Articles

Learning from Buurtzorg: How ZorgAccent & Amstelring Wijkzorg improved services, jobs and finances

This report details how two Dutch social care providers made the change from top- down control of their staff to self-managed team work, with the support of their exemplar, Buurtzorg Nederland. It explores why they did it (page 2); the vision they followed (p.3); the savings they made (p.4); how they got started (p.6); the impact on staff (p.7); the ground rules followed by self- managed teams (p.10); the roles of IT (p.11), training (p. 12), admin support (p.13), coaches (p.14), and leadership (p.15). The report concludes with sections on evaluation (p.17) and communications (p.18). (2016)

Data, dialogue and development

In 2013 Public World published a report, Discrimination by Appointment, showing evidence that black and minority ethnic (BME) applicants for jobs in the National Health Service (NHS) were less likely than white applicants to be shortlisted and less likely to be appointed even if they were shortlisted. Combined with other evidence, this galvanised NHS England to take action, resulting in the introduction from 1 April this year of a mandatory Workforce Race Equality Standard. This report of a presentation by Public World managing director Brendan Martin explores the evidence of racial discrimination in the NHS and discusses the challenge of culture change it demands. It concludes with an outline of the services Public World offers to NHS employers to support them in addressing the challenge. (2015)

Putting Patients First: Practical guidance for healthcare staff

A special edition of Public World’s Duty of Care handbook for Unite the Union, Putting Patients First was published early in 2014 by the union and is available from its bookshop, priced £15 for Unite members and £25 for others. Unlike the original version, which was restricted to England in its scope, Putting Patients First covers the whole of the United Kingdom. It is focused particularly on Allied Health Professionals, and packed full of practical advice about how healthcare staff can use professional codes, employment contracts and legal protections to exercise their right to put patients first. This has never been more important at a time when budgets are coming under increasing pressure, many hospitals have staff shortages and some have organisational cultures that discourage staff from raising concerns. If your organisation would be interested in a special edition of the handbook, please contact us. (2014)

Staff involvement to improve employee engagement, service quality and resource use

This report, commissioned by NHS Employers, explores international experience of staff involvement processes to improve employee engagement, service quality and resource use in health care services. It discusses the relationships between staff involvement, employee engagement and organisational performance, drawing on published literature yielded by brief online and journal searches of articles in English. It also draws on Public World’s own experience and primary research in several countries. (2013)

Discrimination by Appointment

Black and minority ethnic applicants for positions in the National Health Service in England are significantly less likely to be appointed than white applicants, our research data suggest. Our research indicates there has been little improvement over the past five years. Even more worrying is that appointments to management positions in NHS England, the new agency now running NHS, are even more racially skewed, according to our analysis of their own data. We urge NHS trusts to engage in discussion with their staff about what is going on, and to develop action plans to tackle it. (2013)

Staff involvement to improve the NHS

The Francis Report into care failures at Mid Staffs NHS Trust in England ran to more than 2,000 pages and 290 recommendations, but for Public World its core message was in paragraph 1.118: “The patient must be first in everything that is done: there must be no tolerance of substandard care; frontline staff must be empowered with responsibility and freedom to act in this way under strong and stable leadership in stable organisations.” With the participation of NHS Employers, in May 2013 we held a roundtable in Westminster to explore what this means in the NHS and the potential contribution of The Best Workplace methodology, which Public World is introducing in Britain in partnership with the Swedish social enterprise, Alamanco. This is a report of the event. (2013)

Fair Trade Internships: Supporting charities, NGOs and socents to improve policy and practice

Volunteering is the lifeblood of charities and NGOs, and of many social enterprises too. But has the voluntary principle morphed into unfair employment practice via the internship system? Many non-profits and socents have become dependent on a supply of free enthusiastic graduates competing to get their feet on to career ladders. How can this system become fairer while safeguarding valuable work experience and rehabilitating genuine voluntarism? Our workshop in April 2013 explored these issues, and this is a report of the discussions. (2013)

The World Bank and Jobs: a significant departure or business as usual?

The World Bank Group invests nearly $50 billion per year in development projects in middle and low income countries. Those investments are supposed to be justified in terms of the institution’s three-word mission statement, ‘help reduce poverty’. Its annual flagship publication takes a key development theme each year, and this year it is summed up in the report’s title, ‘Jobs’. Will it help to produce jobs that help reduce poverty? (2013)

Jobs and livelihoods in developing countries: Donors, NGOs and the micro-macro linkages

Commissioned by Voluntary Services Overseas, the world’s leading independent international development organisation working through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries, this paper by our directors Stephen Commins and Brendan Martin explores a range of political economy issues that affect job creation, livelihoods and decent work, and discusses how they find expression in the activities of international institutions and NGOs. (2012)

Decent work for all: time for a new approach?

With core labour standards and employment rights still denied to so many, it is understandable that the global union movement focuses on the basics of the decent work agenda. But the Arab Spring has demonstrated the powerfully unifying and motivating force of the struggle for democracy, and unions — already inspired by its spirit — could learn more from that. To transcend the incremental gains already being made and bring about a paradigm shift, they need to focus on what seem to be the loftier goals of the Decent Work Agenda, to democratise workplaces, as an essential part of the means to achieving more secure jobs and social protection. (2011)

The ecology of public services

The trouble with applying market mechanisms to public service organisations is not only that it can introduce competition where cooperation works better. The idea of ‘mechanism’ is more fundamentally flawed than the idea of the ‘market’ because public services are not machines. They are complex systems of relationships between living, breathing people. An ecological mindset might serve us better than an economic one in understanding how to improve them, argues Brendan Martin. (2004)