The Week, 11 January 2019

11 January 2019
By Imogen Farhan
Profile picture for user Imogen Farhan

REFORMER OF THE WEEK

In a week of a major funding announcement, the National Audit Office (NAO) reminded us that attention must also be given to spending public funds wisely. Its report found the number of public bodies in England failing to provide value for money is on the rise. 

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“With ever stretched public services, citizens deserve to know that there are effective arrangements in place to make sure they are getting value for money” - Meg Hillier, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

“The vast majority of people who use tech on a daily basis would be happy to communicate and engage with the NHS in a different way.” - Professor Joe Harrison, chief executive of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS foundation trust.

GOOD WEEK FOR

DÉJÀ VU

The NHS Long Term Plan prioritised prevention and improving services outside hospitals, reiterating the commitments that were put forward in the NHS’s Five Year Forward Viewpublished in 2014.

DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Digitisation featured prominently in the Long Term Plan, and pledged that every patient who wants to have online GP consultations will be able to in the next five years.

BAD WEEK FOR

VALUE FOR MONEY IN HEALTHCARE

A NAO report found 4 in 10 NHS organisations produced financial statements for 2017-18 which caused concern to auditors when it came to value-for-money.

THE APPRENTICESHIP LEVY

new survey has shown that 9 out of 10 companies want more flexibility over how they spend the apprenticeship levy. Last year, Reform published a reportarguing the levy was being used to rebadge existing training courses as apprenticeships, and made recommendations to ensure the levy is used to fund genuine apprenticeships only.

REFORM'S WEEK

Reform published two blogs on the NHS this week. Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, wrote a blog debating whether the NHS Long Term Plan will get traction when its predecessor didn’t, and Dr Nick Scriven, Consultant Physician and President of the Society for Acute Medicine, discussed the scale of the staff retention problem in the NHS.

Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reformcommented on the final report of Shelter’s commission on the future of social housing, saying that “a lack of social housing has contributed to England’s homelessness crisis. However, homelessness is not just about housing and public services need to work together to tackle its root causes”.