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Dr Richard Biddle

Writer and Researcher

I am an associate lecturer with the Open University, where I teach early modern European history and nineteenth century British history. My specialism is medical history, where I have published work on health and the royal dockyards. I am also a writer and researcher for Colostomy UK.

What Shall I Put You Down For?

At this time of year, there is an unwritten rule amongst us men: show no weakness. If your partner or children (whatever
11/12/2017 16:33 GMT

Just How Important Are Charity Cake Sales?

What happens when the state takes a backseat in matters of health and welfare? Roll back the clock to Victorian times and you find an answer: voluntary organisations step in and attempt to fill the breach. Often referred to by historians as the 'age of philanthropy', the nineteenth century witnessed an extraordinary growth in this sector.
27/09/2017 12:02 BST

Travelling Light? Yes, Just 50 Bags...

<img alt="everybody banner" src="" width="300" height="35" />Imagine though, going through this ordeal with the added complication of a hidden disability or condition... perhaps as a deaf person or as a person with autism. Maybe, instead, you have a stoma. A stoma is where the bowel and/or bladder is diverted through the abdomen so that bodily waste can pass into a stoma bag.
18/07/2017 14:49 BST

Fight For Your Monkey Closet!

The fact is, being able to access a toilet while you are out and about is vital to everyone, regardless of age or gender. For some groups in society it is particularly important. Take people with bowel and bladder conditions, sometimes they simply can't wait. The same applies to small children.
13/06/2017 12:34 BST

Tired Of Being Made 'Aware'? Why You Shouldn't Be

Joking aside (I'm actually very handsome), 'awareness' campaigns have an important function in society. Perhaps their key value lies in their ability to provoke discussion. They make it 'ok' to talk and ask questions about taboo topics.
10/05/2017 11:00 BST

Last Night The BBC's Holby City Got It Wrong

Last night's viewing was compelling, but sometimes broadcasters need to take a little more care with what they screen. Approximately one in 500 people in the UK already have a stoma and the NHS carries out approximately 6,400 colostomy operations each year. I'll leave you to do the maths, but the chances are that last night's negative portrayal will have been watched by more than one 'interested' party. I'm thinking not just about patients in waiting, but also their families and friends too.
13/04/2017 17:27 BST