Nurses for Reform

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Nurses for Reform is a lobby group created in 2007 which gives the impression that within the nursing profession there is a groundswell of opinion for increased private involvement in the NHS.
NFR calls itself a “growing pan-European network of nurses” that campaigns for “consumer-led reform” of the healthcare system in Britain and abroad that is based on “competition” rather than “bland egalitarianism.”1 It has labelled the NHS “a Stalinist, nationalised abhorrence” and given its seal of approval to a theory that the history behind the NHS and the eugenics movement have common elements.23
NFR’s director, Helen Evans, wrote that the “really heartening thing” about the controversy over the Cameron meeting was that “dozens” of nurses have since signed up to support NFR, 4 bringing the total number of members who are UK nurses to “a couple of hundred,” she said (as of March 2010).5

Pro-Tobacco Activities

The Letter to the Daily Telegraph

In March 2011, Dr Helen Evans, the Director of Nurses for Reform, was one of a number of signatories of a Letter to the Editor to the Daily Telegraph attacking the Government’s position on tobacco control and arguing against further restrictions.

Links to Think Tanks Favouring Privatisation

NFR also has links to a network of think tanks that favour privatisation. For example, it was a member of the Stockholm Network, a group of more than 130 free market think tanks, where Tim Evans was formerly development director.6 The Stockholm Network says it pushes for “more consumer-driven health care” through reform of European health systems and markets.7
Tim Evans is a senior fellow and Helen Evans a fellow of the Adam Smith Institute8 which argues for the transformation of today’s ‘state monopoly providers into independent, competitive ones’.9

Tobacco Industry Funding?

In May 2012, when the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath asked Nurses for Reform whether it was currently receiving tobacco industry funding, or had received funding in the past, it received no reply to its questions. 10

Advisory Board 2011

  • Dr Tim Evans – Senior Fellow, Centre for the New Europe
  • Shane Frith – Director, The Doctors’ Alliance
  • Robert McIndoe – RMN 11
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  1. About Nurses for Reform, NFR website, accessed 1 Mar 2010
  2. Evans H. “Nurse’s group welcomes review to usher in private top-ups”, 19 June 2008
  3. Evans H, Now let’s not be NHS Nazi-link deniers—or Tories, Nurses for Reform Blog, 27 January 2010
  4. Evans H, “Onwards and upwards: NFR’s media profile and support base continue to grow at a rapid pace”, Nurses for Reform Blog, 13 January 2010
  5. Helen Evans, Telephone interview with Tamasin Cave, the author of Lobby Watch: Nurses for Reform, British Medical Journal, 10 March 2010
  6. Stockholm Network. When health scares become our daily meal, 15 January 2008
  7. Stockholm Network, Policy issues.
  8. Adam Smith Institute, Fellows
  9. Adam Smith Institute, Reforming the state healthcare monopoly
  10. Tobacco Control Research Group, Email to Nurses for Reform, 11 May 2012
  11. Nurses For Reform Advisory board, accessed 9 June 2011