A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
The Paradox of Stigma in Mental Health: Germanwings Flight 9525

The Paradox of Stigma in Mental Health: Germanwings Flight 9525

On the 24th March 2015 Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps killing all 150 passengers and flight staff. Amidst the shock of this tragedy French Police and Air Crash Investigators began to piece together the details of the... More…
Taking a break: a note on the sociology of snacking

Taking a break: a note on the sociology of snacking

I was at the dentist a couple of weeks ago and he managed to surprise me. For more than a decade now these encounters have been pretty predictable. Moralising about sugar, followed by mild disapproval about the state of my... More…
Money, Death, Pain and Politics

Money, Death, Pain and Politics

Who’s who and what’s what in the war over cancer drugs Over the last few days a very nice man from Ipswich called Tim Mason has been appearing in the local media where I live. Tim has an illness called... More…
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Crisis

CAMHS in Crisis

There’s been more bad news recently about the state of young people’s mental health. One in five 11-15 year-olds in England now report self-harming. The number of people who die by suicide is also increasing, as is the number of... More…
A Crisis in GP care: greed, funding or ideology?

A Crisis in GP care: greed, funding or ideology?

Most recent surveys report a GP crisis in the UK. The question is whether this caused by greed, underfunding or the stress of working under an oppositional government ideology More…
(Imaginary) healthcare heroes – Ms Conscientious (#2 in an occasional series)

(Imaginary) healthcare heroes – Ms Conscientious (#2 in an occasional series)

Imagine a paramedic who is a dedicated clinician. Imagine her to be conscientious, caring and skilful. And now imagine that she is so disturbed by the conditions of today’s NHS that she is seriously considering leaving her secure employment as... More…
We are all Dr Strangelove now

We are all Dr Strangelove now

It could be argued that there is no greater threat to our health than the possibility that we may be wiped out as a species.  The 1964 Kubrick movie ‘Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love... More…
David Cameron, England's NHS, and the tiger in the bathroom

David Cameron, England’s NHS, and the tiger in the bathroom

As it becomes impossible to deny the devastation being wreaked on the National Health Service by 2012's Health & Social Care Act, who is really pledging to fix it? More…
Q: "When is an NHS provider not a qualified provider?" A: "When it's a willing provider..."

Q: “When is an NHS provider not a qualified provider?” A: “When it’s a willing provider…”

What’s the difference you might ask? Well, here’s the rub, according to the last edition of Private Eye, there isn’t one! December’s edition of Private Eye reported a range of concerns about the regulation and governance of Any Qualified Providers... More…
“Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”: Women’s (Sporting) Bodies on Screen

“Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”: Women’s (Sporting) Bodies on Screen

Women aged 14 – 40 years are the target of the latest Sport England campaign “This Girl Can”. The campaign is supposed to be breaking new ground in terms of the particular approach it takes to women and sport, but... More…
Making space for activity

Making space for activity

All doom and gloom about the NHS this week – and I thought we needed some light relief so started with play. In our road we have a street play scheme. As in other places this followed a popular annual... More…
The Remploy Saga: the provider state isn't providing and the enabling state doesn't enable.

The Remploy Saga: the provider state isn’t providing and the enabling state doesn’t enable.

I saw Government Minister Mark Harper interviewed on my local television news the other day (BBC Look East, Jan. 12th 2015). He was talking about how, in his opinion, the closure of the last publicly owned Remploy factories was, somewhat... More…
2015: Time for politicians to make a healthy New Year’s resolution

2015: Time for politicians to make a healthy New Year’s resolution

It’s that time of year. Millions of British people resolve to change. Quit smoking. Eat better. Exercise more. Drink less. Breaking a New Year’s resolution is as much a British tradition as making one though. So what can we learn... More…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…