The Week

The Week, 13 January 2017

On Monday, the Prime Minister revealed her plan to “transform mental health services”. She has promised to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, improve training and support in schools and in the workplace. The Prime Minister is also planning to invest £67.7 million in digital mental health and a further £15 million in community care. Mental health reform should be a priority for the Government. At any one time, one out of every four people has a common mental health disorder. The economic and social cost is estimated to be about £105 billion.

Eleonora Harwich, Researcher


Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector of Ofsted, for opposing the Government’s commitment to increase the number of grammar schools.

Sir Nick Macpherson, former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, for arguing that the “NHS [is a] bottomless pit” and that “money should be linked to reform.”


Clive Lewis for stating that “Is it simply the case ‘public good, private bad’.”

Good week for…

Digital mental health

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced that £67.7 million will be invested in digital mental health services.

Social care reform

On Wednesday, the HJS reported that the Government would be launching a review into social care funding, delivery and integration with health.

Curbing economic crime

On Friday, the Ministry of Justice announced that new laws will be considered to curb corporate criminality, such as making companies liable for failing to detect and stop economic crime.

Bad week for…

Social mobility

On Saturday, the Independent reported results from a Social Mobility Commission study which found that apprenticeships are disproportionately used by young people from wealthier families.

A&E targets

On Friday, the BBC reported that just one in four trusts managed to hit the four hour A&E target. To cope with the increasing demand hospitals have started cancelling routine treatments.

Male wage inequality

Also on Friday, the IFS published a report which finds that there has been a fourfold rise in the number of men working in low paid, part-time employment.


“I want us to employ the power of government as a force for good to transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society, and at every stage of life.”

Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, on Monday.

“The Department and NHS England have set some challenging objectives for improving access to general practice, have increased available funding and sought to make allocations to local areas fairer. They are, however, seeking to improve access despite not having evaluated the cost-effectiveness of their proposals and without having consistently provided value for money from the existing services. Without a more co-ordinated approach and stronger incentives to secure the desired results, the NHS is unlikely to get optimal value for money.”

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, on Wednesday.

Reform’s week


On TuesdayReform held a roundtable led by Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP on the future of social care funding.


On Monday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, appeared on BBC 2’s Daily Politics, where he argued against giving the NHS a windfall of money as it would provide a disincentive to make the larger changes needed. He also created a soapbox video on the topic for the show.

The Reformer blog

On Monday, Andrew Haldenby spoke about what Reform has coming up in this month and beyond.

On Thursday, Danail Vasilev, Research Assistant at Reform, wrote about social care funding, considering the challenges for the implementation of the Dilnot reforms by 2020.

On Friday, Emilie Sundorph, Researcher at Reform, argued against the Government’s rejection of a proposal to make sex and relationships education statutory. She also outlined why this may be contrary to its stated aim of supporting the most disadvantaged groups in society.

Upcoming events

On Monday 9 FebruaryReform is holding its annual conference with the keynote speech delivered by Rt Hon Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General.

On Tuesday 21 FebruaryReform is holding a high level conference on the theme ‘Big Data in government: challenges and opportunities’ with the keynote speech delivered by John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office.