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Age of Sexual Consent – is it a Public Health issue anyway?

Age of Sexual Consent – is it a Public Health issue anyway?

Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, has suggested that the Government consider lowering the age of sexual consent from 16 to 15. He has certainly put the cat amongst the political pigeons (which is fun to... More…
From "doctor knows best" to "market knows best"

From “doctor knows best” to “market knows best”

We are consistently told by this government that the public sector is wasteful and inefficient and that the private sector offers much better value for money for the ‘Great British Taxpayer’. The evidence for this is scant to say the... More…
Obamacare, Individualism v Solidarity, and the NHS

Obamacare, Individualism v Solidarity, and the NHS

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) came into force in the USA in June 2012 to regulate health insurance and curtail some of the worst practices engaged in by the for profit health care industry.  The aim was to make affordable... More…
Surgery for breakfast

Surgery for breakfast

A friend, recently returned from a city-break in Budapest, reported it wonderful in every respect. The only shock was the hotel breakfast menu: instead of the anticipated eggs benedict, croissants and coffee, she was confronted with dental implants, tear-drop breasts... More…
Selling Stigma: Mental Illness and the Media

Selling Stigma: Mental Illness and the Media

In the same week that we celebrate World Mental Health Day, the Sun newspaper ran a front page headline which read “1,200 killed by mental patients”. The statistics were written in lurid ‘blood red’ with much smaller writing below which stated... More…
Set up to fail? A&E funding incentives, targets and flu vaccinations

Set up to fail? A&E funding incentives, targets and flu vaccinations

It was recently announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that English hospitals will share £500 million in extra winter funding for A&E departments over the next two years. This seemed like great news in the context of on-going issues at... More…
The English school food plan needs a few more ingredients

The English school food plan needs a few more ingredients

Schools are a key battleground for public health professionals and policy-makers trying to improve young people’s diet in the UK and internationally. The Department for Education recently released a new English School Food Plan (SFP) which was produced by the founders... More…
On being involved

On being involved

Our son was born last November with a cleft lip and palate. Since then we have learned a lot. We know how to squeeze milk rhythmically into his mouth; massage scar tissue and deliver pain medications with the minimum of... More…
Bloody markets

Bloody markets

Recent media discussions about the privatisation of UK blood supply draw from concerns about marketisation much more explicitly than debates about any other facet of healthcare. Why is this, and what does it say about the role of markets in... More…
Preserving the Fertility of Cancer Patients: Necessary Treatment or Additional Luxury?

Preserving the Fertility of Cancer Patients: Necessary Treatment or Additional Luxury?

A diagnosis of cancer is often devastating. Prognosis varies greatly and treatments can be debilitating; even as they cure, treatments may cause significant and lasting damage. One possible consequence is the loss of fertility, (a significant risk in many radio-... More…
Fat Chances? The Obesity Problem in Tamworth

Fat Chances? The Obesity Problem in Tamworth

A childhood friend recently told me Tamworth, a Staffordshire town which I’ve called home for the majority of my 25 years, had received the tragic honour of being the UK’s ‘fat capital’. This particular term was used by Joanna Moorhead... More…
Health Tourism: What are the real costs?

Health Tourism: What are the real costs?

On 2 July, I found out that I could potentially lose my access to free NHS health care, due to proposals by Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to restrict access to the NHS for non-EU migrants.  This... More…