The Week

The Week, 13 July 2018

In its report on Carillion, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee this week concluded that “outsourcing with the private sector is a permanent feature of governments in mature economies across the world and it will remain so, whichever government is in power.”

Daniel El-Gamry, Researcher

Reformer of the week

Stephen Barclay MP, Minister for Health, for calling for wide-ranging NHS reform alongside new funding.

Good week for…

Digital public services I

On Tuesday, HMRC started using Amazon Alexa to help three million people renew their tax credits.

Digital public services II

Also on Tuesday, Lucy Frazer QC MP announced £1 billion to digitalise court services.

Bad week for…

Joined-up care

On Monday, research revealed that delayed discharges from hospital to social care were costing the NHS nearly £300 million a year.

Digital public services III

On Thursday, a survey by the Royal College of Surgeons revealed almost 9,000 fax machines in use across 85 NHS trusts.

Quotes of the week

“There is widespread agreement that contestability (the credible threat of competition) is important in order to support an efficient market for public sector services. Contestability motivates firms to improve services and cut costs and motivates the public sector itself in the same way. The combination of limited competition and high barriers to entry generates worse outcomes however for the Government.”

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, on Monday.

“The NHS must evolve. It has to move with technology and with the skills mix. Alongside the significant funding injection that the Prime Minister announced at the Royal Free Hospital, the NHS must also deliver productivity… we need to deliver more care in the home and not have acute trusts soaking up so much investment. We need dynamic reconfigurations without acute trusts being the sole focus of our attention.”

Stephen Barclay MP, speaking in Parliament, on Tuesday.

“Our passion for a digital revolution is driven by all we know it can deliver… there is more we can do to go further, faster and more dynamically which is why I am seeking a technological partnership with an organisation to help us put these ambitions into actions… to ensure that our brave new world of data and innovation puts people first.”

Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council, speaking on Tuesday.

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Tuesday Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Digital and Tech Innovation at Reform, published the last blog in a series on the value of NHS data. It highlights the different types of partnership models between the NHS, industry and patients when there is access to data to create a product.


On Monday, Education for Everybody reported the findings in a recent Reform report, Beyond gadgets: EdTech to help close the opportunity gap.


On TuesdayReform held a high-level policy dinner, ‘Lessons from Scandinavia for the future organisation of the NHS in England’. The event was attended by 20 NHS and local authority leaders and policymakers as well as representatives of Sweden and other decentralised health systems.

On ThursdayReform was delighted to convene a roundtable seminar, ‘Building on success: the next stage of NHS reform’, led by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England. This event was held in partnership with BT.

Upcoming Events

On TuesdayReform will host a roundtable seminar led by Roger Spencer, Chief Executive, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, on how to ensure that measures to advance patient safety will contribute to increased efficiency in the NHS. This event will be held in partnership with Zebra Technologies.

On ThursdayReform will host Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, who will give her first major speech on Universal Credit.