Press coverage

Find coverage in the press of Reform's latest work below. 

We are always happy to comment on policy issues relevant to our work. If you would like a quote, an interview, or a background briefing, please email press@reform.uk or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

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The Times, 16 February 2017

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, wrote an article in The Times following the launch of Reform's report, Saving STPs. Achieving meaningful health and social care reform. Recent hospital problems have shown that NHS reform is needed. However throwing more money at the problem won't solve it. The true solution is the government's plan, however, it won't succeed in its current form. Ministers need to give STPs more power and local commitment, including full control of the NHS and social care budget in their area. They should also decide the health outcomes for their area which every provider will be tasked to deliver. In the medium-term, a locally elected STP leader should take responsibility for the budget. These changes "would give democratic legitimacy to the radical changes that STPs should be proposing. It would also give the government the NHS reform drive it needs."  

Read the full article here.

National Health Executive, 16 February 2017

National Health Executive wrote an article following the publication of Reform's report, Saving STPs. Achieving meaningful health and social care reform,  outlining key challenges identified by the report. "Researcher at Reform Kate Laycock said: “STPs are trying to integrate health and social care so the systems are much more streamlined and easy to navigate – this is the right thing to be doing. “But having spoken to people we discovered that STPs weren’t going to deliver on this and that’s why we’ve written the paper.”  

Read the full article here.

Conservative Home, 16 February 2017

Kate Laycock, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Conservative Home following the launch of Reform's report, Saving STPs. Achieving meaningful health and social care reform. The idea of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) is a good one, aiming to tackle issues including the division between health and social care, within the NHS itself and to overcome a “fortress mentality” in the NHS. However, the plan is not going to deliver in its current form.

The involvement of local authorities has been minimal and the plans will need the support of local NHS staff and voters, many of whom weren't aware of the process or consulted. Perhaps most importantly, STPs cannot solve the underlying reasons for the NHS's current problems such as the perverse funding arrangements. Instead, Ministers will need to have strength in their convictions to make STPs work. This would involve giving STPs control of the NHS and social care budgets; setting up desired health outcomes for their populations and hold providers to account; creating a directly elected individual responsible for the NHS budget such as a new Health Care Comissioner or a metro mayor; and clarifying existing legislation on competition.

"Ministers may object that these far-reaching recommendations amount to the kind of “structural reorganisation” which went wrong under the Coalition Government.  What STPs have revealed, however, is that true NHS reform cannot be delivered by well-intentioned conversations alone. The devolution of health and social care to Manchester, also achieved under the Coalition, shows that the right kind of changes can be made without upheaval or even controversy."  

Read the full article here.

Public Finance, 13 February 2017

Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for Public Finance following the announcement of the Government's Transformation Strategy. Watch Ben Gummer MP announce it at our Annual conference here. Ben Gummer has outlined a dramatic vision of change through the Government Transformation Strategy. This will require a "disruption of current working practices, better use of data to design services that meet the current and future needs of citizens, not Whitehall silos." This means that leadership roles, working patterns and culture are all due an upgrade, and this transformative business model must become part of "the DNA of public servants".  

Read the full article here.

Schools Week, 11 February 2017

Louis Coiffait, Head of Education at Reform, wrote an article in Schools Week following the publication of Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter workforce. He argued that getting people with the right skills and behaviours into the right roles in the schools workforce, the second largest in the public sector, is central to the success of students and the satisfaction of staff. Embracing new technologies can offer an opportunities to increase the productivity of all staff. The future role of the gig economy platforms, particularly for employing supply teachers or exam invigilators, could be huge.

"Some of these changes can be challenging, but this isn’t about robot-teachers – it’s about making sure all public-sector workers, especially in education, are empowered to use the latest tools and thinking."  

Read the full article here.

Newsnight, 10 February 2017

Charlotte Pickles, Deputy Director and Head of Research at Reform, appeared on Newsnight to discuss the legacy of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, outgoing commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.  

Watch the full programme here.

The Guardian Public Leaders' Network, 9 February 2017

Eleonora Harwich wrote an article in The Guardian Public Leaders Network following the publication of Reform's report, Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce. Governments around the world have recognised the potential of AI, Japan and Singapore being particular examples. The UK is well-placed to harness AI through its universities and private sector, but the government’s AI strategy is less clear.

"The UK is well placed to make the most of this ever evolving technology – but success requires a comprehensive strategy and an open conversation with the public."  

Read the full article here.

Reform Annual conference: media coverage

In February 2017, Reform held its Annual Conference where the Rt Hon Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, delivered the keynote speech. During the event, he launched the Government Transformation Strategy.  Media coverage from the event is here.

Computer Weekly "Announcing the strategy at a conference organised by the Reform think tank, Gummer said 2016’s Brexit vote showed “the interface between government and the people has become increasingly fraught”." Read the full article here.

Digital by default news "Delivering the keynote speech at the Reform think tank’s annual conference in central London, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, outlined the government’s commitment to build on the Digital by Default services developed under the previous digital transformation strategy." Read the full article here.

TES, 7 February 2017

Emilie Sundorph, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for TES following the launch of Work in progress. Towards a smarter, learner public-sector workforce. Education reform is at the heart of the prime minister’s social mobility agenda. Great teaching will play a crucial role in this, helping students overcome their challenges. However, before graduate programmes like Teach First are expanded, it is vital to identify which components of Teach First offer best value for money, as well as other, more affordable, ways of training teachers. The UK should also be careful of creating narrow, graduate-only paths to employment. Apprenticeships may offer an important alternative route into teaching.

"Given the complexity of the challenges that most schools face – a battle to both overcome the attainment gap and to recruit the teachers that will help them do so, all within restrained budgets – they should thoughtfully embrace the opportunities that apprentices will bring with them."  

Read the full article here.