Talking about... new perspectives on the NHS

Tuesday 9 February 2021, 6:30pm to 8:00pm


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Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

This event will take place on Microsoft Teams. To register for your free tickets, please go to Eventbrite.

Event Details

We are delighted to present to you a brand new theme for the 2020/2021 Public Lectures Series: ‘Talking about…’, and warmly invite you to join our researchers as they explore some of the most pressing issues facing the country.

About the Lecture

In this Public Lecture, three experts from Lancaster University discuss how the NHS has changed in 2020, both in how it operates and how we talk about it. Academics from the Faculty of Health and Medicine and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will explore how the pandemic has affected the oncology workforce and their wellbeing, the hidden impact on child health, and how the NHS has emerged as a ‘quasi-religion’.

The COVID-NOW Project - Oncology Workforce Wellbeing and Work During COVID

Since the lockdown across the UK in March 2020, the delivery of cancer care has been severely impacted. Delays to cancer screening, surgery, treatment, and routine diagnostic work have raised grave concern for those needing these services but also for the staff trying to deliver cancer care. In her presentation, Dr Hardy will share some of the insights gained from a collaborative research project between Lancaster University and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust exploring the experiences, perceptions and wellbeing of NHS staff involved in the delivery of cancer care across the UK. It is the largest piece of work specifically examining this part of the NHS workforce during COVID. The project aims to produce recommendations for cancer care staff, hospitals and policymakers to help the NHS and the patients in need of their care.

Invisible children: the hidden impacts of the pandemic on child health

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all of us. Whilst the disease itself generally has a less serious course in children and young people, the pandemic has had a considerable indirect impact on their health and wellbeing. Social distancing measures and repeated lockdowns mean that children – particularly those living in difficult circumstances – have reduced access to the safety net of regular contact with education, health, and social care professionals, effectively making them invisible. In her talk, Professor Rachel Isba discusses several research projects that showed that attendances to Children’s Emergency Departments (A&E) plummeted during the first wave, but that those children and young people who did go to hospital were more likely to get admitted; that specialist referrals for children with brain tumours were also negatively impacted during the first wave of the pandemic; and that the wider determinants of health for children have been particularly badly affected.

The NHS as a Sacred Value

Throughout the pandemic, it has been clear that the NHS is more than a ‘mere’ health service. We have seen the ‘clap for carers’ initiative, and language such as ‘heroes’ and ‘angels’ used to describe healthcare workers, as well as long-established pressures on the NHS come under rightful scrutiny. The NHS has become a symbolic focus of much that is important, even sacred, to British people, what they unite around, how they deal with suffering, reaffirm hope, and maintain cohesion – echoing the role that religion used to play. In her presentation, Professor Linda Woodhead will explore the origins and significance of the NHS as sacred focus or ‘quasi-religion’, and consider what it means for healthcare and social futures.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session during which you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers via the Microsoft Teams chat function.

To register for your free tickets, please go to Eventbrite

About the speakers

Professor Rachel Isba

Rachel is a Professor of Medicine within Lancaster Medical School and Associate Dean for Engagement for the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University. She is also a medical doctor working in Paediatric Emergency Medicine and Public Health in Manchester. Rachel has recently been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

Professor Linda Woodhead MBE

Linda Woodhead MBE is a Distinguished Professor of Religion and Society at Lancaster University and a Director of the Institute of Social Futures at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on religion, belief and values in modern societies, and more specifically on the decline of Christianity and the rise of new spiritualities, values and nonreligious commitments. In addition to her academic work, Professor Woodhead is co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debates and also a regular commentator on religious and cultural issues on radio and television.

Dr Claire Hardy

Claire is a mixed methods researcher specialising in the area of work psychology. She is passionate about solving real-world problems at work and uses a variety of methods and approaches to help achieve that. Claire's main research areas of interest lie in the fields of international working and expatriate assignments, women's health at work (in particular, reproductive health topics including the menopause and premenstrual experiences), and also employee psychological resilience. Claire also enjoys intervention development and evaluation, and developing new measures or scales.

Contact Details

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