Working to make government more effective


Learning the lessons from 'Never Again?'

Nicholas Timmins’ case study of the National Health Service (NHS) reforms draws out 10 specific lessons from the story of the Health and Social Care Act.

1. Have a story to tell
2. Beware lack of internal challenge
3. Don’t go quiet on plans ahead of an election; or misrepresent them. Do recognise that the
world can change.
4. The coalition negotiations; take more time, involve some expertise
5. The need for a strong centre
6. The role of the Civil Service: recognise the weakness of the Civil Service in the face of a
determined minister; weigh up sound advice.
7. Legislation should be an accurately targeted rifle shot, not a carpet bombing
8. Revolution v. Evolution
9. Don’t overestimate how far key arguments over reform have already been won
10. Build a consensus, or at least some support

In this separate commentary, we link those lessons to earlier work that the Institute for Government has done on:
1. policy making in opposition
2. making coalition government work
3. transitions to government
4. the role of the centre of government
5. being an effective minister
6. better policy making.

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