Small businesses resilience to flooding in Scotland

A paper on ‘Evolutionary or Equilibrist? Small businesses resilience to flooding in Scotland’ by Dr Fiona Henderson and Dr Geoff Whittam has been published in Studia Miejskie.

Please see abstract below and link to view the full paper.

Flooding is the most significant current climate change-related threat to the UK, yet its impact upon small businesses is largely unexplored. This paper investigates the resilience of a small business community in Scotland that has evolved over decades of trading in a flood-prone area. The development of their adaptive strategies is explored in the context of White and O’Hare’s (2014) resilience paradox, which argues that a lack of clarity in the definition of resilience has facilitated vagueness in policy which, whilst maintaining an adaptive optimistic rhetoric, has favoured equilibrist protectionism over evolutionary and transformative approaches. This tension between the equilibristic approach inherent within the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and the adaptive responses which the Climate Change Adaption Act (2009) endeavours to promote is considered in light of the experience of the participating small business owners, who perceive their resilience is threatened by a flood protection measure planned by the local authority. This flood protection measure has been developed despite repeated objections by the local community, and this study presents business owners’ feelings that they are not being consulted adequately or their objections heard. The need to engage communities and work together to develop solutions to climate change threats to facilitate community resilience is discussed.

Universal Health Coverage, Priority Setting and the Human Right to Health

A paper on ‘Universal Health Coverage, Priority Setting and the Human Right to Health’ by Benedict Rumbold, Rachel Baker, Octavio Ferraz, Sarah Hawkes, Carleigh Krubiner, Peter Littlejohns, Ole Frithjof Norheim, Thomas Pegram, Annette Rid, Sridhar Venkatapuram, Alex Voorhoeve, Daniel Wang, Albert Weale, James Wilson, Alicia Ely Yamin, JD, Paul Hunt, has been published in the Lancet.

Please see abstract below and link to view the full paper.

As health policy-makers around the world seek to make progress towards universal health coverage they must navigate between two important ethical imperatives: to set national spending priorities fairly and efficiently; and to safeguard the right to health. These imperatives can conflict, leading some to conclude that rights-based approaches present a disruptive influence on health policy, hindering states’ efforts to set priorities fairly and efficiently. Here, we challenge this perception. We argue first that these points of tension stem largely from inadequate interpretations of the aims of priority setting as well as the right to health. We then discuss various ways in which the right to health complements traditional concerns of priority setting and vice versa. Finally, we set out a three-step process by which policy-makers may navigate the ethical and legal considerations at play

Professor Simone Baglioni to give inaugural Professorial Lecture

You are invited to the inaugural Professorial Lecture by Simone Baglioni, Professor of politics in GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.

In light of a rise in xenophobic movements and their impact on European politics, Professor Baglioni will focus on transnational solidarity, exploring the mobilisation of citizens against this reactionary wave.

Through the lens of relevant cases, Professor Baglioni will examine how citizens are collaborating across borders in the name of solidarity with those facing worsening circumstances and diverse challenges relating to unemployment, migration and disability.

‘Voices from the bright side of Europe: Transnational mobilisation against xenophobia, populism and racism’ will take place on Wednesday, May 17, from 5.30pm, in the Deeprose Lecture Theatre. A drinks reception will follow.

Read more and register

From wealth to health

A paper on ‘From wealth to health: Evaluating microfinance as a complex intervention ‘ by Neil McHugh, Olga Biosca and Cam Donaldson has been published in the Journal of Evaluation.  Please see abstract below and link to view the full paper.

Innovative interventions that address the social determinants of health are required to help reduce persistent health inequalities. We argue that microcredit can act in this way and develop a conceptual framework from which to examine this. In seeking to evaluate microcredit this way we then examine how randomized controlled trials, currently considered as the ‘gold standard’ in impact evaluations of microcredit, compare with developments in thinking about study design in public health. This leads us to challenge the notion of trials as the apparent gold standard for microcredit evaluations and contend that the pursuit of trial-based evidence alone may be hampering the production of relevant evidence on microcredit’s public health (and other wider) impacts. In doing so, we introduce new insights into the global debate on microfinance impact evaluation, related to ethical issues in staging randomized controlled trials, and propose innovations on complementary methods for use in the evaluation of complex interventions.

McHugh et al’17 – from wealth to health-2ixywad

Seminar on inequality hosted by the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton

Dr Michael Roy, Senior Lecturer at the Yunus Centre, recently participated in a high-profile seminar on inequality, hosted by the Center of  Theological Inquiry (CTI) at Princeton, USA. Michael had been invited to present on his empirical research on addressing social vulnerabilities in Glasgow through social enterprise-led activity. This represented a continuation of a dialogue between CTI and GCU that has been ongoing since 2013, when a larger discussion was held there on the subject of ‘The Health and Wealth of Nations’ involving Nobel Prize in Economics recipient, Professor Angus Deaton and the then First Minister, Alex Salmond. This seminar also involved Deaton: he co-presented on the research led by his wife, Professor Anne Case, on the plight of the white working class in the US, which has since received significant media attention. The wider discussion provoked by the various papers presented at the seminar will feed into the design of a year-long Inquiry which will be hosted by CTI in the coming years.

CTI Consultation on Inequality – Programme

CTI Presentation – Dr Michael Roy

A healthy philosophy: we need to talk about how we value our medicines #Edscifest

Rachel Baker, Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health was part of an exciting public event in the Edinburgh International Science Festival on 3rd April 2017.

Together with Professor Ken Paterson (member of the British Pharmacological Society & former chair of the Scottish Medicines Consortium) and Professor David Webb (President of the British Pharmacological Society & Christison Professor of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Edinburgh) the audience explored which medicines the UK wants to fund and why, and how wider society might be able to have its say on the country‘s drugs funding arrangements. Medicines cost the NHS nearly £17 billion in 2015/2016 – it’s the second biggest NHS expenditure after staff salaries – so it’s important for all of us that we get value for money from these billions of pounds.

Organised by the British Pharmacological Society and chaired by broadcaster Vivienne Parry OBE.

Professor Baker said of the event: “It was fascinating to see what convinced our audience to fund or reject different medicines. There seemed little support in the room for policies that make a special case for funding cancer or end of life drugs above other treatments for other diseases”. 

A pathway to precarity? Young workers and zero hour futures in the social care sector

Tom Montgomery, Micaela Mazzei, Simone Baglioni, Stephen Sinclair have written a blog for Policy and Politics on a recent article entitled Who Cares? The social care sector and the future of youth unemployment which explores the actual potential of the social care sector in the UK to offer good quality career pathways for young people.

To view the blog, please click on the link below:

A pathway to precarity? Young workers and zero hour futures in the social care sector

Researchers to develop Scottish health and social care framework

Professor Cam Donaldson

Decisions about how to allocate health and social care resources fairly and efficiently are increasingly difficult for healthcare providers, particularly with competing claims on budgets that could benefit different groups of patients, clients and the public.

New Scottish Government legislation to implement health and social care integration came into force last year, bringing together NHS and local council care services under one partnership arrangement for each area. In total 31 local Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) have been set up across Scotland to manage almost £8 billion of health and social care resources.

As a result, there is a greater emphasis on provision for people in their own homes or local communities, whilst considering cost, quality and the value of services provided for local populations. The need to shift the balance of care from acute to community services, and re-prioritise spending, has since been reinforced by the Scottish Government in ‘A Plan for Scotland’.

In a ground-breaking project, researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will develop the first framework for making difficult healthcare decisions which integrates economics, decision-analysis, ethics and law to be applied in this new context of shifting the balance of care.

With £244,000 funding from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO), the research team will develop, test and implement the new framework in four HSCPs to establish barriers and facilitators to its use, but also draw comparisons with all other HSCPs to assess what difference it makes to priority setting processes in practice and to evidence-based shifts in the allocation of health and social care resources.

Led by GCU’s Professor Cam Donaldson, the team will comprise researchers from the University of Strathclyde, Cardiff University, the University of Liverpool and the Scottish Government.

Professor Donaldson has been newly appointed GCU’s Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise. He is one of the world’s foremost health economists and joined the University in 2010 from the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University.

Professor Donaldson will work with colleagues Professor Rachel Baker, Marissa Collins and Dr Micaela Mazzei in GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, a unique, interdisciplinary centre of excellence which hosts GCU’s health economists, internationally recognised for their work across boundaries of care, including partnerships between the NHS, social care and the third sector.

Professor Donaldson said: “Difficult decisions will need to be made in Scotland about which services to fund and to what extent, and which existing services to scale back. Practically, with little or no increases in global budgets, frameworks need to facilitate resource shifts involving disinvestment from low-value services to move resources to higher-value services in areas of most need. This requires transparent and justifiable processes that consider costs and outcomes, the needs and values of local populations and a range of ethical, economic and legal arguments.

“Any new framework has to be practically and ethically robust to ensure that it is acceptable to stakeholders and to uphold the underpinning principles of healthcare provision. A study of this nature has never been undertaken before and would place Scotland at the forefront of this important field of social and economic policy.”