The Week

The Week, 13 October 2017

This week, the Prime Minister published data showing disparities in employment rates, educational attainment and senior public-sector jobs for people from different ethnic backgrounds in the UK. These disparities intensify the need for reform of public services to fight the “burning injustices” of poorer outcomes for some, that the Prime Minister identified when first entering office.

Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher

Reformer of the week

Theresa May MP, for launching the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website to shine a light on the disparities of key outcomes, such as employment, for people from different ethnic backgrounds across the country.

Good week for…

Addressing cybercrime

On Monday, the City of London announced a new court complex to specialise in cybercrime, fraud and economic crime. Reform research from this year showed that criminal justice services must be better equipped to meet increasing cybercrime.

High-tech healthcare

On Tuesday, it was reported that Chelsea and Westminster Hospital will trial wireless sensors to monitor room temperature to help critically ill patients’ recoveries.

Using a wider workforce in A&E

On Thursday, it was reported that doctors’ assistants will assess and treat patients in A&E.

Bad week for…

UK growth

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund reduced the UK’s growth forecast from 2.0 per cent to 1.7 per cent this year.

Upgrading border technology

On Tuesday, it was claimed that the Home Office will not be able to meet post-Brexit customs and security demands without technological improvements. Reform research set out how this can be achieved earlier this year.

Prison conditions

On Tuesday, HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that prison cells were overcrowded, poorly ventilated, unsanitary and may drive prisoners to taking drugs. The report detailed that prisoners at only half of jails received weekly cleaning materials and one-third of prisoners are locked in cells for at least 22 hours a day.

Quotes of the week

“The evidence so far shows that those who go into universal credit are more likely to be working six months later than they would have been had they been on the legacy benefits…I will not deny those people that opportunity.”

David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

“People who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge.
But this audit means that for society as a whole—for government, for our public services—there is nowhere to hide. These issues are now out in the open. And the message is very simple: if these disparities cannot be explained then they must be changed.”

Theresa May MP, speaking at the launch of the ethnicity facts and figures website, on Tuesday.

Reform’s Week


On ThursdayReform held a roundtable, led by Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, on the development of cooperative innovation within healthcare.


On WednesdayReform’s NHS workforce paper was featured in the The King’s Fund Integrated Care Bulletin.

Also on Wednesday, Sarah Timmis, Research Assistant at Reform, had her Reformer blog featured in an article by Police Professional on smarter ways to access emergency services.