A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

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Antibiotic Resistance. A Dire Emergency on Planet Earth – (fixable if the price is right…)

Antibiotic Resistance. A Dire Emergency on Planet Earth – (fixable if the price is right…)

The issue of ineffective anti-biotics is one driven more by market economics than treatment resistant diseases. A change of spending priorities could change the face of global health, but given the profit margins, this is unlikely to happen. More…
To Save or Let Die? Doctors’ Dilemmas in the Chinese Health Sector

To Save or Let Die? Doctors’ Dilemmas in the Chinese Health Sector

In May 2014, a Chinese farmer in Anhui Province cut off his own feet when they deteriorated into severe necrosis, causing unbearable pain. In 2012, a peasant in Hebei province amputated his festering leg using a saw and a fruit... More…
In search of a label

In search of a label

There have long been calls to stop labelling children as having special needs.  Department of Education figures released in 2012 show that 19.8% of pupils in England have special educational needs, of which 2.8% have statements of SEN.  And yet... More…
Screening, stigma and risk: FGM in Norrköping

Screening, stigma and risk: FGM in Norrköping

Who could disagree with the international campaign to end female genital mutilation [FGM] or cutting? Not I. However, the subtleties of how FGM is represented in news media bear some scrutiny. How is the moral high-ground occupied by those who... More…
NHS Nu-Speak

NHS Nu-Speak

This email has been scanned for viruses; however we are unable to accept responsibility for any damage caused by the contents. The opinions expressed in this email represent the views of the sender, not [name removed] NHS Foundation Trust unless... More…
Mr Drew's School: the unintended consequences of targeted interventions

Mr Drew’s School: the unintended consequences of targeted interventions

‘Well what did I come down here for? Do you not know? I’m a problem child. I have problems behaving. Is there a part of that you don’t understand?’ Clark, aged 11, Mr Drew’s School for Boys ‘The stigmatized individual... More…
"crisis, what crisis?"

“crisis, what crisis?”

Recent media stories about an NHS crisis function to divert attention away from the ideologically driven dismantling of a national institution More…
Statins - making people ill for the common good?

Statins – making people ill for the common good?

While Public Health zealots trumpet their claim to the moral high ground, it’s still worth asking: “are they right?” Here’s a strange piece of news. This week, two of Britain’s top doctors (Knights of the Realm, no less) recommended in... More…
n of 1,2,3? How many PPI patients is enough?

n of 1,2,3? How many PPI patients is enough?

Patient Public Involvement (PPI) is ubiquitous in healthcare, and it tends to be used as a valuable tool for improving healthcare delivery. But how about questions of what it might do for the patient themselves. This aspect of PPI is... More…
Healthcare heroes - Raed Arafat (#1 in an occasional series)

Healthcare heroes – Raed Arafat (#1 in an occasional series)

Some health ministers are more inspiring than destructive. Jeremy Hunt should take notice More…
Why do healthy people get into ‘guinea-pigging’?

Why do healthy people get into ‘guinea-pigging’?

Human involvement in clinical or medical research is not new, however today levels of human involvement in clinical trials have increased, ironically following the high profile Northwick Park incident in 2006 in which 6 healthy subjects suffered life changing unexpected... More…
NHS 111 – Improving efficiency or destroying the ‘brand’?

NHS 111 – Improving efficiency or destroying the ‘brand’?

NHS 111 need not necessarily be the calamity it has become. This calamity is driven more by financial under investment than a more pervasive crisis of care. More…
On trying to do therapy when your patient has no food or money

On trying to do therapy when your patient has no food or money

Last week, I called someone I was due to see that afternoon to remind them I was coming round (standard practice in learning disability, and good practice in general). ‘How are you?’, I asked. ‘A bit pissed off’, they said.... More…
Cancer Charities and the fight for Public Health (and Media Profile)

Cancer Charities and the fight for Public Health (and Media Profile)

Charity campaigns designed to shock are more and more commonplace. What does this tell us about the charity sector, and do these campaigns impact negatively on the 'real' work a charity undertakes? More…
Culturally appropriate health promotion, or cynical marketing ploy? Australia’s storm in a beer glass

Culturally appropriate health promotion, or cynical marketing ploy? Australia’s storm in a beer glass

Drinkwise Australia is one of those industry-funded bodies that does the corporate responsibility bit. In their case the big aim is to transform Australian drinking culture by championing the cause of moderation and so reduce harmful consumption patterns. “Yeah… and... More…
Health tomorrow?

Health tomorrow?

Health apps are all the rage, but have they really been taken to heart by the end consumer? More…
For integration, read fragmentation

For integration, read fragmentation

Integrated care as a panacea for all that ails the NHS masks wider processes of privatisation in the English healthcare system. Debate about the shape and tenor of integrated care is needed to reverse the ongoing marketisation of statutory English... More…
Taking responsibility for our health

Taking responsibility for our health

Last week the chairman of NICE, David Haslam called for patients to stop being deferential to doctors and be more proactive in ensuring that they receive the best healthcare available.  He argues that, patients should be more aware of the... More…
Holiday parasites and furry friends

Holiday parasites and furry friends

What did you bring back from your last holiday? Some happy memories, a sun-tan or perhaps something more exotic?  A parasite? A stray dog? Both? Seventy-five per-cent of new human diseases are zoonotic. Concern for human public health means monitoring... More…
‘BREAKING BAD’: markets, healthcare and drug money

‘BREAKING BAD’: markets, healthcare and drug money

This article contains spoilers The TV series Breaking Bad reached its conclusion at the end of September last year.  This acclaimed drama has been described as: the most revered show of the modern golden age of television; as Dostoevsky in... More…