News and Comment


A bigger say in the NHS for patients

Thursday January 17 2013

A truly patient-led NHS has been an aspiration in the health service for well over a decade. The motivation is born out of the realisation that improving patient involvement could lead to better services, higher standards of care and greaterefficiency savings. Furthermore, high profile failings, such as those at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust, have highlighted just how bad patient… Read More

Harness assets to truly make savings

Friday December 21 2012

The Department for Communities & Local Government’s guide to saving money, published earlier this week, contains some tips that councils may find helpful. There is, however, little in it to signify the “change in culture” which Eric Pickles refers to in the foreword. There are some neat ideas like pop-up shops in public buildings, alongside… Read More

“Mutual and co-operative approaches to delivering local services” report published

Thursday December 6 2012

OPM was very pleased to contribute to the CLG Committee’s “Mutual and cooperative approaches to delivering local services” report, published today. The report outlines findings into the progress and development of employee owned cooperatives that can help to deliver local services. We found the committee’s recommendations to transform the “shape, responsiveness and quality of local… Read More


Why access to English language education could be a major barrier to integration

Monday November 15 2010

The Conservative Party, prior to entering a coalition government, was clear that it wanted a new approach to community cohesion: one that was underpinned by the notion of integration. In a repudiation of core tenets of multi-culturalism, the party promised a national strategy on integration that focuses on bringing people together around ‘shared values’ and… Read More

How can the Big Society work in a risk-averse culture?

Monday November 8 2010

Twice in the last week I’ve overheard conversations about Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. The first time was last Sunday at a football match. In the row behind me, a middle-aged man told a story about how his CRB returned with a conviction after applying to volunteer at a primary school. The reason: drunk in… Read More

‘Doing’ deliberation online: Participatory budgeting and multi-media approaches

Friday November 5 2010

Richard Wilson is right to claim that participatory budgeting (PB) offers a chance for local people to have a genuine say into funding decisions in their local area. But, in the age of Big Society there needs to be a readiness to test and refine online approaches as part of a multi-method approach to engagement… Read More