Public Services and the Welfare State

The four pillars of good housing

What makes a Good Home – a stable place where people can flourish and that they can genuinely afford? Natalie Elphicke draws on new Housing & Finance Institute research to outline four key elements that characterise good housing provision and on which government policy should be based.

Housing is the most important aspect of public policy. It doesn’t matter where you […]

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    Where and what is ‘the NHS’? Saving public healthcare depends on changing public perceptions of it

Where and what is ‘the NHS’? Saving public healthcare depends on changing public perceptions of it

Talking about the NHS as if it is a single organisation is both inaccurate and unhelpful, writes Oz Gore, not least because it creates the impression that a cash influx can solve all ‘its’ problems. He argues that in order to keep healthcare services in national hands, we ought to first challenge the popular semantic imagination of the NHS.

We […]

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    How ‘ethical commissioning’ could curb the worst effects of outsourcing

How ‘ethical commissioning’ could curb the worst effects of outsourcing

While inadequate budgets, supervision, and regulation are often blamed for the spectacular failures of public sector outsourcing, the absence of ethical standards in the commissioning and procurement process remains an overlooked issue, writes Bob Hudson. He explains how ethical commissioning would work in practice, if outsourcing is to be made fit for purpose.

The outsourcing of public services to non-statutory […]

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    Had austerity not happened, Leave support could have been up to 10% lower

Had austerity not happened, Leave support could have been up to 10% lower

A series of cuts since the Coalition government curtailed the welfare state, activating this way a range of existing economic grievances. As a result, in districts that received the average austerity shock UKIP vote shares were up, compared to districts with little exposure to austerity. Thiemo Fetzer writes that the tight link between UKIP vote shares and an area’s […]

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    Work and social norms: why we need to challenge the centrality of employment in society

Work and social norms: why we need to challenge the centrality of employment in society

Why do the unemployed often suffer from poor physical health and wellbeing? Daniel Sage argues that it is the importance we attach to the ‘work ethic’ that shapes the experience of unemployment, and so to deal with the harmful effects of unemployment we must challenge the centrality of paid work in our lives.

Unemployed people tend to have significantly worse […]

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    The new State Pension is rolling out – but few people know if and how it will affect them

The new State Pension is rolling out – but few people know if and how it will affect them

How well does the public understand the roll out of the new state pension and how it will impact them? Kirby Swales draws on joint NatCen and Pensions Policy Institute research to explain that there is a general lack of awareness which, unless addressed, can lead to financial hardship for people in the future.

The State Pension is not the most […]

From Hunt to Hancock: a fresh start for the NHS at 70?

The arrival of a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in England is a timely opportunity for a bold new start, based on the funding commitment achieved by his predecessor, writes Tony Hockley. He offers his perspective on this recent development.

As the UK celebrates 70 years of its National Health Service, helped along by another £20bn […]

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    Social care and the NHS: how to change the framework of joint working

Social care and the NHS: how to change the framework of joint working

The NHS and social care systems are turning 70, and for almost as long as they have existed, there have been attempts to join up the services and improve coordination. Despite multiple reorganisations, however, efforts have had limited success. Melanie Henwood explains what the conclusions and recommendations of new analysis by the Care Quality Commission tell us about operating […]