The Week

The Week, 25 May 2018

This week the NHS Confederation, representing NHS organisations, argued that taxes should rise by the equivalent of 10p on the basic rate of income tax to fund higher health spending. Such a rise is politically inconceivable: Reform polling in January suggested public support for a rise of between zero and 1p, together with strong support for change to deliver greater value for money. A better report would have justified higher spending by explaining how the NHS will greatly accelerate its shift to modern, reliable care taking advantage of new technology, as the Prime Minister explained on Monday.

Andrew Haldenby, Director 

Reformer of the week

David Gauke, on Wednesday, who devolved control over prison education to governors with the aim that education becomes more relevant to local labour markets, helping offenders enter work.

Reactionary of the week

Sajid Javid MP, who gave every impression on Tuesday that he would take the Police Federation’s side in a fight for extra resources with the Treasury. The Home Secretary should work with the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to reform the police, not to set up in opposition to them.

Good week for


On Monday, the Prime Minister rightly argued that artificial intelligence and other innovations can, “transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia by 2030”.

Better public services due to technology

On Friday, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation should give greater public confidence in the security of their data, helping the development of technologies like artificial intelligence that the Prime Minister described.

Bad week for

Opponents of competition in public services

On Wednesday, Juliet Bauer, Chief Digital Officer at NHS England, said that while the NHS would develop its own library of health apps, she would welcome the creation of other effective apps by companies and charities. She was speaking at Reform’s annual health conference (#reformhealth).

Opponents of choice in public services

Also on Wednesday at Reform’s conference, Lucy Watts MBE, a patient with a number of serious health conditions, explained how a personal health budget had given her the ability to choose the staff that care for her and the style of that care. That control had improved her care, given her dignity and, as a byproduct, reduced the costs of her care (#reformhealth).


“Late diagnosis of otherwise treatable illnesses is one of the biggest causes of avoidable deaths. And the development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease.”

Theresa May MP, speaking on Monday

“And governors know their prisoners and local areas best. I’ve said before that governors should govern. That’s why from April next year, they will be given full control of over how education is delivered in their prisons, able to tailor it to meet the needs of local employers and the local labour market.”

David Gauke MP, speaking on Wednesday

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Tuesday, Daniel El-Gamry, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog on ensuring social care meets changing needs.

Following Reform’s Annual Health Conference, this week has seen a series of blogs from our speakers, including:

• James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS England, on implementing a model for personalised care in the NHS.

• Lucy Watts MBE, Patient Leader, on how patients can take control of their own health.

• Juliet Bauer, Chief Digital Officer, NHS England, on the ongoing digitisation of the NHS.

• Trishan Panch, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Wellframe, on healthcare transformation through technology

• Dr Benedict Evans, Investment Director, InHealth Ventures, on healthcare transformation through technology

• Dr Philip Xiu, Chief Medical Officer, Medicalchain, on the role of data sharing in spreading innovation

• Dr Kristin-Anne Rutter, Partner, Mckinsey & Company, on data in healthcare


On Monday, Manufacturing Management interviewed Tom Richmond, Senior Research Fellow at Reform, for an article examining the apprenticeship levy.


On WednesdayReform hosted our Annual Health Conference, ‘Moving towards a transformed NHS’. The keynote speech was given by James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care at NHS England, on the case for giving people more choice and control over their health. The other panels generated ideas on healthcare transformation through technology, data sharing in spreading innovation and out-of-hospital care. The event was held in partnership with Baxter, InHealth and Mckinsey & Company.The hashtag was #reformhealth on Twitter.

Upcoming events

On WednesdayReform will be hosting a roundtable on ‘Global Leadership in Health Innovation: the role of data’ led by Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, NHS Digital. This event is being held in partnership with Accenture.