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Dr John Lister

Dr John Lister portrait with plain backgroundAssociate Senior Lecturer in Journalism

Main Duties: Lecturer at levels 1-3 in Journalism, and Master's level Journalism and Health Journalism


John has written and researched extensively on health services and health policy issues for trade union and other organisations for over 28 years. His PhD thesis (2004) was a comparative study of market-style reforms on health care systems around the world, a revised version of which was published in 2005 as Health Policy Reform, Driving the Wrong Way? by Middlesex University Press – subsequently translated into a top-selling Turkish edition. In 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service John researched and wrote a major book The NHS After 60, for Patients or Profits, (still the most up to date history of the NHS).

In June 2009 he organised with the International Association of Health Policy in Europe, a successful international conference on “Health care marketing reforms and the media” hosted by Coventry University and has subsequently published the papers from this with an introduction as ‘Europe’s Health For Sale’ (2011: Libri Publishing).

John has collaborated with academics from University of Ottawa and an international team in a research project on social determinants of health, focused on globalisation and health care systems, publishing a 105-page monograph of the completed paper, and a chapter in Globalisation and Health, Pathways, Evidence and Policy (ed Labonté, Schrecker, Packer and Runnels, Routledge 2009). He has presented papers and spoken at meetings and conferences on international health policy in various countries including Greece, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, and Romania. In 2011-12 he conducted commissioned research work for Oxfam on the World Bank and other issues.

John is a joint chair of the Standing Orders Committee of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ member 35 years), and a member of the Medical Journalists’ Union, the Guild of Health Writers, and the Association of Health Care Journalists (US-based) for whom he helps edit a European web page. He also researches, writes, edits and designs tabloid newspapers for 12 major branches of UNISON, the UK’s largest health trade union. As well as this, he has conducted research and publicity work on a variety of issues for regions and branches of UNISON as well as UNISON national office, other trade unions and local campaigns. In 2009-2010 he was also commissioned by the BMA to research and write a mass circulation peer-reviewed pamphlet ‘Warning! NHS market reforms are damaging our health service,’ and two major reports on London, as well as speaking from the platform at a 400-strong meeting in BMA headquarters in London.

John is a founder member of Keep Our NHS Public campaign, and has been a board member since 2005. He is a regular public speaker at meetings on NHS issues in England and has carried out successful PR promotion of London Health Emergency since 1984, issuing press releases, responding to media enquiries and giving interviews and comment to press radio and TV across London and nationwide.

Until the end of 2012 John is also involved in a 7-country EU-funded project to improve the training of Health Reporters, developing and rolling out a package of training, and evaluating the results.


  • P.G.C.E., Higher Education Teaching, Coventry University
  • Ph.D., Health Policy, Coventry University
  • B.A (Hons), English Language and Literature, Oxford University

Selected outputs:

  • Lister, J. (2012) 'In Defiance of the Evidence: Conservatives threaten to “reform” away England’s National Health Service'. International Journal of Health Services 42 (1), 137-155
  • Lister, J. (2012) 'Will Liberal Democrats take the chance to kill the Health Bill?'. The Lancet 379 (9819), 869
  • Lister, J. (2011) 'Salami-Slicing a Role for Private Providers: The Carve-Up of Europe’s Health Services'. International Journal of Public and Private Healthcare Management and Economics 1 (2), 40-51
  • Lister, J. (2011) Europe’s Health for Sale. Libri Publishing
  • Lister, J. (2010) Warning! NHS market reforms are damaging our health service. BMA, London
  • Lister, J., and Labonté, R. (2009) 'Globalisation and Health Systems Change'. In Globalisation and Health, Pathways, Evidence and Policy. Ed. by Labonté, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C., and Runnels, V. Routledge
  • Lister, J. (2008) The NHS after 60: for patients or profits? Middlesex University Press
  • Lister, J. (2007) Globalisation and Health Systems Change (monograph). WHO Commission on Social Lister, J. (2005) Driving the wrong way? A Critical Guide to Health Reform Industry. Middlesex: Middlesex University Press
  • Lister, J. (2005) Cleaners' Voices. UNISON
  • Lister, J. (2003) The PFI Experience, Voices from the Front Line. UNISON
  • Lister, J. (1999) The Care Gap. UNISON
  • Caldwell, K., Francome, C., and Lister, J. (1998) The Envy of the World. NHS Support Federation
  • Lister, J. (1988) 'The history of the NHS'. In Cutting the Lifeline: Fight for the National Health Service.
  • Lister, J. (ed.) (1988) Cutting the Lifeline. Journeyman Press
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University of the year shortlisted
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