Friday, 13 October 2017

Something's In The Air 2

I said I thought something was in the air and lo, while many of us are enjoying the delights of the East Midlands Convention Centre, I gather the following was issued earlier today:-  

Whole System Improvement Programme launches

A new programme of work has been launched to look at improving how probation services in the community can work together more seamlessly.

In the past few years there have been huge changes in probation. Since Transforming Rehabilitation, the primary focus of the newly created organisations has been on getting their own systems and processes working internally, embedding new operating models and responding to the various challenges they have faced. Now that the way we all work individually has become clearer, it’s time to look at how we all work together.

All providers of probation services are dependent on each other to succeed and the performance of the whole system requires the interfaces between providers to be efficient and effective. Sometimes those interfaces are highlighted as a hindrance rather than a help.

The Whole System Improvement (WSI) programme will focus on identifying incremental steps to improve the delivery of probation services. It will be a collaborative activity, coordinated by HMPPS but with all provider organisations playing an equal part in making change happen.

The Whole System Improvement Board have identified 4 initial workstream priority areas:

  • rate card
  • workforce strategy
  • Strategic System Improvement (Reducing Bureaucracy)
  • Transforming Rehabilitation interface processes
In each of these areas, the programme will find out what works, find quick wins and plan long term solutions to help everything work more smoothly and with the Probation Technology Strategy Group, now part of the Community Interventions Directorate, we will be able to jointly drive ICT improvements as part of the programme.

Jim Barton, Executive Director of Community Interventions, said:
 “I am determined that we will continually and proactively improve system interfaces, build and share best practice and where necessary, develop new solutions. This is an exciting opportunity to take forward a positive agenda for change and improvement and it is important that everyone involved in delivering services in the community in HMPPS is engaged and is empowered to deliver this vision.”
There will be regular updates on progress throughout the programme and we are keen for as many people as possible to be involved. The Community Interventions WSI Project Team will shortly be recruiting team members. If you require any further information please contact

Jim Barton, Executive Director of Community Interventions


In other news, we learn that the proposed Panorama programme scheduled for transmission on Monday has been 'postponed'. I suspect this can only mean the lawyers are crawling all over it and I sincerely hope that the delay may only be short-lived. 


  1. "The Justice Committee launches an inquiry into the Government's Transforming Rehabilitation Programme. The inquiry will focus on how current Government measures are effectively addressing the challenges facing the probation services and what more needs to be done in the short-term to improve the probation system."

    Closing date Nov'17

    And Lo! whilst Xmas is weeks away & the Justice Committee have barely had time to check their mailbox, HMPPS have given birth to WSI, their new Saviour.

    Keep an eye out for their new range of miracles, e.g. the 'getting the lame to walk again' as the CRC Contract Police transform into the WSI Project Team, 'turning water into wine' as "the programme will find out what works, find quick wins and plan long term solutions", or 'raising Lazarus" as Spurr's career, bonuses & pension pot are brought back to life.

  2. Mr Barton shall part the red sea then and lead us across. Not a chance put humpty back together reinstate a social work factor alien to any tory or civil servant. Have to rid the CRC crap contracts and appalling privateers liars. Then we rebuild relations ideals values. Many CRC new staff are completely unable to understand anything beyond dats entries. They may well not have long careers as contracts in the bidding will fail. I hope wsi is not just a sticking plaster being placed somewhere over graylings dioreha laden CRC. A quick plaster will slide off as CRC privateers plan their contract variation new millions. The Jim Barton's plan is an opportunity for cash grab.

  3. We want to see the panorama programme! Why should it be censored?

    1. Given how damaging in uncovering bad practice, chaos, violence and financial wrong doing panorama programmes have been to other companies in the justice system such as G4s and Serco, there must be some pretty shit uncovered to get it pulled from being aired.


  4. Is this the same Jim Barton who while working for NOMS/NPS, forced through the E3 programme?

  5. Panorama is coming out on the 25th October - we had an email from our Deputy Director telling us not to tell the nasty press anything when they ring up (like that's ever going to happen - nobody rings us but sales calls and scam artists in India saying they have found a problem with our internet - actually, they would probably be better ar sorting our IT then Steria/SSCL/Helpdesk ever will...)