Peers to examine role played by charities in providing public services

The House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services is calling for evidence from voluntary sector organisations for its inquiry

The House of Lords (Photograph: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The House of Lords (Photograph: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A group of peers will examine the role that voluntary sector organisations have been playing in providing public services during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The House of Lords Select Committee on Public Services announced today that it would launch a probe into lessons for public services from the Covid-19 pandemic and wanted to receive evidence from interested parties. 

One of the four key areas the inquiry will focus on is the role of civil society  during the pandemic.

It will examine questions including the lessons that might be learnt from the crisis about the role of charities, volunteers and the community sector in providing public services and how the voluntary sector could be better integrated into local systems in future.

The committee, which was established in February to examine the transformation of public services to ensure that they were fit for the 21st century, said it also wanted to hear from anyone who could support the committee to take evidence from hard-to-reach groups and people with experience of accessing services during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Labour peer Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, chair of the committee, said: “Covid-19 has presented our public services with one of the gravest challenges in recent history, and we have seen heroic efforts from front-line staff to ensure our communities are supported during lockdown.

“However, the crisis has also highlighted some fundamental weaknesses in the design of public services, such as the lack of integration between health, social care and other services. 

“The committee will explore how the lessons from coronavirus can inform public service reform.”

The committee is due to hold its first public evidence session on 3 June. The deadline for written evidence submissions is 29 June.

For more information and to submit evidence, click here.

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