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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…
The Inter-generational blame game

The Inter-generational blame game

Older people are costing us money.  They are using disproportionately more of the NHS, social care and welfare budgets, and expenditure on prescription drugs is significantly higher for the over 65s than their younger peers.  Older people are costing the... More…
Poverty in Primetime - Reality TV in the Age of Austerity

Poverty in Primetime – Reality TV in the Age of Austerity

For most developed countries the concept of “food poverty” is controversial. A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted that living costs have risen 25% in the past five years and placed an “unprecedented” financial burden on the poor”.... More…
Why do firefighters take such risky jobs?

Why do firefighters take such risky jobs?

Firefighters put their lives on the line to protect other people’s property and lives.  Why do they choose to take such dangerous work?  Sociologist Matthew Desmond asks this question in his book, On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters, and the... More…
Questions of trust...?

Questions of trust…?

Another week, another scandal involving the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This time the sorry catalogue of events relates to a maternity unit in Morecambe Bay. As details of the report were leaked prior to publication this week, the tone and... More…