26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: PS praised for COVID services

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The United Kingdom’s often maligned Public Service has received praise from a top official for its provision of front-line services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Peter Schofield (pictured) sent a message of “personal and heartfelt thanks” to Government workers “upholding vital public services amid some of the most difficult times in recent history”.

“That we have come together as a community to meet these challenges head on makes me immensely proud of the operational delivery profession,” Mr Schofield said.

“Despite significant changes to our working environment and practices you continue to uphold our commitment to support, assist and protect every customer that depends on us,” he said.

Mr Schofield said that in a period that was unsettling for everyone, Public Servants had continued to provide reassurance by being there for the people that needed them — often some of the most vulnerable people in society.

This echoes earlier comments from the Minister in charge of DWP, Thérèse Coffey who called officials delivering front-line services in the Department “hidden heroes”.

DWP has been dealing with an unprecedented volume of claims for Universal Credit and other benefits as people’s incomes have been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I want to pay tribute to the Civil Servants in my Department as well as contractors and partners who have been working tirelessly to provide help and support to those in need,” Ms Coffey said.

“They are the hidden heroes for many people in this country. They should take great pride in their hard work and dedication to supporting people through these difficult times,” she said.

London, 9 May 2020

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