Category Archives: Health

NHS Choices: based on the evidence, except when it isn’t

Closer examination of the NHS Choices website, following the remarkable revelations about its article on homeopathy and the Department of Health’s insistence that homeopathic feathers are not ruffled, shows up something rather interesting. Continue reading

Homeopathy and the NHS

The Great Fight, Punch, Allopathy versus Homeopathy

The Great Fight, Punch magazine 1888, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The long-running debate about the role of homeopathy in the NHS is hotting up again. In her evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in January, Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies replied to a question about homeopathy with a ringingly clear statement: “..Why am I being wishy-washy? It’s rubbish”. Continue reading

Calling the midwife in early 20C Derbyshire

Mrs Blood, Dr Crook, Mrs Killer and Mrs Tipler – which would you choose to be your birth attendant?

These people all practised in Derbyshire early in the twentieth century. Dr Crook was a male GP, Frances Killer was a qualified, trained midwife, and Elizabeth Tipler was a ‘bona fide’ midwife – she had no training but was registered, and had some experience. Mrs Blood was one of a diminishing band of uncertified, untrained ‘handywomen’ who delivered babies and helped afterwards. Which had the best outcomes, for the mothers and babies they cared for? The answer is surprising and may also help explain why birth outcomes did not improve much at first after midwifery became a regulated profession in 1902. Continue reading