Brown implements Gershon review

The job cuts announced by chancellor Gordon Brown were in line with the efficiency review conducted by Peter Gershon, former head...

The job cuts announced by chancellor Gordon Brown were in line with the efficiency review conducted by Peter Gershon, former head of the Office of Government Commerce, which was published last week.

The Department of Health intends to ensure that, where possible, NHS organisations, particularly in primary care, share and rationalise back-office services such as finance, IT and human resources.

There will be a reduction in the Ministry of Defence in the numbers of civilians and military personnel in administrative roles by more than 15,000 and rationalisation of back-office systems and business change should bring savings of £300m.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office plans to rationalise its back-office functions, principally its human resources and finance directorates, and reduce the overall pay bill during the 2004 spending review period.

The Department of Health plans to make better use of staff time, for example through the implementation of an IT infrastructure for the NHS. Electronic patient records, appointment booking and prescription transfer will mean less wasted time spent checking patient information, fewer letters and no lost prescriptions.

The Home Office, working with the Association of Chief Police Officers, is aiming to increase time spent on front-line policing, implementing Airwave, the new police digital radio system and maximising the effective use of support staff.

The Department for Education and Skills also plans to enable front-line professionals in schools, colleges and higher education to use their time more productively through IT.

Source: Releasing resources for the front line: independent review of public sector efficiency

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media//879E2/efficiency_review120704.pdf

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