Reform's research and commentary is regularly featured in the media. You can find press coverage of Reform's work here.

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


Department of Health and Social Care

DHSC Code of Conduct, 19 February 2019

In the Department of Health and Social Care's publication, Code of Conduct for data-driven health and care technology, Reform's report, Making NHS data work for everyonewas cited. 


Conservative Home, 19 February 2019

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, wrote an article in Conservative Home on why maintaining standards in education is so important.

Read the full article here

David Gauke

Press coverage: speech by David Gauke on prisons and sentencing

On 18 February 2019, the Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, spoke for Reform on the issue redefining punishment and sentencing. 

The speech received media coverage in the Evening StandardFinancial Times, Sky News, The Telegraph, The Express, The Independent, The Times, Metro, The SunDaily Mail, the BBC, The Guardian and The Week


Reform event coverage: A long-term NHS plan for stability and reform

On Thursday 14 January, Reform hosted a panel discussion on 'A long-term NHS plan for stability and reform'. The event was covered in The Times (£) and Telegraph (£).


Reform think tank response to HESA widening participation statistics

Reform's response to the publication of the Higher Education Statistics Agency figures on widening participation was covered in The Times (£), The Guardian,  FE News and Cherwell Online

Read the full response below:

Commenting on statistics published this morning by HESA showing little change in participation rates for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Dr Luke Heselwood, Reform Senior Researcher and author of the report ‘Gaining Access: Increasing the participation of disadvantaged students at elite universities’, said:

“If Ministers want to do better, they should do three things: find a better measure for assessing disadvantage, evaluate universities’ spending on widening participation and campaign to encourage applications from disadvantaged students.”

Research undertaken by Reform in 2018 found considerable discomfort from universities with the current measure used to assess disadvantage, which uses POLAR3 data. The think tank is reiterating it’s call for a new measure for assessing universities progress in improving access, which takes into account key indicators not currently considered, such as Free School Meal status.

Reform is again calling for universities to publish detailed breakdowns of their widening participation spending to the Office for Students, to help understand which programmes are effective and to improve value for money.

The think tank has previously called for a national campaign similar to Better Make Room in the USA, which targets disadvantaged pupils via text and Snap Chat to encourage applications from those with high enough grades.


BBC, 4 February 2019

Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, was quoted in a BBC article about the number of operations the NHS could be doing:

Andrew Haldenby, director of the public services think tank Reform, said: "What is striking is that neither the NHS authorities nor hospitals themselves are doing very much to improve the situation.

"It is possible that the way the government runs the NHS, hospitals are still not under enough pressure to strive for value for money every day."


Reform reaction to MHCLG rough sleeping statistics

Commenting on statistics published by MHCLG today, Reform Senior Researcher, Dr Luke Heselwood, said:

“Despite making efforts to tackle homelessness, Government departments are at cross purposes with current welfare policy exacerbating the very issue that MHCLG is trying to solve. Eliminating rough sleeping and all forms of homelessness will require a truly multi-agency response.”


Public Finance

Public Finance, 31 January 2019

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Public Finance about community sentencing. Despite a lack of sentence confidence, evidence suggests that community sentencing has lower re-offending rates, and is cheaper to implement, than short sentencing.

"Increasing sentencer confidence in community sentences must be the first step to building public confidence in their use."

Read the full article here


Reform think tank media statement: NAO report on NHS financial sustainability

Commenting on the National Audit Office’s annual report on the financial sustainability of the NHS, Andrew Haldenby, Director of the independent public services think tank, Reform, said:

“The NHS has used extra money for day-to-day pressures rather than to change and become more efficient. Ministers hope that their new plan will be different, especially because some money is ringfenced for GPs and cannot be used to finance hospital deficits.”


Reform statement: Institute for Government Civil Service turnover study

Commenting on today’s study from the Institute for Government, Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform think tank and co-author of the report ‘Smarter Working in Public Services: The HMRC experience so far’, said:

“Retention of staff has consistently been a problem facing the civil service. Recent research from Reform shows that the civil service can offer a better work-life balance, enhance productivity and improve retention by doing things such as promoting flexible working.”

The Economist

The Economist, 11 January 2019

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, was interviewed for The Economist to discuss the NHS Long Term Plan. The full article can be found here (£).

But Andrew Haldenby of Reform, a think-tank, says that progress in most existing icss has been slow. Change is rarely brought about by “bureaucratic exhortation”, he notes.


Reform comment on the final report of Shelter’s commission on the future of social housing

Responding to the final report of Shelter’s commission on the future of social housing, Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform think tank, said:

“A lack of social housing has contributed to England’s homelessness crisis. However, homelessness is not just about housing and public services need to work together to tackle its root causes, including mental health problems and family breakdown.”  

Today programme logo

Radio 4, 7 January 2019

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme to discuss the NHS Long Term Plan. He argued that the NHS was in a similar place five years ago, with an influx of money and a five-year plan. We are in a similar position today and yet not enough reform has happened in that period.

Nevertheless, the NHS's long-term plan is good and focuses on the right areas such as prevention and moving into primary care. But political leadership needs to be strong to hold NHS authorities to account, and progress made should be extremely clear throughout the process, not just at the end of the ten-year period.

You can listen to the show again here.


Reform statement: ONS deaths of homeless people in England and Wales

Commenting on statistics published by the ONS today, Reform Researcher, Imogen Farhan, said:

“Public services need to work together to tackle the root causes of what makes a person homeless, including substance abuse and mental health problems. Contrary to Theresa May’s statement yesterday, there is more to tackling homelessness than just building more houses.” 

This statement was covered in the Southend Echo



Reform statement: New UCAS admissions data

Commenting on official statistics from UCAS highlighting that universities are accepting more students with lower grades, Reform Researcher, Dr Luke Heselwood, said:

"Although the number of students with lower grades being accepted by universities is on the rise, these figures focus on the sector as a whole.

Reform research shows that top universities are all but failing to improve access for the most disadvantaged students because, on average, they do not achieve the required A level grades, compared with their more advantaged peers."