PUBLIC SERVICES Opting-out not improving efficiency

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The Independent Online
Doctors, teachers and housing officers believe they are now less accountable to the public they serve as a result of the Government's programme of encouraging schools, hospitals and housing estates to "opt out" of local authority or NHS control. A two-year study by Brunel University, sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council, is sceptical of claims that opting-out has increased efficiency or made these organisations any more responsive to the public.

The researchers dispute assertions by ministers that things are better outside the control of councils or the National Health Service and argue there is no reliable data to on which to base "before and after" comparisons.

Opting Out and the Experience of Self Management, ESRC, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1UJ.

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