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Coronavirus Healthcare

Coronavirus Update 25/04/2020 – It’s Too Early to Lift Restrictions

As anticipated, the Coronavirus outbreak has definitively entered new phases in both the UK and the US, in the wake of ‘lockdown’ restrictions limiting non-essential production and consumption and encouraging populations to stay at home. These policies are centralised in the UK and State-wide in most of the US. As we can see from Chart […]

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Coronavirus Healthcare News

Coronavirus Update 09/04/2020 – Light at the End of the Tunnel?

It is notable the extent to which the UK and US patterns of Covid-19 growth are now following each other, with similar rates of case growth and of the rise in deaths from the Coronavirus epidemic. (Chart 1)

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Coronavirus Healthcare News Politics

Coronavirus Update 26/03/2020

Whilst both the UK and the US can be said to have been slow in initiating forceful measures to deal with the Coronavirus epidemics in their countries, the UK government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now, albeit not always with the necessary clarity, announced shutdowns of most social-mixing in Britain. Only ‘essential workers’ – […]

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Coronavirus Healthcare News

Coronavirus Update 20/03/2020

Current Trends in the UK and the US More or less as I was posting my previous piece, the UK government was publicly rolling back on the idea that the aim of ‘herd immunity’ was the optimal strategy in the face of the Coronavirus epidemic. At the same time it published the scenario modelling of […]

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Coronavirus Healthcare News Politics

The Mathematics of the Coronavirus

Epidemics and Exponential Growth Some of the most important information about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic is to be found not from medical knowledge or in the lab but from basic mathematics. The key to understanding this behaviour is in the mathematics of exponential growth. What does this mean? There are two ways in which regular […]

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Economics Healthcare News Politics

Explaining the NHS Crisis: Lies, Damn Lies and Health Spending

Introduction Just how much cash does the NHS and social care need to prevent the distressing stories of patients languishing on trolleys for hours in A&E departments? Can we possibly afford what it needs, or is it really a ‘bottomless pit’ as often claimed? Do we need to lower our expectations of what can be […]

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Healthcare Politics

Some thoughts on drug policy

Former Home Office Minister under Labour, Bob Ainsworth MP, has ’embarrassed’ his party leadership by claiming that ‘prohibition isn’t helping [and] the ‘War on Drugs’ is failing’. I would think that one useful way of approaching the issue is to consider the balance of harms affecting drug users (who choose to use drugs) and non-drug […]

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Economics Healthcare Politics

NHS Reform – for Worse or for Better?

Published on Left Foot Forward on October 5th Under the coalition’s planned NHS reforms GPs could find themselves with a serious headache. Patients armed with detailed outcome data and on-line hospital reviews may enter a GP’s surgery demanding referral to a named specialist at a hospital in another part of the country. The patient-choice imperative […]