The Week, 9 August 2019

9 August 2019
By Luke Heselwood
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The Week

Reformer of the Week

The Department for Health and Social Care, for announcing a £250 million fund for a national artificial intelligence lab that will develop new treatments for cancer, dementia and heart disease.

Good week for

The NHS estate

The Prime Minister announced £1.8 billion to upgrade hospitals. While this is a welcome cash injection for crumbling hospitals, the primary care estate barely features – meaning the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan continues to be kicked down the road.

Financial common sense

The Lords Science and Technology Committee argued that the Augar Review underestimated how a reduction in student fees would impact universities’ research funding. In May, Luke Heselwood, Senior Researcher at Reform, said that the potential cuts to student fees would not improve access for disadvantaged students or course quality.

Bad week for

Housebuilding

Analysis from Shelter found that although housebuilding has increased, it is only at half the rate of planning permission proposals.

A&E waiting times

NHS waiting lists reached a record high for the month of July, with 2.27 million visits to A&E – 90,000 more than the same month in 2018. Commenting on these figures, Claudia Martinez, Research Manager at Reform, argued that investment in the primary care system would provide patients with alternatives to A&E.

Quotes of the Week

“Our best estimates for the UK public sector suggest that between £31bn and £49bn is being lost from the public purse to fraud and error each year. This is a challenge that requires a constant effort to tackle.”

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service, for Civil Service World on Monday.

“The Augar Review has completely missed the mark by not considering research funding in its review. By ignoring research and cross-subsidies, it has made recommendations which, if implemented, could prove harmful to the already challenging ecosystem of university funding.”

Lord Patel, Chair of the Lords Science and Technology Committee, on Thursday.

Reform’s week

On Thursday, Claudia Martinez was quoted in The Financial Times in reaction to new NHS data showing record numbers of patients attending A&E in the month of July.