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


Reform report Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS

Report coverage: 'Thinking on its own, AI in the NHS'

On Thursday 11 January 2018, Reform launched its reportThinking on its own: AI in the NHS. 

The report was covered in a range of different publications including The IndependentThe RegisterComputer WeeklyUK AuthorityPulse TodayGovernment ComputingScience BusinessThe British Journal of Healthcare ComputingIT ProCBR GovernmentThe Public PurseGizmodoDigital by Default NewsPharmaceutical Services Negotiating CommitteeThe King’s FundThink Digital PartnersCloud ProCognition XChartered Society of PhysiotherapyDigital HealthData IQAI VexoMachine LearningPharmafieldIn FocusTelecare LINThe Robotics Law JournalEvidence in MindZPBRoyal College of NursingHealthy London PartnershipEssex LPCHealth Estates and Facilities Management AssociationPrimary Care Commissioning Community Interest CompanyLinkedInOutcomes Based HealthcareInternet of BusinessGovernment ComputingOlder People’s Commission for Wales, Open Mind, British Journal of Healthcare Computing, Health and Social, Healthcare News, Lord Darzi’s report: Better health and care for all: a 10 point plan for the 2020s, Barclays, The RegisterNuffield BioethicsGood Governance Institute, Microsoft, GovTech Leaders, ITProThe Royal SocietyKnowledge BriefOxford Insights, Frontline (physiotherapy magazine for CSP members), The Medic PortalPharma TimesDKV (Deep Knowledge Ventures), Breathe News, Hall and Partners and the Alan Turing Institute's new report on understanding AI.

The Mayor of London's report on AI and PwC's report on AI in healthcare also features the report. The NHS Topol Review features the report, as well as the BMA report on doctors' vision for the future and on doctors’ vision for change in the NHS. The House of Commons Library debate pack on the involvement of patients in the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare cites the report.

The report was featured in the International Journal of Law and Information Technology in an article written by Daniel Schönberger. It was featured in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, in an article authored by Shaw, Rudzicz, Jamieson and Goldfarb. It was also featured in Digital Health, in an article by Tom Nadarzynski, Oliver Miles, Aimee Cowie and Damien Ridge. It has also been referenced in The Journal of Biomedical SemanticsMusculoskeletal Science & Practice, “Trust by Discrimination: Technology Specific Regulation & Explainable AI”, by Jakub HARASTA, a report by the Polygeia think tank  and a Health Foundation report titled 'Shaping Health Futures'.

Global coverage includes Elecfans in China, DigiNews in Taiwan, in Russia (herehere and here), AI Policy Labs in the USA, Ministry of Health library in New Zealand, Quebec Newsletter and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health in Canada, E-health Research in Norway, in Australia, in California, in Spain and in France by the Haute Autorité de Santé. It was also mentioned in the World Health Organization's report on digitizing national health systems in EuropeReform‘s report is specifically mentioned on pg 23 -4, along with a mention for Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Digital and Tech Innovation specifically.

Reading lists that mention the report include Keyah ConsultingWilton ParkIBM Watson Health and the Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN’s recent report.

The report was mentioned in a BMJ article by Poppy Nour.

The paper has since been referenced in The Journal of Medical Ethics, The Clinical Medicine Journal, The Journal of Medical Internet Research, Digital HealthRevista da JOPIC, and The Journal of Biomedical Semantics

The BMJ logo

The BMJ, 13 February 2020

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Tech Innovation at Reform was interviewed for an article in the BMJ by Poppy Nour on racial bias and prejudice in AI (artificial intelligence).

Read it here.


Universities set to ‘spectacularly’ miss 2025 access targets, warns think tank

New figures published today by the Higher Education Statistics Authority show a 0.1 percentage point improvement in access to university for students from low participation neighbourhoods in England.

Commenting, Reform Education Researcher, Imogen Farhan, said: 

“This rate of improvement means that the sector is set to spectacularly miss their ambitious target to halve the gap in access between the least and most advantaged students, by 2025.

“Although their intentions are laudable, more radical reform is required. Universities must disclose how they spend their widening participation budgets to allow for evaluation and commit to admissions which consider a student’s background.

“If the Prime Minister really wants to ‘level up’ Britain, improving access to university for disadvantaged students is crucial and he should move to enact these reforms.”

Conservative Home logo

Conservative Home, 11 February 2020

Claudia Martinez, Research Manager and Health lead at Reform, wrote an article for Conservative Home, outlining the importance of investing in and improving the primary care estate.

It accompanies our report, 'A primary care estate fit for the future'.  

Read here.

Financial Times logo

Brexit drives 20% rise in government spending on big consultancies

Dr Josh Pritchard, Senior Researcher at Reform, was quoted in The Financial Times, arguing for greater transparency in government contracting.

Read here

Reform logo

‘Horrendous’ prison safety statistics show system requiring urgent stabilising, says think tank

Commenting on the Ministry of Justice’s quarterly prison safety update showing record levels of self-harm, alongside a small decline in the numbers of assaults, Reform think tank criminal justice lead, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, said:

“The 16% rise in self-harm among prisoners shines a light on the horrendous conditions across the prison estate and highlights the need for urgent reform to stabilise the system.

“The Government must tackle the current exodus of experienced prison officers, stem the soaring levels of substance abuse, and fix the crumbling estate by tackling the £900 million maintenance backlog.

“This will help create a more stable environment where inmates can build positive relationships with staff and engage in meaningful activities, such as education – something which is currently next to impossible.”

Financial Times logo

OfS plan to close access gap is welcome but key concerns remain, warns think tank

Commenting on the Office for Students’ (OfS) pledge to reduce “equality gaps” within five years, Reform Education lead, Imogen Farhan, said: 

“The intention behind this pledge is welcome and more active monitoring of universities’ performance by the regulator will make a difference.

“But whether the OfS’ proposals are radical enough to reverse universities terrible track record on widening participation is questionable. Just 12 per cent of students came from low participation neighbourhoods in 2018/19 – the same proportion as in 2014/15.

“These plans will not force universities to publish in depth analysis of how widening participation budgets are spent, making detailed evaluation of value for money impossible. The OfS will also primarily use neighbourhood-level data to measure its success, which ignores key indicators of disadvantage such as a free school meal status.

“Unless these issues are addressed, the OfS may struggle to achieve its ambitious objective.”

Covered in The Financial Times and FE News. 

ITV News logo

Welcome X-ray scanners will ‘get the ball rolling’ but aren’t a silver bullet for prison security, says think tank

Welcoming an announcement from the Prisons and Probation Minister that 16 prisons will receive x-ray scanners, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Criminal Justice Lead, said:

“This is a welcome announcement which will get the ball rolling on stabilising the system.

“The decision to start with local prisons, which are usually easier to smuggle drugs and contraband into, is a good one. However, the MoJ must ensure that the prisons have the resources to staff these new measures.

“For drug use, tackling the supply is only half the battle. Inspectorate surveys reveal that the proportion of prisoners developing a drug problem behind bars is almost 15 per cent. The next step must be to help prisoners struggling with addiction, which in turn will reduce prison violence and reoffending.”

Covered by ITV News and The Yorkshire Post. 

Today programme logo

Radio 4, 20 January 2020

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, spoke to the Today Programme about the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Listen here from 2:54.

Cover page of report

Report Coverage: 'The prison system, Priorities for investment'

On Monday 20 January, Reform launched its report The prison system: Priorities for investment. It is a part of our Spending Review programme.

It was covered in The Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Telegraph, ITV News, Sky News, Metro the Yorkshire Evening Post and The Today Progamme.

Report author and Researcher Aidan Shilson-Thomas also appeared on Channel 4 News, Sky News, LBC radio and talkRadio to discuss the report findings. 

The Times logo

It’s right that the private investors carried the cost of Carillion but lessons must be learnt, says think tank

Welcoming the National Audit Office’s investigation into the rescue of Carillion’s PFI hospital contracts, Dr Joshua Pritchard, Reform procurement and outsourcing lead, said:

“Instead of the taxpayer forking up for the failures of badly-run companies like Carillion, Government has finally proven that it is capable of holding its suppliers to account when they don’t perform.

“However, costs were still allowed to spiral out of control, with an additional £687 million added to the total bill since the PFI contracts were signed – an increase of 98 per cent. This is yet another example of the consequences of poor government procurement.

“Outsourcing is essential for delivering public services, but only when it works well. Government needs to be a better customer, and industry needs to be a better client.”

Covered in The Times.

BBC News

Progress on improving access to university for the poorest is woefully inadequate, warns think tank

New figures published today by the Higher Education Statistics Authority show that no progress has been made in improving access to universities for students from low participation neighbourhoods since 2014/15.

Commenting, Reform Education Researcher, Imogen Farhan, said: 

“These dire statistics should be a serious cause of concern for the Government, which has made clear it wants to ‘level up’ across the country.

“Just 12 per cent of students came from low participation neighbourhoods in 2018/19 – the same proportion as in 2014/15.

“Throwing more money at the problem simply isn’t working - universities have spent millions trying to improve access in recent years. Urgent reform is required which mandates universities to publish how they spend their widening participation budgets and commitment to admissions which consider a student’s background."

Covered by BBC News, The Times, The Financial Times and TES.

Public finance logo

Public Finance, 13 January 2020

Lily Brown, Research Assistant at Reform, wrote an article in Public Finance about the findings of our report, Planning for patients: The role of Section 106 planning contributions

Read here.

Cover page of report

Report Coverage: 'Planning for patients,The role of Section 106 planning contributions'

On Monday 13 January, Reform launched its report Planning for patients: The role of Section 106 planning contributions. It is a part of our Spending Review programme.

The report was covered by The Times, The IndependentiNews and Pulse.

Financial Times

More cash for the NHS without reform fits Einstein’s definition of insanity, warns think tank

Commenting on the record low A&E figures, health policy lead Claudia Martinez said:

“These are dismally familiar statistics. The NHS has had extra funding and is set for more while performance only gets worse. This is a clear indication that radical reform, not just record sums, are required.

“Over a third of people attended A&E last month with minor illnesses and injuries, which should have been treated in the community, by a GP for example.

“Getting A&E back on track means fixing the social care crisis and reforming our primary care system. With a large majority and a commitment to record investment, the Government has no excuse for inaction.

“Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. More cash without reform is doing just that.”

Covered in the Financial TimesThe Sun, Management in Practice and The London Economic. Claudia also appeared on talkRadio to discuss the figures.