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Northgate calls for citizens' experience to drive performance improvement

Northgate today called for greater emphasis to be placed on using citizens’ perceptions and experience of local services to drive performance improvement.

In a response to the ODPM’s consultation Inspection reform: the future of local services inspection Northgate welcomed the move towards a much-needed focus on inspecting joined up outcomes and improvement in local service delivery.

Northgate’s response also:

- supports the inclusion of a new statutory duty on the inspectorate to champion user or citizen interests in the carrying out of its activities;
- welcomes the requirement for user-assessments to be included in self assessments, and for customer satisfaction surveys to be taken into account;
- calls for greater emphasis to be placed on the need for public authorities to target ‘hard to reach’ groups and for best practice in this to be rewarded adequately.

Speaking today, David Meaden, Managing Director of Northgate Public Services, said:

“Northgate welcomes much of what is in the consultation document. However, we are concerned that any changes in inspection must provide a seamless service to those most in need – the so-called ‘hard to reach’ groups. All too often, the ‘tick box culture’ has ignored the people that it was established to protect.

“It is essential that the views of users of services are an integral part of the inspection services. Public services must be measured by the difference that they make to people’s lives and how they add to community well being. There are many authorities reaching out to their communities and taking services to where they are they needed most. It is time that best practice such as this was rewarded and spread more widely.”

For further information:
Kathy Sutton 0207 849 3403 (w) 07966 890401
Naomi Stevenson 0207 849 3508 (w) 07966 890403