The Week

The Week, 14 September 2018

This week saw the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, rightly challenge NHS England bureaucracy for blocking the introduction of new technology in the National Health Service.

Maisie Borrows, Research Manager, Reform

Reformer of the week

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, for calling on the NHS to pay providers for achieving outcomes like smoking cessation and blood pressure reduction rather than the traditional payment by results system of paying per patient seen or treated.

Good week for…

Empowering the NHS workforce

On Tuesday, Matt Hancock MP launched the Talk and Health Care online platform to encourage NHS staff to share their ideas on how to tackle current workforce challenges, including ideas on reducing workplace bullying and improving training and development opportunities.

Incentivising saving

On Wednesday, the Government introduced its Help to Save scheme which hopes to encourage claimants of Universal Credit and Tax Credits to save by paying them a 50p bonus for every £1 they save.

Bad week for…

Health Equality

On Tuesday, Public Health England released a report showing people living in the richest areas of England have 19 more years of good health than those in the poorest areas. Those in the most deprived areas have higher death rates for heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases and cancer, partly because of smoking and obesity problems.

True devolution in policing

On Tuesday, an NAO report found that the Home Office’s attempt to devolve responsibility to Police and Crime Commissioners has resulted in a system where the Home Office is still in charge of funding for police forces but does not have enough oversight to direct that funding appropriately to where it is most needed.


“People conflate good health with the NHS. And we need to see the NHS properly invested in. We need to see it back on its feet, confident and thriving. But putting more money into the NHS won’t of itself improve the health of the people.”

Duncan Selbie, speaking to HSJ at Public Health England’s annual conference on Tuesday.

“There is no silver bullet for tackling loneliness – we know that we need different solutions for different people. For example, we’ve considered the role of arts and culture, as well as sport and volunteering, when looking at how to engage people and provide opportunities for relationships to thrive. We’ve also thought specifically about young people in the strategy, and how their needs might be different to others. While loneliness has in the past been seen as an older person’s issue, we now appreciate that it can take hold at any point in life.”

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Loneliness, addressing delegates at the Public Health England Annual Conference on Wednesday.

“Sustainability and Transformation Plans are aimed at bringing services out of hospitals and focusing on community and primary care, effectively to keep people out of hospital and keep them independent in their own homes for longer.
Pretty much everybody agrees that is a good approach, but it can only be achieved if this new money continues to work along these lines. It needs to boost community services, primary care and GPs, adult social care services, drop-in centres and pharmacies. It needs to help put in place supported housing for older people who don’t need to be in hospital. It needs to be used to get everyone’s patient records digitised to make things more efficient, and so that services like pharmacies can be utilised to their full extent.”

Ben Bradley MP, writing in Conservative Home on Tuesday.

“What is the solution? The shadow Secretary of State asks whether the question is a private/public question. It is not an ideological question. Two of the best local prisons currently in the country, Forest Bank and Thameside, are private prisons. Bedford is, of course, a public prison.”

Rory Stewart MP, Minister for Prisons, speaking in Parliament on Thursday.

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Wednesday, Joanne Drew, Director of Housing and Wellbeing at Nacro, wrote a blog highlighting how community action can help to tackle homelessness. This is part of our blog series on housing.


On TuesdayReform hosted a Partners Breakfast with Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Exiting the European Union, on ‘Delivering a broad and deep economic relationship with EU’.

Upcoming Events

On MondayReform will be holding a Partners Breakfast with Chris Skidmore MP, Vice Chairman for Policy, Conservative Party, on ‘Delivering for the future: reforming the policy making process’.