The libraries that offer sexual health services and cancer support

Coventry’s Central Library runs health-related events and a mental health drop-in service, reaching people that the NHS can’t

How Coventy City Council works with a local NHS trust to provide advice on sexual health and cancer in its libraries. Continue reading “The libraries that offer sexual health services and cancer support”

Guardian articles on home dialysis and community records

Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network has recently published two pieces by me, one on home dialysis and the other on shared community electronic health records. The first was based on a recent visit to the dialysis service at Nottingham City Hospital, which is piloting the Quanta SC+ dialysis machine.

The trial is taking place in the ward, but the machine is designed for home dialysis – it is a fraction of the size and weight of most. In the photo below, it’s to the left of Ian Hichens, who usually uses home dialysis but was using the ward so he could play the Sugar Plum Fairy in a panto. Continue reading “Guardian articles on home dialysis and community records”

For Beacon: what links the British constitution and ridicule?

The answer, in my piece today on Beacon: neither have their rules written down, which makes them flexible. The British constitution is whatever Parliament decides it to be; and the rules on ridicule have become basically that you can make fun of people based on what they choose to do, not what they were born as.

That means making fun of someone on Fox News over what he chooses to say about Birmingham is absolutely fine, as is Boris Johnson saying this: Continue reading “For Beacon: what links the British constitution and ridicule?”

Two Warwickshire mansions: the time capsule and the gallery

Charlecote Park and Compton Verney were both built as grand private houses, occupied by their founding families until the 20th century. They are now both open to the public, but offer contrasting visions of Britain.

Originally published on Beacon.

Continue reading “Two Warwickshire mansions: the time capsule and the gallery”

If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you

Local authorities matter. They provide many of the most basic public services: schools, roads, refuse collections and recycling, social services, planning and benefits administration. They are the part of government you would notice first, if they stopped working. In many areas of Britain, a council is the largest employer, and with their elected members, local authorities are arguably the most democratic type of public sector organisation.

But they are tricky to follow. Journalists trying to cover councils nationally suffer from being based mainly in one place, London, from lack of resources and from the sheer number of authorities.

The exceptions are journalists who work for locally-focused publishers. Despite falling advertising and circulation income, it is still local and regional newspapers, broadcasters and online publishers that produce the best coverage of local authorities.

As a result, while it is easy to keep tabs on your own council, if you want to track local authorities nationwide – as a councillor or official keen to learn from your peers, or a supplier seeking new opportunities – you would need to monitor many hundreds of sources.

So let Council News Monitor do the job for you. It’s a new email service, sent first thing every weekday morning, with articles and press releases from councils in all nine English regions, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – or, as the four nations can safely be called again, the United Kingdom. Continue reading “If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you”