Public consultation is high on the government’s agenda. At a recent PM’s Question Time, the Prime Minister gave her clearest commitment yet that local NHS Sustainability & Transformation plans (STPs) will take account of local people’s views, following a question from local MP Richard Fuller (Bedford) (Con) as to whether the sustainability and transformation plans for Bedfordshire and elsewhere will be subject to proper local accountability and full local decision authority.
It is not just the NHS that is committing to listening to local people. Local Authorities UK-wide are incorporating both traditional and new ways of consulting with the electorate and engaging them in finding additional ways to save money that meets local needs.
Locally driven decision-making will undoubtedly lead to more relevant, local planning that should result in fit for purpose policies tailored to the community. As public bodies continue to need to make savings, often £millions across all services over the coming years, from an already lean operating model, it will take public support to get what can be felt as unpopular transformation implemented.
It is therefore critical that public consultation and good quality stakeholder engagement is the golden thread of any transformation programme.
Transformation is a significant part of public sector strategy, but it requires investment in experience, knowledge and good stakeholder relations to achieve longer term savings. If you have not yet considered how you will launch your public consultation programme or engagement strategy, then please do get in touch with us.
We have the tools you need to choose the right dialogue methods, the experience to help with the principles and government guidelines for consultation and to advise you on how best to engage effectively with your stakeholders to enable your organisation to meet and exceed expectations.