New Paper – Low immigrant mortality in England and Wales: a data artefact?

Guest Post by Matthew Wallace

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Last week, I published a paper in Social Science & Medicine examining mortality among the major immigrant groups in England and Wales over a thirty year period from 1971 to 2001. While recent national media focus has fixated firmly on the fiscal cost of ‘health tourism’ – Migrants to face emergency NHS charges” (BBC), End of free NHS care for migrants under new bill” (Telegraph), Tough rules to stop health tourists” (Daily Mail) – there has been little focus on the health of immigrants who actually live in England and Wales. The health and mortality of these groups is of substantial interest to policy-makers. Evidence suggests inequalities in health by ethnicity and country of birth, but there has been insufficient consideration of the importance of country of origin and length of residence in the United Kingdom.

In short, results from the paper show low mortality (compared to non-migrants in England and Wales) for individuals from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Western Europe, China and group Other Asia. Analysis also shows that this low mortality begins converging to native levels over time – though low mortality persists for some groups at old ages. As to why we see these patterns, low mortality among first-generation immigrants provides evidence of a ‘healthy migrant effect’ whereby individuals initially ‘select’ for good health and the personality traits often associated with a successful migration (ambition, social adeptness and risk-resilience). This good health and low mortality then wears off over time as individuals ‘acculturate’ or adopt the unfavourable habits and behaviours of the host society.

There are of course many additional dimensions to the research which I do not cover here. If you would like to read the discussion in full, the paper is available online through journal Social Science & Medicine or alternatively, at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matthew_Wallace3. If there is anything you would like to discuss, please feel free to email me at m.wallace@liverpool.ac.uk. The paper was co-authored with Dr Hill Kulu; the research was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [ES/J500094/1] with permission from the Office for National Statistics. The next step of my research is to study the mortality of second generation migrants in England and Wales. Previous research suggests that this group do not share the low mortality of their parents and may actually have a higher mortality risk than natives.

ESRC CASE PhD studentship: Proximities of Care: Exploring the spatial relations of voluntary and technological support for those living with dementia

NWDTC

The University of Liverpool and North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC) invite applications from suitably qualified students for the following fully funded ESRC CASE PhD studentship: Proximities of Care: Exploring the spatial relations of voluntary and technological support for those living with dementia

This studentship is a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster and PSS (http://www.psspeople.com/)

The overall aim of this studentship is to explore the spatial interrelations of care in the context of increasing reliance on both voluntary and technological provision of care within the UK. It will do so through a case study of PSS (Person Shaped Support), a registered charity and social enterprise based in Liverpool which has been providing community based support, both locally and nationally, for almost a century. An ageing population within the UK alongside cuts to welfare funding and the reorganization of the NHS is resulting in increasing reliance on both voluntary care provision and tele-care and remote communications in supporting people living with dementia. Both of these trends are reflected in PSS’s work. This studentship will explore these with attention to the changing spatial interrelations of care, present in the delivery of care through proximate relations between those who are (initially) strangers, and through the use of technology that allows care at a distance. Methodologically the PhD will involve participant observation in voluntary programmes, interviews, focus groups and diary methods with those living with dementia, their families and carers.

Further details on the research are available here: http://www.liv.ac.uk/media/livacuk/environmentalsciences/docs/phdprojects2013/PSS-advert-further-details.pdf

The studentship is available to cover UK/EU fees and an annual Research Council maintenance grant. Rates for the academic year 2014-15 will be as follows (subject to confirmation from the ESRC): Maintenance Grant £14,210.

Further details on eligibility, including residential eligibility are available here. (Although, please note that the application process for CASE awards is different to that detailed in this document – please contact the people identified below for more information).

The student would be based in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool and supervised by Dr. Bethan Evans and Dr Mark Riley, with co-supervision from Prof. Christine Milligan (Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ageing Research at Lancaster University), and Sinead Martin (PSS).

This award is available on a +3 basis only. In addition to having a 1st class or 2i undergraduate degree in (human) geography or related social science subject (sociology, politics, social policy, etc), candidates must also hold a Masters degree (or be close to completion) with sufficient research methods training to enable PhD study. Experience of research or voluntary work with older people or those living with dementia would be desirable.

For more information and details on how to apply please contact Dr. Bethan Evans (bethan.evans@liverpool.ac.uk). The deadline for applications is Monday 17th February 2014. Interviews will be held on Tuesday 25th February 2014.