The Week, 1 February 2019

1 February 2019
By Eleonora Harwich
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REFORMER OF THE WEEK

Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner, for calling for the expansion of freedom of information law to include organisations who provide services to the public sector. This will both improve the accountability and quality of public services.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Services that are both accountable and transparent are better public services. The principles of access to information laws promote better decision-making, which in turn improves services”

Elizabeth Denham CBE, on Monday.

“Our modern Industrial Strategy identifies our unmatched heritage and strength in AI as a huge opportunity for the UK. We are leading the world in its development and use, benefitting from the highly skilled jobs and economic growth this technology creates.”

Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Thursday.

GOOD WEEK FOR

CYBERSECURITY

Greg Clark MP, announced measures for the UK to become a world leader in cyber security.

DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

David Lidington CBE MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, and Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, set out measures to improve outcomes for ethnic minority students.  

BAD WEEK FOR

THE HOUSING CRISIS

Official figures show the surge in rough sleeping in England’s cities and a high number of families living in overcrowded homes.

THE ADULTS SKILLS GAP

The Social Mobility Commission published a report showing that the poorest adults with the lowest qualification levels are the least likely to access training.

REFORM'S WEEK

Reform held a post-publication event for its report Making NHS data work for everyone. Speakers included Lord James O’Shaughnessy; Dr Nicole Mather, Director, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Deloitte; Jess Morley, Technology Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care and Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research, Reform. The event was chaired by Hetan Shah, Executive Director, Royal Statistical Society. The report was reviewed this week by a Russian IT company.
 
Reform published three blogs this week. Rachel Cooper, Director of Transparency International Health Initiative, and Dr Till Bruckner, Founder of TranspariMED, co-authored a blog on the need for medical research transparency in universities. Use MY data, a movement of patients, carers and relatives, authored a blog on the importance of patient engagement, transparency and the trustworthiness of data-sharing mechanisms in healthcare. Claudia Martinez, Research Manager, Reform wrote a blog on mental health support teams in schools.

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher, Reform, authored a piece for Public Finance arguing that community sentences should be more widely used if Government wants to introduce a presumption against short prison sentences.