MacKay Hannah

ONLINE CONFERENCE Making Scotland's public services fit for post-pandemic purpose: getting from safety nets to prevention and wellbeing

Tue 1st Feb 2022

OVERVIEW View Conference Agenda

Scotland’s public services play a critical role in supporting our communities and our economy. They are essential for every age group, every part of Scotland and every service area. However, they have been battered by the consequences of COVID. The need to adapt where, when and how services are delivered has meant enduring unprecedented pressures on staff, budgets, services and expectations. What therefore needs to happen next to ensure the long-term sustainability and stability of our public services?

This online conference will explore the strategic challenge for our public sector organisations and services. How do we get from crisis response to the reshaped organisations and services we need for the future? What have we learned from the past 18 months? What is the true scale of the challenge? Where should fresh thinking take us and what comes next?

The impact upon public services, their delivery and the organisations responsible for them has been profound. Fundamental questions have been raised about the purpose of services and how they should be delivered. The financial cost of the past 18 months has been high, reshaping availability of services. The consequences of evolving demand as working and living patterns change and the effects of deferred demand as people wait longer for services all pose tough challenges.

The conference will explore how public services and the organisations delivering them have been reshaped by pandemic and what they are now facing. It will discuss the longer-term implications for these services of the financial, demand, and sustainability position they are now in. It will address the questions of which services we want, which we need and whether we face hard choices or the opportunity for better.

Does learning on flexibility and innovation during COVID contain opportunity for services to be nimbler, more efficient and better joined up? Can the challenge of meeting this public health emergency help to reshape public services to better meet – or even avoid – a future crisis? Have we finally found a point at which the prevention agenda, co-production and placemaking can be given primacy in the reshaping of services fit for purpose in the digital and global age?

This conference examines the core challenges – and perhaps opportunities – Scottish public services face from this point onward and will focus on three broad themes:

  • What is the purpose of public services in the 2020s?
  • Drivers of the future - funding, demand and leadership
  • Shaping a fit for purpose public sector - structures, services and consumers

Benefits of attending

  • Delivering Beyond Christie - The challenge for public services
  • Rethinking public services
  • Delivering services that work for people
  • The opportunity of prevention, long-term thinking and replicating excellence
  • The role of leadership beyond pandemic
  • How are services changing, what should we aim for?
  • What are citizens and consumers saying they want and value?
  • External pressures and the demands reshaping public bodies and services


Professor James Mitchell

Professor of Public Policy, University of Edinburgh

Dr Stephen Moir

Executive Director of Resources, The City of Edinburgh Council

Lynn Bradley

Board Member, Revenue Scotland; & Lecturer in Public Sector Finance, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

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"I felt all the speakers were very good and gave informative presentations."

Gary MacKenzie, Criminal Justice South Ayrshire,
Criminal Justice Scotland Conference, 23/01/18