A tribute to the much-loved Mags Portman on the sad news of her death First published by HIV i-Base in HIV Treatment Bulletin (HTB) on 20 February 2019 It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of the much-loved sexual health pioneer and community activist Dr Mags Portman. Mags had immense energy and enthusiasm for everything that she became involved with. Most recently this included linking with community activists to demand and enable access to PrEP. Mags initially trained as a GP in Glasgow, qualifying in 2003, where she also worked at the Steve Retson Project that […]
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The Pharmaceutical Journal reports that the Good Law Project threaten DHSC with legal challenge over “failure to consult properly” From The Pharmaceutical Journal 21 FEB 2019 By Carolyn Wickware: The Good Law Project has warned the Department of Health and Social Care that it will start judicial review proceedings if serious shortage protocol powers are not revoked on the grounds that the consultation was “insufficient and unlawful”. A non-profit group has threatened the government with legal action unless it revokes new powers designed to allow pharmacists to switch patients’ medicines if there is a shortage. The Good Law Project has said it will […]
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Responding to the Health Secretary’s pledge to overhaul mental health and wellbeing services for NHS staff following the launch of a Health Education England review, BMA mental health policy lead, Dr Andrew Molodynski, said: “Staff are fundamental to the delivery of patient care in the NHS and without a healthy workforce our health service can barely function, let alone thrive. “Given the current pressures that the NHS workforce is under, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing support for staff is both timely and necessary. “We know that doctors’ mental health […]
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Lesbian and bisexual women are at increased risk of being overweight or obese compared to heterosexual women, according to new research from the University of East Anglia and UCL. Gay men however are less likely to be overweight than their straight counterparts, and more at risk of being underweight. The study, published today in the Journal of Public Health, is the first to investigate the relationship between sexual orientation and body mass index (BMI) using population data in the UK. The findings support the argument that sexual identity should be considered as a social determinant of health. The research team […]
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The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) delivered a snub today (Thursday 14 February) by pushing ahead with an ‘extortionate’ registration fee hike, despite receiving a 38,000-signature petition protesting at the 18 per cent increase. Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, led the protests at the increase from £90 to £106 a year – on Monday (11 February) the union handed in the petition to HCPC chief executive Marc Seale calling for the rise to be scrapped. Unite lead professional officer for regulation Jane Beach said: “Today the views of the 38,000 mainly health professionals who signed the petition have […]
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DELIVERED AT JULIAN HART’S FUNERAL — JUNE 16th 2018   Julian and I were chatting once about heaven and hell, as you do. He didn’t believe in either, but supposing he was wrong, he thought he might be allowed into heaven, not as a believer, you understand, but for good behaviour. Julian always wanted to be a doctor in a mining village, partly because his father had been a colliery doctor in Llanelli; partly it was the romance of mining practice as popularised in AJ Cronin ‘s novel The Citadel; but mainly it was the sort of community to which […]
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‘Back to the Thirties’ by Charles Webster (previously Director, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford).   First published in September 1984 in the public health journal Radical Community Medicine, this essay reflects many of the issues the NHS and public health face today, from the PR management of statistics and altering of history to the refusal of government to acknowledge the need to spend to alleviate poverty. We are grateful to Alex Scott-Samuel, editor and publisher of the journal, for his kind permission to re-print this essay.   A multiplicity of ways are being used to undermine public confidence in the National Health Service. Among other things history is being rewritten to […]
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This is a talk given by Public Matter’s Deborah Harrington at an NHS event held jointly by NEON (New Economics Organisers Network) and Health Campaigns Together for The World Transformed in October 2018 in Liverpool. The brief was to speak for no more than 7 minutes and ‘not to dwell on the history’ but on how to move forward. The talk began with a quote from the novelist Milan Kundera: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory over forgetting.” “We allow our futures and our present to be reshaped by others against our interest if we […]
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Last year I told you about a group of 7,000 health professionals who had spent 7 years fighting for their trade union to be recognised by their employer. That campaign has now lasted 8 years. See: https://www.sochealth.co.uk/2018/05/05/solidarity-with-community-pharmacists/ The Boots pharmacists were the first workers in any sector to challenge an employer through the ballot process described in that earlier article (above).  The law requires not just a majority, but that 40% of those eligible to vote, known as the “bargaining unit”, must vote “Yes” to make a difference.  The result was 87% of those who voted (2,826 pharmacists) voted Yes and […]
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In the two decades since the publication of the Sutherland Royal Commission report on long-term care the issues around the cost of caring for an ageing population remains one of the major issues in public policy. And we remain no nearer to its resolution. While varying elements of catering for long-term care remain the responsibility of the UK Government, devolution has allowed a fair level innovation and diversity in approach including the introduction of free personal care in Scotland which was one of the main recommendations of the Sutherland Commission. In Wales the National Assembly’s Finance Committee has recently published […]
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Health inequalities persist and grow in the UK. Differences in morbidity and mortality add to rising public concerns about household poverty and children’s health and development. Current attempts to redefine and find new national lower measures for poverty in the UK when current measures show increases, talk endlessly about getting more information about poor people and their lives and involving them in defining the problems. This blog is about how the language used itself diverts attention from the real underlying issues, such as why, in the rich UK, are personal and public resources so badly distributed by government or the […]
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Some quick notes on UnitedHealth pulled together fast, to brief those unfamiliar with the threat to the NHS that it poses: NHS chiefs tell Theresa May it is time to curb privatisation: can it be true? This is the ultimate in cynical deception. We’re told that the fox is trying to improve the security of the NHS henhouse! In fact the part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that Stevens proposes removing makes monopoly control of the NHS illegal under competition law rules. That ban has, as intended, blocked the NHS from excluding private sector competition for its […]
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