A Blog About Health In Times Of Austerity

Latest entries
Why nurses should be paid the same as neurosurgeons

Why nurses should be paid the same as neurosurgeons

This December, nurses will be striking nationwide for the very first time in UK history. The official campaign is calling for a pay rise of 5% above inflation to ensure nurses no longer have to rely on foodbanks, or make... More…
Scales of failure: mental health services and self-harm

Scales of failure: mental health services and self-harm

Reflections on the CVNI conference and the weight of knowledge I was recently at a two-day meeting of lived-experience experts and service user/survivor researchers in mental health. The event, organised by the Critical Voices Network Ireland was energising, exciting, and... More…
Disease

Disease

If a person died from tuberculosis in the eighteenth century, this might not only be expected but might also be considered unavoidable. But if a person dies from tuberculosis today, is that either expected or unavoidable? We have the means... More…
Where has all the health gone?

Where has all the health gone?

As we sit here in the autumn of 2022, I am struck by the state of health in the UK. Here we are, only 30 months since the first UK national lockdown for COVID, and health and health policy appear... More…
Jeremy Hunt: New chancellor is the man who ruined the NHS

Jeremy Hunt: New chancellor is the man who ruined the NHS

As the former health secretary, Jeremy Hunt is appointed to the Exchequer, his ministerial past puts paid to his ‘sensible’ image Jeremy Hunt has been named the UK’s fourth chancellor in as many months, following the sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng... More…
Universal credit changes: increasing pressure on part-time workers is the wrong move at the worst time

Universal credit changes: increasing pressure on part-time workers is the wrong move at the worst time

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has laid out the government’s “mini budget”, a package of tax cuts that will mostly benefit the wealthiest in Britain. But people on the other end of the income scale are facing changes too. Kwarteng announced that... More…
Whose side are we on? Reflections on the FHSI book prize shortlist

Whose side are we on? Reflections on the FHSI book prize shortlist

Four excellent recent books, all shortlisted for the FHSI Book Prize shortlist, illustrate different approaches to the question of who we write for. Howard Becker’s 1967 call for sociologists to be on the ‘side of the underdog’ was not advocating... More…
Saving lives from the picket line - the limits of declaring a Cost of Living Emergency

Saving lives from the picket line – the limits of declaring a Cost of Living Emergency

The latest figures around cost of living are, of course, obscene. Inflation is due to peak at 13% in October 2022, the highest annual rate since 1982. From June 2021 to June 2022 domestic gas prices increased by 95% and... More…
Depression is probably not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – new study

Depression is probably not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain – new study

For three decades, people have been deluged with information suggesting that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain – namely an imbalance of a brain chemical called serotonin. However, our latest research review shows that the evidence... More…
A Fortunate Woman. A country doctor’s story

A Fortunate Woman. A country doctor’s story

While clearing out her mother’s books in 2020, Polly Morland finds a battered copy of John Berger’s A Fortunate Man stuck at the back of a bookshelf, untouched for some decades. The book offers a poetic description of six weeks... More…
Heatwaves are social murder

Heatwaves are social murder

Heat kills.  We have known this for some time.  Whenever a heatwave occurs, an increase in excess deaths occurs. The European heatwaves of 2003 witnessed an excess of 75,000 deaths, with 15,000 of those occurring in France alone. The World... More…
The Launch of the Integrated Care Boards and the dismantling of universal healthcare

The Launch of the Integrated Care Boards and the dismantling of universal healthcare

On 1st July 2022 Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) took over commissioning responsibility for the NHS. This followed the Health and Social Care Act receiving Royal Assent at the end of April and passing in to law.  Integrated Care Boards are... More…