We have been assessing whether it is possible to give users of public services a ‘personal service deliverer’, who is responsible to the user throughout his or her engagement with the system.
In a succession of disasters in child protection, many agencies had some contact with a family at risk but no one person had a complete picture, or really got to know the family.
Public services often pay scant attention to the key point in the system – namely the nature, duration and quality of the relationship between the system and the user. No amount of top down restructuring, will work unless this is addressed.
The principles behind our experiments are:
- Organise the service around the needs of its users.
- The user has a personal service provider – responsible for delivering the complete service
- Some providers could be senior staff redeployed from line management.
- Providers could pick and mix services from a range of suppliers and professional expertese
- This is management from the front line – ‘reverse management’.
- The user would be being helped to ‘self-organise’ their own ‘virtual service’ – using modern ideas about how systems behave.
- We have experimented with simulation methods to explore the feasibility of setting up such a system.