The Week

The Week, 14 December 2018

Reformer of the week

Matt Hancock MP

For insisting that the NHS needs bringing “into the 21st century” using “the very best technology available”, including modernising the computers in hospitals and a ban on the purchase of new fax machines.

Quotes of the week

“While delivering Brexit is important, we also need to focus on the other issues that people feel are vital to them. The issues that matter to them today. […] Building a strong economy [and] delivering first class public services.”

Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, after surviving a no-confidence vote this week.

“Digital and data-driven technologies present incredible opportunities to improve and transform our lives, delivering benefits across society and driving prosperity and growth. But they can only do this if they are designed and deployed ethically and responsibly.”

Margot James MP, Minister for Digital, speaking at the techUK Digital Ethics Summit.

Good week for

Local Authorities

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Local Digital Fund released details this week of 16 successful multi-council projects chosen to explore how we “adopt the best digital ways of working and ultimately offer excellent local services for less.”

Long-term plans

Ahead of the NHS 10-year plan due next year, Sajid Javid MP, Home Secretary, announced this week that police will receive a long-term plan in the Spending Review focusing on community safety, on-top of an extra £970 million of funding in 2019.

Bad week for


Sir Mark Sedwill, Head of the Civil Service, revealed for Brexit has forced a number of Government departments to “pause” their domestic policy agendas due to concerns about being able to deliver on both areas of work.


The National Audit Office published a report this week calling for “sustained scrutiny” of the BBC after construction of a new EastEnders film set was found to be marred with preventable delays and additional costs at the expense of license fee payers.

Reform’s Week

Reform held two events this week including a major conference on Reimagining Public Services for Citizens in partnership with Serco and the Serco Institute, and a roundtable on The Future of Eye Care: Building on NHS Reform Success in partnership with Novartis.

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research at Reform, and Rose Lasko-Skinner, Researcher at Reform, published a new report entitled “Making NHS data work for everyone” which looked at the access and use of NHS data by private-sector companies. The report was featured in The Times, PharmaTimes, Health Service Journal, Public Technology, and OnMedica.

Reform published five blogs this week. Two on innovation in the public sector by Josh Pritchard, Researcher at Reform, and Clementine Vandeleur of the Serco Institute; two on the value of healthcare data by Annemarie Naylor from Future Care Capital, and Joshua Symons from Centre for Health Policy and Hutan Ashrafian from the Institute of Global Health; and one on higher education access by Mary Curnock Cook, Independent Education Expert.

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, was quoted in The Sunday Times discussing GP appointments and in the Financial Times on government outsourcing. Dr Luke Heselwood, Researcher at Reform, was quoted in FENews about  university access.