Public Services and the Welfare State

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    Inflated figures, inflated opposition: how claims about welfare benefit levels affect public opinion

Inflated figures, inflated opposition: how claims about welfare benefit levels affect public opinion

Politicians, journalists, and think tanks frequently try to put a number on just how much welfare recipients receive in benefits – often massaging the figures in the process. But do exaggerated claims about benefit amounts really change anybody’s mind about welfare overall? New research by Carsten Jensen and Anthony Kevins confirms that they indeed do.

If you follow politics, or even just […]

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    Government wants healthcare staff to change patients’ behaviour – but that’s unlikely to work

Government wants healthcare staff to change patients’ behaviour – but that’s unlikely to work

Lorelei Jones examines government efforts encouraging healthcare professionals to get patients to change their behaviour. Drawing on her ethnographic research in England, together with analysing various educational practices and training materials used she explains why these efforts are unlikely to accomplish governmental objectives.

Government policy is increasingly focused on encouraging citizens to act responsibly and to be less reliant on public […]

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    Lifting the visa cap for nurses and doctors is not all the NHS needs to relieve its staff shortages

Lifting the visa cap for nurses and doctors is not all the NHS needs to relieve its staff shortages

With the NHS facing rapidly depleting staff numbers, can disaster be avoided? Olivia Bridge explains what is causing this problem and whether the government’s actions so far – in particular the decision to exclude doctors and nurses from Tier 2 Visa caps – are enough to address it.

With the NHS nearing its 70th birthday, many healthcare professionals raised awareness to […]

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    While the Carers Action Plan is welcome, it is not good enough in itself

While the Carers Action Plan is welcome, it is not good enough in itself

Two years after the government consulted on the next steps for a Carers Strategy, the Department of Health and Social Care has published its ‘Carers Action Plan’. Melanie Henwood explains that, although this provides some assurance to carers that they are on the government’s agenda, the action plan must be followed through with demonstrable objectives in the forthcoming green […]

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    Deliberative forums show that attitudes to welfare turn hostile because of low trust in government

Deliberative forums show that attitudes to welfare turn hostile because of low trust in government

Peter Taylor-Gooby outlines the findings of research that used deliberative forums to examine attitudes towards welfare. He concludes that what lay behind the views expressed was a mistrust in the capacity of the government to address the issues that most people face. It is this lack of trust that turns people against the welfare system rather than an ideological […]

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    The East Coast franchise debacle: only the latest problem arising from rail privatisation

The East Coast franchise debacle: only the latest problem arising from rail privatisation

Robert Jupe provides a history of the East Coast Main Line franchise and examines its latest problems. He concludes that the current debacle illustrates how privatisation, far from improving efficiency, has fragmented an integrated industry into many constituent parts, and an alternative approach is now necessary.

The Conservative Government announced on 16 May that the East Coast franchise will be temporarily renationalised, […]

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    A social policy on ageing: to reduce the costs of old age, we must improve the entire life course

A social policy on ageing: to reduce the costs of old age, we must improve the entire life course

Far from being predetermined, the course ageing takes is subject to a variety of influences throughout one’s life. This is something that policymakers have so far failed to appreciate, argues Alan Walker. He makes the case for a new strategy which focuses on the whole life course, with the intention of preventing many of the chronic conditions associated with […]

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    How a tragedy changed the way we think about housing: Ten lessons from Grenfell

How a tragedy changed the way we think about housing: Ten lessons from Grenfell

Social landlords and the government have long neglected their existing housing stock in favour of new homes, leading to a deterioration of safety standards and a lack of accountability. In the case of Grenfell Tower, these conditions led to at least 72 deaths. A year on from the fire, and with problems in multi-storey blocks being uncovered all over […]