A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

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Progressive alliances & the parlous state of British democracy

Progressive alliances & the parlous state of British democracy

There was news this week that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt faces an ‘unauthorised’ progressive alliance in his Surrey constituency that will attempt (against Labour Party policy) to unseat him in the forthcoming general election.  The proposal is that local Labour... More…
It was Big Tobacco, not Trump, that wrote the post-truth rule book

It was Big Tobacco, not Trump, that wrote the post-truth rule book

After two chaotic months as president, Donald Trump is widely credited with rewriting the political rule book. We are witnessing Trump’s new era of post-fact politics, where distraction and obfuscation are central, and critical stories are dismissed as “fake news”.... More…
Gig-Economy: Gig-Health?

Gig-Economy: Gig-Health?

Health and wellbeing in the workplace has been an important area of study in medical sociology and social epidemiology.  Those knowledges centre on the complexity of workplace health, that health and wellbeing are the outcome of a myriad of social... More…
Zygmunt Bauman: On the Quest for Health

Zygmunt Bauman: On the Quest for Health

Zygmunt Bauman, who sadly passed away at the age of 91 in January, was one of the most influential sociologists of his generation. Bauman was Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds from 1972 until his retirement in 1990.... More…
On ignorance, knowledge and health

On ignorance, knowledge and health

In the age of alternative facts, WikiLeaks and the routine denigration of expertise, knowledge and ignorance have become highly politicised.  Of course, knowledge has always been political: and nowhere is this more evident than in health and health care. Historically,... More…
A Question of Sport?

A Question of Sport?

Exercise is good for you. Exercise regularly and eat well and you reduce the risks of a catalogue of long term health conditions including obesity, diabetes and mental health problems such as depression. The message has been absorbed; millions of... More…
You can’t wear a bag on your head

You can’t wear a bag on your head

Air pollution is often in the news as pollution episodes are reported in major cities in China and India. In London too, it is in the sights of the new(ish) mayor, who is calling for extra charges on polluting vehicles... More…
The Rise of the Nasty Women – reclaiming the feminist collective

The Rise of the Nasty Women

Each year I teach a lecture on gender and health to my third-year students.   Alongside ideas of gender roles and norms, gendered power relations and the move from a binary to a spectrum understanding of gender, I introduce the idea... More…
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…
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…
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…
‘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…