The Week

The Week, 7 July 2017

This week has seen calls for the continued pursuit of innovative partnerships and enterprise in the public sector. New approaches to the delivery of public services are as essential as ever.

Emilie Sundorph, Researcher

Reformers of the week

Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, the Home Secretary, for launching a number of preventative programmes aimed at reducing domestic violence.

George Freeman MP, for pointing out that the only way to end austerity is through enterprise and innovation.

Reactionary of the week

Rt Hon Damian Green MP, the First Secretary of State, for suggesting that the Government needs to rethink university tuition fees in the hope of attracting younger voters to the Conservative Party.

Good week for…

Lessons for the future of healthcare

On Monday, the Information Commissioner’s Office concluded that the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust did not comply with data protection laws in its partnership with Google DeepMind. It provided advice for the rest of the sector to unlock the potential of creative uses of data.

Most recipients of adult care services

On Thursday, a report by the Care Quality Commission stated that 77 per cent of adult social care services are “good.”

The public sector pay cap

On Wednesday, Theresa May MP, the Prime Minister, drew a line under Government division over public sector pay, by emphasising the need for the country to live within its means.

Bad week for…

Victims of stalking and harassment

On Wednesday, a joint inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service found that crimes of harassment and stalking are often missed or misunderstood.

NHS transformation

On Friday, a survey by NHS Providers showed that 62 per cent of NHS leaders are worried that their local area is not transforming quickly enough.

Disposable income

On Thursday, the Office for National Statistics published quarterly economic well-being indicators, showing that real household disposable income per head declined by 2 per cent in Quarter 1 of 2017. On Monday, the Local Government Association showed that one in seven private tenants spend at least half their income on rent.

Quotes of the week

“We won’t unlock our leadership in transformative technologies like digital health, advanced medicines, autonomous transport or e-learning unless our public sector is actively supportive through procurement and partnership with industry.”

George Freeman MP, in The Times, on Thursday.

“The point is our fire services need, and deserve, appropriate management for the future. Some brigades are better than others. Some need little work, others a lot. But stating that ‘we’ve cut 11,000 firefighters’ and hiring 11,000 more won’t fix the problem, only push it down the road. The job is changing and to protect workers in the long-term – long after any guilt money from this government may or may not have been handed out – we need to ensure brigades are fit for purpose in a world where, thanks to their own good work, there simply are fewer fires.”

Katherine Fidler, journalist, in The New Statesman online edition, on Wednesday.

“The NHS sees a million people every 36 hours. This creates incredible possibilities to learn about the health of the nation, what works and what fails, from diagnosis to care. We could have a self-educating healthcare system, learning all the time from its patients, and we don’t. This is possibly the biggest lost opportunity in modern Britain. That’s our real problem, not the frankly abstract question of patient data privacy.”

David Aaronovitch, in The Times, on Thursday.

Reform’s Week


On MondayReform hosted a speech by the Leader of Westminster City Council, Councillor Nickie Aiken, who committed to creating a more mixed housing stock in the heart of London, followed by an expert panel discussion.


On Tuesday, Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, appeared on BBC Radio Kent and BBC Sussex to discuss Reform’s recent report on digital borders.


Also on Tuesday, Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, argued that the Government’s focus should be on improving public services for everyone, rather than public sector pay.

On Thursday, Nemanja Stojanovic, Consultant Endocrinologist, wrote about how his new app is helping people manage their diabetes.