How can the next government make urgent improvements to our public services?

The next government will inherit one of the most challenging contexts in terms of public services of any new government since the second world war.

Our analysis suggests that even if the next government matched previous rates of improvement, it would take nearly 10 years to recover levels of access in the NHS, up to seven years to return to our previous performance on the education attainment gap and a decade to clear the courts backlog.

To fix public services, we must move beyond arguments about a smaller or larger state and instead focus on creating a smarter state. This means delivering the three p’s of public service reform: prevention, personalisation and productivity.

This report examines the state of the state by focussing on the challenges facing the NHS, schools, and the justice system in the UK, which the next government will need to address, and sets out a plan for progress.