series event

New perspectives on charity and the mixed economy of healthcare

Join us at the BMA for this two-day interdisciplinary project conference of our Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award on charity and the mixed economy of healthcare.

NHS text positioned on the border

The collaborative project entitled ‘Border Crossings: Charity, the State and Health Care Since 1948’ was funded by Wellcome and run by PI Professor John Mohan (University of Birmingham), and CIs Professor Ellen Stewart (University of Glasgow), Professor Martin Gorsky (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), and Professor Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde).

Over the last four years, our team of social scientists and historians has explored the scale, nature and consequences of charity and voluntarism within the UK National Health Service since 1948. We’ve investigated the shifting role of charity over time, from Aneurin Bevan’s 1946 condemnation of the ‘caprice of private charity’ in healthcare, to the remarkable impact of NHS Charities Together’s Urgent COVID-19 Appeal in the NHS today.  

The conference is an opportunity to hear a discussion of findings from the research with an exciting range of presentations from researchers working on related topics, within and beyond the UK context. Panels include:

  • Hospital philanthropy and the profits of slavery
  • Charitable funding for the NHS: a “nice-to-have" supplement, or a necessity?
  • Charitably-funded innovations in healthcare
  • Lessons from the broader diversification of income streams in the NHS

The conference takes place over two days: Thursday 24 October, 10.00-19.00 and Friday 25 October, 09.45-17.30. 

Attendees will receive morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon tea on both days and there will be a drinks reception on the evening on 24 October.


Other speakers

  • Simon Buck, University of Edinburgh
  • Michael Bennett, University of Sheffield
  • Colin Kinloch, Guys St Thomas’s Trust Charity
  • Jane Ferguson, Lothian Health Charity
  • Tim Carter, Chief Medical Adviser (retd.) UK Maritime and Coastguard
  • Selena Daly, University College London
  • Agnes Arnold-Forster, University of Edinburgh
  • Rosie Cresswell, University of Strathclyde
  • Michael Lambert, Lancaster Medical School
  • Giuseppe De Luca, Matteo Landoni, Marcella Lorenzini, University of Milan
  • Jonathan Paylor, University of the Arts London
  • Iain Sturges, CHSTM University of Manchester
  • Carmen M. Mangion, Birkbeck University of London
  • Anita Prsa, Central European University, Vienna
  • Ashmita Grewal, Simon Fraser University
  • Rebecca Bramall, University of the Arts London
  • Janis Petzinger and Tobias Jung, Centre for the Study of Philanthropy and Public Good, St Andrews University
  • Benjamin Hunter, University of Glasgow, and Sibille Merz, King’s College London
  • The Pursuit of Exporting in the English NHS 
  • Kathryn Medien, The Open University
  • Mark Exworthy, University of Birmingham, and Neil Lunt, University of York


The full programme and timings are being finalised and will be shared soon.


Free and open to all. Registration required.


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