The Week

The Week, 22 March 2019

Reformer of the Week

The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for arguing that personalised care and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and genomic sequencing, will transform healthcare in the future.

Quotes of the week

‘Of course, shifting funding towards earlier intervention is difficult. This requires us to be patient. Too often we question why a policy hasn’t worked immediately.’ – The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

‘[The public is] tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when [they] have real concerns about our children's schools, our National Health Service, knife crime.’ – The Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Good week for

Cervical cancer screening: A pilot will allow women to test for human papilloma virus, the lead cause of cervical cancer, at home.

Ambitious robots: One in three Britons would allow artificial intelligence to make decisions about how the country is run, according to a survey.

Bad week for

Cancer care waiting times: The National Audit Office has warned that the NHS will struggle to meet its targets for waiting times for elective and cancer treatment without more investment in staffing and infrastructure.

Prejudice in artificial intelligence: the Government has commissioned the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to investigate whether algorithms used in public services have biases.

Reform’s Week

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, published a blog arguing that scrapping internal markets in the NHS will make it harder to deliver value-for-money and innovation.