School of Management

The Centre for Public Services Organisations

Previous CPSO Annual Lectures

David Walker: "The Performance of Public Services: How Much Does the Public Really Want to Know?"

David WalkerTime:  18:00
Date:   18th March 2009
Venue: Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX

This lecture was delivered by David Walker, Managing Director of Communications and Public reporting at the Audit Commission. David now chairs the communications and information committee of ESRC and is a trustee of the Nuffield Trust.


The lecture addresses the "cognitiive overload" implicit in many theories of democracy, especially those underpinning the empowerment ideas that have become fashionable in recent years. Why are our models of public understanding so primitive, conceptually and empirically? We know very little about how people access and use "civic" information yet erect large schemes of democratic regeneration and public service improvement on the back of them. the new "comprehensive performance assessment" regime being introduced by the Audit Commission in April 2009 will be explored as a case study. The conclusion will veer towards the need for segmentation of messages and audiences, accepting that could imply an elitist model for information. » Video: The Performance of Public Services lecture Windows Media Player


Professor Sue Richards: "Public Service Reform – Continuity and Change"

Professor Sue RichardsTime:  17:30
Date:   5th November 2007
Venue: Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX

This lecture was delivered by Professor Sue Richards Director of Strategic Capability at the National School of Government. » Read Sue's biography


Sue Richards will chart the significant themes in the recent history of public service reform, and reflect on the challenges which face public service in the future.  She will suggest that in the next phase of reform the focus will be on how to meet the challenges of achieving improved outcomes in problematic areas such as childhood obesity, responding to climate change and issues of community cohesion.  Tackling these ‘wicked issues’ needs a civil service better able to work across the knowledge silos in ‘whole of system’ mode, having a relationship with local public service agencies which is radically different from the past.  She reflects on current capacities to make this strategic shift, and offers some thoughts on what might be needed.

» Presentation Slides Power Point


Angela Coulter: "Choice in Healthcare"

Prof Angela CoulterTime:  17:30
Date:   15th February 2007
Venue: Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX

This lecture was delivered by Professor Angela Coulter.

The event builds on the success of the previous annual lecture, delivered by Sir Derek Wanless. Professor Coulter has been Chief Executive of the Picker Institute since January 2000. She is an advisor to the Department of Health as well as other policy making bodies related to patient and public involvement.


The government sees consumer choice as the best way to drive up quality standards and increase efficiency. In healthcare, attention has been focused on giving patients a choice of hospital and ensuring that money follows the patients, but there are serious concerns about the likely impact of this policy on continuity and equity. Other types of choices may be more relevant to many people, for example having a choice of treatment, having more control over the management of long-term conditions, or having a say in the reconfiguration of services. Which form of patient and public involvement should we be pursuing, if any, and what impact is it likely to have on the NHS?


Sir Derek Wanless: " Securing Good Health for the Whole Population: What should the Government do?"

Sir Derek WanlessDate: 13th December 2005

This lecture was delivered by Sir Derek Wanless, Former Nat West Group Chief Executive


In his 2002 report for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Derek Wanless illustrated the long-term financial benefits which the prevention of illness could bring to our health services. Asked later to tell the Government what needed to be done to seize this opportunity, he reported again in 2004 and set out the reasons why in many ways we were failing. He will discuss what Government can and can't do and will set out his views on how the Government and others have risen to the challenges he set.

» Presentation slides Power Point

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