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NHS mid-term review: what have we learned so far?

NHS mid-term review: what have we learned so far?

The King’s Fund this week published a mid-term review of UK health policy under the Coalition government. The report is organised around 8 key themes – Access, Patient Safety, Promoting Health, Managing Long Term Conditions, Clinical Effectiveness, Patient Experience, Equity,... More…
Doctors, Welfare and the Deadly Workhouse

Doctors, Welfare and the Deadly Workhouse

The Beveridge Report was published 70 years ago this week.  This was the report which led to the formation of the modern Welfare State in Britain, so there’s been a lot of discussion about the ‘state of welfare today’, and... More…
Suicide and austerity: exploring the link

Suicide and austerity: exploring the link

In the last 12 months a number of studies have re-examined the relationship between suicide and unemployment across Europe and the United States.  Suicide rates have accelerated in these countries following rapid rises in unemployment due to the economic crisis.  Yet,... More…
Public Health à la carte

Public Health à la carte

New guidance on breast screening will stress the importance of individual choice in the context of access to (and understanding of) scientific information. It is now official NHS policy to draw attention to the fact that population-based breast cancer screening... More…
Inspiring a generation....?

Inspiring a generation….?

The Paralympics in London 2012 were heralded as championing new attitudes towards disability in the UK, with Prime Minister David Cameron, saying they would “inspire a lot of people and change people’s views on disability”. Similarly, the press coverage of... More…
Representing Suffering: Global Markets, Migrant Workers and the Morecambe Bay Tragedy

Representing Suffering: Global Markets, Migrant Workers and the Morecambe Bay Tragedy

On the 5th  of February 2004 a group of Chinese ‘illegal migrant’ cockle pickers set out on the sands of Morecambe Bay to collect the small edible clams – they were to be paid £5 per 25kg of cockles collected. ... More…
The NHS Constitution: What is it good for?

The NHS Constitution: What is it good for?

This week saw the launch of a national consultation aimed at updating the NHS Constitution for England, which was implemented in 2009 under Gordon Brown’s Labour Government. The constitution itself sounds wonderful, apparently it “establishes the principles and values of... More…
Shared parenting: Can a one-size-fits-all approach actually work?

Shared parenting: Can a one-size-fits-all approach actually work?

Catherine (8) and Harriet (9) are sisters who have a shared parenting arrangement. They spend one week living with their mum, step-dad Joe, baby-brother Bobby, and step-brothers Phil and Luke who visit on weekends. The following week they live in... More…
Savile: Celebrity, Power and Abuse

Savile: Celebrity, Power and Abuse

As stories continue to emerge about the abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile and media reports suggest that other ‘household name’ celebrities are about to be arrested there have been a spate of commentary articles that look back at the 1960s... More…
Don’t Take My Baby!  Social Care in the Soaps

Don’t Take My Baby! Social Care in the Soaps

BBC EastEnders has a reputation for socially realistic gritty drama but recently commentators have been asking if the programme has gone too far. The current story attracting a spate of complaints involves a social work storyline which has caused the... More…
Becoming a consumer: who's got the energy?

Becoming a consumer: who’s got the energy?

Last week’s announcement that the state will force energy companies to provide customers with their cheapest gas and electricity tariffs is interesting for a number of reasons. It seems the policy will require energy companies to notify customers of cheaper... More…
Cochlear Implants: Identity politics or the politics of identity?

Cochlear Implants: Identity politics or the politics of identity?

We were told our son was deaf when he was 22 months old.  Immediately after diagnosis we were propelled into the audiology, medical and sensory support systems.  Confusing, scary places for parents of a young child, desperate to do the... More…