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Public and Not for Profit Organisations will have to make Cuts but stay Resilient - How?

On the eve of the Jeremy Hunt budget: cuts in resources are coming in the region of £35bn.

How can our organisations cope?

We need to prioritise the services we offer.

  1. What are we providing?

  2. Why are we providing it?

  3. Do we need to provide it?

  4. Can someone else provide it more cheaply?

  5. Do we have a statutory duty to provide the service?

  6. What will the social impacts be of not providing the service at all?

  7. Can these impacts be tackled in alternative ways?

  8. Have all additional revenue and funding resources been exhausted?

  9. Can the service be brought back in the future

  10. Might a cut down version of the service meet at least some of the service need?

All these questions are crucial in any service prioritisation exercise that we undertake but such a process needs to be undertaken and it will take time which needs to be factored into this process.

The price of perfection in service delivery can be prohibitive so the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. We may have to compromise on service volumes and quality that thevnew resource reality will force us to deliver.

Cuts in services are never easy to justify but it is easier to do this if they are the subject of a rigorous service prioritisation process.

How many organisations have undertaken this?

Some ideas might include:

  • Simplifying work procedures

  • Reducing the checks on work

  • Reducing the number of meetings

  • Limiting levels of management

  • Reducing workflow bottlenecks

  • Speeding up decision making

  • Rationalising employee roles

A focus will need to be made on employee, operating and development costs.

By having a rational prioritisation process cuts will be easier to justify and explain but this will not be an easy or rewarding process for those involved in it.

There is much mental health concern not only for those people who may leave the organisation but also for those who have to implement these unpopular decisions.

The mental health of both parties must be addressed.

Sadly it will be difficult if not impossible to avoid all cuts to services but if they have to be delivered they must be the result of a rational process which will at least take some account of the organisation's future operational resilience.

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