Working to make government more effective

Performance Tracker 2022 banner

Performance Tracker 2022/23: Spring update

Public services won’t have returned to pre-pandemic performance by the next election.

Ahead of the government's spring budget, the second Institute for Government/Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) public services stocktake this financial year reveals action taken through the autumn statement will not be enough to return services to pre-pandemic performance levels, which in most cases was already worse than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010.  

Performance Tracker reviews the state of nine public services – general practice, hospitals, adult social care, children’s social care, neighbourhood services, schools, police, criminal courts and prisons. 

It finds that: 

  • The government’s strikes strategy has exacerbated existing staffing problems and is damaging for the performance of public services. 
  • Public services will struggle to improve performance and address backlogs until industrial unrest is resolved. 
  • Winter pressures combined with long-standing problems in adult social care, hospitals and primary care led to the worst NHS crisis in a generation. 
  • High-profile policing scandals in the Met and elsewhere have further damaged trust in policing and the government may not meet its March target for 20,000 additional police officers. 
  • Some prisons have insufficient capacity to offer pre-pandemic standards of rehabilitative activity. 
  • Teacher training numbers are at crisis levels, with fewer than three postgraduate trainee teachers for every five the government thinks are needed in secondary schools.

The report also sets out the historically high backlogs in both hospitals and courts: 

  • A record elective treatment waiting list of over 7 million people as of December 2022. 
  • In the crown court, the backlog stood at 62,800 in September, higher than at any point since at least 2000. When adjusting for the complexity of cases, it is more than twice as large as before the pandemic. 

Performance Tracker 2022/23: Spring update

Our flagship report assesses the comparative, and in many cases interconnected, problems faced by critical public services such as the NHS, schools and the police.

Performance Tracker 2022/23: spring update report cover

Related content

14 MAR 2024 Project

Performance Tracker

Our flagship report assesses the comparative problems faced by critical public services such as the NHS, schools and the police.