What’s the future for PbR?

00000What does the future hold for payment by results initiatives in 2012? PbR is fast becoming a key component of the Coalition Government project, generating increasing amounts of media coverage. The payments by results scheme to tackle “problem families”  received hundreds of column inches, although most clued-up commentators were quick to argue that the headline £200 million funding was not all new money. In terms of criminal justice PbR schemes, with which this blog is …

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A ticking bomb: how binary outcomes can derail PbR

00000A ticking bomb “We only call him the Exploding Boy now, of course; retrospectively. For most of last year he was known only as Ticking Boy.” That is the first line from a new short story by @nickparker from a collection that got a rave review in Saturday’s Guardian. It made me think about the bomb ticking away ready to blow up the ever-growing range of payment by results schemes (details here) being developed by different …

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Funding PbR Outcomes: it’s complicated

00000Some things in life are complicated. Take, for example, deciding the causes of the August riots. The government,  Metropolitan Police and the Guardian/LSE  are just three bodies who have published their analysis recently. Depending on who you listen to, the root cause of the disturbances was: Broken Britain, a lack of family values and feckless parenting OR Social media – particularly the Blackberry messaging service OR The antipathy between young people and the police OR …

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Social Impact – ONE year on

00000Most voluntary sector projects publish an annual report. Not many are greeted with the level of interest which met yesterday’s publication of the first report  of the ONE project, the Peterborough Prison resettlement project which is funded by Britain’s first Social Impact Bond. The project is funded to the tune of £5 million raised from 17 private investors in the UK and USA. If it succeeds in cutting the re-offending rate of the 3,000 short …

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Commissioning a better future

00000The last 20 years have seen an increased focus on the importance of modernising public services. It was a strong characteristic of the Blair years, and Coalition Government ministers in most departments are currently working hard to open up the statutory sector to private enterprise. One of the reasons that this government is promoting payment by results is that, in addition to the fact that PbR schemes transfer financial risk away from the Exchequer, politicians think that initiatives …

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PbR: Teamwork in an era of collaboretition

00000Since this post was written, Cavendish has added a further 3 stage wins in the 2012  Tour De France. On 28 July, he races in the Olympics Time Trial with 4 other Brits, including Bradley Wiggins, all trying to get him across the line first.   Mark Cavendish is the fastest road cyclist in the world and to see the “Manx Missile” emerge from a pack of 180 riders at speeds of up to 50 …

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Prison, Party Politics and PbR

00000Sometimes one person stands up against a revolution. Thirty years ago, on 23 February 1981, 200 armed officers of the Civil Guard burst into the Spanish parliament, intent on a coup. The defence minister, Manuel Gutierrez Mellado, immediately confronted the coup leader. Undaunted by pistol and machine gun fire which sent everyone else diving for cover, he remained on his feet, hands on hips, the epitome of machismo. Mellado resisted attempts by the coup leader to …

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What are social impact bonds? Or: Show me the money

Given the current state of the economy and scale of the deficit, it is clear that there is likely to be a continued high level of interest in Private Finance Initiatives which is essentially what Social Impact Bonds are. At one level, those of us trying to tackle entrenched social problems like drug-related offending are not too concerned with the source of funding, we just want someone to ‘show me the money’.

Why the drug treatment sector must get on board with PbR

00000‘Payment by results’ is an approach to funding public services which mirrors how we pay for a meal in a restaurant. We typically give a healthy tip if we like the food and service, but demand they take the cost off the bill if it’s not what we ordered, or the food is cold or defective in some other way. Organisations providing services under PbR will make a healthy premium if they reduce offending or …

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PbR – a healthy proposition?

00000Last week I posted apoll to try to gauge attitudes to payment by results by those sufficiently interested in the subject to read this Blog. For reasons that I go into in a comment on that post, the poll bombed. Most people either weren’t interested or were very wary about voicing an opinion, even in an anonymised format. I offered five possible answers to the poll question ‘What do you think of PbR?’: A great opportunity …

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Drug treatment, PbR and service user choice – it’s simple

00000There are a lot of criticisms that can be levied at the payment by results approach. Some commentators are opposed in principle, Laurence Demarco, the founder and director of Senscot (a network of Scottish social enterprises) was the latest to voice his concerns yesterday. Others are concerned about practical issues, many of them discussed in posts on this site – how do you agree bullet-proof outcomes, develop innovative approaches, and share out payments between multiple …

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Measuring PbR outcomes – when worlds collide

00000Commissioning by outcomes is always right, public money should be focused on what we want to achieve – people in work, off drugs, no longer offending (as argued recently on this Blog). But measuring outcomes is difficult which is why, in the past, we have mainly settled for counting activity – the number of sessions delivered, action plans completed etc. instead. Measuring outcomes is particularly difficult in ‘payment by results’ schemes, where it is especially …

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Payment by Results: A limited tolerance for error

00000The 1972 Munich Olympics launched Olga Korbut on the world stage. Half of Britain fell in love with the diminutive gymnast with the gamine looks and the playful,  definitely anti-Soviet disposition. I too liked Olga, but I loved her compatriot, Ludmilla Tourisheva; with her regal countenance, she had an elegant approach which made you think she had just stepped off stage at the Bolshoi. Tourisheva won 9 Olympic medals in her career but my abiding …

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