A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

“Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness.” George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1945) With the half-life of NHS policies now measured in days and weeks, it was with weary resignation, rather than... More…
University staff are getting a ‘Die Quickly’ pension plan. It won’t work.

University staff are getting a ‘Die Quickly’ pension plan. It won’t work.

What is at stake in the ongoing university strikes? To answer this question, Ewan McGaughey explains how the pension system works, who governs it, and their conflicts of interest. He argues that there is a need to rebuild the university... More…
The Mercy

The Mercy: Mental Health, Seafaring and Mythical Voyages

Mental Health, Seafaring and Mythical Voyages The recent UK cinema release of “The Mercy” revisits the tragic tale of Donald Crowhurst’s doomed entry into the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.  This was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race, held between... More…
All you need is love…

All you need is love…

This Valentine’s Day, as with every year, the shops are full of hearts and flowers, and the internet is bombarding us with adverts for romantic getaways, meal deals, and ideas for ever more expensive ways to demonstrate our love for... More…
Data & the gaming of A&E waiting times

Data & the gaming of A&E waiting times

A few days ago I found myself investigating the bed occupancy statistics for an NHS hospital trust. This was in response to a friend telling me that the hospital had found the need to invent a new colour level of... More…
Big Drinkers to get a Big Nudge

Big Drinkers to get a Big Nudge

Public Health England is putting all its efforts into alcohol unit pricing – but is it really the right thing to do? Last week, the Parliamentary Health Select Committee was listening to the views of Public Health experts on the... More…
Solving the Problem of Plastic Pollution: Beyond the natural sciences?

Solving the Problem of Plastic Pollution: Beyond the natural sciences?

Concerns about the issue of plastic pollution and the health and environmental dangers of microplastics are now firmly in the spotlight. So far, the emphasis has largely been on introducing greater regulation at an international and national level but what... More…
Shortage of nurses in UK is affecting patient care and threatening lives

Shortage of nurses in UK is affecting patient care and threatening lives

Nursing is often seen as the beating heart of the NHS. But, if recent media reports are anything to judge by, the beating heart is badly in need of a cardiologist. Outsiders looking in would rightly be puzzled by the... More…
A shuffling shambles: calamity or conspiracy?

A shuffling shambles: calamity or conspiracy?

The news earlier this week that Jeremy Hunt was not only going to be staying as Secretary of State for Health, but was also extending his ministerial remit to cover social care as well, came as something of a shock.... More…
Highlights of 2017

Highlights of 2017

Dear Readers, Thanks for reading our posts and for following us on Twitter. Also thanks to the many guest authors who have blogged for us over the last year. We hope you all have a merry break over Christmas and... More…
Deportation and despair in context

Deportation and despair in context

Assessments of the health needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe tend to focus on trauma suffered prior to exile and during the flight to the host country. Less attention has been paid to the ill effects of the... More…
Public troubles and private lives – how could ‘iHomecare’ be the answer to the social care crisis?

Public troubles and private lives – how could ‘iHomecare’ be the answer to the social care crisis?

There is a permanent contradiction in the sphere of health and social care in that one person’s home is another person’s workplace, such that people’s private lives are intertwined with public responses to those lives (i.e. the state provision of... More…
Risk and danger -  time to change systems, not humans?

Risk and danger – time to change systems, not humans?

In June this year, the Mayor of London committed to delivering  ‘Vision Zero’ for road injuries.  This initiative aims that deaths and serious injuries on the roads should be eliminated in London by 2041.  That’s a bold aim: despite falling... More…
When should we worry?

When should we worry?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is in the news as public health specialists around the world ask us to pay attention to Antibiotic Awareness Week. Posters have gone up across the UK warning that ‘taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts... More…
Making a virtue of variation? The fragmentation of the English NHS

Making a virtue of variation? The fragmentation of the English NHS

Geographic reform of the NHS is not new: region, district, area, and locality are all familiar terms in NHS history, and notions of “place” as an organising principle retain an intrinsic appeal for policy-makers.  Recently, the English NHS has now... More…
The Doctors’ Trial: 70 years on from the Nuremberg Code

The Doctors’ Trial: 70 years on from the Nuremberg Code

While many of us, on occasion complain about having to get ethical approval, it is important to be aware of the history behind these obligations. This is especially true with the recent resurgence of the far-right and Neo-Nazis leading to... More…
A Shared Love for the Beautiful Game

A Shared Love for the Beautiful Game

Sitting in the stands last Sunday watching Brighton and Hove Albion take on Everton there was a palpable energy in the air.  From the cheers and chants for home players to the booing of opposing players and officials, the atmosphere... More…
VIDEO:  Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp

VIDEO: Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp

Public Health in the Calais Refugee Camp: Environment, Health and Exclusion If you missed this year’s ‘Cost of Living’ Symposium it is now available to watch in the above video. Surindar Dhesi, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University... More…
What to do about our toxic universities?

What to do about our toxic universities?

“My senior management seems to live in a governance free zone. One in particular who joined with the new VC has developed a reputation for turning disagreements into sacking”. UK University Employee Anyone who takes more than a passing interest... More…
The Gradual Rehabilitation of Salt

The Gradual Rehabilitation of Salt

The Public Health campaign against salt seems to be losing ground – for some sociologically interesting reasons. It’s become one of those facts that everyone knows – too much salt is bad for you, right? But a complete lack of... More…