A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

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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…
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…
An NHS gone rogue?

An NHS gone rogue?

Much of the post-Brexit fall out has been explained by way of an asserted democratic deficit at the European level, where people feel faceless European bureaucrats have too much power and influence over what happens at a UK level.  This... More…
Sisters Uncut Newcastle – A new anti-austerity voice in the North East.

Sisters Uncut

On the evening of August 22nd in Gosforth there was a sold out screening of Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45, with Q and A with the legendary lefty director afterward. It was also the setting of the first public... More…
Antisocial crimes in Gottsunda; A vicious circle?

Antisocial crimes in Gottsunda; A vicious circle?

In Gottsunda, an outlying suburb of Uppsala, a University town in Sweden, unrest marked the end of July. About 30-40 youths, all men, burned bins, tyres and more than 70 cars. The main street was blockaded with boulders and burning... More…
Festival drug checking is here, but it now needs to be expanded across the country

Festival drug checking is here

A step towards safer drug use came about recently with the UK’s first drug-checking service at the Secret Garden Party festival. Operated by The Loop charity, the service provided hi-tech analyses of drugs submitted by festival-goers. In addition to the... More…
Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

It’s the time of the year when we get away. The schools have broken up and between starting this blog and finishing it, I packed numerous bags and backpacks, got everyone to the airport, checked in and made it to... More…
Where has all the kindness gone?

Where has all the kindness gone?

In October 2015 I wrote about the implications of the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour leader standing on the pledge of a new “kinder politics and a more caring society”.  I talked about the glimmer of hope offered... More…
Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Lesley Henderson interviews the producer of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ The impact of Brexit on environmental regulation and how best to safeguard our health from the growing problem of pollution are issues that have been heavily discussed since the EU referendum... More…
Brexit and its discontents

Brexit and its discontents

Many of us will have sat stunned on the morning of Friday 24th June wondering how Great Britain could have committed such a blatant act of self-harm by voting to leave the European Union. At one turn jeopardising our human... More…
On bulls, men and risk

On bulls, men and risk

Pamplona’s festival of San Fermín is best known for the encierro, or Running of the Bulls   Each morning, six fighting bulls are run through the city streets on their way to the bull ring.  With them run six steers and... More…
‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

Are workplace wellness programs really about helping us to be healthy or are they trying to make us into better workers? An increasing amount of workplaces are asking their employees to join in fun activities which help them to be... More…