The Week

The Week, 16 February 2018

Despite some progress being made, equal pay and better gender representation at the top still has a long way to go as shown by both our reformer and reactionary this week.

Eleonora Harwich, Head of Digital and Tech Innovation

Reformer of the week

Nicky Morgan MP, for fighting for greater gender equality by writing to 33 of the world’s biggest financial institutions to join Britain’s initiative to promote more senior women in finance or explain their refusal to sign up.

Reactionary of the week

The NHS, for the existence of a persisting gender pay gap even after taking overtime and bonuses into account.

Good week for…

Nanomedicine and cancer treatment

On Monday, it was reported that scientists have successfully programmed nanorobots to shrink tumours. This is an advance in targeted cancer therapy.

School exams

On Wednesday, it was reported that times table testing will be reintroduced.

Social prescribing

On Thursday, it was reported that the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is planning to design a digital platform to help social prescribing and allow citizens to meet up and get involved in activities run by charities and community groups.

Bad week for…

Life expectancy and inequality

On Thursday, it was reported that the life expectancy gap, since 2001, between England’s richest and poorest neighbourhoods has widened.

Victims and police records

Also on Thursday, it was reported that tens of thousands of crimes are not being recorded by the police putting victims at risk.

Home ownership

On Friday, a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies revealed that the chances of owning a home in the UK for young adults on a middle income have more than halved in the last two decades.

Quote of the week

“As most frontline NHS staff will tell you, the real challenge now is how to structure and fund integration with social care, real localization and liberalization from Whitehall controls and targets, to give local leaders more freedom to adapt services to local population need.

So what are the three pillars of this quiet revolution? I believe we must embrace reform around integration, localization and incentivisation.”

George Freeman MP in Politics Home on Friday.

Reform’s Week


On Friday Reform made two submissions to select committees: one to the Health Select Committee on “Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships” and a second to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry on “Sourcing public services: lessons learned from the collapse of Carillion.”

Reformer Blog

On Wednesday, Alexander Hitchcock, Research Manager at Reform, published a blog in reaction to Reform’s recent poll that made the case that ministers should listen to voters’ desire for NHS reform before spending more money.

On Thursday, Jim Boyd, Deputy Director at Reform, published a blog that asked if the only way parliament may resolve complex intergenerational issues like social care is with the support of an independent, non-partisan organisation.


On Monday, Maisie Borrows and Daniel El-Gamry, Researchers at Reform, featured on The General Practice Podcast to discuss the findings of Reform’s report on reinvigorating the primary care estate.

Also on Monday, Sarah Timmis, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Public Finance evaluating the progress of the Government’s Transformation Strategy a year after its launch.

On WednesdayReform published a health poll indicating that while the majority of the UK public would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund more spending on the NHS, they also thought that the NHS needs reform more than it does money.

Upcoming events

On 21 FebruaryReform will host a roundtable, led by Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss how technology can transform public transport. This event is in partnership with BAI Communications.

On 22 FebruaryReform will host a research roundtable to discuss the sharing of individual-level data between public services.