The Week, 22 April 2016

22 April 2016

This week, general practice was in the spotlight with NHS England publishing its General Practice Forward View and the Commons Health Committee publishing its primary care inquiry. Both institutions agree with Reform’s own report on the topic, published last week, that change is urgently needed. The difference is in the prescription. There is consensus on the need for greater use of technology, improved access and more prevention. There is divergence, however, on whether a substantial increase in GPs is need. NHS England support the Government’s pledge of 5,000 more GPs, the Health Committee fails to explicitly back the increase, and Reform argues strongly against it.

Charlotte Pickles, Deputy Director and Head of Research

Reformer of the week

NHS England, who on Thursday published its General Practice Forward View which backs seven-day services, a greater use of technology and extended out-of-hospital care.

Reactionary of the week

NHS England, who in its General Practice Forward View reinforced the 1948 model of general practice by recommitting to 5,000 more GPs rather than offering a blueprint for wholesale care redesign.

The Telegraph, which in an editorial on Friday used Thursday’s crime statistics to argue that “[i]t is time to get the bobbies back on the beat.” The statistics showed a 7 per cent increase in police recorded crime, most of which, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) states, is “owing to improved crime recording”.

Good week for…

Economic inactivity

On Wednesday, the ONS published the latest Labour Market Statistics showing that the UK economic inactivity rate has continued to fall and is now at its lowest since 1990.

Making the case for general practice reform

On Thursday, the Health Committee explained that the NHS’s “core customer has changed but the model has not. The model remains reactive, in that it waits for people to turn up with an exacerbation or a symptom. It is episodic.”

Civil service performance incentives

On Friday, it was reported that 10 per cent of senior civil servants will be eligible for higher bonuses to reward outstanding performance. On Thursday the Senior Salaries Review Body published their annual report arguing that “[t]here should be more focus on maximising outcomes for lowest cost and less fixation on limiting basic pay increases across the board.”

Bad week for…

Social mobility

On Monday, Teach First released analysis showing that children from the poorest families are four times more likely to attend a primary school deemed inadequate or requiring improvement, highlighting that good and outstanding schools are concentrated in affluent areas.

Clear accountability

On Wednesday, the National Audit Office published a report on English devolution deals, arguing that “the government needs to provide a clear statement of the new accountability arrangements”.

Civil service competence

On Friday, the Department for Education announced it was cancelling a grammar, punctuation and spelling test for primary school children after it was found to have been accidently published on the Department’s website.

Quotes of the week

“If we are going to provide the best possible care for people living with increasingly complex long term conditions, then primary care has to be able to change. We need to allow for longer appointments and for people to be cared for by a wider range of professionals. It is also vital that people have access to timely appointments yet that remains a serious issue for many. The priority for the government should be the workforce and to make sure that we train, develop and retain the multidisciplinary teams as well as the facilities and technology they will need to provide the best care for patients.”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Committee, on Thursday

“The ‘GP Forward View’ sets out to plug many holes in the crumbling plasterwork of GP practices. It is no blueprint for a new primary and community care building.”

Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, on Thursday

“Particularly in an era of public sector pay restraint, approaches need to be considered which might be counter-cultural for parts of the public services. We believe that there should be more focus on maximising outcomes for lowest cost and less fixation on limiting basic pay increases across the board. Greater analysis is required of where value is being added and action taken where it is not. There needs to be demonstrable evidence that appraisal systems and performance management arrangements exist and are effective, and of a robust approach to reward structure and career development. More attention needs to be focused on the feeder groups that will provide the next generation of leaders.”

Thirty-Eighth Annual Report on Senior Salaries 2016, published on Thursday

Reform’s week


Last Tuesday Reform published its research report Who cares? The future of general practice. The report argues for a greater use of technology, a more diverse workforce and extended services in general practice — delivered seven days a week.

Last Thursday Reform published its research report The future of public services: digital policing. The report is the second in a series, conducted in partnership with Accenture, and uses the example of West Midlands Police (WMP) to demonstrate what a digitally enabled police service might look like.


Who cares? received wide coverage in The Guardian, GP online, National Health Executive, Pulse and Daily Mail. It was also reported in The British Medical Journal and in The Economist. Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, and Alexander Hitchcock, Researcher at Reform, co-wrote a comment piece in the Health Service Journal. Alexander also wrote a comment piece in the New Statesman and appeared on the Ockham podcast to discuss the findings of the report.

The report received a ministerial response from Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Minister for Primary Care.

Following the publication of The future of public services: digital policing William Mosseri-Marlio, Researcher at Reform, wrote a piece for Prospect Magazine highlighting some of the ways officers are using data analytics to deliver better preventative policing, and another piece for Public Finance setting out in greater detail how WMP plans to deliver £52 million of net savings by 2019-20.

Last Tuesday Charlotte Pickles, Reform’s Deputy Director and Head of Research, appeared on BBC Radio 4 ‘World at One’ to discuss Universal Credit.

On Friday Charlotte wrote an article for Inside Housing arguing that housing providers should embrace Universal Credit as it will help improve the lives of their residents.


Last Tuesday Reform convened a research roundtable entitled ‘An inclusive workplace: how can employers support disabled people into and stay in work?’ It explored the business case for employers to recruit and retain more people with a disability.

Also last Tuesday, Reform hosted a launch event for Who cares? led by Professor Paul Corrigan CBE, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Imperial College London and former Senior Health Police Adviser to Tony Blair, to explore the report’s recommendations.

On Thursday Reform convened a policy roundtable with Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, on ‘Creating the conditions for growth: how can government best support British business?’

The Reformer Blog

Last Tuesday, Andrew Haldenby wrote the first blog in a series on David Cameron’s policy-legacy, covering the NHS and Whitehall. This Monday he wrote the second on education.

Last Tuesday a number of blogs on Who cares? were published. Alexander Hitchcock discussed the findings of the report. The Chief Executive Officer and Partner of Lakeside Healthcare, Professor Robert Harris, explored how his practice have reinvented themselves over the past two years. Paul Corrigan, Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College London and former Health Adviser to Tony Blair, reflected on the changes to NHS provision of primary care over time. The Director of Policy at National Voices, Don Redding, emphasised the importance of careful planning of health care reform.

Last Thursday three blogs on The future of public services: digital policing were published. William Mosseri-Marlio argued that digitisation can help police forces develop models of working better suited to the needs of citizens. The blog was cross-posted by Policing Insight. Allan Fairley, Managing Director of UK Police and Justice at Accenture, set out how digital solutions can help tackle today’s policing challenges and Sally Bourner, Chief Superintendent for West Midlands Police, applied Peel’s principles to 21st Century policing.

Reflecting on themes arising from Reform’s recent strategy day, Emilie Sundorph, Research Assistant at Reform, wrote a blog on the role of predictive data in future public services. Alasdair Riggs, Research Assistant at Reform highlighted some of the barriers to the use of such data. Alexander Hitchcock argued that future public services will need to apply a start-up mentality to succeed.

On Friday Emilie Sundorph summed up the themes arising at Thursday’s roundtable with Seema Malhotra MP.



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