Highlights of 2014

Highlights of 2014

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 and a very... More…
Trouble in social democratic paradise – the Swedish model crumbles?

Trouble in social democratic paradise – the Swedish model crumbles?

I live in the social democratic paradise that a generation of British-lefties admired as the good society: Sweden. Radical social reforms undertaken from 1932 to 1976 (when the Social Democratic party governed continuously), engineered a system that lived up to... More…
Visibility and invisibility in a leaderless NHS

Visibility and invisibility in a leaderless NHS

Alex Stevenson wrote a piece on the politics.co.uk blog last week where he talked about leadership in the post-reform NHS.  He reviewed the findings of a recent Public Administration Select Committee, detailing a lack of accountability across UK healthcare provision,... More…
Ebola: Media Narratives and Public Responses

Ebola: Media Narratives and Public Responses

The Ebola crisis has been described by the WHO as “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times” and national governments, aid organisations and others have reacted to the crisis at this level. But what about public understandings... More…
TubeCrush: Privacy, Sexism and Consent in the Digital Age

TubeCrush: Privacy, Sexism and Consent in the Digital Age

Sexual desire and abuse have become networked and hashtag-able. Mobile devices have made women’s bodies more public, often without consent, and in ways that mark them as sexual objects. This takes place alongside a visual culture that expects women to... More…
Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Mental Health Policy at a Cross Roads in the UK

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Mental Health Policy at a Cross Roads in the UK

BME inequality in terms of mental health service use and service provision is no further forward than it was 10 years ago. It needs to be urgently addressed as a high priority area of social policy. More…
Statins and their side effects

Statins and their side effects

Statins were the 20th century ‘blockbuster’ drug. Almost everyone could benefit from turning a Euro-American cholesterol into a Japanese one according to their supporters … And now they are off-patent, statins look better and better value to those seeing health... More…
NHS 111 – Improving efficiency or destroying the ‘brand’?

NHS 111 – Improving efficiency or destroying the ‘brand’?

NHS 111 need not necessarily be the calamity it has become. This calamity is driven more by financial under investment than a more pervasive crisis of care. More…
Lazing on a sunny afternoon? A historical perspective on risk and sunlight

Lazing on a sunny afternoon? A historical perspective on risk and sunlight

As we emerge from the wettest winter on record most of us are looking forward to the summer and the chance to maybe get out into some sunlight.  The pleasures associated with lying on a beach, going for a bike... More…
Culturally appropriate health promotion, or cynical marketing ploy? Australia’s storm in a beer glass

Culturally appropriate health promotion, or cynical marketing ploy? Australia’s storm in a beer glass

Drinkwise Australia is one of those industry-funded bodies that does the corporate responsibility bit. In their case the big aim is to transform Australian drinking culture by championing the cause of moderation and so reduce harmful consumption patterns. “Yeah… and... More…
Letter from America

Letter from America

A visit to the ‘land of freedom’ with its catastrophic health care costs is a warning not to be complacent about the NHS … Where it’s brushed against poison ivy, Kelly’s skin is badly blistered, a rash slowly spreading down... More…
Latest entries
Children in Need of Charity?

Children in Need of Charity?

Each year the country comes together in mass acts of philanthropy, raising money in all kinds of inventive, extraordinary and impressive ways to help children who are less fortunate than they are.  Each year a significant amount of money is... More…
Abandoned but not forgotten: hospitals, decay and urban exploration

Abandoned but not forgotten: hospitals, decay and urban exploration

Do you find the picture above unsettling, provocative or even beautiful?   It appears to show an old delivery bed set against the clinical white tiles of a hospital maternity room.  But the image is saturated with the disintegration, disorder and... More…
Detoxing Schools: Do lotteries for school places offer the best medicine?

Detoxing Schools: Do lotteries for school places offer the best medicine?

The best social science book I have read this year is Toxic Schools, Bowen Paulle’s account of urban high-school-life in New York and Amsterdam. Paulle demonstrates how divisive educational systems that segregate poor, black and other ethnic minority students into... More…
Evidence, Experience & Exclusions: A review of a recent workshop

Evidence, Experience & Exclusions: A review of a recent workshop

‘Can experience be used as evidence?’ That was the question at a workshop organized earlier this month by the Health Experiences Group at Oxford. The question does not only interest academics. Researchers from different disciplines were joined by clinicians, policy... More…
Last throw of the dice…?

Last throw of the dice…?

Is the granting of new rights to desperate patients and their doctors in the Medical Innovations Bill a valiant attempt to save lives - or will it turn the NHS into an unethical guinea-pig farm? More…
Can we blame the recession for healthcare austerity?

Can we blame the recession for healthcare austerity?

In the early 1990s, following a decade of state retrenchment under Thatcher and Reagan, political scientist Paul Pierson observed that despite repeated efforts to reduce healthcare spending “governments generally found health care to be a cause of political headaches rather... More…
The Demise of the Inconveniently Good Beveridge Model: Part 2

The Demise of the Inconveniently Good Beveridge Model: Part 2

Part 1 presented evidence that England is now rearranging one of the world’s most effective and most efficient health care systems into a copy of the world’s least financially efficient system. Part 2 documents the role of politicians and private... More…
The inconveniently excellent Beveridge NHS model: Part 1

The inconveniently excellent Beveridge NHS model: Part 1

NHS Model – made redundant for being too good? This is a blog in two parts. Part 1 will consider the international comparisons showing the current changes to the NHS as perverse in terms of the effect the sizeable increase... More…
The Bad Patient

The Bad Patient

Questions of good patients and bad patients mean different things to professionals and policy makers. Is patient empowerment something tangible or are patients simply a pawn between these competing interests? More…
Is Care Unsafe for People with a Learning Disability? The Case of Connor Sparrowhawk

Is Care Unsafe for People with a Learning Disability? The Case of Connor Sparrowhawk

Connor Sparrowhawk was 18 years old when he drowned in the bath in a NHS short term treatment and assessment facility (Slade House run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) on 4th July 2013. He had learning disabilities and epilepsy... More…
Letter to Ed Miliband: full text of letter from National Health Action Party

Letter to Ed Miliband: full text of letter from National Health Action Party

Friday, 19 September 2014 Dear Mr Miliband We are writing to you as concerned doctors and co-leaders of the National Health Action Party. We set up this party to defend and improve the NHS and hold to account politicians who... More…