The Week, 8 June 2018

8 June 2018

This week the Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, told MPs about the Greater Manchester Reform Board which brings together representatives from almost every public sector bodies – “NHS, police, fire, DWP attend as observers and we had the MoD” – to reform public services. Historic divisions between public service providers are often the biggest barrier to meeting needs and achieving value for money.

Daniel El-Gamry, Researcher

Reformers of the week

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, who said his “job as a leader is to send a signal that [civil servants] won’t get shot down for producing a radical idea… We’ve had to do a lot of outside-the-box thinking, and the prime minister, personally, is constantly saying to the civil service, I want some fresh ideas, I don’t want to be stuck with that pre-existing model.”

The Metropolitan Police, for equipping officers in Camden and Islington with technology to update intelligence, check suspects’ names against databases and file arrest details, all without going back to a station. The area commander reported “dramatic reductions” in crime.

Reactionary of the week

The NHS and social care services. On Friday, the Public Accounts Committee reported that a quarter of emergency admissions to hospital, 1.5 million people, could have been prevented last year if hospitals, GPs, community services and social care had worked together more effectively.

Good week for…

Choice in education I

On Wednesday, Amanda Spielman, HM Chief Inspector of Schools, said that inspections need to be about more than just a “grade sticker” because “enabling proper parental choice means telling them more about what life will be like for their child in a school.”

Choice in education II

On Thursday, Sam Gyimah MP, Minister for Higher Education, announced that universities would have to publish more information on teaching quality and expected earnings “to help applicants make even better choices.”

Bad week for…

Digital policing

On Tuesday, Sara Thornton, Chair, National Police Chiefs’ Council told MPs “only about a third of forces had a proper capability to deal with cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crime.”

Police cooperation

Also on Tuesday, Lynne Owens, Director General, National Crime Agency, told MPs that the “glacial speed” of cooperation between forces means she is “concerned that we are going to get left behind” in the fight against serious organised crime.

Quotes of the week

“The more we concentrate on merely reworking our existing institutions, the more we fail to see or understand the different nature of the challenges that surround us. Pouring money into moribund systems will not bring about the necessary change.”

Dr Hilary Cottam, Social Entrepreneur and author of Radical Help: How we can remake the relationships between us and revolutionise the welfare state, in the Financial Times, on Monday.

“In terms of investment going forward, we do need to spend more money on technology. We need to develop the skills of our staff and officers. We need to develop capabilities such as cyber… so that we can use technology to support the human beings in making those decisions.”
Chief Constable Sara Thornton CBE, QPM, Chair, National Police Chiefs’ Council, to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday.

“Every individual and every business should have the opportunities, skills and confidence needed to reap the benefits of digital technology…We will do everything we can to turbocharge this sector, and position the UK firmly at the forefront of the digital revolution.”

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, speaking on Wednesday.

Reform’s week

Reformer Blog

On Monday, Maisie Borrows, Senior Researcher at Reform authored a blog arguing technology is an enabler to healthcare transformation if it is designed in a user-centric way.

On Thursday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform wrote a blog that made the case for limiting NHS spending to 2.0—2.5 per cent a year.


On Monday, Tom Richmond, Senior Research Fellow at Reform, wrote an essay ‘Quality first, access second?’ in the Learning and Work Institute’s collection, ‘All work: Where next for apprenticeships reform?’.


On Tuesday, Reform held a panel event on the value of NHS data and fairness of public-private partnerships. The event was held as part of a research project Reform is carrying out.

On Wednesday, Reform held a policy dinner led by with Bill Esterson MP, Shadow Minister for International Trade, on the theme of international trade in the context of Brexit. This event was held in partnership with Barclays.

Upcoming Events

Next Tuesday, Reform will hold a roundtable seminar led by Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education, discussing ‘Building productivity and reform: the example of the Department for Education.’ This event will be held in partnership with BT.

Next Thursday, Reform will host a roundtable seminar on _ ‘The potential of automation across government’_, led by Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office. This event will be held in partnership with Liberata.

On Monday 25 June, Reform will hold a speech by the Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on reform and transformation in public service delivery.



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