A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

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A Crisis in GP care: greed, funding or ideology?

A Crisis in GP care: greed, funding or ideology?

Most recent surveys report a GP crisis in the UK. The question is whether this caused by greed, underfunding or the stress of working under an oppositional government ideology More…
(Imaginary) healthcare heroes – Ms Conscientious (#2 in an occasional series)

(Imaginary) healthcare heroes – Ms Conscientious (#2 in an occasional series)

Imagine a paramedic who is a dedicated clinician. Imagine her to be conscientious, caring and skilful. And now imagine that she is so disturbed by the conditions of today’s NHS that she is seriously considering leaving her secure employment as... More…
David Cameron, England's NHS, and the tiger in the bathroom

David Cameron, England’s NHS, and the tiger in the bathroom

As it becomes impossible to deny the devastation being wreaked on the National Health Service by 2012's Health & Social Care Act, who is really pledging to fix it? More…
Q: "When is an NHS provider not a qualified provider?" A: "When it's a willing provider..."

Q: “When is an NHS provider not a qualified provider?” A: “When it’s a willing provider…”

What’s the difference you might ask? Well, here’s the rub, according to the last edition of Private Eye, there isn’t one! December’s edition of Private Eye reported a range of concerns about the regulation and governance of Any Qualified Providers... More…
“Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”: Women’s (Sporting) Bodies on Screen

“Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”: Women’s (Sporting) Bodies on Screen

Women aged 14 – 40 years are the target of the latest Sport England campaign “This Girl Can”. The campaign is supposed to be breaking new ground in terms of the particular approach it takes to women and sport, but... More…
Making space for activity

Making space for activity

All doom and gloom about the NHS this week – and I thought we needed some light relief so started with play. In our road we have a street play scheme. As in other places this followed a popular annual... More…
The Remploy Saga: the provider state isn't providing and the enabling state doesn't enable.

The Remploy Saga: the provider state isn’t providing and the enabling state doesn’t enable.

I saw Government Minister Mark Harper interviewed on my local television news the other day (BBC Look East, Jan. 12th 2015). He was talking about how, in his opinion, the closure of the last publicly owned Remploy factories was, somewhat... More…
2015: Time for politicians to make a healthy New Year’s resolution

2015: Time for politicians to make a healthy New Year’s resolution

It’s that time of year. Millions of British people resolve to change. Quit smoking. Eat better. Exercise more. Drink less. Breaking a New Year’s resolution is as much a British tradition as making one though. So what can we learn... More…
Highlights of 2014

Highlights of 2014

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 and a very... More…
Children in Need of Charity?

Children in Need of Charity?

Each year the country comes together in mass acts of philanthropy, raising money in all kinds of inventive, extraordinary and impressive ways to help children who are less fortunate than they are.  Each year a significant amount of money is... More…
Trouble in social democratic paradise – the Swedish model crumbles?

Trouble in social democratic paradise – the Swedish model crumbles?

I live in the social democratic paradise that a generation of British-lefties admired as the good society: Sweden. Radical social reforms undertaken from 1932 to 1976 (when the Social Democratic party governed continuously), engineered a system that lived up to... More…
Visibility and invisibility in a leaderless NHS

Visibility and invisibility in a leaderless NHS

Alex Stevenson wrote a piece on the politics.co.uk blog last week where he talked about leadership in the post-reform NHS.  He reviewed the findings of a recent Public Administration Select Committee, detailing a lack of accountability across UK healthcare provision,... More…
Detoxing Schools: Do lotteries for school places offer the best medicine?

Detoxing Schools: Do lotteries for school places offer the best medicine?

The best social science book I have read this year is Toxic Schools, Bowen Paulle’s account of urban high-school-life in New York and Amsterdam. Paulle demonstrates how divisive educational systems that segregate poor, black and other ethnic minority students into... More…
Ebola: Media Narratives and Public Responses

Ebola: Media Narratives and Public Responses

The Ebola crisis has been described by the WHO as “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times” and national governments, aid organisations and others have reacted to the crisis at this level. But what about public understandings... More…
Evidence, Experience & Exclusions: A review of a recent workshop

Evidence, Experience & Exclusions: A review of a recent workshop

‘Can experience be used as evidence?’ That was the question at a workshop organized earlier this month by the Health Experiences Group at Oxford. The question does not only interest academics. Researchers from different disciplines were joined by clinicians, policy... More…
Last throw of the dice…?

Last throw of the dice…?

Is the granting of new rights to desperate patients and their doctors in the Medical Innovations Bill a valiant attempt to save lives - or will it turn the NHS into an unethical guinea-pig farm? More…
Can we blame the recession for healthcare austerity?

Can we blame the recession for healthcare austerity?

In the early 1990s, following a decade of state retrenchment under Thatcher and Reagan, political scientist Paul Pierson observed that despite repeated efforts to reduce healthcare spending “governments generally found health care to be a cause of political headaches rather... More…
The Bad Patient

The Bad Patient

Questions of good patients and bad patients mean different things to professionals and policy makers. Is patient empowerment something tangible or are patients simply a pawn between these competing interests? More…
Is Care Unsafe for People with a Learning Disability? The Case of Connor Sparrowhawk

Is Care Unsafe for People with a Learning Disability? The Case of Connor Sparrowhawk

Connor Sparrowhawk was 18 years old when he drowned in the bath in a NHS short term treatment and assessment facility (Slade House run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) on 4th July 2013. He had learning disabilities and epilepsy... More…