A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Features
Old wine in new bottles? On the new NICE Guidelines for Depression

Old wine in new bottles? On the new NICE Guidelines for Depression

Before NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) finalised and published its first depression guidance in 2004, it made a draft publicly available for comment. NICE will make a draft of a new version of this guidance available... More…
The dynamics of health inequalities

The dynamics of health inequalities

Since the publication of the Black Report, through numerous subsequent policy documents and much policy activity the health differences between the rich and poor in Britain remain a reality which blights the lives of millions. Inequalities in health bring earlier... More…
‘Neoliberal epidemics’ and the politics of evidence

The Politics of Evidence

Last year, my colleague Clare Bambra and I described the consequences of recent economic and social policy in the United States and the United Kingdom as ‘neoliberal epidemics’.  In doing so, we actually combined three categories: a health outcome of... More…
Sustainability and Transformation Plans - kill or cure for the NHS?

NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans

Local NHS areas have til June to try and submit convincing plans to dramatically improve healthcare whilst saving large sums of cash. But the decision making is secretive and dysfunctional. Predictions that the NHS is facing disaster have been issued... More…
How many Zikas will it take?

How many Zikas will it take?

Gradually the Public Health gaze is turning towards the minor acute events that trigger serious long term illnesses and chronic conditions. “About time too”, say many campaigners. For social scientists, it is very interesting to observe major changes in medical... More…
Manufacturing fictions: Gothic morality tales

Manufacturing fictions: Gothic morality tales

I am not the first person to point out the Gothic nature of capitalism, nor is it a particularly recent observation. The full extent of just how gothic it is dawned on me during my time at Shades City Centre... More…
Declining health outcomes, rising health inequality and extreme economic inequality

Declining health outcomes, rising health inequality and extreme economic inequality

Evidence is beginning to surface of the possible health effects of the rapid social polarisation that is taking place in the UK. This evidence is often hidden, or at the very least hard to find, but it will soon emerge... More…
Becoming a scientific society: making the living laboratory work for public services in Wales

Becoming a scientific society: making the living laboratory work for public services in Wales

Government departments and their frontline staff are constantly experimenting with new policies and different methods of delivering public services to try to discover better ways of doing things. For example, it’s thought that some health boards in Wales are now... More…
Public Health and Behaviour Change: from naïve sociology to naïve psychology

Public Health and Behaviour Change: from naïve sociology to naïve psychology

One of the age-old problems for ‘public health’ has always been how to get people to adopt more healthy behaviours. How can citizens be persuaded to vaccinate themselves, eat healthier food or avoid obvious harms such as smoking? Of course... More…
Shame & the illegitimacy of dependency

Shame & the illegitimacy of dependency

Connecting toxic discourses to the health inequalities debate One of the many toxic features of neoliberalism is the way in which it divides the population into those considered deserving or undeserving. This was recently seen through the ‘strivers’ and ‘shirkers’... More…
Whose quality of life?

Whose quality of life?

I was 10 years old when I made a return visit to the neonatal intensive care unit where I was treated after my premature birth. I stared at the tiny occupants in the incubators, seemingly unaware of their sterile, plastic,... More…
We are all Dr Strangelove now

We are all Dr Strangelove now

It could be argued that there is no greater threat to our health than the possibility that we may be wiped out as a species.  The 1964 Kubrick movie ‘Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love... More…
Abandoned but not forgotten: hospitals, decay and urban exploration

Abandoned but not forgotten: hospitals, decay and urban exploration

Do you find the picture above unsettling, provocative or even beautiful?   It appears to show an old delivery bed set against the clinical white tiles of a hospital maternity room.  But the image is saturated with the disintegration, disorder and... More…
The Demise of the Inconveniently Good Beveridge Model: Part 2

The Demise of the Inconveniently Good Beveridge Model: Part 2

Part 1 presented evidence that England is now rearranging one of the world’s most effective and most efficient health care systems into a copy of the world’s least financially efficient system. Part 2 documents the role of politicians and private... More…
The inconveniently excellent Beveridge NHS model: Part 1

The inconveniently excellent Beveridge NHS model: Part 1

NHS Model – made redundant for being too good? This is a blog in two parts. Part 1 will consider the international comparisons showing the current changes to the NHS as perverse in terms of the effect the sizeable increase... More…
What is the best age to start a family?

What is the best age to start a family?

The average age that women give birth to their first child has been rising since the 1970s in England and Wales. It was 23.4 in 1969 and by 2012 that average stood at 28.1 years. The data are of course... More…
'Serving the Public?' Media, Politics and The NHS

‘Serving the Public?’ Media, Politics and The NHS

We have medical programmes to suit our every taste. Currently viewers can choose high drama with Channel 4s’ ’24 Hours in A & E‘ filming around the clock in Kings College Hospital, London or everyday stories of sore throats, stress... More…
Inequality

Inequality

As sociologists, being against inequality is not enough. To continue to be relevant sociologists much engage in the protest sector. More…
Lazing on a sunny afternoon? A historical perspective on risk and sunlight

Lazing on a sunny afternoon? A historical perspective on risk and sunlight

As we emerge from the wettest winter on record most of us are looking forward to the summer and the chance to maybe get out into some sunlight.  The pleasures associated with lying on a beach, going for a bike... More…
Is skewing the data any different to juking the stats?

Is skewing the data any different to juking the stats?

Media representations about NHS scandals focus on 'bad apple' professionals, and ignore the crises caused by current government policy, and the commercialisation of UK statutory healthcare. More…