Public Services


Better buying, better supplying, better outcomes.
Building a strong market
Public services are designed to meet the needs of citizens. These needs are many and varied and often an individual is reliant on services provided by many different agencies across health, schools, pensions, probation and prisons, care of the elderly and infirm and other community services. Public services are designed to deliver benefits to individuals, using money provided by taxpayers. Our Public Services team aims to help public bodies create a stronger environment in which they can buy public services from high quality providers, be they public sector, third sector or private sector suppliers.

The optimum environment to deliver public services
To meet such wide-ranging needs and to deliver maximum benefits with the resources made available, public services need to operate in an environment that:

  • Is well-regulated.
  • Is rich in information on services and delivery outcomes.
  • Has strong buying capabilities and contracting mechanisms.
  • Has a vibrant and plentiful supply of providers, operating across the public, third and private sectors.

A strong buying and supplying environment
Creating this strong buying and supplying environment involves building and shaping public services markets. Many public bodies have already separated their purchasing and supplying activities whilst some are just starting out on this journey. In sectors where services are provided mainly by state-managed bodies, barriers to entry need to be removed so that new public, third and private sector suppliers can come forward. Equally, those existing state-managed enterprises need to be equipped to become strong, effective market players themselves.

PUK’s experience and skills allow us to actively support public bodies put the pieces in place to create a well-functioning public services market – in essence we blend our commercial expertise and experience of how markets work, with an in-depth understanding of the way in which public bodies work.


A central role helping public services to thrive

We are committed to improving the business of public services and playing a central role in making the public services industry in the UK thrive. Our market building and shaping work combines support and advice at policy level, with programme design and decision-support frameworks. We also provide hands-on project and programme management support at a local level, by acting in a “critical-friend” capacity or through introducing PUK’s own “ground-staff” to work alongside individual public bodies grappling with the changes as they affect them.

PUK’s Public Services team has supported a number of developments in the Health Sector. Our latest programme is specifically designed to deliver the market building and re-shaping needed in Community Health Services foreshadowed in the 2006 White Paper “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say”. We are working with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to help them separate their provider services arms and achieve autonomous provider status, supporting both commissioners and the provider-side in creating the market place where high quality community healthcare services can be bought and provided.

We are preparing to undertake similar market shaping activities in other sectors such as Welfare-to-Work, Social Care and Probation Services. We are also examining how the Third Sector can be encouraged to maximise its contribution to the delivery of public services.


For further information contact (020) 7273 8056 or Elaine France.

Related Items
  • Our Health, Our Care, Our Say
    Our Health, Our Care, Our Say
    Link to the DoH website and White Paper links.
  • New PUK Public Services knowledge management portal
    New PUK Public Services knowledge management portal
    The PUK Public Services team is delighted to launch a new knowledge management portal, bringing you information about our work across the public sector and about our Community Health programme. The new portal brings together the knowledge, insight and learning of our different clients, to form a central repository of knowledge in each programme area. Community Health is the first programme portal to be developed. The PCTs in the programme are securing real benefits through the ‘learning-set’