The delights and discomforts of charity and the NHS

Online event - Zoom
Wednesday 19 May 2021 (14:00-15:30)

Jennie Oldfield (

A HSMC Seminar by Dr Ellen Stewart from the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, University of Edinburgh

This seminar focused on the unusual case of NHS charities as a lens on wider boundaries between state and non-state financing and provision of healthcare. Ellen drew on exploratory qualitative research about the work of Scotland’s NHS charities, and early results from an analysis of Justgiving pages for UK NHS charities in the early months of the covid-19 pandemic. These findings illuminate the potential for organisations to mobilise significant public affection for the NHS, but also some of the discomforts of these processes

Ellen Stewart is a social scientist working at the intersection of medical sociology, health policy and public administration. Her research explores how health systems accommodate and negotiate different forms of ‘lay’ and ‘expert’ knowledge, including demands for public engagement and for evidence-based policy. She published Publics and their health systems: rethinking participation in 2016 (Palgrave), and co-authored The Impact Agenda in 2020 (Policy Press). She is one of four grant holders on a new Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award exploring charity and voluntarism in the UK NHS.