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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The NHS long term plan does not face up to ‘the grim reality of the cash crisis confronting the health service’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 7 January). Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that prime minister Theresa May was engaged in ‘a smoke and mirrors exercise’ with the promise of an extra £20bn a year for the NHS by 2023-24. Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “This new cash is, in reality, putting in the funding that the government removed a decade ago. ‘Smoke and mirrors’ is the name […]
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Dear #Justice4NHS Supporters We wish you a Happy New Year but we are very sorry to tell you that the Court of Appeal has ruled against our case. The good thing is that – fingers crossed 3rd Time Lucky! – we are now applying for permission to appeal to the SUPREME COURT We are doing this because the Court of Appeal ruling has not grappled with the vital issues that our case raised. This is not just our opinion, it is also the informed opinion of our legal team. To say the least this is very annoying – and just […]
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Very quietly the NHS in North West London has asked GPs and other prescribers to reduce prescribing of medicines and products (under the pretext of promoting ‘self-care’) that can be purchased without a prescription. (List) The medicines patients are now advised to obtain over the counter include: vitamin D, skin creams, nasal sprays (like Beconase and saline solution for babies), lubricant eye drops, haemorrhoid creams, constipation laxatives (like Cosmocol), the commonly used painkillers, or dispersible aspirin to keep blood thin. One GP tweeted: Such a money saving move hits hard vulnerable, elderly, school age children* or those on benefits, who are exempted […]
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