The Week

The Week, 15 June 2018

This week both national and regional government have sought to improve collaboration between services and create more joined-up service delivery on a local level. The Home Office has driven forward plans to improve emergency service integration through widening the scope of police and crime commissioners to include fire services. Meanwhile, Sadiq Khan has laid out a comprehensive strategy to achieving smarter, more connected services in the capital in light of London Tech Week.

Sarah Timmis, Researcher

Reformer of the week

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, for launching the Smarter London Together strategy, which recognises the need for more user-designed services and aims to make better use of data in enabling collaboration between services.

Reactionary of the week

The Department of Health and Social Care Select Committee for concluding that competition creates barriers to integrated care and recommending a “roll back of the internal market” as a result. Reform research has shown there is no tension between competing providers of care and joining up services.

Good week for…

New routes into policing

On Monday, the Government announced a new detective entry programme for policing in response to a gap in investigative skills. The programme will focus on problem-solving, crime prevention and safeguarding.

Digital healthcare

On Wednesday, the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust launched a digital home testing kit for renal patients to test urine samples, enabling proactive disease management and reducing the need for patients to attend hospital for check-ups.

Improving mental health support

Also on Wednesday, the Department for Education announced the roll-out of 10 pilot schemes across the country to trial new mental health assessments for young people to ensure they are assessed at the right time, with a focus on their individual needs as they enter care.

Bad week for…

Controlling degree inflation

On Wednesday, figures revealed that the awarding of first-class degrees has been rising at an unprecedented rate, with one university issuing five times as many first-class grades last year as it did a decade before.

Hospital patients

On Thursday figures showed that the number of people waiting for a hospital operation in England is at its highest for more than a decade, with an estimated 4.2 million people waiting to be seen.

Protecting personal data

Also on Thursday, Gloucestershire police were fined £80,000 and heavily criticised for causing ‘substantial distress’ by sending out a bulk email that identified victims of historical child abuse.


“As one of the world’s leading technology hubs, we need to be bold and think big, to experiment and try things out that have not been done elsewhere. I see London’s future as a global ‘test-bed city’ for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed, amplified and scaled.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, speaking at the launch of London Tech Week on Monday.

“So, this cannot be a conversation that is simply left to the National Health Service to pick up the pieces—for an epidemic of mental health challenge for our young people induced by many other actors across our economy.” Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, speaking at the NHS Confederation annual conference on Wednesday.

“We want to see redeployment not unemployment, by creating the jobs of the future and making sure people have the skills and capabilities to excel to accept them and generate them.” Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, speaking at the Future of Work Summit on Thursday.

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Tuesday, Lord Warner, Member of the House of Lords NHS Sustainability Committee, wrote a blog arguing that NHS spending increases should be limited to 2.5 percent per year in real terms.


On Friday, Tom Richmond, Senior Research Fellow at Reform, responded to an article in FE Week to express his disappointment they aren’t acknowledging that many level 2 apprenticeships fall short of international standards.


On Tuesday, Reform held a roundtable on ‘Building productivity and reform: the example of the Department for Education’, led by Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education. This event was held in partnership with BT.

On Thursday, Reform held a roundtable on ‘The potential of automation across government’, led by Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office. This event was held in partnership with Liberata.

Party Conferences 2018

Please join us at the 2018 Party conferences. Our work covers all of the important public services including health, education, criminal justice and welfare; cross-cutting issues such as technology in public services and diversity; and economic questions such as skills, housing and the industrial strategy. To find out more about working with us, please visit our website.