The Preventative State: Launch Event

26 Apr 2023 - 26 Apr 2023

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm BST

Demos 6th floor 15 Whitehall London SW1A 2DD


The state has got stuck in a rut of servicing the nation’s most acute problems. The post-Beveridge promise, in which the state would step in for short periods of time of worklessness, or to treat short periods of illness, has been disrupted by the changes in our employment structures, lengthening lives, and worsening health problems, while the social solidarity and institutions that provide the foundations of our communities have fallen into disrepair.

We’re in an unsustainable system, repeating age-old methods of helping people to less good effect. We need to re-engineer our activity around preventing the problems from happening at all, building stronger communities, where a rich social fabric reverses the societal fragmentation that is the silent driver of so much demand on public services – and all in the context of restrained spending.

Join us to discuss The Preventative State, a new Demos essay supported by Local Trust. The essay sets out a bold new vision for how the state can truly achieve prevention, arguing for a new focus on foundational policy and a reimagining of our public services.

We are delighted to be joined by Patricia Hewitt, former Secretary of State for Health.


  • Patricia Hewitt, former Secretary of State for Health
  • Matt Leach, Chief Executive, Local Trust
  • Polly Curtis, Chief Executive, Demos
  • Andrew O’Brien, Director of Policy and Impact, Demos (Chair)

This event has now passed. You can watch a recording of it here.


The Public Services 2030 Network

Public services are in crisis. Backlogs are everywhere, from NHS waiting lists to undecided asylum applications. Frontline staff, managers and civil servants alike are doing their best to respond, and often performing heroically.

But the fundamentals of the situation are beyond individual heroism, short term fixes or limited cash injections to resolve. The United Kingdom needs a rethink on public services: what do we want, what are we willing to pay for, and who will do the work and how will there be change?

There is no shortage of bold and innovative ideas. From pioneering councils to charities experimenting to new approaches to service design and thinkers across the political spectrum, we have been inspired by the wealth of work happening right across the country.

Now is the time to connect these voices to create a new era of public service reform. The Public Services 2030 Network is a movement of organisations committed to rebuilding and reforming our public services so they are fit for the next decade.

Network founding partners include:

  • The Centre for Public Impact
  • More Than a Provider
  • Policy@Manchester, The University of Manchester
  • Reed in Partnership

Network knowledge partners include:

  • The Institute of Employability Professionals
  • The WEA