Thursday, 30 June 2011

Smoking ban sees rising numbers switching to E-Lites electronic cigarettes

The growing popularity of E-Lites has been quite phenomenal over the past few months, report their manufacturers.

Today Friday 1st July marks the fourth anniversary of the UK ban on smoking. But back in 2007, very few people would have foreseen that by 2011 many smokers would be switching to so-called electronic cigarettes for the freedom to smoke almost anywhere they want to smoke.

Top UK brand E-Lites have seen a steep rise in sales during 2011, with 20% month-on-month growth since January. The growth of the electronic cigarettes market as a whole is estimated at being an impressive 500% from 2010 to 2011.

E-Lites have the advantage of being significantly cheaper and healthier than conventional cigarettes, but it is the fact that there is NO restriction on their use in public places that is often cited as a key factor by those who make the switch.

With pubs across the UK closing at a rate of about 25 per week and the smoking ban regularly blamed as a reason for this, many smart landlords have taken the step of selling e-cigarettes to keep smokers coming through their doors.

One such landlord is Reg Pearson, landlord of The Robin Hood pub in Clifton Reynes, Buckinghamshire. He said: “I came across E-Lites and was struck by the novelty factor at first, but they have become a big hit among several of our regulars. It means they can sit in the bar and enjoy a smoke while drinking, without being forced outside in all weathers.

“The other important thing is that they don’t upset other customers, because they just produce a harmless vapour that doesn’t smell. Pubs have always had to adapt to change and I think this is one of the ways we can move forward.”

E-cigarettes are a fast-growing trend. In the UK alone, there are now over 900,000 individual Google searches for ‘electronic cigarettes’ every month. World-wide stars like Johnny Depp, Katherine Heigl and Leonardo Di Caprio have all been spotted with e-cigarettes.

E-Lites replicate the experience of smoking with a realistic-looking device that turns a pure nicotine solution into a vapour that is inhaled as with a cigarette.

E-Lites director Dermot Ryan stated: “The growing popularity of E-Lites has been quite phenomenal over the past few months. I think more and more smokers are recognising this product as a genuine, credible and enjoyable alternative to normal cigarettes. In many ways, the smoking ban has really sidelined smokers but with a product like E-Lites they can enjoy the same experience without feeling uncomfortable.”

For more information go to

E-Lites was launched in the UK in 2007 and is already a market leader, they claim to produce some some of the most advanced electronic cigarettes available.

Its latest range of new-generation E-Lites includes the disposable device that provides the equivalent of 40 cigarettes and is priced at £9.99.

Michael Ryan, one of the founding directors of E-Lites, is also chairman of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA), a representative body which provides advice, guidelines and support to members, as well as working to ensure the correct regulatory framework is applied to such products. For more information, visit

(EDITOR: Whilst the consumption of nicotine is, obviously, not a good idea, far better, one would argue, to use a product that doesn't put smoke, tar and the like into the lungs of the smoker and other people.)  

Monday, 27 June 2011

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How Serious Law can help following a brain injury

Suffering a brain injury can have a catastrophic impact on your life, it is a daunting prospect knowing who to turn after such an injury has occurred.

Choosing to claim compensation for this type of injury will not only allow you peace of mind when worrying about the impact the event will have on your earning capability, it will also financially support you and your family who may be in a vulnerable position caring for you following such a serious injury.

Why Serious Law?
Serious Law has over 20 years experience of working with those affected by brain injury, and so argue that they are in the best position to offer help and advice. Their services have been developed based on their experiences working with people like yourself, and they work with medical professionals and leading brain and head injury charities to provide their clients with the best possible assistance during this difficult time.

What help can you receive?
Substantial brain injury compensation awards are possible for those who have suffered from a brain injury that was not their fault. So far, Serious Law have secured over £300 million in personal injury cases, and for some clients who have sustained brain and head injury, in excess of £5 million is possible.

Quite apart from the monetary compensation, more practical assistance can be offered by the specialists at Serious Law. They can arrange private nursing, rehabilitation solutions and modifications to housing and vehicles at no cost to their client.

Contact Serious Law now on 0800 61 66 81.

(EDITOR: Whilst there are some who argue against the so-called compensation culture, it is good to know that if someone has received a brain injury through no fault of their own that has impacted on their abilities to earn a living or to function in their roles as wife, husband or parent, that there are people like Serious Law who can offer skilled advice and legal representation, should this be required.)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Dust Mite Allergies & How To Tackle Them

The house dust mite is one of the most potent and common triggers of allergic reactions like hay fever symptoms (running eyes, sneezing), asthma (wheezing, breathing difficulties) and childhood eczema.

House dust mites are tiny (200-300 micron long) eight-legged creatures related to the spider and they are found in every human habitation. There are two common species of dust mites – the European house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) and the American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae).

It is not dust mite itself which is the allergen, but digestive enzymes (proteins) contained in its droppings. The whole droppings themselves are particles between 4 and 20 microns in size, but may crumble into smaller particles that can be as small as 0.5 microns across.

How to kill dust mite?

Here are some important facts about house dust mites which you can use to help rid your home of this pest.

• The fight is ongoing – dust mites are everywhere and they keep being carried into your home on people’s clothing, for instance. So look for long-term solutions which will reduce your dust mite burden.
• Dust mites are to be found mainly in bedding, soft furnishings and carpets. It is easy to disturb them – getting into and out of bed, for example – and throw up a large cloud of dust mite allergens.
• House dust mites feed on the skin scales in dust.
• Mites prefer humid conditions. To survive they absorb water from the air and when humidity is less than 50% they tend to dry out

Allergy Cosmos, good tips for keeping house dust mites under control:

• If you are thinking of serious home improvements, think about replacing upholstered sofas and armchairs with leather or vinyl covered furniture, which house dust mites cannot penetrate. Consider replacing carpets with hard flooring. This will create an entirely new environment which will help to reduce the dust mite burden in your home.

• Tackle dust mites in bedding – Washing bedding regularly with allergy friendly laundry detergent such as Allergen Wash from Allersearch, available at
• Damp dust everywhere regularly to get rid of the house dust mite source of food. Use an effective allergy dust spray such as ADS or ADMS from Allersearch, it will destroy the allergy symptom causing protein on contact. Get rid of any clutter where more dust can build up.
• It is crucial to get rid of dampness in your home. Ventilate by opening windows, and check for condensation in the kitchen and bathroom.
• Last but not least is using an effective air purifier. A good air purifier has a HEPA or HEPA-like filter, a high filtration efficiency and is strong enough to clean the area in question. Allergy Cosmos offers free expert consultations

How to get rid of dust mite allergens?

Killing dust mites by lowering humidity and removing dust will help to remove dust mite allergens in your home. However, allergen will still persist in bedding, soft furnishings and so on. Vacuum (we recommend Miele), use a good air purifier (ideally IQAir from Allergy Cosmos), dust with an allergy friendly cleaning product, and wash laundry with Allergen Wash from Allersearch to remove as much allergens as possible.

Fouled beds, lack of education, poor support for front line workers, reduction in continence care

An article by ARC Healthcare, carried by That's Health as a public service

“The NHS changes will not affect front line workers” Said the Prime Minister.

We believe it is a rather naïve approach to belief that senior managers in the NHS will not cut or change the staff employed in care to address the economic pressures they are under.

The reduction in the budgets led us to believe that savings were essential in the long term. However the knee jerk reaction of local authorities resulted in the reduction of many staff. The changes and goals were “too much too quick “.

The press has been full of incontinence issues recently. Mothers and fathers not getting correct care, relatives finding loved ones in beds of urine and faeces, older people not receiving products to allow them some dignity. If we did not know better it reads like a Dickens story of old work houses. Florence Nightingale even tried to give patients some dignity and prevent the basic problems occurring such as malnutrition and dehydration.

Where has it all gone so wrong?

We understand the demands on the health services but not every patient requires an expensive treatment, some require basic nursing care. The demise of the enrolled nurse worried many of us long enough in employment, to realize who would be left to “nurse” the patient’s .The introduction of the degree nurses were seen as the way forward to a more academically qualified profession. These nurses arrived on the wards with a lot of knowledge but found it difficult to put it into practice .We believe the nursing profession requires a combination of specialists and those with highly complex skills as well as the nurse who can carry out the essential necessities of caring for the patient ,such as toileting and feeding.

Present perceived concerns are two fold,

1. Why are senior clinical specialists systematically being downgraded or their jobs being changed into pure management roles? Who is the role model being left to carry out the clinical supervision of junior staff, as so often quoted the clinical leader?

2. Who will carry out the” trained skills “around basic health requirements if NVQ levels vanish? The feeding and washing ,the mouth care .The toileting care and fluid intake required to ensure dehydration, constipation and pressure sores do not occur
Bladder and Bowel care are fundamental to good care; they are the barometer of how the patient is responding to treatments and management.

Education and training has sadly been the first thing to vanish. The reduction of front line staff across all disciplines has further led to staff being unable to access training due to these shortages.

ARC Healthcare, having recently launched an on line journal free to all front line workers offering them a chance to interact with other professionals and read practical articles has seen an increase in their web site activity.

This highlights the need of these staff for knowledge to improve the quality of care for whom they care for with dignity and respect.

For further details visit

Pruhealth is now Nectar's exclusive healthcare partner

PruHealth customers can now collect up to 200 Nectar points and 10 Vitality points each week when buying £20 worth of healthy foods during the weekly shop at Sainsbury's, under PruHealth's new and exclusive partnership with Nectar, the largest loyalty programme in the UK.

Enhancing PruHealth's existing partnership with Sainsbury's, the innovative insurer that rewards healthy behaviour has become Nectar's exclusive healthcare partner within the programme.

Policyholders with Nectar membership can now receive 10 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's on over 1,500 healthy foods. Customers will also be rewarded 1 Vitality point for every £2 spent on healthy foods, which contributes towards discounts with PruHealth's reward partners and cashback on the individual's policy.

Furthermore, Nectar customers wishing to join PruHealth will receive 5,000 Nectar points for taking out a new private medical insurance policy, meaning they could potentially collect up to 15,400 Nectar points in the first year, as well as 520 Vitality points.

Recent findings from PruHealth indicate a third of British adults (33%) want to improve their diets and eat more healthily in 2011, and PruHealth and Nectar are committed to helping their members live a healthy lifestyle.

Dr Katie Tryon at PruHealth commented: "We all know what we should be doing to look after ourselves, but we need encouragement to implement these changes into our lifestyle on an ongoing basis. Incentivising healthy behaviour is our core philosophy and we believe our healthy foods initiative can help drive behavioural change amongst our members. We are extremely excited about the possibilities presented by our new partnership with Nectar and our enhanced relationship with Sainsbury's and look forward to developing further initiatives in the future."

The innovative insurer hopes the rewards offer an attractive incentive for members to eat healthily, while also providing an attractive proposition for new customers as well. One in ten (12%) British adults said receiving discounts for leading a healthy lifestyle would be an incentive to take out private medical insurance.

James Frost, marketing director at Nectar said: "We are really pleased to be part of this innovative partnership. Not only can our collectors now earn points on health insurance through PruHealth but by purchasing the right products at Sainsbury's they can earn points five times faster than usual. We also believe there's a lot more potential to use the Nectar currency to reward other positive lifestyle or behavioural choices in the future."

(EDITOR: Another reason to do your shop at Sainsbury's? An interesting idea, though I personally despise the word incentivise!)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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Monday, 20 June 2011

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Let's do this toegether! Give your feet a treet. Keep them sweet

Are you an average person? If you are, you could be walking about 920,000 steps this summer. That's a lot of walking. And it makes sense to ensure that we make certain we have the right kind of footwear.

And foot specialist TOG is offering its Top Ten Tips for Tip Top Toes.

Dr. Paul Barratt, who is the Medical Director with TOG Orthotics, points out: “Every summer we see an increase of people visiting their doctors or pharmacists with foot complaints. It’s not that summer is a particularly dangerous season but because our feet are often something of an afterthought: people don’t tend to focus on them until they want to get them out on display.

“As with all aspects of health, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. That’s why we’re asking the nation to take on board our Top Ten Tips for Tip Top Toes. Our simple tips are so easy there’s no excuse for not following them. As we’ve seen this past week, even celebrities such as Victoria Beckham can suffer without proper foot care.”

Top Ten Tips for Tip Top Toes

1. Don’t ignore your feet. Really get to know them, and inspect them regularly. This way you’ll easily spot any changes in their appearance that could flag potential problems. Today’s red mark is tomorrow’s blister!

2. Dry between your toes. You wouldn’t wash your hands and not dry between your fingers, but not drying properly between toes is a common mistake that can lead to foot problems..

3. Moisturise feet daily – but not all over. You need to use lotions or creams on a regular basis – especially when wearing open shoes that can help the skin lose moisture. However, do not use lotion between toes (see above) or on nails, instead concentrate on the heels and soles of your feet.

4. Wear high factor (over 30SPF) suncream. The skin on your feet very rarely gets to see the sun and so it is not acclimatised and can burn easily. Nothing says ‘ruined holiday’ like swollen, sunburned feet.

5. Remove hard skin but ensure you do this gently. We know it might look tough, but under every bit of hard skin, there is a piece of soft skin just waiting to get out. With this in mind, remove skin gently, preferably when your skin is softened by being in the bath or shower.

6. Cut toenails properly. That is, straight across. Never cut the corners as this can lead to problems. File sharp edges, gently, with an emery board.

7. Keep feet dry. As a rule, feet don’t like moisture and it can lead to problems from blisters to infections. If your feet are ‘glowing’ and your socks or tights are sweaty, change them. Similarly, if your shoes get wet, allow them to dry out fully before wearing them again.

8. Wash – don’t soak – feet. Too much soaking can cause the natural oils in your feet to become unbalanced, leading to dry, cracked skin. Too much wet can lead to dry? We don’t make the rules, we just share them.

9. Don’t assume flat is best. While it is generally true that a flat shoe is better for your feet than a stiletto, don’t assume that flat necessarily equates to healthy.

10. Don't walk barefoot. A bit of an obvious one, but without shoes or sandals it is easy for your feet to get injured or infected. We all remember the days of verrucas and the rubber sock. Let’s leave those memories where they belong.

To find out more about TOG, and TOG GaitScan™, the most technologically advanced gait analysis system available in the world, please visit

(EDITOR'S TIP: When your shoes are soaking wet, stuff newspaper into the toes. This helps absorb water and helps shoes retain their shape. And apologies for the dreadful pun in the headline)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Anyone for the exercise tennis can bring?

With Wimbledon around the corner, Esporta Health and Racquets Clubs are offering free tennis memberships... but only if Andy Murray takes the crown.

Murray is on a high after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to lift his second Queen’s title, the other day.

If he wins the Championships the health clubs will give every new tennis member that joins before the tournament’s first match on June 20th a share of up to £250,000 worth of waived fees.

To celebrate the launch of this exciting campaign, Will Singleton, an Esporta tennis expert, talks about how tennis is incredible exercise and offers advice to wannabe champions about getting involved in this fantastic sport.

What are the exercise benefits of tennis?

"Tennis is a sport that generates a high heart rate and is excellent for cardiovascular calorie burn. It’s also fun, social and highly competitive, which is a great motivator to keep going and enjoy a real long-term benefit."

"It also works all the muscle groups and is great for stamina. The same is true of any racquet sports, such as squash and badminton."

Isn't it expensive?

"Not at all. Clubs usually provide equipment for beginners, so the financial outlay is low. You can also get a decent racquet for £20-£30."

"Esporta encourages beginners with a sport called soft tennis, a cross between squash and tennis played on a court. The ball is soft rubber and it focuses on movement and fitness, making it an ideal first step into the game."

OK, so how do I really get stuck into it?:

“Tennis professionals can help you take the first steps into the sport and steer your development. Plus, if you take lessons, you meet other players who can offer advice and encouragement."

“We know from research that there are loads of people out there that are interested by tennis but have never given themselves the push needed to take it up and get involved. Now, thanks to Esporta backing Andy Murray, they have a reason."

“Esporta is also developing free beginner classes to further promote this wonderful sport. The message is: Don’t be shy - give it a go!”

For more information visit

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

SEHTA announces details of Telecare/Telehealth Meet the Buyers Event - 2011

Opportunity to learn more about £23 million funding

SEHTA, The South East Healthcare Technologies Alliance, has announced details of its Telecare and Telehealth Meet the Buyers event, which will take place this year at the British Medical Association, BMA House, in London on 12th of July.

ICE-T Meet the Buyers 2011 will bring together the largest Telecare and Telehealth procurers and best service and technology providers for partnering, networking and potential deal-making. Online partnering for the event will go live this week.

A highlight of this year’s event is the chance to learn more about DALLAS – the new £23 million Technology Strategy Board Assisted Living Innovation Platform funding competition.

At ICE-T Meet the Buyers 2011, sellers have the chance to meet with up to 30 major international buyers of Telecare and Telehealth products and services. Buyers include private and public sector health and social care providers, global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, national pharmacy chains, communications and electronics multinationals and investors.

Delegates will have the opportunity to meet the best commissioners and purchasers of Telecare and Telehealth systems, all in one place on one day. Once registered, they can preview details of participating buyers, make contact before the event and pre-book up to twelve 30-minute one-to-one partnering meetings.

The DALLAS programme – Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale – will establish up to five sites across the UK, with a minimum of 10,000 users at each location, and will show how assisted living technologies and services can be used to promote well-being and provide top quality health and care, enabling people to live independently. The programme will also help to grow the sector in the UK and help British companies to take advantage of increasing global demand for assisted living.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £18 million over four years to show how new technologies and innovative services can help support independent living for older people and people living with long-term conditions, and improve their quality of life.

To find out more visit

Access Legal announces appointment of Nicholas Tubb to medical negligence team

Access Legal from Shoosmiths, the national consumer legal services provider, has announced it has managed to secure the services of Nicholas Tubb as its new partner in the medical negligence team.

Tubb has joined Access Legal from Challinors' clinical negligence department and will be based in Access Legal's Birmingham office.

Tubb has considerable experience in the sector and has specialised in medical negligence claims on behalf of patients and their families for over 10 years. He has a particular interest in complex cases and a wide experience of claims involving surgical errors and deaths following treatment. He also has a keen interest in getting answers for patients and their families.

A partner since 2005, Tubb has successfully pursued complex birth injury, brain and spinal injury claims for clients, securing a number of multi-million pound awards.

He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association, and is a panel member of AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents).

The team at Access Legal from Shoosmiths is growing and it is considered that Nicholas Tubb will strengthen its medical negligence offering.

Richard Follis, partner and national head of medical negligence for Access Legal, said: "Ours is a growing team at a time when there's a worrying rise in the number of patients receiving inadequate or negligent care at the hands of health professionals.

"Nick's knowledge in this highly specialised area, plus his excellent contacts and connections in the city and the wider region, will undoubtedly bolster our already strong team."

Access Legal from Shoosmiths is the new consumer brand of top 30 national law firm Shoosmiths. With offices in Basingstoke, Birmingham, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Reading and Southampton, Access Legal from Shoosmiths offers in excess of 100 services to individuals and their families, whether they are buying a house, buying shared ownership housing, claiming compensation for injuries or writing a will.

Services are grouped under seven headings: conveyancing; employment law services; legal disputes; medical negligence solicitors; motoring law; personal injury claims; and wills, family and wealth.

Access Legal from Shoosmiths makes it easier for people to get specialist advice from legal professionals. Shoosmiths has over 150 years' experience and advises household name corporate clients.

For details please visit

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

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Monday, 13 June 2011

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Easiphone enables Elderly & Disabled to be better connected & offers their family and carers peace of mind

Michael Kerstein had the best kind of motivation to start supplying assistive technology phones with additional telicare services. He went shopping for a new phone for his Dad!

“My dad is 89, on medication and lives 170 miles away. I visit him when I can, however the distance and being worried about his health means that the phone is a vital life line for us both. When I started looking for a phone that was easy for him to use I realised there were great products on the market but many offerings depended on having someone there for you to set it all up. If half of people over the age of 75 in the UK live on their own many people who need assistive technology phones don’t have that luxury.."

In May 2011, Michael set up offering a selection of large button mobiles and telephones suitable for the elderly and disabled in the UK. In addition, Easiphone has unique telicare services which offer pre programming of friends and family and a daily reminder service which sends text or vocal messages to prompt people to remember appointments, when to take their medication, or simple things like birthdays. Customers can receive the phone pre programmed with important contacts and emergency numbers.

Research from Age UK highlights 55% of people over the age of 60 are deaf or hard of hearing, 28% of people over the age of 65 have problems with their eyesight and dementia affects 1 in 6 over the age of 80. Yet 17% have less than weekly contact with family, friends and neighbours.

According to charity Independent Age ‘loneliness is as threatening to health as smoking and obesity’. A big button phone which is hearing aid compatible, easy to read and use, with added features such as alarms, daily reminders, pre-programmed friends and family - is not only useful in emergencies but vital to keep elderly and disabled people feeling independent yet socially included and in touch with friends.

As Michael says: "At Easiphone all our products are easy to use, easy to hear and easy to see. Our telicare services can help the most vulnerable be better connected & offer peace of mind for family, friends and carers who cannot be there 24/7"

To celebrate National Carers Week Easiphone are offering free friends and family pre programming and 1 months daily reminders telicare package with every phone purchased between now and 30th June 2011.

To find out more visit

Bupa care homes roll out the red carpet for Cannes Film Festival Experince

Bupa care homes residents from all over the UK rolled out the red carpet as they added a local twist to the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Altogether over 250 care homes, including dementia care homes, transformed rooms into in-house cinemas and put on showings of some real classic films.

Staff joined in the fun, too, dressing up as famous film stars like Charlie Chaplin, and cinema ushers to bring the festival to life. Care home residents were served popcorn and ice cream during the film intervals. The homes were also joined by local entertainers to serenade the residents with their favourite show tunes.

Each home was provided with a selection of iconic movie star photographs in order to set really the scene.

Penny Leng, Bupa Care Homes' national activities manager, said: "Our residential and care home staff really went the extra mile to recreate the cinema experience so residents had the chance to feel part of the action.

"It was a fantastic way to appreciate the glitz and glamour of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as offering a great opportunity for our residents to reminisce and talk about their favourite legends of the silver screen.

"Many of our residents remember the bygone era of when going to the cinema was a really thrilling experience, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed bringing that sense of excitement to life in our homes."

This year marked the 64th Cannes Film Festival, which took place from 11-22 May. Known as the world's oldest and most esteemed showcase for European films, movie stars and producers flock to the festival each year to launch their new films.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Hundreds of hospitals could be using unproven medical bags, according to research

Some 30% of UK hospitals could be transporting diagnostic specimens in medical bags that may not meet international guidelines, says new recent research.

UK-based Versapak has reviewed market data which indicates many hospitals may not be using bags that carry proof of compliance, either because they are unaware of the relevant guidelines, or their supplier has failed to provide the required certification to demonstrate full compliance.

Versapak worked closely with the Department for Transport (DfT) five years ago to develop a range of medical bags that are fully compliant with the newly-introduced PI650 packaging instructions contained in guideline UN3373.

An awareness campaign was launched at the time but Versapak fears many hospitals still may not be able to confirm beyond doubt whether the bags they use are compliant.

The guideline refers to ‘Category B’ substances, usually non-infectious blood and organ samples, transported for testing, and specifies that packaging must comprise a primary receptacle, secondary packaging and outer packaging. The first two elements should be leak-proof and the overall package marked with the code ‘UN3373’ and be strong enough to pass a drop test of at least 1.2m.

Versapak group sales director Steve Waller said: “Before the new guidelines were introduced, there were alarming stories of diagnostic specimens being carried around in everything from cardboard boxes to toolboxes. That clearly had huge implications for hygiene and security which needed to be addressed. There were also concerns from transport and logistics professionals in the health sector about the comfort and safety of staff carrying around heavy or cumbersome vessels like that.

“What we aimed for was to design a new type of bag, which had a sufficiently robust structure and secure seals to comply with the guidelines. We made sure that our bags could survive the drop test completely unscathed and, with every order received, we provide the certification that confirms this.
“Having spoken to medical transport staff as part of our research, we were also very keen to make sure our bags were comfortable and user-friendly, so we developed a soft outer shell with carry handles.”

Versapak has supplied bags to approximately two-thirds of NHS hospitals, private hospitals and clinics since launching the approved range, but is strongly urging the remainder to ensure they have proof their bags meet all the criteria of the UN3373 guidelines.

“Take-up of the compliant Versapak bags has been very good but we’re mindful there are a large number of hospitals that haven’t yet placed orders with us. We simply want to help ensure they feel comfortable the particular bags they are using are in line with the UN3373 guidelines.”

Versapak supplies a wide range of compliant products to hospitals including secure and tamper-evident bags for blood, vaccines, specimens, pathology samples, X-rays and medical records.

Visit for details.

For Video news covering this story please visit our sister site, That's New TV

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

How much does poor health cost? “About £17.7 billion a year” claims Bupa

Bupa has reported unhealthy Britons are costing the NHS, employers and themselves £17.7 billion every year through their lifestyle choices.

This is according to new research from the international healthcare group. This figure could rise to almost £33bn a year by 2025 if current health trends continue.

The study calculated immediate and long-term potential savings to individuals and the public purse if obesity rates stop rising; the 26 per cent of smokers who attempt to quit each year are successful; and excessive drinkers bring their intake down to recommended levels.

According to the findings, making healthier lifestyle choices like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and becoming more active can have an immediate impact on people's wallets. Signing up for health cash plans could also help save money if medical problems do arise, which could be found by undergoing health assessments like a liver check or a coronary health check.

By 2025, if healthier lifestyles are adopted the total savings made by individuals alone across the UK could amount to £22 billion a year, two thirds of the potential annual savings of £33 billion.

The £22 billion comes from savings of £5 billion and £3.9 billion through reduced expenditure on alcohol and cigarettes respectively and £7.4 billion saved in additional earning potential due to increased life expectancy from quitting smoking. Individuals could also save £1.7 billion through increased employment and £3.9 billion through increased earning potential due to a fall in obesity levels. (EDITOR: The figures released by Bupa seem not to show the impact of any losses in tax revenues or consequent job losses as a result in decreased sales in tobacco or alcohol products.)

The findings of the report also outline the long-term financial implications of healthier lifestyles to employers and the NHS, which make up the remainder of the £33 billion figure.

Dr Johann Carinus, assistant medical director, Bupa Health and Wellbeing, said: "This study not only reveals the true cost to the nation of unhealthy lifestyle choices but it also highlights the considerable savings to the public purse which could be achieved through individual commitments to health improvement.

"Data released earlier this year from the Bupa 'Health Age' report showed nearly 70% of people in the UK wanted to make a positive change to improve their health in 2011. While ultimately it's up to individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices, there is a huge opportunity for healthcare providers and employers to play their part in empowering individuals to live more healthily. The benefits for everyone are clear."

To coincide with the new findings, Bupa is launching the "Bupa Health Pledge" campaign, calling on the public to make a Pledge to achieve their health goals - whether it's to quit smoking, cut down on alcohol, eat more healthily or do more exercise. Bupa has launched a simple tool that allows members of the public to track their progress on a specific Health Pledge and access information, free expert advice and support needed to make the desired change, all on its Facebook page.

As Bupa's own Health Pledge, the healthcare company is also committing to donate £1 to the British Heart Foundation for everyone who signs up to a Pledge.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Acne. A Distressing condition with a natural solution

Acne. It's natural and it is distressing. However, there appears to be a safe and natural treatment that just might help sufferers from Acne.

Antiac, is a natural, peroxide and paraben-free product for treating acne, and it was rated best acne product in an independent volunteer-led trial on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic programme. Programme producers chose Antiac to compare with four other non-prescription acne products to be trialled for one week by five acne sufferers. Salcura Antiac “stopped shine and got deep down into the pores to banish blemishes.”

The results of the trial were broadcast in Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic on Channel 4 on June 1st which can be viewed online via Channel 4’s 4oD at

Antiac – What Is It?
It's made from only natural ingredients, Antiac is an effective, but gentle, alternative to harsh chemical-based alternatives that contain hydrogen peroxide, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, retinoids and/or salicylic acid.

How does it work? Antiac treats acne in three ways: It has a cleansing action disinfecting and reducing inflammation, so treating both cause and effect of the condition at the same time.

Ingredients like Sea Buckthorn and Aloe treat inflammation and promote skin healing. Tea-tree, Sandalwood, Manuka and Nerolina oils combat the bacteria which causes the acne in the first place, and all have proven anti-fungal and anti-septic actions.

Antiac’s all natural formula is ideal for acne sufferers who have sensitive skin, and is also suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The Antiac product is in a liquid form, in a pump-action spray. A spray has several advantages over ointments or cream: It lasts longer as less of it is used each time, and is distributed as very fine particles, so allowing deeper and faster penetration of the skin. And this is obviously important as it boosts absorption into the skin’s deeper layers.

Acne is the most common type of skin condition, with some around 80% of 11 to 30-year-olds affected.

Most acne cases in girls occur between the ages of 14 to 17, and in boys the condition is most common in 16 to 19 year-olds. People’s symptoms normally go away in their twenties, but in some cases it continues into adult life, with some 5% of women and 1% of men over 25 continuing to experience symptoms.

The five other acne treatment brands trialled in the programme include Clearasil, Simple, Aknicare and No! No!

Where can you get Salcura Products? All Salcura products, including Antiac are available at Or you can pop into Boots and a number of other chemists.
Selected Salcura products are available at Boots stores and online, as well as in selected pharmacies across the UK.

Why was Salcura developed? In the 1990s German bio-scientist, Dr Martin Schiele, was looking for a treatment for the skin conditions caused to factory workers who were handling chemicals.

It worked, much to their delight. But it was noticed that Schiele’s combination of natural ingredients was also proving very efficient at dealing with other skin conditions.

So after ten years of research and refining of the formula, the Salcura brand was born. It now has a wide range of products for skin condition like acne, but also eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, offering relief for those wanting an effective, natural alternative to chemical-based products.

Life Line Screening has published the results of its private health screening survey

Private health screening is becoming popular in the UK and in Ireland. Whilst there are metrics on the benefits of screenings in detecting potentially life-threatening conditions early, so helping to prevent conditions like strokes and cardiovascular disease, Life Line Screening's report looks to provide more evidence relating to the effects of screenings on modifying behavioural change.

One area of debate about health screening is that certain types of health screening can lead to "false reassurance". An individual who has a screening may form the opinion that they have a clean bill of health if no risk factors were identified.

So, unfortunately, they may opt to pay less attention to their overall health which might tend to make them lead a less healthy lifestyle than they would otherwise.

The aim of the research is to look deeper at this hypothesis and learn a greater understanding of the motivations of patients who have health screenings, but that this should be based on evidence and not on what it describes as: 'subjective judgements'.

It intends to understand the proportions of individuals who choose to improve their health as well as the number of people who choose not to.

136 people who had Life Line Screening health screenings were surveyed last July (2010) by a researcher from Addenbrookes Hospital. They were invited to answers questions based on their perceptions on health and lifestyle changes as a result of having had a screening.

When asked "Did going for a screening make you think more about your health?" 77% answered yes. Participants were also asked if they have made any positive changes to their lifestyle following their screening. 51% said they had begun eating more healthily, 45% had started exercising more than before (18% of the total had tried a new exercise), 35% reported losing weight, 71% had focused on keeping weight at a healthy level, 60% were careful about alcohol consumption, 52% commented they were controlling their stress levels, 30% reported they had read more health-focussed publications and 74% paid more attention to their overall health.

Only 7% of all responders commented that they had led less-healthy lifestyle following their screening.

What is Life Line Screening? What do they do? A spokesman said: “At Life Line Screening, our mission is to make people who may be showing no symptoms aware of unrecognised health problems and encourage them to seek follow-up care with their GP. It is a multi-national leading provider of community-based preventative professional health screening - serving the UK, Ireland and the United States.

Life Line Screening use advanced ultrasound equipment, the same as found in hospitals, and screenings are performed by highly trained healthcare professionals.

“Since Life Line Screening's inception in 1993, it has screened over 6 million people, and currently screen over 1 million people each year at over 20,000 screening events. Through this experience, Life Line Screening often identifies serious health issues and has helped save thousands of lives. It is dedicated to providing the highest quality preventive screenings at affordable rates.

“The Life Line Screening website also features a number of Life Line Screening reviews and personal stories from people who have had screenings in the past.”
To find out more visit

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Report suggests 60% of European doctors use Wikipedia professionally

A new and intriguing report from global marketing research agency Insight Research Group has revealed that 60% of European doctors use Wikipedia for professional use.

A total of 300 GPs were interviewed across Europe for the report that examined how regularly doctors are accessing the social web for both professional and personal reasons. The headline statistic has surprised many in the industry, which jumps to 69% when analysing the number of European GPs using social media sites for professional use outside of just Wikipedia (including FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter).

On the site itself, the online encyclopaedia states: “...Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous internet volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles... users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or with their real identity, if they choose.”

“The issue that needs debate is whether this is a surprise to patients and doctors alike, as it is clearly a forum GPs do refer to,” points out Damian Eade, a director at Insight Research Group.

“The report is certainly not saying Wikipedia, and other social platforms, are not exceptional fonts of knowledge for the public. But should it be a sensible and reliable place for medical professionals to turn to?”

The report highlighted that across Europe the social web isn't just a method embraced by younger doctors. Across all markets a surprising 75% of doctors in the 51-60 age groups stated that they regularly used Wikipedia for professional use.”

And it seems the web has become integral to the whole experience of visiting your doctor. Half of those doctors interviewed (50%) are recommending specific websites for patients to visit, following their consultations. 87% advising certain sites for further background or education on their condition, 70% for additional support and advice and 69% for more information regarding treatment and medication.

The report further reinforces the view of many that we are living in the era of the ‘ePatient’ - where the web has become a trusted tool for not only daily tasks, but also health-related matters, too.

“The ePatient is here to stay. But we have to investigate whether patients are accessing the right type of websites when it comes to health issues they, or their loved ones, are facing,” continued Damian.

“Whether it’s researching illnesses, sharing experiences, making recommendations or providing moral support for other patients around the world, the social web has reinvented health advice, and we need to make sure the right advice is on hand for people.”

According to the Office for national statistics, 42% of Britons have sought health-related information online within the past three months, and nearly a fifth of web users use the web as their first port of call when investigating a health concern. Whether the news today of doctors using sites like Wikipedia for their own professional use is going to help the situation, or not, remains to be seen.

“Tobacco Amnesty” sees hundreds of smokers ditch cigarettes for electronic, healthier alternative

 A ‘Tobacco Amnesty’ supported by famous TV doctor Hilary Jones (PCTURED) saw hundreds of smokers ditch their old ciggies in favour of healthier E-Lites electronic cigarettes.

The pioneering initiative happened took on World No Tobacco Day at London's Liverpool Street Station. Commuters were given the opportunity to try smoking without tobacco or tar by binning their old cigarettes in exchange for one of E-Lites’ revolutionary new disposable electronic cigarettes.

E-Lites replicate the smoking experience with a realistic-looking device that turns a pure nicotine solution into a vapour that is inhaled just like a cigarette.

E-Lites director Adrian Everett explains: “The response on the day was astounding. Far beyond our best expectations. People were fascinated to find that there’s a credible alternative to real cigarettes that is healthier, cheaper and unrestricted for use in public places.

“The interest in our Tobacco Amnesty proves beyond doubt that smokers who are struggling to stop, or simply don’t want to quit, are open to new ideas, and just as VHS videotapes have been overtaken by DVDs and digital downloads, we believe E-Lites will render cigarettes outdated before too long.”

Dr Hilary Jones, who was at Tobacco Amnesty to offer advice and encourage smokers to take part, said: "As a GP, I'm more aware than most of the detrimental health effects of smoking tobacco. I see the short-term and long-term effects and have lost far too many patients needlessly through chronic lung disease and heart disease caused by smoking.

“I've seen disabilities caused by amputations as a result of circulatory problems, again caused by smoking. Of course, we have NHS smoking cessation clinics, nicotine replacement therapy and various forms of medication available on prescription. (EDITOR: A much-loved uncle lost a leg due to his smoking, so there is a personal element to this story. If only electronic cigarettes had been available back then)

“Electronic cigarettes are another alternative for people who want to avoid the known carcinogenic effects and other by-products of smoking tobacco. I understand the addictive power of smoking and there are some people who like the hand-to-mouth habit and the inhalation of nicotine. If they can't quit completely, then this is a healthier option."


E-Lites ( was established in the UK in 2007 and is already a leader in its field, producing some of the most advanced electronic cigarettes on the market. The company is expanding nationally and internationally as demand grows for its innovative products.

Its latest range of new-generation E-Lites includes the disposable device that was handed out at the recent Tobacco Amnesty. The product provides the equivalent of 40 cigarettes and is priced at £9.99.

Michael Ryan, one of the founding directors of E-Lites, is also chairman of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA), a representative body which provides advice, guidelines and support to members, as well as working to ensure the correct regulatory framework is applied to such products. For more information, visit