This month marks ten years since Campbell Christie delivered his commission’s report into the future delivery of public services in Scotland. Its strategic ambition was bold and it set the tone for how we think about prevention and participation in public services to address the pressures of funding and demography.
More importantly, at a human level the commission’s work recognised the heartache caused when families are pulled into complex services involving multiple agencies, and the cost this has not only to the public purse but to people’s wellbeing.
A decade on however, and long before Covid-19, there was a consensus brewing that Scotland was being blown off course from the journey Christie had started.
It’s fair to say that repeat crises continue to shatter lives, and that only marginal gains towards his vision have been made.
There are ongoing debates however, as to whether the pandemic has accelerated some progress at least, for example on homelessness, at a pace not seen before the public health emergency it caused. The questions being asked are: can we keep this momentum going as the emergency nature of the pandemic diminishes, and can we cement the lessons learned?
Ten years on, the Robertson Trust wants to take stock of where we are and Scotland’s collective progress to date. That’s why we are hosting an event to consider some of the key themes and questions that persist. We will ask: are we smoothing the hard edges for people experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage? We will be joined by six leading practitioners and funders.
Julian Corner, chief executive of Lankelly Chase, James Docherty, Violence Reduction Unit and campaigner on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), Kezia Dugdale, director of the John Smith Centre, Mary Glasgow, chief executive of Children 1st, Carolyn Sawers, acting chief executive of the Corra Foundation and Mike Burns, chief executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians will be involved in the conversation which will take place on Zoom on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 at 10.30am-12pm.
We'll be following up this event with a series of opinion pieces exploring the Christie Commission vision, which you'll be able to read here on the TFN website.
Book a place at this event here.
Jim McCormick is the chief executive of The Robertson Trust. Read more reflections on a decade of the Christie Commission in this month's TFN magazine.