- Our Work
- The Reformer Blog
17 February 2017
Health policy filled the vacuum left by Parliamentary recess this week. In a report published on Thursday, Reform set out how NHS England could make a success out of its Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). Meanwhile Keith Willett, Director of Acute Care at NHS England, highlighted the dangers of a partisan debate about health reform.
William Mosseri-Marlio, Research Manager
Keith Willett, who made the unusually frank admission that the current way of delivering healthcare is “broken”, adding that inertia puts at risk the future health of the NHS.
On Monday, the Secretary of State for Justice Liz Truss MP reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to family, drugs and alcohol courts.
On Wednesday, consultancy LaingBuisson reported that care home residents who pay their own fees are subsidising local-authority funded residents by more than £100 a week.
On Wednesday, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a list of 350 employers that have not been paying their staff the minimum wage.
On Monday, in a review commissioned by the Labour Party, Lord Kerslake urged Number 10 to give control over the domestic policymaking agenda back to Whitehall departments, citing concerns about Treasury “mission creep”.
On Monday, the Education Select Committee challenged the Government’s assertion that grammar schools will help pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
On Monday, following revisions to economic growth, the Ministry of Defence was forced to deny claims the UK had failed to deliver on its ambition to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
“We cannot just ignore what we now know, or how needs are changing. When it comes to healthcare, inertia can be truly harmful. It is no longer realistic to say ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’—believe me, it is breaking.
What I most fear is an overly-politicised conversation that seeks to damn every proposal as a “cut” and paralyses progress. None of that is going to help the staff who are committed to caring within the NHS, nor their patients—that’s you and your family.”
Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director of Acute Medicine, writing for the i on Monday
“Being in vogue is not the same as being sensible. A guaranteed income does not answer the question of how people who find fulfilment in work would find it in a world with not enough work to go around. In most scenarios it would be unaffordable; to pay even a fifth of average earnings to every American would require a 10 per cent increase in net taxation. A universal basic income would involve handing billions to people who do not need it, and if the past is any guide, it is unlikely to be needed anyway. Capitalism has proved effective at offering new ways to earn a living as old ones die out.”
The Times leader column on Wednesday
“Payment by results is perhaps the most important of all the lessons in Cove’s book. You get what you pay for. If you pay providers according to the size of the problems they have, you get more problems. If you pay them according to the number of problems they solve, you get more solutions.
We began adopting some of this in the UK with the Work Programme, allowing contractors to find answers to joblessness and paying them if they succeeded. At first, the results were disappointing. But just as you would expect, things quickly improved as companies absorbed early lessons. Before long we were getting better results than the traditional state programmes — and for less money.”
Lord Finkelstein, writing forThe Times on Wednesday
On Saturday, Louis Coiffait, Head of Education at Reform, wrote an article for Schools Week following the publication of Work in progress: Towards a leaner, smarter workforce. He argued that the education workforce is the most important factor in improving outcomes for students, and discussed the potential of technology to help.
On Monday, Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for Public Finance following the announcement of the Government’s Transformation Strategy. He argued that government should use data and online communication to become more efficient and responsive to the public.
On Thursday, Reform’s publication Saving STPs: achieving meaningful health and social care reform was covered by several external media outlets, including:
This week the Reformer featured a series of articles first published in the Reform Annual Conference Brochure.
The Reformer also featured two blogs to follow the publication of Saving STPs: