The Week

The Week, 6 April 2018

This week, NHS leaders in Dorset have integrated care and health systems with the aim of reducing financial strain and saving taxpayers’ money. Reform is needed to deliver cost-efficient public services to enable the government to reduce the tax burden on citizens, as it has done this week by increasing the basic personal allowance for millions.

Jim Boyd, Deputy Director and Head of Research

Reformer of the week

Dorset’s NHS-designated integrated care system (one of 10 in England) which has broken barriers between hospitals, GPs and social care by better using data and employing nurses to operate across silos. It is reported health leaders and ministers hope this will prove part of the solution to sustaining the service’s free-to-use model as it comes under increasing financial strain.

Good week for…

Workers in developed economies

On Tuesday, an OECD report found that far fewer workers were at risk of being replaced by a robot in developed economies than previously thought.

Saving costs in the NHS

On Tuesday, it was reported that seven hospitals in Sheffield joined forces to buy in bulk and reduce overheads by collaborating on a price matching scheme. This saved £400,000 by switching to the same brand of surgical gloves alone.

Bad week for…

Government Consultations

On Friday, it was reported that tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been squandered by the government on public consultations that have come to nothing.


On Friday, it was reported, according to analysis by the Open University, that more than £1.28 billion of the funds that had been paid into the apprenticeship levy by companies is ‘languishing’ in National Apprenticeship Service accounts.

Quotes of the week

“There is good news as well as bad in the NHS. It ranks highly on international measures of efficiency. The performance of GPs has been improving. Mr Steven’s reforms are replacing fragmental competition with integrated care, and in some regions, health and elderly care budgets have been pooled. An appropriate long-term funding arrangement alongside a proper funding system for social care would provide the framework for further modernisation. Mrs May must be held to her promise.”

Financial Times leader on Tuesday

“England’s mayors need more control. If the government is serious about devolution, the mayors need the powers to match that ambition.”

Financial Times comment on Thursday

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

On Thursday, Rose Lasko-Skinner, Research Assistant at Reform, wrote a blog explaining the concept of “risk” in the outsourcing of public services.