Publications

Disclaimer: Reports on the website begin from 2015. If you would like to see a copy of an older report, please contact info@reform.uk

We believe that the quality and excellence of our research is core to our reputation. We are a charity who is dedicated to achieving better and smarter public services. Our mission is to set out ideas that will improve public services for all and deliver value for money.

With the erosion of public trust in traditional sources of information we pride ourselves on producing robust, insightful and independent reports. We engage with and communicate our thinking and research with opinion-formers and decision-makers from across the political spectrum. We purposefully seek to engage with people who have different views to those expressed in our reports during the research process to ensure that we break the echo-chamber in which many think tanks can find themselves in.

Please don’t take our word for it, please read our reports. 

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12th July 2016

The Work and Health Programme: levelling the playing field

Government’s approach to outsourcing services has risen up the policy agenda in recent years. The Coalition Government saw high-quality competition between external suppliers as a key lever to deliver value for money for taxpayers and service users alike. In theory, dynamic public-service markets are well-placed to achieve this: at least half the productivity gains of private markets over 10 years can be attributed to the replacement of less-productive firms with more-productive ones.

23rd May 2016

Local commissioning, local solutions: devolving offender management

Over the last 15 years, there has been significant change to the way in which offender management services – i.e. prison and probation – are organised and managed. This has included the introduction of competition, first through private sector run prisons and then more recently through the outsourcing of the bulk of probation services through the Transforming Rehabilitation programme. Successive governments have also sought to create a more integrated offender management system, primarily by bringing prisons and probation closer together through the creation of a single agency – the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) – to manage both.

14th April 2016

The future of public services: digital policing

Reform’s report, The future of public services: digital policing, highlights the important role technology can play in helping the police forces of England and Wales address tomorrow’s challenges. This paper is the second in a series, conducted in partnership with Accenture, looking at the transformative role technology will play in the future delivery of public services.

12th April 2016

Who cares? The future of general practice

The core delivery model for general practice has remained largely unchanged since the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. General practices are independent businesses, contracted by the state to provide defined health services to a registered list of patients. Practices are owned and run by one or more ‘partners’ – general practitioners (GPs) who hold contracts and share the profits their practice delivers. In theory, this incentivises the most effective care for all patients – from a young, healthy person requiring one-off treatment to an elderly patient with a variety of long-term conditions.

7th March 2016

Cloud 9: the future of public procurement

Each year, central government spends around £40 billion procuring goods and services. This expenditure is underpinned by a very clear rationale: purchasing from third parties delivers value for money. When the Coalition Government came to power, however, there were widespread concerns this principle was not being realised in practice. A number of initiatives to improve procurement were launched, but these have delivered mixed results.

18th February 2016

The future of public services: digital justice

Much has been made of the role technology can play in delivering more efficient, intelligent and citizen-centric public services. Digital services will be crucial to meeting the Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘smarter state’. To date, however, public services have barely scratched the surface of technology’s potential. This paper is the first in a series, kindly supported by Accenture, looking at the transformative role technology will play in the future delivery of public services.

4th February 2016

Working welfare: a radically new approach to sickness and disability benefits

The out-of-work benefits system for people with a health condition or disability is broken. In 2006 the then Labour Government saw the need for reform and announced its intention to tackle the “passive” system of Incapacity Benefit (IB) by introducing Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), believing that within a decade there could be a million fewer claimants. Instead, ESA replicated many of the problems of IB and has failed to achieve its objective of moving more disabled people into work.