If we want young people to contribute more to society, maybe we should try asking their opinion

By Alma Grant, Helen Murphy and Saba Hinrichs-Krapels

Alma Grant and Helen Murphy recently completed a week’s work experience at the Policy Institute.

Here at the Policy Institute we have just launched a health commission led entirely by 18 students and recent graduates of King’s College London. The commission is funded by NHS England and intended to envision revolutionary changes to healthcare during the next 15 years.

Clearly we thought this was a good idea (and so did our funder), but we were curious to see who else had done something similar around the world. We started to look around to find examples of young people’s involvement in the creation of public policy. We were particularly interested in finding out whether involving young people affects the success of projects. Continue reading

Lifting the lid on a live project: Bringing behavioural insights into NHS procurement

By Harriet Boulding, Saba Hinrichs, Hannah Burd, Mark Egan and Michael Hallsworth

In his February 2016 independent report, Lord Carter announced the creation of a ‘model hospital’. The purpose of this imaginary hospital is to show ‘what good looks like’ by providing a set of metrics, best practice checklists and benchmarks for other hospitals to build into their procurement processes.

This is a much needed endeavour. Lord Carter noted that ‘after analysing the variation in non-clinical resource costs we believe there is at least a £2 billion opportunity across the areas of procurement, estates and facilities and administration (back-office) costs.’ Continue reading

Weeding out the bugs in cannabis legalisation policies

As the new President-Elect was making his victory speech on 9 November last year, some liberals were rejoicing, rather than despairing, about what had just taken place at the ballot box. What they saw, sprouting among the rubble of the swing-state firewall that was meant to deliver the election for Hillary Clinton, were some very literal green shoots of progress, as four states – Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California – voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use. Continue reading

Progressive children’s legislation in reverse gear?

By Jane Tunstill, Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

It is no coincidence that the longest-running play on the London stage, The Mousetrap, which is still being shown after 64 years, is based on a key tragic event in the history of childcare policy in this country. Agatha Christie recognised that the death of Denis O’Neill in 1945, at the hands of his foster parents, was a topic to engage the attention of her readers, and audiences have certainly proved her right. The tragedy, and subsequent enquiry, directly triggered the 1948 Children Act, which introduced a national framework of children’s departments responsible for the systematic oversight of the welfare of children. Continue reading