Does the UK have much to shout about on World Mental Health Day?

  • 10 October 2018
  • From the section Health
Image copyright Getty Images

The government has certainly captured the headlines on World Mental Health Day as it hosts ministers from around the world for a global summit.

Announcements of a new minister for reducing suicides in England, funding for the Samaritans and mental health checks for all schoolchildren have dominated the news.

All three are, of course, welcome. Although a cynic might suggest all the government has done with the appointment of Jackie Doyle-Price as Suicide Prevention Minister is make her title longer - she was already the minister responsible for mental health.

But the good news cannot mask the serious problems mental health services are facing.

Research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) published earlier this week looked at long waits for treatment.

Read full article Does the UK have much to shout about on World Mental Health Day?

Should we be forced to pay £30,000 for old-age care?

  • 8 October 2018
  • From the section Health
Woman paying for care

It was hardly mentioned at the Conservative Party conference, but behind the scenes it is an issue which is causing much angst in Westminster: what to do about paying for care in later life in England.

The Tories have already had their fingers burnt by the problem - last year's election campaign was nearly derailed by the so-called "dementia tax", forcing the prime minister into a U-turn only days after announcing the policy.

Read full article Should we be forced to pay £30,000 for old-age care?

Forget 70 - what will the NHS look like at 100?

  • 29 June 2018
  • From the section Health
100th birthday cake Image copyright Getty Images

The NHS is turning 70. It's a time for celebration.

But like any big birthday, it naturally prompts thoughts of what is to come.

Read full article Forget 70 - what will the NHS look like at 100?

The history of the NHS in charts

  • 24 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Nurses in 1962 Image copyright Getty Images

The NHS came kicking and screaming into life on 5 July 1948.

It was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship rather than the payment of fees or insurance.

Read full article The history of the NHS in charts

Shipman, Bristol, Stafford, Morecambe Bay - and now Gosport

  • 20 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Dr Harold Shipman and Stafford Hospital sign Image copyright Getty Images

One by one the scandals have become etched on the public consciousness. The mass killings by Harold Shipman. The deaths of babies undergoing heart surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary and born under the care of Morecambe Bay maternity services. The needless suffering of patients at Stafford Hospital.

Now we can add Gosport War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire to that list. News that 456 patients died after they were given opiate painkillers without reason is one of those moments that send a shudder through the NHS - and the nation.

Read full article Shipman, Bristol, Stafford, Morecambe Bay - and now Gosport

Jeremy Hunt: The longest-serving health secretary

  • 4 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Jeremy Hunt Image copyright Reuters

He has overseen worsening waiting times for cancer care, hospital operations and emergency treatment. Hospitals have bust their budgets by record amounts. And there has been the first all-out strike by doctors. But despite all this, Jeremy Hunt has remained as health secretary in England.

With five years and 274 days under his belt, he is the longest-serving custodian of the NHS, having surpassed Margaret Thatcher's Health Minister, Norman Fowler, and Aneurin Bevan, the man who set up the health service in the first place. How has he survived so long?

The holiday that shaped Hunt

Read full article Jeremy Hunt: The longest-serving health secretary

Alfie Evans: Is 'guerrilla warfare' a sign of things to come?

  • 30 April 2018
  • From the section Health
Alfie Evans Image copyright Kate James
Image caption Alfie Evans died on Saturday after being taken off life support last Monday

The similarities between the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases are uncanny.

Alfie, who had a degenerative brain condition, died on Saturday aged 23 months. It came less than a year after Charlie, who had a rare genetic condition, passed away at 11 months of age.

Read full article Alfie Evans: Is 'guerrilla warfare' a sign of things to come?

Is social media to thank for low teen pregnancy rates?

  • 28 March 2018
  • From the section Health
Teenagers on phones Image copyright Getty Images

It is perhaps one of the great societal success stories of our time.

Over the past 20 years, the teenage pregnancy rate in England and Wales has been more than halved.

Read full article Is social media to thank for low teen pregnancy rates?

Did the NHS avert disaster this winter?

  • 9 February 2018
  • From the section Health
Ambulance in snow Image copyright Reuters

Cast your mind back to the first week of the year and it looked like the NHS was heading for Armageddon.

Ambulances were queuing outside A&E units unable to handover their patients, trolleys were stacking up in corridors and there was hardly a bed free anywhere.

Read full article Did the NHS avert disaster this winter?

10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble

  • 24 May 2018
  • From the section Health
NHS ward Image copyright PA

This month hospitals have reported huge pressures, with A&Es over-crowded, a lack of beds and queues of ambulances stacked up outside unable to hand over their patients.

It was a similar story last winter. The NHS, it seems, is always facing unrelenting pressure. But why is this when funding is rising?

Read full article 10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble