The Week

The Week, 23 March 2018

This week’s proposed NHS pay deal would end the tight pay restraint imposed since 2010. The Government’s aim is to increase the productivity of NHS staff along with their pay, in particular by replacing near-automatic annual increases with pay growth linked to annual appraisals.

Luke Heselwood, Researcher

Reformer of the week

Durham Constabulary, for adopting innovative methods to tackle crime when faced with budget pressures. It was the only force to receive the rating “outstanding” this Thursday by the police watchdog, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

Good week for…

Public funding, charitable delivery

On Monday, it was announced that schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas will receive £26 million in extra funding for breakfast clubs. The charities Family Action and Magic Breakfast will run these clubs.

HMRC’s digital transformation

On Wednesday, HMRC’s digital transformation director, Brigid McBride, announced that HMRC is planning to use artificial intelligence for certain processes, allowing staff to focus on customer-facing work.

Bad Week for…

NHS IT systems

On Tuesday, a Guardian Healthcare Network survey found that six out of 10 healthcare professionals believe that NHS IT systems are not fit for purpose.

Mental healthcare

On Wednesday, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman reported that NHS staff lack the capacity, skills and training to respond to the needs of mental health patients.

Quotes of the week

“Privatisation brought a revolution to our railways, and turned round half a century of decline. Increased funding since 2010 – and well into the future – has turned round decades of underinvestment. Now it’s time for the next transformation. Modernising rail services and delivering HS2. Committing the industry to a carbon-free future. And uniting the railway in a relentless focus on the customer.”

Jo Johnson MP, speaking on Monday.

“We will not succeed [in reforming social care] unless the changes we establish embrace the changes in technology and medicine that are profoundly reshaping our world. By reforming the system in line with these principles everyone – whatever their age – can be confident in our care and support system. Confident that they will have control, confident that they will have quality care and confident that they will get the support they need from wider society.”

Jeremy Hunt MP, speaking on Tuesday.

Reform’s Week


On Friday, Reform published a new report, Crime and information: using data and technology to transform criminal-justice services, that looks at improving efficiency throughout the criminal-justice system using data and technology. The report was produced in partnership with Sopra Steria.

On Friday, Sarah Timmis, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog highlighting the importance of the use of data and technology to deliver more efficient and transformative criminal-justice services.

Also on Friday, Philip Craig, Government Sector Strategy Director at Sopra Steria, wrote a blog discussing the role of data and digital in the criminal-justice system.


On Wednesday, Eleonora Harwich, Head of Digital and Technological Innovation at Reform, wrote a blog in the British Journal of Healthcare Computing, on the application of AI in healthcare.

On Thursday, Eleonora Harwich spoke at the Executive Leadership Summit on Driving Digital Healthcare Transformation.

On Friday, Alexander Hitchcock, Research Manager at Reform, wrote a blog for Policing Insight on the use of data in bringing together policing, prosecution and the courts.

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, Reform will be hosting a roundtable event led by Professor Martin Sadler OBE, Chair of the Government’s Secure by Design Expert Advisory Group. This event will discuss cyber security of consumer IoT products and associated services. This event is sponsored by Accenture.