Listening this morning to Radio 4 and a couple of experts discussing what is likely to happen to the NHS today one of the contributors made the point that public sector unlike private lack competition.

His argument was that private companies have to adjust and evolve every day in the face of competition but the public sector can sit there year after year doing the same thing.

In response to that it is worth pointing out that although the public sector might not have ditect compeitors hanging on every street corner it does have a relationship with its 'customers' that is rather unique.

As a taxpayer I walk into a hospital and expect to be treated and looked after. I feel the same level of fair dealing with my local council and also look to the schools and teachers to educate my children.

Those expectations create something that is a pressure that surely keeps the public sector on its toes.

Those tightening the screws on the public sector should remember the pressure to evolve and the concept of competition come in many forms.

This was first published in January 2011

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