HSJ notches up issue number 6,000

Health Service Journal celebrates its 6,000th issue this month, 144 years after it was first published as The Poor Law Officers’ Journal, for the "ventilation" of the opinions of those working in public health.

In a period which has taken the UK through mass vaccination, two world wars, the establishment of the NHS and the advent of HIV, editor Nick Edwards said that the big issues remained the same: "Balancing local freedoms with central accountability."

The Emap weekly, which relaunched in late 2004 and saw circulation hit 21,265 last year, has a reputation for breaking major health stories before the national press and broadcasters.

The magazine published a special issue last week, tracing the history of the magazine and discussing its future in the digital age.

Edwards said: "HSJ has grown through many shapes and eras to the weekly mixture of news, analysis and opinion that it is today.

"From Beveridge to Bevan to Blair, from 1892 to 18 weeks, HSJ has chronicled the efforts to make things run better than they do and to share good practice.

"With the revamp we wanted a magazine that looked as good as it read, had more variety, was more useful and reflected the complexity of our readers’ lives.

"Part of the process was learning a lot more about our readers, and their hopes and fears.

"I think we’re one of the best magazines at keeping close to our readers."

Editorial director Alastair McLellan said: "When we get to issue 7,000 in about 2026, I expect that HSJ will be as well known for its events, online activities and other services broadly linked to helping managers and their colleagues do their jobs better, as it has been for the print publication over the previous 6,000."

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