A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
Why the NHS needs an immigration policy with strict hypocrisy controls

Why the NHS needs an immigration policy with strict hypocrisy controls

How did the UK come to find itself facing a major political crisis with the prospect of expending the forseeable future redefining its relationship with the European Union? One of the key contributing factors is that political leaders allowed the issue... More…
Placebo, participation and surgery

Placebo, participation and surgery

A therapeutic effect that cannot be attributed to an active ingredient of medication is termed ‘placebo’. The ‘placebo effect’ is far from a neutral description of the effect of ‘inert drugs’, being associated with the quackery and deception of sugar... More…
Scotland’s drug death crisis needs a radical harm reduction response – now

Scotland’s Drug Death Crisis

The newly published figures of annual drug-related deaths (DRD) in Scotland are appalling. The National Records of Scotland figure of 867 represents the highest annual total recorded – a 23% increase on the previous year, and a 100% increase since 421 Scottish... More…
Why we keep playing the Generation Blame Game … and why we need to stop

Why we keep playing the Generation Blame Game … and why we need to stop

Successive generations’ healthy disregard of the previous generation’s tastes, habits and customs is a necessary ingredient of human progress. But there is something about the current carving up of the population into ever smaller generational slices of entitlement and opprobrium... More…
UK policy turns people with learning disabilities into commodities, study reveals

UK policy turns people with learning disabilities into commodities, study reveals

There are well over a million people with learning disabilities in England. Like anyone, people with learning disabilities or autistic people can experience times of crisis and heightened distress, particularly when they and their families have not had the support they need.... More…
Climate change set to increase air pollution deaths by hundreds of thousands by 2100

Climate change set to increase air pollution deaths by hundreds of thousands by 2100

Climate change is set to increase the amount of ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution we breathe, which leads to lung disease, heart conditions, and stroke. Less rain and more heat means this pollution will stay in the air for... More…
To The Bone: Why Netflix’s portrayal of eating disorders has got it all wrong

To The Bone

Not many films come with a health warning. But the recent Netflix film To The Bone, which tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen – played by Lily Collins – and her journey through treatment for anorexia, has received just that. The... More…
Forensic Architecture and Violence

Forensic Architecture and Violence

Thresholds of Detectability and Investigative Aesthetics The state, via the police and criminal justice system, is normally responsible for the investigating the crimes of individuals.  But what happens when the state is the alleged criminal and those seeking to uncover... More…
The ADHD chronicles: Squeezing through the bars of the iron cage

The ADHD chronicles: Squeezing through the bars of the iron cage

My first two attempts to get evaluated for ADHD only resulted in promises that the psychologist would call me back. This never happened, and the only official indication that I was ever in contact with him/her was the invoices I... More…
Digital Healthcare: On the ethics and politics of data

Digital Healthcare: On the ethics and politics of data

A two-day symposium on ‘Digital Healthcare’ was held last month at the University of Nottingham, focusing on the social logics, ethics and politics of data and technology provision. Speakers and delegates from a range of disciplines came together to discuss and... More…
Not in the club? It’s par for the course

Not in the club? It’s par for the course

Golf is a game where individual players hit a small plastic and rubber ball (a descendant of the ‘hairy ball’ it is believed), with a largely metal club. It is widely understood to have originated in Fife, on the east... More…
Falling out of love with the car?

Falling out of love with the car?

Have we reached ‘peak car’?  Many pointers in the UK and internationally suggest we have.  There’s been a slow down, even a reverse, in our love affair with the private car.  On average, those of us in high income countries... More…
Governing in the heat

Governing in the heat

As I write it’s baking hot, and seems to have been for days. The usual risks apply to writing about it though. By the time this is published the thunder storms we have been promised may have brought cooler wetter... More…
On Brexit, Nurses and Migrant Workers in the NHS

On Brexit, Nurses and Migrant Workers in the NHS

Figures released this week by the Nursing and Midwifery Council show a 96% drop in the number of EU nurses applying for jobs in the UK after the Brexit vote in June 2016.  In July 2016, 1304 nurses joined the... More…
Old wine in new bottles? On the new NICE Guidelines for Depression

Old wine in new bottles? On the new NICE Guidelines for Depression

Before NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) finalised and published its first depression guidance in 2004, it made a draft publicly available for comment. NICE will make a draft of a new version of this guidance available... More…
Tory landslide Was Averted

Tory landslide Was Averted

So, there is a general election tomorrow.  Maybe one of the most critical elections in the post-war period.  If you are reading this blog, the chances are that you deeply care about the NHS, schools, universities and believe in having... More…
Muddying the NHS waters- a 5 year forward view

Muddying the NHS waters- a 5 year forward view

I knew it was coming. I didn’t know what shape it would take but I knew that, eventually, my habit of drinking voracious daily amounts of Diet Pepsi would eventually catch me up. I’d been told once by a drunken... More…
The dynamics of health inequalities

The dynamics of health inequalities

Since the publication of the Black Report, through numerous subsequent policy documents and much policy activity the health differences between the rich and poor in Britain remain a reality which blights the lives of millions. Inequalities in health bring earlier... More…
Performing Masculinity

Performing Masculinity

In a little over an hour, these two talented performers say as much or more about contemporary masculinity as a whole library shelfful of sociological tomes Peter McMaster’s “27” is a theatrical piece which springs from a young man’s intimation... More…
Learning to Drink in Nigeria: Tales from Hollywood and Nollywood

Learning to Drink in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there is no concept of ‘counting your units’ nor are there nationally co-ordinated public health campaigns to challenge the normalisation of drinking alcohol ‘to excess’. With little or no regulation of the alcohol industry, transnational drinks companies are... More…