The Week

The Week, 2 March 2018

This week saw continued efforts to devolve public-service delivery. Reform has previously argued that these ideas can deliver higher quality and more efficient services tailored to the needs of citizens.

Sarah Timmis, Researcher

Reformer of the week

NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences, for launching the second phase of its Test Bed programme, by identifying and rewarding innovative practice in health tech, which has addressed clinical challenges at a local level.

Good week for…

Digital patient services

On Tuesday, NHS England released a new digital roadmap highlighting an agenda to accelerate the delivery of digital services within the NHS.

Incentivising maths for all

On Wednesday, the Department for Education announced extra funding for pupils taking advanced maths qualifications, helping schools provide maths as an option to every child.

Trial and error

On Thursday, Durham Constabulary made adjustments to algorithms used by its police force to ensure they did not discriminate against people from poorer areas.

Bad week for…

Millennial’s health forecasts

On Monday, Cancer Research UK reported that a higher proportion of millennials will be overweight than any previous generation, highlighting the link between obesity and 13 types of cancer.

Confidence in the NHS

On Wednesday, the British Social Attitudes survey found dissatisfaction with the NHS at its highest level in a decade. A recent Reform poll reflected this and showed that 58 per cent of the public believe the NHS is in need of reform.

Data security in councils

On Wednesday, a study found that UK councils suffer an average of 37 cyber-attacks per minute as a result of insufficient training.

Quotes of the week

“Devolution of power to the English regions presents a unique opportunity to create a new, healthier politics in England. It is a chance to build from the bottom up, to involve people in decision-making and give a voice to communities which have traditionally been neglected in our over-centralised structures.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, in The Times.

“We’re backing our world-leading scientists and clinicians in the NHS to push the boundaries of modern science and embrace new technology—using data to transform the lives of patients and families through quicker diagnoses and personalised treatments.”

Jeremy Hunt MP, in Health Business.

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Thursday, Alexander Hitchcock, Research Manager at Reform, wrote a blog arguing that N.N. Taleb’s new book, Skin in the game, provides insights into how public servants can be incentivised to successfully deliver policy. Decentralisation of decision-making is at the heart of this.


On MondayUK Disability News included coverage of a recent blog written by Luke Heselwood, Researcher at Reform, about how technology can improve the UK’s rail system.


After reviewing the weather conditions, Reform has decided to postpone the panel event ‘Opportunities for the UK Digital Economy’ due to take place today, 2 March 2018. It will now be rescheduled, and the new date will be updated on our website in due course. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.