Treading softly while jumping through hoops: ethnographic adventures in pursuit of palliative medication work-as-done in hospice, hospital and at home

DR SALLY-ANNE FRANCIS & DR SARAH YARDLEY “I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” (W.B.Yeats) “A rapid, focused ethnography will be conducted using a cross-sectional approach,” we said. It sounds so neat and simple. Yet in this compact statement there are two parallel stories of navigating…

Reflecting on reflexivity: A practical example of reporting your reflexive practice

DR JESSICA REES As distinguished by Chiseri-Strater (1996) “to be reflective does not demand an ‘other,’ while to be reflexive demands both another and some self- conscious awareness of the process of self-scrutiny” (p. 130). If knowledge reflects the identity of its producers (Haraway, 1991) then it is important for researchers to acknowledge their influence…

Living with multiple health conditions in an East-London borough: early findings from a participatory photography project

ESCA VAN BLARIKOM Multimorbidity in the UK Historically, biomedicine focused on single disease categories. As a result, many of our current clinical guidelines are almost exclusively focused on managing single conditions. Considering that in the UK, people with multiple health conditions make up most primary healthcare encounters (Cassell et al. 2018), these approaches urgently require…

Rapid ethnographies in the NHS

STEPHANIE KUMPUNEN Long-form ethnography is a long-term investment…but rapid ethnography can help sometimes Traditional long-form ethnography on health and care services has proven essential to understanding the social and cultural aspects of illness and care provision. As a research approach for quality improvement, ethnography has been described as able to help us to identify conditions…

Early Career Ethnographers of the NHS: Series Introduction

REBECCA IRONS Social Science and Humanities research with and on the NHS has never been more urgent than in a post-pandemic context. However, interdisciplinary collaboration with health services presents particular issues ranging from practicalities of access to expectations and differing disciplinary approaches between the clinical and the social/humanities. Being a long-time Latin Americanist myself, I…

Modernizing the US Coast Guard’s Miscarriage Leave Policy

JULIEANN THOMAS March 1, 2022 Rear Admiral Eric Jones Assistant Commandant for Human Resources (CG-1) United States Coast GuardWashington, DC 20593 United States of America Dear Admiral Jones, My name is JulieAnn Thomas. My husband, CDR * * * * (ret.) served for 20 years in the US Coast Guard (CG) as a cutterman, an…

Redressing Transgender Healthcare in the UK

KATERINA DOWNING University College London  Gower Street  London  WC1E 6BT  12/05/2022 FAO: Cass Review Team NHS England PO Box 16738 Redditch B97 9PT Dear Dr. Cass, I came across the “Independent review of gender identity services for children and young people”[i] while following the appeal of the 2020 ruling that prevented under-16’s consenting to hormone…

An Open Letter to the American Obesity Foundation

VICTORIA ANTONIOU Dear Ms. Okon, I would like to begin this letter by acknowledging the hard work you and your organisation, The American Obesity Foundation (AOF), have been doing for many years now, aiming to prevent obesity and its subsequent diseases all over the United States. This is by no means an easy job, I…

Black Lives and Black Minds Matter – It’s Time to End Racism in Mental Health

ELEANOR BREEN O’BYRNE Dear Sajid Javid, I am writing to you regarding the troubling and longstanding racial disparities which exist within mental healthcare. This is evidenced by the the fact that black people are four times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than their white counterparts (NHS Digital, 2021).  Racial disparities…

A Reformation of Transgender Healthcare in the United Kingdom

SEVEN MELL Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP House of Commons, London SW1A OAA 4th March 2022 Dear Secretary of State, I am writing to you, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to express an immense dissatisfaction with the NHS’ provision of healthcare for transgender individuals in the United Kingdom. My intent is…

Food is neither love nor salvation

HE ZHANG Professor Linying Li Beijing Institute of Technology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences China Women’s Health Network No. 5 Zhongguancun South Street, Haidian District, Beijing, 100081 Dear Professor Li, It is my pleasure to write to you. I am a Chinese student studying for the degree of Master of Arts in Health Humanities…

Changing the Singapore Approach to Sugar

NATASHA STURGESS Mr Gan Kim YongMinistry of Health16 College RoadCollege of Medicine Building Singapore 169854 6th March 2022 Dear Minister, I hope this letter comes to you well. I am writing to you in light of the recent parliamentary budget debate on the 28th February 2022, to which Sembawang Minister of Parliament (MP) Poh Li…

Dear Mr. Javid, CAMHS Is a Joke

NAPAT PRASITSIRIGUL Dear Mr. Javid, CAMHS is a joke. Like many others my age, I enjoy mindlessly scrolling through TikTok in my free time. Occasionally I come across a teenager parodying their experiences at CAMHS. These clips usually follow the same pattern: a teenager comes to their CAMHS appointment and discloses worrying information about their…

Prioritising Continuity Of Care Within General Practice

ROWAN VICK MAEER 18 High Street Bromsgrove B61 8HQ Dear Sajid Javid, I am writing to you concerning your proposed changes to the NHS in 2022, which involves restructuring primary care to ‘join up’ healthcare (2). Whilst I agree that ‘joined up’ care between the different health and social sectors is a priority, I am…

Fighting to Improve Disability Awareness within Healthcare

JILLIAN MANN Dear Erin Stampp, My brother, Hank, has faced a lifetime’s worth of scrutiny and maltreatment. Hank was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of two years old. He is wheelchair bound with spastic quadriplegia. But more importantly, he is a Marvel-loving, Beatles fanatic with a contagious smile in his second year of law…

An Introduction to the Second Annual Advocacy Letter Series

CARRIE RYAN How can students apply anthropology to catalyse social change? In the coming weeks, the second annual Advocacy Letter series will showcase thirteen student Advocacy Letters that examine a wide range of contemporary health issues, including transgender healthcare, immigration policy, and mental health services for youth. In these letters, students draw on anthropological insights…

Understanding Covid Vaccine Resistance

Sheba Mohammid and Daniel Miller Right now, Trinidad and Tobago are suffering amongst the highest death rate from Covid in the world. As small islands, everyone seems to know people who have died. According to a Trinidadian doctor specialising in this field one reason for this is co-morbidity with diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Diabetes is…

A letter for the 97%

ISOBEL THORLEY Dear Elizabeth Truss, Nadine Dorris and Priti Patel, As the Minister for Women and Equalities, Minister of State Mental Health, and Home Secretary, I am writing to you because you have the responsibility to tackle an issue that your government has failed to acknowledge, namely the lack of gender-based-approaches to policy implementation during…

#Proudtobeprotected: Selfie booths and framing the self for visibility

RAHUL ADVANI In April and May 2021, the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, driven largely by the delta variant, saw the country’s collapsing healthcare system make international news headlines. While images of bodies being burned in makeshift funeral pyres glowed from television screens, desperate pleas for hospital beds and oxygen cylinders…