Paying for Prevention – could new government spending rules unlock an upstream revolution in public services?

28 Jun 2023 - 28 Jun 2023

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT

Demos' Office, 15 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD

As the political parties gear up for the next election, public service reform is back on the agenda. This includes a renewed focus on prevention – for example Labour has recently called for problems to be tackled “with a long-term, preventative approach”.

While few would disagree with the shift to prevention, no one has found a way to square this circle within the government’s current funding mechanisms. Treasury orthodoxy prioritises known costs over the more risky long-term spending that prevention will require. At Demos, we have argued for a different funding stream which isn’t competing with demand-led costs.

As calls for a shift to prevention grow ever stronger, join us to the question: could reformed government spending rules and frameworks unlock an upstream revolution in public services?


  • Nancy Hey, Executive Director of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing
  • Caroline Slocock, Director of Civil Exchange, former Senior Policy Adviser on Expenditure at the Treasury and author of Why Don’t We Invest in Early Action?
  • Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of the Impact Investing Institute, former Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation
  • Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and REAL Centre at The Health Foundation

Doors will open from 17:30, with the panel beginning at 18:00. 

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