Category Archives: Society

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop review David Adam’s compelling study of OCD

Case studies including Churchill, Nikola Tesla and Hans Christian Andersen offer fascinating insights into OCD

“Only a fool or liar will tell you how the brain works,” says the author, midway through this fascinating study of the living nightmare that is obsessive compulsive disorder. And rest assured, Dr David Adam is neither. Indeed, he has written one of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years.

What makes this book compelling reading is its openness. I mean that in every sense. The author is candid not only about the inevitable limitations of any book on mental illness, when we only know so much about the brain, but also about his own experience.

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Posted in Books, Culture, Health, Health, mind and body, Mental health, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Society, World news | Comments Off

Ten steps to release the pressure in Britain’s housing superbubble

As London property prices soar 18% in a year, a damaging housing boom now looks likely to spread across large parts of the country. What are the policy options to correct the market?

A “superbubble”, “record-breaking” and “disastrous” official figures released last week showing that London house prices rose by almost 18% in the year to February had commentators reaching for the superlatives, and everyone else wondering where it would end. The figures from the Office for National Statistics came hot on the heels of data from Nationwide building society showing that overall UK house prices were up by 9.2% year-on-year in March, and claims from property website Rightmove that Londoners are now putting homes up for sale at prices more than 40% higher than the previous peak.

Fears of a bubble have been growing since late last summer, when price inflation seemed to step up a gear. Now, just over a year from the launch of the first part of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, the London boom appears to have started rolling out across the rest of the country. There are still places where people are in negative equity, where homes sit on the market for months and estate agents are fending off sellers rather than buyers, but it’s not just in London that phrases like “open house” and “sealed bid” are entering everyday conversation.

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Posted in Business, Communities, House prices, Housing, Housing market, Money, Property, Real estate, Society, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Jonathan Aitken calls for prison ‘mentors’ to tackle reoffending

Drawing on his own experience, former cabinet minister calls for new network of 15,000 mentorsFormer cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken is drawing on his personal experience of befriending and helping a former prison inmate to quit crime and find a stabl…
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Posted in Jonathan Aitken, Law, Politics, Prisons and probation, Society, UK criminal justice, UK news, World news | Comments Off

Chicago gang shootings go on as Mayor Emanuel boasts crime at ‘record low’

A hip-hop-fuelled gang war is raging in a city derided as ‘Chiraq’, even as authorities herald crackdown a success Continue reading…
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Posted in Chicago, Gangs, Gun crime, Hip-hop, Music, Rahm Emanuel, Rap, Society, United States, US crime, World news | Comments Off

Foreign doctors ‘should face tougher skills test before practising in UK’

Studies published in British Medical Journal say medics trained overseas are often not as competent as those schooled in UKForeign doctors should face tougher tests of their skills before being allowed to practise in the UK because of concern that too …
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Posted in Doctors, Health, NHS, Society, World news | Comments Off

Charging for crutches is the first painful step towards dismantling the NHS

South Warwickshire CCG is in trouble, of course, but this move feels like a return to the have and have-nots health systemThere is little doubt that the NHS is under huge strain from a period of sustained austerity. In this difficult economic climate i…
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  1. One in 16 patients in NHS hospitals picks up infection, warns watchdog
Posted in Health, Health policy, NHS, Politics, Public services policy, Society, UK news, World news | Comments Off

First transgender candidate stands for election in India – video

In a ruling this week, the Indian supreme court formally recognised transgender people. Bharathi Kannamma, who lives in Madurai and campaigns for trans rights is hoping to become only the second trans MP in the world. Her campaign focuses on anti-corru…
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One in 16 patients in NHS hospitals picks up infection, warns watchdog

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence describes the rate of infections in hospitals as ‘unacceptably high’

One in every 16 people treated at an NHS hospital fall ill with an infection, according to a government health agency report. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the rate of infections, which are a “very real threat” to patients’ lives, was “unacceptably high”.

Infections can occur in healthy people, especially if they are undergoing invasive surgery or using catheters or tubes inserted into veins. Children, the elderly and the ill are even more susceptible.

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