A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
The Pain in Spain

The Pain in Spain

Access to healthcare is a major post-referendum concern for millions of Europeans – but when you contemplate the details, you can see why most Brexiteers would rather not talk about it….. An amicable or “soft” divorce between Britain and Europe... More…
The real crisis in the NHS is democratic

The real crisis in the NHS is democratic

The decision by the British Red Cross to suggest that the NHS was experiencing a ‘humanitarian crisis’ predictably instigated a public debate as to exactly what the terms of reference were for an event to be considered a humanitarian crisis... More…
A Fortunate Man: the story of a country doctor

A Fortunate Man: the story of a country doctor

John Berger: 5 November 1926 to 2 January 2017 I took John Berger’s book A Fortunate Man: the story of a country doctor to read over the New Year holiday. Berger’s account of a General Practitioner working in the Forest... More…
Mind the Gap: On John Berger, mystification and the NHS

Mind the Gap: On John Berger, mystification and the NHS

A couple of events this past week have put me in mind of some of the insights from John Berger’s classic text ‘Ways of Seeing’. In an age of ‘post-truth politics’, the observations and comments in this 45-year-old book seem... More…
Welfare with conditions can promote social divisions

Welfare with conditions can promote social divisions

The UK benefits system is going through its biggest reform in 60 years. The revised system relies more heavily on welfare with conditions – that is to say, benefits allocated on the basis of assessments of individual financial or physical... More…
Highlights of 2016

Highlights of 2016

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…
'Fatima' Review

Review ‘Fatima': Insightful and Moving Account of Muslim Mother Working in France

‘Fatima’: Philippe Faucon’s insightful account of an immigrant Muslim mother living in France Fatima is raising her two teenage daughters in Lyon, having migrated from North Africa to marry a man from whom she is now divorced.  She has two... More…
Three Weeks in June and One Night in November

Three Weeks in June and One Night in November

The year 2016 has been extraordinarily bleak.  In June, following a nasty campaign, peppered with a barely concealed racist venom, Britain narrowly voted to leave the EU.  Then in November, after an even nastier, more racist and surreal campaign, a... More…
Do speed bumps kill?

Do speed bumps kill?

Well, no, but you’d be forgiven for thinking they did after UK newspaper headlines last week.  In focusing on the much-maligned speed bump, poor reporting of NICE’s guidelines on action to reduce air pollution deflected attention from the real problem... More…
I, Daniel Blake – is this the collapse of the social contract?

I, Daniel Blake – is this the collapse of the social contract?

Ken Loach’s most recent film I, Daniel Blake tells the story of Daniel, a fifty nine year old joiner from Newcastle, and Katie, an out of work single mother of two from London. They become perhaps unlikely friends after meeting... More…
‘It’s like being told repeatedly that Father Christmas doesn’t exist’

‘It’s like being told repeatedly that Father Christmas doesn’t exist’

Sorry to layer disillusionment onto despair for those of us worrying about Trump’s election. This Guardian piece caught my eye a couple of weeks ago for its account of the Choosing Wisely campaign from the Academy of Medical Sciences –... More…
Same old story: between disability and disinterest

Same old story: between disability and disinterest

This week the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD) published the results of an investigation that found that UK reforms to welfare have led to “grave and systematic violations” of disability rights. In the same week a... More…
Do mental health anti-stigma campaigns work? #IAMWHOLE

Do mental health anti-stigma campaigns work? #IAMWHOLE

To mark World Mental Health day 2016, the NHS, working in partnership with YMCA, has launched a new campaign #IAMWHOLE . This is designed to challenge stigma about mental health and specifically targets young people. It is the first time that... More…
The Only Way We’ll Get Change Is Through Involving People In Change

The Only Way We’ll Get Change Is Through Involving People In Change

All the evidence suggests that current social policy is failing miserably. It is increasing poverty and inequality, undermining social cohesion and personal relations, spreading insecurity and damaging and stigmatising some of the most marginalised groups in society, like disabled people... More…
Remembering Aberfan

Remembering Aberfan

The Aberfan disaster of October 1966 is one that will never be forgotten in Welsh – or indeed British – memory. It is five decades since the coal tip which stood on a mountain above the Welsh town, engulfed a... More…
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

There are perhaps as many cancer stories as people with cancer.  There are also many ways of telling them – but a musical is one of the more risky.  A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is described as... More…
The (not) Demon Drink?

The (not) Demon Drink?

A synthetic alcohol substitute looks set to challenge legal regulations and cultural norms in the UK and beyond. If there is one person who represents an almost permanent challenge to British Government drug regulators it is flamboyant scientist, Professor David... More…
Introducing the new Easyjet NHS

Introducing the new Easyjet NHS

As a rather plump NHS campaigner bedevilled by man boobs, I was given two good reasons to baulk at the recent announcement by The Vale of York CCG that they intended to restrict obese patients’ access to elective surgery until... More…
‘Narcos’ and the 'War on Drugs'

‘Narcos’ and the ‘War on Drugs’

“Magical realism is defined as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.  There is a reason magical realism was born in Colombia” When we think about the devastation and harm that... More…
‘Neoliberal epidemics’ and the politics of evidence

The Politics of Evidence

Last year, my colleague Clare Bambra and I described the consequences of recent economic and social policy in the United States and the United Kingdom as ‘neoliberal epidemics’.  In doing so, we actually combined three categories: a health outcome of... More…