UCL Grand Challenges


Right Hon Ed Miliband MP hosts panel discussion debating the welfare state

19 December 2018

Former leader of the Labour Party the Right Hon Ed Miliband MP recently joined a panel of experts from the fields of psychiatry, global health and economics to discuss the future of the UK's welfare state

Earlier this month, UCL's Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality hosted an evening of discussion on the future of the welfare state. The event, chaired by the Right Hon Ed Miliband MP heard contributions from Professor Anthony Costello (Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development, UCL), Dr Hilary Cottam (social scientist, entrepreneur and author) and Professor Helen Killaspy (Professor in Rehabilitation Psychiatry, UCL) as they addressed the question: the welfare state lifted millions out of poverty, created decent homes, provided health care free at the point of delivery, and education for all but is it fit for the twenty-first century? 

Through a series of keynote presentations, the discussion focused on the importance of facilitating social groups in communities to tackle major policy challenges. Professor Costello highlighted the role sympathy groups can play in providing support and health care provision. Dr Cottam and Professor Killaspy noted that the services of the welfare state were not designed to tackle the challenges faced today, with Professor Killaspy commenting in particular on the marginalisation of people with complex mental health problems in society. All speakers, therefore, proposed that an innovative, radical approach that values and prioritises people, kindness, relationships, and support groups needs to be placed at the heart of policies governing the UK welfare state.

A lively Q&A followed, with extensive engagement from the assembled audience, as captured in the video of discussions below.

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/37330948

You can watch more of the event on the UCL Grand Challenges YouTube channel:

The event was organised in conjunction with UCL's Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality as part of GCJE's 'Embedded Inequalities' initiative to promote disruptive thinking, generate innovative solutions, and tackle injustices and inequalities embedded within societies.