A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
The (not) Demon Drink?

The (not) Demon Drink?

A synthetic alcohol substitute looks set to challenge legal regulations and cultural norms in the UK and beyond. If there is one person who represents an almost permanent challenge to British Government drug regulators it is flamboyant scientist, Professor David... More…
Introducing the new Easyjet NHS

Introducing the new Easyjet NHS

As a rather plump NHS campaigner bedevilled by man boobs, I was given two good reasons to baulk at the recent announcement by The Vale of York CCG that they intended to restrict obese patients’ access to elective surgery until... More…
‘Narcos’ and the 'War on Drugs'

‘Narcos’ and the ‘War on Drugs’

“Magical realism is defined as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.  There is a reason magical realism was born in Colombia” When we think about the devastation and harm that... 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…
Adventures in Human Being

Adventures in Human Being

Francis, Gavin (2015) Adventures in Human Being, London: Profile Books. Much praise has been lavished on ‘Adventures in Human Being’ by Gavin Francis, a multi-prize-winning best-seller admired by Hilary Mantel (who calls the book ‘sober and beautiful’), John Berger and Robin McKie.... More…
An NHS gone rogue?

An NHS gone rogue?

Much of the post-Brexit fall out has been explained by way of an asserted democratic deficit at the European level, where people feel faceless European bureaucrats have too much power and influence over what happens at a UK level.  This... More…
Sisters Uncut Newcastle – A new anti-austerity voice in the North East.

Sisters Uncut

On the evening of August 22nd in Gosforth there was a sold out screening of Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ’45, with Q and A with the legendary lefty director afterward. It was also the setting of the first public... More…
Antisocial crimes in Gottsunda; A vicious circle?

Antisocial crimes in Gottsunda; A vicious circle?

In Gottsunda, an outlying suburb of Uppsala, a University town in Sweden, unrest marked the end of July. About 30-40 youths, all men, burned bins, tyres and more than 70 cars. The main street was blockaded with boulders and burning... 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…
Festival drug checking is here, but it now needs to be expanded across the country

Festival drug checking is here

A step towards safer drug use came about recently with the UK’s first drug-checking service at the Secret Garden Party festival. Operated by The Loop charity, the service provided hi-tech analyses of drugs submitted by festival-goers. In addition to the... More…
Meanings of Recovery – Exploring the Long Shadow of Illness

Meanings of Recovery – Exploring the Long Shadow of Illness

A symposium on ‘The Meanings of Recovery’ was recently held at the University of Surrey. Speakers from a range of disciplines and professional backgrounds came together to discuss the ways that recovery has been conceptualised by different groups across various... More…
Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

Nasty Bugs and Foreign Threats

It’s the time of the year when we get away. The schools have broken up and between starting this blog and finishing it, I packed numerous bags and backpacks, got everyone to the airport, checked in and made it to... More…
Where has all the kindness gone?

Where has all the kindness gone?

In October 2015 I wrote about the implications of the election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour leader standing on the pledge of a new “kinder politics and a more caring society”.  I talked about the glimmer of hope offered... More…
Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Can a movie help us see an invisible health crisis?

Lesley Henderson interviews the producer of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ The impact of Brexit on environmental regulation and how best to safeguard our health from the growing problem of pollution are issues that have been heavily discussed since the EU referendum... More…
Brexit and its discontents

Brexit and its discontents

Many of us will have sat stunned on the morning of Friday 24th June wondering how Great Britain could have committed such a blatant act of self-harm by voting to leave the European Union. At one turn jeopardising our human... More…
On bulls, men and risk

On bulls, men and risk

Pamplona’s festival of San Fermín is best known for the encierro, or Running of the Bulls   Each morning, six fighting bulls are run through the city streets on their way to the bull ring.  With them run six steers and... More…
‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

‘Corporate Wellness’: blurring the lines

Are workplace wellness programs really about helping us to be healthy or are they trying to make us into better workers? An increasing amount of workplaces are asking their employees to join in fun activities which help them to be... 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…
Caring for Carers

Caring for Carers

Did you know that the 6th and 12th of June was Carers Week? A range of events and activities taking place all across the UK celebrating the work of carers and raising awareness of the challenges they face. It is... More…
On Brexit, Hamsters & Hungry Pythons!

On Brexit, Hamsters & Hungry Pythons!

As we move towards the referendum on membership of the EU, British citizens face a bewildering array of claims and counterclaims.  The conventional wisdom is that the voting public will favour the ‘status quo bias‘.  Unfortunately, we seem to be... More…