Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. If you are interested in submitting an opinion piece for publication, please see our editorial guidelines. We currently have 249 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


Prince Harry and the history of mental health stigma policy

Chris Millard traces the history of policy designed to tackle stigma, contextualising both "celebrity" action and the mooted scrapping of the Mental Health Act 1983.

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The contentious history of pregnancy test drugs: will science find its own path to the truth?

Hormone Pregnancy Test (HPT) drugs are currently the subject of a government inquiry. Jesse Olszynko-Gryn suggest that consideration of the historical context is vital for a full understanding.

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When do Doctors Strikes end? A perspective from 1975

As the junior doctors’ strike continues, Jack Saunders takes a historical look at how the current industrial dispute may be resolved.  

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Men, mental health and suicide in the UK: The importance of the long view

Despite the fact that the male suicide rate is now more than three times higher than the female rate, precious little has been done to tackle the stigma amongst men of discussing mental health issues. Dr. Ali Hagget asks why. 

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Can we never learn? Abuse, complaints and inquiries in the NHS

While past abuse scandals have galvanised public inquiries, Professor Sally Sheard shows that wider institutional barriers, and politics, can influence whether a minister drives through change. 

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National and local: policy lessons from the history of alcohol

Alcohol policy is not determined only by national politics: local implementation plays a key role in its success or failure, as research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reveals.  

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The legacy of GP attitudes to mentally ill older people

Historical evidence of doctors’ attitudes towards mentally ill older patients may help explain the current initiative to pay GPs for diagnosing dementia. The evidence also suggests alternative policies that would assist doctors and ultimately improve quality of life for patients, argues Dr Claire Hilton.  

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The UK khat ban: ‘protecting vulnerable communities’?

As khat is banned in the UK today, Dr Luke Gibbon, of Strathclyde University, considers past prohibitions of the herbal stimulant in colonial Aden and Kenya - which had unintended negative consequences and ended in failure. 

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The highs and lows of drinking in Britain

Could the fall in serious violence announced recently be related to declining alcohol consumption in Britain since the mid-2000s? Dr James Nicholls considers changing drinking levels, licensing laws and social mores over 400 years to understand the complex effects on violence and health. In doing so, he punctures the myth of boozy Britain and binge drinkers.

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Debating the ‘good death’:  a long view

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H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.

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