The Week, 4 October 2019

4 October 2019
By Luke Heselwood
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Reformer of the Week

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, for announcing a fairer deal for workers with an increase in the national living wage to £10.50 by 2024.

Reactionary of the Week

While there was a welcome announcement of additional capital funding for hospitals, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health, continued to ignore the needs of primary care. Reform this week published a Fact Sheet looking at the dire state of the primary care estate.

Good week for

Digital inclusion

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, launched a £30 million competition to trial 5G in rural communities. As Reform’s recent report shows, tackling digital exclusion will require better infrastructure in addition to improving digital literacy. 

Prevention

Offenders with an alcohol problem or who have committed a drink-related crime can be fitted with a ‘sobriety tag’ as an alternative to prison or as a licence condition to prevent reoffending. Reform research has demonstrated that trials of the tags have shown positive results.  

Bad week for

Homelessness deaths

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 726 people died rough sleeping last year –  the highest since recording began. Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, commented on the statistics and called for long-term sustainable funding.

Health records

Since 2013, coroners in England and Wales have issued 62 warnings to the NHS where they identified failings in record-keeping that put patients’ lives at risk.

Quotes of the week

“We have gone from a beacon of success to an international example of failure. But if ending homelessness was possible in 1998, why it is not possible in 2020? Communities, government officials, businesses must not allow this issue to be ignored, we must feel its impact and act as the country we are proud to be.”

Dame Louise Casey in The Times.

Reform’s week

On Tuesday, Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, spoke to the Today programme about the Government’s crime announcements from the Conservative Party Conference.

Also on Tuesday, Dr Luke Heselwood commented on the tragic increase in homelessness deaths. The comment featured as a Letter to the Editor in City AM. It was also quoted in The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail and LocalGov.

On Thursday, Claudia Martinez, Research Manager at Reform, published a Fact Sheet for Reform’s new website focused on public spending that examined the primary care estate.