Sharing information and transforming services at the Public Sector Show

The Public Sector Show is an annual event which sees around 3,000 attendees from across the public sector spending a day in the confines of the ExCel exhibition centre, hearing from MPs and senior civil servants, meeting suppliers and exhibitors, and wandering the aisles looking for free pens, mugs and chocolates.  The Centre of Excellence was on hand to supply the chocolates, as part of the Public Service Transformation Network‘s stand.  We joined colleagues from the Network, and from some of the places we work with, in order to tell delegates about the work we’re all doing to transform local services.

Stephen Curtis talks to a visitorThroughout the day, a steady stream of visitors from local authorities, central governments and other agencies came to hear more about the practical work that is happening on the ground.  Cheshire West and Chester shared their redesigned multi-agency approach to children’s and families services – all of which is underpinned by getting a holistic view of the family through improved information sharing.  Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark described the changes they are making to the skills and employment services across three boroughs, using shared evidence to help drive skills provision that meets the needs of local learners and businesses.  And Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset outlined their plans to more successfully integrate health and social care provision within their locality, with an integrated approach to designing and delivering care across all services.

Charlotte and Nicola speak to a visitorObviously, information sharing is at the heart of this public service transformation work, and the Centre is getting involved with these, and other, programmes.  But we need to expand our capacity to meet demand, which is why we are about to open recruitment to a whole range of posts (from May 19th).  Attendees at the show were keen to know more about the opportunities, not least our interest in recruiting through funded secondments.  We hope to attract many new recruits as part time or full time secondees, enabling them to gain insight, training and experience by working with us, and taking skills and capacity back into their home organisation.  We are already underway planning our professional development activities, as we ensure that a new group of individuals, working in localities across England, rapidly becomes a team.

The show provided us with an insight into the breadth of backgrounds from which our new team might come – and it also gave us a hint of how many other organisations and policy areas also have information sharing issues to resolve!  We hope that our commitment to capturing and sharing good practice will bring benefits to those organisations, as well as helping to drive a more joined-up approach to information sharing across the public sector as a whole.