Peter Schofield, head of the government’s operational delivery profession, has sent a message of “personal and heartfelt thanks” to civil servants providing frontline services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Schofield, who is permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, one of government’s biggest delivery departments, said civil servants were working to uphold 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. 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 in his message yesterday.
“That’s why I wanted to make absolutely clear my appreciation of the work you do. In a period that is unsettling for all of us, you continue to provide reassurance by being there for the people that need us; often some of the most vulnerable people in society. Your work is recognised and thoroughly appreciated.”
Earlier this week, work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey called officials delivering frontline services in DWP “hidden heroes”. The department 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,” 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.”
And Schofiled said it was “clear” from the responses he had seen from members of the operational delivery professions that “by working together, and by being there for each other, we can overcome the challenges we face”.
“Thank you again for making me so proud to be your head of profession,” he said.