The Off Sick Project considered the role of narrative in understandings of illness both in the past and the present. It incorporated historical and literary research with present-day stories of illness gathered from the communities of South Wales.
AnneMarie Cunningham's insight:
This site documents the project which took place between 2011-12. The exhibition introduces some ket concepts around narratives in medicine. And then you can read the stories of people in South Wales in the 'narratives' section.
Like many people in public health of my generation, John Ashton and Howard Seymour’s book, The New Public Health was an inspiration. It plotted a path of public health from its Victorian roots to the 1980s. Many people I speak to who have read the book, are particularly impressed by a series of photos from a class of schoolchildren in Liverpool going back 100 years. From stunted, adenoidal faces in the late 19th century to the smiling, white-toothed, well-looking children of the 1970s the pictures are a graphic illustration of the progress made in public health over that time.
The Health For All ambition of the 1980s and the Ottawa Charter on which it is based, and which are described in detail in the book, saw public health building on that legacy by making cross-sectoral alliances at all levels in society. Working in settings such as the school and prison, working with partners in the voluntary sector, local government and health services at district, city and national level and forging alliances across nations we could fashion a future which would achieve this lofty goal of Health For All by the year 2000.
But the dream has gone sour. A countervailing current of neo-liberal economics has played out across the globe since the 1980s creating greater inequality between people within and between nations than ever before. Furthermore, as our industrial culture expands and consumes ever-increasing amounts of material resources, chickens are coming home to roost, not least in the guise of climate change and other major environmental challenges.
AnneMarie Cunningham's insight:
An introduction to the New New Public Health by Margaret Hannah- who I first came across this group though on Twitter. She tweets as @margaret_iff. This will be an interesting project to follow.
Part 1 of the AfterNow series.A short film in which Phil Hanlon, Professor of Public Health at Glasgow University, discusses the health crises facing modern society…...and how we need different solutions to what has gone before.
Iona Heath is the current President of the UK Royal College of General Practitioners. For many years she has been thinking and writing about what GPs do, and what they need to do, for their patients. This very short book can be read in a few hours, and might challenge your ideas about the role of the GP, health and illness. Or it might put into words thoughts that you have had before but not been able to explain. Either way, your time reading it will be very well spent.
This is the text of Julian Tudor Hart's landmark paper publish in the Lancet in 1971. Here is the summary:
"The availability of good medical care tends to vary inversely with the need for the population served. This inverse care law operates more completely where medical care is most exposed to market forces, and less so where such exposure is reduced. The market distribution of medical care is a primitive and historically outdated social form, and any return to it would further exaggerate the maldistribution of medical resources."
Jonny Tomlinson is a GP in London who reads and writes about the issues which have a wide impact on our health. All of his blog is worth reading but start with this blog post on why GPs should be advocates for their patients. You might find some of the ideas challenging but it is worth it!
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