By Lucy Selman, Associate Professor of Palliative and End of Life Care, Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group and Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
Serious illness and bereavement affect us all, but our experiences of them are not equal. People living in the poorest areas of the UK are less likely to get the care and support they need if they become seriously ill or a loved one dies. They are also more likely to be socially isolated and lonely – which can be made even worse by serious illness or bereavement.
The Weston-super-Mare community network for health inequities is a new collaborative research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by the University of Bristol, which aims to tackle these issues, focusing on Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town in the South West that is socioeconomically … Read more
by Dr Ryann Sowden, Research Assistant, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School and Dr Lucy Selman Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
In a paper published recently in PLOS One, we explore the coverage of COVID-19 in British newspapers with a focus on key media narratives about the virus.
COVID-19 and media narratives
COVID-19 has caused over 120,000 deaths in the UK, leaving over a million people bereaved. Although death is often described as a societal taboo in British culture, it remains ever-present in the public realm of news and media which COVID-19 has dominated for the past 12 months.
In the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to claim a large number of lives in the UK, newspapers reported on the threat, damage and bereavement caused by the virus, as well as providing a … Read more
Dr Lucy Selman, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
As I write this, the UK government has just announced that 13,729 people have died in hospitals from COVID-19. Care England estimates more than 1,400 people have now died in care homes. As you read this, those appalling figures will have grown. The national medical director, Stephen Powis, has said that if the UK death tally comes in below 20,000, “we will have done very well”.
As a result, a wave of grief will swell in the coming months, with more and more people experiencing a close bereavement related to COVID-19. The disease brings new challenges in caring for patients and supporting their family and friends. A particularly cruel one is that patients must be isolated to control the spread of infection.
Since a patient’s loved ones are often unable to accompany … Read more