The Week

The Week, 28 September 2018

This week the Labour Party repeated the commitments of its 2017 Manifesto, pledging to increase budgets and increase the size of the public sector workforce. In a number of public services, the Labour Party argued to devolve power, but for healthcare it argued for national oversight.

Rose Lasko-Skinner, Researcher at Reform

Reformer of the week

Lord Patrick Carter, Non-Executive Director of NHS Improvement, who made tangible suggestions for where the NHS could make efficiency savings.

Good week for…

Local authority oversight

On Monday, Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary, announced that Labour would end forced conversion of struggling schools to academies and prevent the creation of any new free schools, in order to “return to local authority control”.

A “mixed-Economy” with less private sector provision

On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, claimed he would create a “genuinely mixed-economy for the 21st Century”, with a move towards a greater use of public providers and local businesses.

Publicly-funded childcare

On Monday, Angela Rayner announced the Labour Party would provide 30 hours of universal childcare, and any extra would be means-tested but capped at £4 per hour.

Bad week for…


On Monday, John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced Labour would scrap all PFI contracts and bring them back in-house.

Also on Monday, it was announced the current government would end the Royal Liverpool Hospital private finance initiative and complete construction work with public-sector funding.

Private provision of healthcare

On Wednesday, Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, restated the Labour Party would repeal the Health and Social Care Act (2012), and stop using private providers in healthcare.

Universal credit

On Monday, Margaret Greenwood, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, heavily criticised the Universal Credit system for being too complicated and threatened to scrap it.


“Opportunity matters most in the earliest years of life. It is a crucial time to open up children’s life chances. Driving up standards of childcare will make that vital difference for millions of our children.”

“Privatisation and outsourcing are now a national disaster zone. And Labour is ready to call time on this racket. […] We will rebuild the public realm and create a genuinely mixed economy for the 21st century.”
Jeremy Corbyn, addressing the Labour Party conference, on Wednesday.

“Patients come first and as your Health Secretary I would never abandon my responsibilities to patient care and safety. I certainly wouldn’t be pushing untested private health apps like this new Health Secretary. It’s so irresponsible.”
Jonathan Ashworth, addressing the Labour Party conference on Wednesday.

Reform’s Week


On Thursday,Reform published a new report ‘Smarter Working in public services: the HMRC experience so far’.

Media Coverage:

The report was covered in UK Authority. and Civil Service World.

Reformer Blog

On Thursday, Daniel El-Gamry, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog highlighting how Smarter Working is transforming the way government is managed and organised.


On Monday, Reform, hosted two events at the Labour Party conference.

The first was with The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, on ‘The UK economy and Brexit’.

The second was with Darren Jones MP, Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee and Annemarie Naylor, Director of Policy at Future Care Capital on ‘Making NHS data work for everyone’.

External Events

On Monday, Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Digital and Tech Innovation at Reformpresented the findings of Sharing the benefits: how to use data effectively in the public sector at the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s event at Labour Party Conference.

On Wednesday, Eleonora Harwich participated in a panel discussion at Blockchain live on the impact of distributed ledger technologies on the relationship between the citizen and the State.

On Thursday, Eleonora Harwich presented at Patientory Association’s meetup event on blockchain in healthcare.

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, Reform, will hold two events at the Conservative Party conference.

The first will be with The Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on ‘Saving for tomorrow: how do we build a sustainable and fairer society?’ This event is being held in partnership with Prudential.

The second will be with Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Implementation) on ‘The 2019 Spending Review: cross-government thinking on investment and reform’. This event is being held in partnership with PwC.