budgeting exercises, ensuring that decisions about spending in communities are taken by the people living there.
Collaborating and simplifying processes
- £250 million provided under Health and Social Care Integration from the NHS to Health and Social Care Partnerships to protect and expand social care services and deliver shared priorities.
- Trial of Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service co‑responding to Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest ( OHCA) incidents resulting in 23 potentially lifesaving interventions and improved patient outcomes.
- Development of a single Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative combining the aims of the Early Years Collaborative and Raising Attainment for All programme to focus on improving quality at every stage of the child and young person's journey.
- Improved the information for victims of crime and witnesses on our webpages to ensure that they better meet the needs of users and that people can access appropriate support from their first interaction with the criminal justice system.
- Designed a new collaborative approach to funding Criminal Justice Social Work services which has seen local authorities working closely with Community Justice Partners and the third sector to target resources to meet local priorities aimed at preventing and reducing further offending in the community.
Focusing on, and delivering, outcomes
- Agreed the Scottish Household Recycling Charter with COSLA, which will introduce a consistent approach to household recycling making it easier for people to recycle and support our ambitions for a more circular economy.
- Publication of a new National Strategy for Community Justice accompanied by an Outcomes and Performance Indicators Framework which will ensure all community justice partners are working towards shared outcomes, focused on public safety and preventing and reducing further offending.
- £2.5 million cross portfolio funding over the next four years for Sistema Scotland to enable their youth orchestra programme to sustain and build on its work enhancing the health, wellbeing and prospects of young people in disadvantaged areas.
- Campaign delivered to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and ways to protect children aimed at perpetrators with a view to preventing children from ever becoming a victim.
- Launched a National Social Enterprise Strategy which will build on more than a decade of sustained investment in social enterprise; recognising their potential in tackling some of the toughest social issues we face while helping to deliver inclusive growth.
Prevention Update and Forward Look
Delivering truly people-centred services and empowering communities are at the heart of our reform agenda. Community Planning is a major vehicle for putting these reform principles into practice; delivering preventative action that is specifically targeted at locally identified priorities. New provisions coming into force at the end of 2016 will require community planning partners to work together to improve outcomes and further reduce socio-economic disadvantage for local communities. Nationally, we are committed to investing in early intervention programmes that support our young people, raise attainment, tackle inequality, reduce reoffending, contribute to inclusive growth and empower our communities.
As part of the Early Years Framework we established an Early Years Change Fund, in partnership with local government and health, which aimed to prioritise spending on prevention and early intervention in the early years. The Early Years Collaborative was a multi-agency programme established through the fund, which used evidence to improve services to children, young people and families. This has now merged with the Raising Attainment for All Programme to create a single Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative that covers pre-birth to 18. 'Getting it Right for Every Child' is central to this work. The ongoing expansion of high quality early learning and childcare is intended to contribute to raising attainment and closing inequality gaps, and represents a strong policy and financial investment in prevention in the early years.
In education, the recently-launched governance review is a key part of our education delivery plan and just one aspect of our overall drive to close the attainment gap and deliver excellence and equity in education for all children and young people. We have already driven forward a range of improvements and reforms across education including to our curriculum and workforce. Work being undertaken through the National Improvement Framework and the Scottish Attainment Challenge is also driving improvement for children and young people across Scottish education. However, if we want to fully realise the vision of excellence and equity for all, then the system itself needs to be looked at. It is right that we ask about the role that every part of our education system plays to deliver education in Scotland and how this can be improved.
We have continued to focus on skills and employability as roots to driving inclusive economic growth and tackling inequalities. In October 2016 we reported on the initial findings of our review into enterprise and skills bodies. The primary purpose of the review is to identify ways in which we can strengthen the support available and the economic outcomes that it delivers. It is focused on improving our national economic performance to ensure inclusive economic growth and increased productivity, while also aiming to create a simpler system that takes full account of the needs of users. Alongside this, our employability programme aims for a different, more person-centred approach, targeting individuals and groups who find public services harder to access.
For those already in receipt of vital public services, the integration of health and social care is a strong illustration of how we can make improvements to the way people experience the services that they rely upon. Planning, designing and commissioning services in an integrated way from a single budget allows Partnerships to take a more joined-up approach, more easily allocating resources to target preventative activity. By putting people at the centre, we can ensure that the focus remains firmly on user experience and individual needs, thereby allowing health and social care services to target their resources where they will improve outcomes and reduce health inequalities.
From 1 April 2017 a new model for Community Justice will be in place in Scotland, enabling earlier intervention than is currently the case, and emphasising preventative activities and alternatives to custody. Alongside this, building on the preventative focus of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund, a new National Strategy for Community Justice has recently been published. This recognises the need for collaborative approaches across Health, Education, Employment and all wider services to ensure that community justice partners are working towards shared outcomes, focused on improving public safety, tackling inequality and preventing and reducing further offending.
As we look ahead to the next budget, we are keen to get a better idea of patterns that can help us to direct intervention and support people who are at high risk of poor outcomes. Focusing on three key areas - reducing reoffending, youth employment and employment for disabled people - we will develop ways to make better use of the data sets that are available to us to identify who would benefit most from prevention. At the same time we will be concentrating on how we can direct more funding towards activities that focus on prevention either by facilitating joint investment by local partners or attracting new money from outside investment.