The Week, 1 June 2018

1 June 2018

The Prime Minister has committed to bring forward a long-term funding plan for the NHS. This week Rt Hon Alan Milburn rightly highlighted that further funding “must be accompanied by reforms” and that it should not just be about sustaining the system, but transforming it. Yesterday, an article in the Financial Times mentioned that “politicians must discuss higher taxation” to fund the NHS. Whilst taxation has historically been the main tool to fund public services, the digital age has seen a new type of currency emerge: data. With the appropriate safeguards and with patient engagement and consent, why not explore how the NHS could use patient data to fund itself?

Eleonora Harwich, Head of Digital and Tech Innovation

Reformers of the week

Rt Hon Alan Milburn for highlighting that promises of more funding for the NHS should be coupled with a commitment to reform it to ensure value for money.

Dr Phillip Lee MP, Justice Minister, for his commitment to youth custody reform. He announced on Friday the first steps in the delivery of Secure Schools, which will focus on tackling the root causes of youth offending.

Good week for …


On Tuesday, it was reported that Ucas, the university admissions service, will drop its requirement for students to declare convictions when they apply so that they are not discriminated against.

Reducing pressure on A&E in London

On Wednesday, it was reported that the London Ambulance Services want to reduce the number of patients sent to A&E by treating them at the scene of an emergency.

Bad week for …

Widening access and participation

On Saturday, Rt Hon David Lammy MP, highlighted that Oxford University is not delivering value for money with their outreach programme to widen access and participation.

Child health

On Tuesday, it was reported that one in 25 children in England aged 10 or 11 are severely obese. This increases the risk of having shorter healthy adult life years.


“If the public are going to put more money into the NHS, we must prove that every penny is well spent. So let’s sort out the waste and productivity issues that still see wild variations in the prices that hospitals pay for basics such as surgical gloves—£1.27 in one hospital compared to just 50 pence in another.”

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, writing in The Telegraph on Sunday.

“People with convictions who are applying to university are showing a huge commitment to turning their lives around. As a society, we should be doing all we can to support them.”

Nina Champion, Head of Policy at the Prisoners’ Education Trust, in The Guardian on Tuesday.

“Secure Schools will focus on the root cause of offending, by intervening early to help break the cycle of reoffending—making our streets safer and diverting young people away from a life of crime.”

Dr Phillip Lee, Justice Minister, on Friday.

Reform’s Week

Reformer Blog

Following from Reform’s Annual Health Conference, two blogs were published this week.

On Monday, Dr Karen Kirkham, NHS GP and Assistant Clinical Chair at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, wrote a blog discussing a model for integrated, out-of-hospital care within the NHS.

Also on Monday, Luella Trickett, Senior Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager at Baxter Healthcare, wrote a blog discussing the importance of working collaboratively to drive new models of care.


On Monday, Eleonora Harwich, Head of Digital and Tech Innovation at Reform, was mentioned in an article published by Medium on leading women in the AI space.

On Wednesday, Rose Lasko-Skinner, Research Assistant at Reform, wrote an article in Public Technology. This op-ed argues that while GDPR is right to increase transparency and citizen control over data, we should not overlook the values and benefits of sharing data.


On Wednesday, Reform held an event on ‘Global Leadership in Health Innovation: the role of data’ lead by Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer at NHS Digital. This event was held in partnership with Accenture.

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, Reform will be hosting a panel event on ‘Making NHS Data Work for everyone’. This event will discuss the value of healthcare data and what a mutually beneficial arrangement between patients, the NHS and industry might look like. Find more information on our website here.



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