A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
Meanings of Recovery – Exploring the Long Shadow of Illness

Meanings of Recovery – Exploring the Long Shadow of Illness

A symposium on ‘The Meanings of Recovery’ was recently held at the University of Surrey. Speakers from a range of disciplines and professional backgrounds came together to discuss the ways that recovery has been conceptualised by different groups across various... More…
Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

It’s the time of the year when we get away. The schools have broken up and between starting this blog and finishing it, I packed numerous bags and backpacks, got everyone to the airport, checked in and made it to... More…
Where has all the kindness gone?

Where has all the kindness gone?

In October 2015 I wrote about the implications of the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour leader standing on the pledge of a new “kinder politics and a more caring society”.  I talked about the glimmer of hope offered... More…
Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Lesley Henderson interviews the producer of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ The impact of Brexit on environmental regulation and how best to safeguard our health from the growing problem of pollution are issues that have been heavily discussed since the EU referendum... More…
Brexit and its discontents

Brexit and its discontents

Many of us will have sat stunned on the morning of Friday 24th June wondering how Great Britain could have committed such a blatant act of self-harm by voting to leave the European Union. At one turn jeopardising our human... More…
On bulls, men and risk

On bulls, men and risk

Pamplona’s festival of San Fermín is best known for the encierro, or Running of the Bulls   Each morning, six fighting bulls are run through the city streets on their way to the bull ring.  With them run six steers and... More…
‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

Are workplace wellness programs really about helping us to be healthy or are they trying to make us into better workers? An increasing amount of workplaces are asking their employees to join in fun activities which help them to be... More…
How many Zikas will it take?

How many Zikas will it take?

Gradually the Public Health gaze is turning towards the minor acute events that trigger serious long term illnesses and chronic conditions. “About time too”, say many campaigners. For social scientists, it is very interesting to observe major changes in medical... More…
Caring for Carers

Caring for Carers

Did you know that the 6th and 12th of June was Carers Week? A range of events and activities taking place all across the UK celebrating the work of carers and raising awareness of the challenges they face. It is... More…
On Brexit, Hamsters & Hungry Pythons!

On Brexit, Hamsters & Hungry Pythons!

As we move towards the referendum on membership of the EU, British citizens face a bewildering array of claims and counterclaims.  The conventional wisdom is that the voting public will favour the ‘status quo bias‘.  Unfortunately, we seem to be... More…
Scarred for life

Scarred for life

At a research meeting last week, a general practitioner who offers health checks to young, unaccompanied refugees, described his work. He had interviewed 44 young men from Afghanistan who all, report themselves to be in good health, with no special... More…
Improving health? Start local

Improving health? Start local

Ideas about place based systems of care are currently fashionable in policy circles. I have previously written about initiativitis, (plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ or ‘here we go again’) but I am resisting the cynical temptation to... More…
A 'tour de force' of obfuscation

A ‘tour de force’ of obfuscation

A note on Sustainability and Transformation Plans in your brand new NHS  Obfuscation is the obscuring of intended meaning in communication, making the message confusing, willfully ambiguous, or harder to understand. It may be intentional or unintentional (although the former... More…
Lights out for health?

Lights out for health?

Across the UK, the lights are going out.  As local authorities seek to cut costs, street lights are being turned off or dimmed at night – with much local media concern about what this means for safety.  But is less... More…
You deserve a better life - Louis Theroux’s 'Drinking to Oblivion'

You deserve a better life – Louis Theroux’s ‘Drinking to Oblivion’

This week I watched Louis Theroux’s BBC documentary on severe alcoholism. The programme followed patients of King’s College Hospital as they were admitted to A&E or to detox programmes, and spoke to specialists trying to deal with the many health... More…
Parkrun

Parkrun

Every Saturday in countries across the world groups of amateur and less amateur runners get together to run 2 or 5 km around a park.  In 2004, Paul Sinron developed Parkrun, and the first event involved 13 people running in... More…
Domestic Violence in the Archers: Gender, Mental Health and Victim Blame

Domestic Violence in the Archers: Gender, Mental Health and Victim Blame

When Helen Titchener finally took a knife to abusive husband, Rob, there was a national outpouring of relief from Archers fans, who had become increasingly frustrated with the long running, apparently endless subjugation of Helen. Others had long switched off,... More…
Sugar, poverty and taxation

Sugar, poverty and taxation

As social scientists, we can bring a unique perspective to a debate dominated by politicians, ‘food campaigners’, public health and industry. I don’t know if self-appointed sugar experts Jamie Oliver (TV chef) and George Osbourne (political chancellor) have a lot... More…
WRAGs to ‘riches’: Closing the disability employment gap

WRAGs to ‘riches’: Closing the disability employment gap

Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) recently resigned from his position as the Work and Pensions Secretary having seemingly suffered a delayed bout of morality. In his resignation letter he explained that he felt the cuts proposed in #Budget2016 were ‘a compromise... More…
School Holiday Hunger

School Holiday Hunger

The cost of the school holidays makes them a crunch point for families paying the price of austerity politics. Children who benefit from free school lunches are often going hungry once their school shuts for the holidays. The cost of... More…