Monday, 30 January 2012

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust Awards Strategic Health Informatics Contract to Kainos

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust
Using Kainos Evolve EMR, the Acute Trust will digitise all live patient case notes, giving clinicians instant access to accurate, up-to-date case notes at the point of need, yielding on-going savings of £1 million a year.

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust has become the latest major healthcare organisation to commit to a substantial records digitisation project with Kainos. The Trust, which awarded the 5-year contract in October will deploy Evolve® 3, Kainos’s next-generation electronic medical record (EMR) solution.

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust comprises a 600-bed large district General Hospital on the Countess of Chester Health Park, and a 64-bed Intermediate Care Service at Ellesmere Port Hospital. The Trust employs 3500 staff and provides a range of medical services to more than 445,000 patients each year from across Western Cheshire, Ellesmere Port, Neston and North Wales. Its medical records library contains half a million sets of case notes.

Initially, the Trust will draw on Kainos’s expertise in scanning to convert all live patient case notes into digitised form, before later developing the way Evolve will be used by clinicians to deliver more efficient and safer patient care in a user-friendly fashion that delivers real value and efficiencies to clinicians.

Describing the initiative as “one of the biggest projects the Trust is looking to implement over the next two years”, Rob Howorth, Assistant Director of Information Services at the Trust, said Kainos quickly emerged as the clear favourite in the European tender process which began in February 2011, an instinct that was confirmed following a detailed reference visit to one of Kainos’s established healthcare customers, the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.

“All of the staff across a range of disciplines have been tremendously impressed with the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm shown by Kainos throughout the tender process, and now that we are a client,” Rob says.

The Trust’s aim is to embrace a ‘paper-light’ environment, achieving on-going savings of £1 million a year. Expected benefits include the elimination of manual collection and distribution of case notes by administrators, and the time savings and improvements to patient care made possible once clinicians have instant access to accurate, up-to-date case notes at the point of need, irrespective of who else may be viewing the documents at the same time. Says Rob, “Even though our access to patient records is already very good – typically within four hours of an emergency patient being admitted– in future this will be instantaneous.”

In a second phase of the project, the Trust will exploit Evolve’s workflow management capabilities, allowing clinicians to seek advice and refer patients, for example, with links to particular pages in their case notes. “Evolve’s flexibility is excellent,” Rob says. “With the eForms capability, our existing case notes won’t need to be a dead repository; we can turn them into live documents that we can search in detail, and add to over time. This will be of significant benefit to us.”

That Kainos is able to provide a comprehensive support service, from a full scanning service to consultancy and implementation of the Evolve software, was the final clincher to the deal. “We want to get this right first time, so it is great that we have also been able to buy Kainos’s expertise and experience in scanning,” Rob concludes. “I know that this is going to be a very successful partnership.”


Kainos is a technology company with particular expertise in three core markets - healthcare, financial services and public sector.

Evolve® is the flagship Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution in Kainos’s comprehensive suite of healthcare solutions, which cost-effectively automate the creation, capture and handling of medical case notes and operational documents and records.

Evolve customers include the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, For more information please visit

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Intellicig signs Electronic Cigarette deal with Costcutter

intellicig costcutter
Intellicig, the leading Electronic Cigarette company, is continuing to consolidate its market share by forming yet another strategic retail partnership with Costcutter, one of the largest symbol groups in the UK.

With over 1,550 stores across the UK supporting independent retailers and providing a world-class service, Costcutter will make Intellicig Electronic Cigarettes even more readily available to smokers.

The Costcutter maxim of 'Fresh, Local, Value' is one that Intellicig easily subscribes to, being a UK company that has developed and manufactures their ECOpure eliquid in Bioscience Laboratories at Manchester University.

Costcutter stores will be offering Intellicig Rechargeable and Intellicig Disposable electronic cigarettes along with ECOpure Refill Capsules. The Intellicig is not only cheaper than traditional cigarettes; it is less harmful, which is a key factor in smokers making the transition to this realistic alternative.

Tony Sefton, Sales Manager at Intellicig, commented, “The Costcutter partnership represents another successful milestone on our development road map. We are expanding on many fronts, having already sealed UK partnerships with thousands of retailers and pharmacies, and Intellicig products are now widely available to retail customers. We spend a significant amount of time on meticulous planning and preparation so that we can provide retailers, and the end user, with the optimum experience in terms of quality and support.”

The Costcutter brand is a familiar sight in many towns across the UK and is synonymous with quality and value, making Intellicig an ideal product partner. As the cost of smoking increases and more smokers become conscious of the harm caused by cigarettes, this technological marvel, the Intellicig, represents the intelligent choice as it is less harmful and much more affordable. Smokers are now freeing themselves from the stigma of smoking and can indulge in their pleasure without causing harm to others and without creating the odours associated with burning tobacco.

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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Software Europe saves NHS thousands

Software Europe's Expenses Health, already used by over 50 NHS clients, has been selected by six further NHS organisations to help save thousands.

Software Europe, the largest provider of online expenses management solutions to the NHS, is pleased to announce the acquisition of six new Expenses Health contracts.

Software Europe’s Expenses Health has already been selected by in excess of 50 NHS organisations with over 140,000 NHS professionals claiming their expenses online, totalling 1.1 million expenses claims per year. Detailed analysis demonstrates that implementing Expenses Health typically delivers Trusts with an average reduction in spend of 15-20%. Implementation and deployment can occur in as little as five weeks, giving a compelling return.

The online solutions provide a faster and more accurate service for employees, making former paper based processes redundant. It can be used to significantly improve compliance, eliminate errors and provide a cost-reducing and greener service.

One of the key features for expenses is the innovative mileage calculation system, to calculate the exact mileage travelled between postcodes, automatically deducting travel to and from home. The technology even allows for further reimbursement for carrying bulky items, and dependant on how many passengers are present, at each stage of the journey.

This quarter, Care Plus, NAViGO, NHS Nottingham County and City and NHS Berkshire and two other NHS organisations have recognised the innovative product as the appropriate choice to simplify their expenses management processes. The stability offered by Software Europe, who are continuing to see growth despite the uncertain economic climate faced by some businesses, is an influencing factor on these decisions. Software Europe is continually reinvesting into product development and recruitment.

James Thompson Business Development Manager, Software Europe commented that as NHS organisations are challenged to £20 Billion of efficiency savings by 2015, increasingly expenses automation is seen as a proven solution for Trust to realise their QIPP savings. The recent purchase of Expenses Health by new commissioning clusters; acute, community, mental health and social enterprises demonstrates the flexibility of the solution for all health service professionals and ease by which organisations can realise financial benefits.

• Software Europe is a well-regarded UK supplier of web-based employee expenses and contract management solutions. Since 1989 Software Europe has been delivering exceptional products and high quality service that strive to streamline business processes and reduce spend.
• Expenses Health is a secure, online solution that provides a simple policy compliance process for employees to submit, authorise, reimburse and audit employee business expenses. With an extensive list of benefits Expenses Health includes mileage calculations, self-registration, duty of care management, carbon emission reporting and eForms to automate approval processes such as holiday requests. It is also tailored to suit the NHS with a bi-directional ESR interface.

Please visit their website for further information

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Asbestos Claims Litigation Yielding Larger Jury Awards in US Courts

Danziger & De Llano, a leading Houston law firm specialising in asbestos-related liability cases, reports 2011 saw a continuation of a decade-long trend toward fewer cases nationwide but higher individual jury awards.

And Houston is broadly in line with these national trends, says Danziger & De Llano partner Paul Danziger.

"As more companies bring their work site operations into full compliance with asbestos safety laws there has been a dividend in lives saved," notes Danziger. "Sadly, though, there are also fewer victims of past asbestos abuse who survive each passing year." Danziger adds that courts have been more successful in reducing the backlog of asbestos cases in recent years.

The figures on asbestos related liability cases compare the years 2001 and 2011.

According to Danziger, whose law practice handles cases from across the entire nation, while the total number of cases in the nation's courts have fallen by roughly twenty percent in that period--today's jury awards are up to two times greater than those of 2001.

"More public awareness of lax past safety practices in industry, along with legislation which better safeguards worker rights, have helped juries arrive at damage awards which are much more appropriate," he notes. "Part of the dynamic helping push jury awards up is the greater availability of public information on asbestos dangers."

Danziger's own law firm sponsors, a public service website with links to resources available to families affected by mesothelioma.

US-based organisation sponsors "paid for organ donation" poll

The FAIR Foundation, a USE-based non-profit organisation that is working to reverse America’s organ donor crisis, is sponsoring an online poll to determine if citizens, as a living donor or a deceased donor family, would accept $50,000 to be an organ donor.

FAIR’s President and CEO, Dr. Richard Darling states, “Our country is experiencing an organ-donor crisis. What crisis? A transplant patient dies, on average, every 58 minutes waiting of the ‘Gift of Life’ because our government relies primarily on just one organ-donor policy—altruism.”

Statistics from the federally mandated non-profit that oversees organ transplant in the USA, UNOS, and the United States Renal Database show there are almost 113,000 patients on the waiting list today and another 317,000 patients are undergoing difficult 3-hour kidney dialysis treatments three times a week but they are not even on the transplant list yet.

Darling, “The waiting list for kidneys in some states is 8-10 years—a death sentence.”

The FAIR Foundation believes that if the American government incentivised organ donation with $50,000 the waiting list would be eliminated within five years.

Darling clarifies, “The payment to organ donors could be in cash, mortgage loan payments to avoid foreclosure, contributions to a child’s college education, to one’s retirement funds, an IRS tax credit or payment for funeral expenses for one’s deceased loved one.

Additionally under this policy a living kidney donor would also be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages and if the donor’s remaining kidney ever failed the donor would be moved to the top of the waiting list.

Would this cost taxpayers a dime?

Darling answers, “No, Medicare would pay the $50,000 and it would be a very cost- effective policy for taxpayers. According to the second largest provider of kidney dialysis, Davita, it costs the federal Medicare program $50,000 more to keep a patient on dialysis than to have them transplanted.

Darling continues, “Amazingly, the government-controlled non-profits that retrieve organs and tissues from deceased donors receive millions in revenue from selling those tissues as do many other for-profit companies that are expected to gross over $200 million by 2012 from donated tissues. Some of their employees receive over $450,000 in total compensation yet the deceased donor’s family that has donated the tissues or a living donor gets no compensation. This is immoral and grossly unfair.”

Can one buy an organ from your neighbour?

Darling responds, “No, under this policy of financially incentivising organ donation citizens cannot buy an organ from a neighbor or anyone except from the US Government."

But payment for organs is presently prohibited by law.

Darling responds, “Statistics provided by UNOS show that when that 1984 law was passed there was no waiting list and when it was initiated in 1989 the list was only 19,095. With the list now approaching 113,000 patients and 18 of those dying every day, past moralizing is no longer justifiable – we must shift the focus towards saving more lives.”

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Monday, 23 January 2012

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Altitude Sickness and the older traveller

According to over 50s travel review and advice site, Silver Travel Advisor, when travelling to destinations at high altitudes it is crucial that older travellers in particular need to be aware of the affects of altitude on the body.

Silver Travel Advisor says “regardless of age, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can kill, the degree of severity can vary and some people are affected at lower altitudes than others. The rule of thumb is that most people acclimatise quickly at around 2500m, but can experience minor symptoms of breathlessness and headache, which can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen. But over 3,000m, altitude can become a major problem, particularly if the change of altitude is made rapidly. A daily in crease of more than 500m is the maximum advisable climb”.

Silver Travel Advisor urges caution to travellers who are visiting high altitude destinations, like Peru or Bolivia, and encourages them to plan ahead and make allowances for rapid changes of altitude.

The general advice is to take things gently on the first couple of days as even a small amount of exercise, such as climbing steps, or getting up quickly, even from a car or a seat, can exaggerate breathlessness and bring on dizziness.

Silver Travel Advisor suggests that if travellers experience severe problems, or if mild symptoms last for more than a few days, to relocate to a lower altitude, even 500m will help. Failure to take evasive action can result in AMS, or High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE), which are serious and need immediate action. Prevention is better than cure, but the site also cautions to ensure in advance that travel insurance covers for emergency evacuation and airlift, if needed.

Those coping with high altitude should remember that increased breathing will result in the need to replace lost fluids via the lungs, but to avoid over-drinking as water can collect in the lungs and bring on a danger of drowning. Alcohol and smoking should also both be avoided as the affects are exaggerated at altitude.

Other affects of high altitude is the need to sleep more and eat less. Small meals, taken often, are better than large meals as the blood goes to the stomach to aid digestion and so a larger meal can slow down the both and bring on lethargy and headaches.

Difficulty breathing can contribute to sleep problems and so slow, deep, regular breaths are advised until a natural sleeping pattern is restored, and Silver Travel Advisor suggests to try sleeping propped up on pillows, or in a comfortable chair.

Natural remedies for altitude include coca tea, which is widely available, while in Bolivia the Indians chew coca leaves, which act as a stimulant and appetite suppressant. The leaves are on sale everywhere but it’s not advisable to bring leaves or tea bags back home as Customs will get very upset.

Medical remedies include taking Diamox to help with altitude, and advance preparation for a high altitude trip should include speaking with a GP to check that altitude drugs don’t interact with existing prescriptions.

Learn more about countering altitude sickness at these websites:-

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23rd - 29th January 2012 is Food Allergy and Intolerance Week

Is it possible some of you suffer from food intolerance? Food Allergy and Intolerance Week might be a good time to find out!

Food allergies and intolerances are becoming increasingly common. Even though some experts doubt this.

But what is a food intolerance and how does it differ from a food allergy?

A classic food allergy only affects around 2% of the population but symptoms can be severe and sudden. In contrast, food intolerances are much more common and may occur when certain antibodies (known as IgG) are triggered, as the result of a reaction to specific foods.

Almost any food can cause a reaction but foods eaten most regularly are often the chief culprits – typically, wheat and dairy products, closely followed by other gluten grains, eggs and yeast. Symptoms may be delayed for hours or even days after eating the food, making it very difficult to pinpoint the culprit. Having several intolerances further confounds the situation! But, don’t worry, help is at hand!

The Food Intolerance Tests Kit is available from Higher Nature

This simple home test kit can test for 40, 60 or 120 foods. Higher Naturee send you a complete kit, full instructions, transport box and a pre-paid envelope (For use within the UK) to send it to the lab. The results will be sent directly to the customer in approximately 10 days.

Possible symptoms of a food intolerance include:
· Anxiety (acute or chronic)
· Attention Deficit Disorder
· Constipation
· Diarrhoea
· Headaches
· Insomnia
· Migraine
· Water retention
· Arthritis
· Fibromyalgia
· Asthma
· Bloating
· Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
· Depression
· Gastritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease
· Itchy skin
· Weight control problems
· Hyperactivity disorder
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Higher Nature has a team of qualified Nutritionists who can give advice on managing food intolerance.

 Higher Nature intolerance testing is provided by Cambridge Nutritional Sciences, a Corporate Partner of Allergy UK, organisers of Food Allergy and Intolerance Week. partners with medical insurance comparison website ActiveQuote is pleased to announce the launch of its latest partnership with private medical insurance comparison website ActiveQuote which will power the private medical insurance service. recognises that consumers want the best experience when comparing products online. The new partnership with ActiveQuote will strengthen customer’s choice on private health insurance for both themselves and their families.

Private medical insurance has always been seen as a complicated issue; however wanted to make this experience for customers as simple as possible, as well as providing them with the best benefits.

Price is not the most important factor with private medical insurance. Low cost policies often exclude important benefits. ActiveQuote's unique online comparison tool allows customers to refine their search with immediate updates to the price instantly shown on the comparison page. Consumers can specify exactly what they want in a policy and the site will remove unsuitable quotes. Every variable can be tailored online, including excess, choosing a different hospital list or adding an option such as dental cover.

Richard Theo, Managing Director of ActiveQuote commented: "We are really excited about the launch of our private medical insurance comparison on which is the one of the best known insurance comparison brands in the UK. It is a real endorsement of the quality of user experience and customer service that we have strived to achieve here at ActiveQuote."

Matthew Lloyd, Head of life insurance at continues: "We are delighted at the appointment of ActiveQuote as our new partner. For specialist products such as private medical insurance, consumers are looking for an excellent online comparison coupled with excellent off-line advice and we believe that ActiveQuote have proven their leadership in both of these areas."

FACTFILE: was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, car insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Specialist comparisons can be made on products such as over 60 life insurance and classic car insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service.’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Prepare for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Compare Health Insurance Online with

With experts warning that the London 2012 Olympics could be a hotbed for diseases from around the world, private medical cover will ensure that you receive the highest level of healthcare if the NHS is put under unmanageable pressure.

A series of reports in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal have recently warned that events like the Olympics have major health impacts for the host nation and for visitors when they return to their own countries.

Mass events have historically proved perfect breeding ground for diseases. The 2008 influenza outbreak during World Youth Day in Australia highlights how viruses like swine flu can quickly spread through crowds of people.

Stampedes are also a risk for the London 2012 Olympics. In 2010, 21 people died and 500 people were injured at the Love Parade in Germany after emergency workers struggled to get through the crowds to treat those crushed in the chaos.

With the threat of infectious diseases, crowd stampedes, food poisoning and heat stroke, the NHS will need to advise foreign visitors on how our health service works to prevent delays in Accident and Emergency departments.

Richard Theo, of health insurance comparison website ActiveQuote, said: “A large public health campaign is being prepared by the Health Protection Agency to help prepare for outbreaks of infectious diseases at the London Olympics.

“An advanced surveillance system will be used to collect data from hospitals and the internet to track unusual conditions in real-time.

“But with over 5 million people expected to visit the capital during the Games, it is inevitable that all parts of the NHS will be under increased pressure, including NHS Direct, drop-in clinics, A&E departments and hospital wards.

“We are recommending that all our customers review their private medical cover. New entrants to the world of medical insurance should compare health insurance quotes online as soon as possible, and they might be positively surprised at how little it will cost to protect themselves and their families from these risks.”

Over busy periods the NHS sometimes has to cancel outpatient appointments and elective operations to free up beds. Private medical cover ensures that scheduled operations will not be cancelled over the busy Olympic period. In addition, patients with private medical cover will be treated in a private hospital of their choice, with a lower risk of catching superbugs.

With visitors from 200 separate countries expected to converge on London this summer, compare health insurance online now to make sure you can enjoy the Games with complete peace of mind. is a health insurance comparison website and specialist private medical insurance intermediary based in Cardiff, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Unsung hero: Dr Guy Bérard, developer of AIT sound therapy

A pioneer in his field, Dr. Guy Bérard has helped thousands of people around the world. To mark his extraordinary life and achievements, Bérard International Day will celebrate his 96th birthday on 20 January 2012. Auditory Integration Training (AIT), an auditory retraining programme, has been the crowning achievement of his life and has helped many people to dramatically improve their lives.

On this day, AIT practitioners around the world unite to announce how they have applied Bérard’s work to benefit thousands of clients worldwide, sharing case studies and anecdotal feedback. The results achieved have been heart warming on many levels, and at times, astounding.

In his tenth decade, Bérard’s response was typically modest and adhered to his lifelong philosophy of efficiency and simplicity: "I have had a long and eventful life and I am gratified AIT is recognised throughout the world by my wonderful trainees and those they have helped."

By anyone’s standards, Dr Guy Bérard, developer of AIT, has had an eventful life. In true pioneer spirit, he moved from France in 1947 with his wife and family to work as a doctor and general surgeon in Cambodia. Some years later, Bérard developed hearing difficulties and ringing in the ears and was told he would be deaf within 5 years. To help his condition he investigated the field of sound therapy and retrained as an ENT specialist. He subsequently went on to develop AIT, initially to help himself and later his patients.

Realising that hearing quality profoundly affects behaviour, it became clear to Bérard that AIT had a much broader application to help those with auditory and sensory processing issues. To bring his work to a wider audience, he wrote his book, recently republished as ‘Hearing Equals Behavior: Expanded and Updated.’

AIT is a non-invasive centre-based programme for children and adults with sensory difficulties. It involves listening to modified music through headphones for 30 minutes, twice a day for a period of 10 days as a method of retraining the auditory system.

The programme addresses under or over sensitivity in hearing and reduces distortions which may affect auditory processing as well as behaviours. Following AIT many clients report functional improvements in areas affecting social, emotional, behavioural or academic performance.

In the process of helping himself, Bérard discovered, through the use of AIT, how to help others. He remains an inspiration to AIT practitioners around the world who continue his ground-breaking work.
Facebook Page

For further details:

The Sound Learning Centre was founded in 1994 by Pauline Allen and works with children and adults with learning and sensory difficulties using sound, light and developmental programmes to help improve performance.

More men have eating disorders, says expert

An increasing number of men are seeking help for eating disorders, says men’s therapist Dr. Phil Tyson.

Dr. Tyson says that national statistics estimate that between 10 and 25 per cent of people experiencing eating disorders are men

Dr. Tyson says that his practice, based in Manchester, is reflecting this statistic.

“We are now seeing 17 and 18-year-old males exhibiting the similar cultural pressures that young girls and women have always had: to be ‘beautiful’.”

Dr. Tyson says that men are presenting themselves with a wide range of unhealthy body issues including an addiction to exercise and poor diet, sometimes also coupled with the taking of steroids, in order to try to achieve ‘male beauty’.

Other symptoms can include anorexia and bulimia or bigorexia (also known as reverse anorexia) where a man is showing compulsive obsessive behaviour to continually build his muscles.

“It’s quite evident that there is a lack of professional resources for men suffering from eating disorders in the UK. The exception is the charitable organisation ‘Men Get Eating Disorders Too’ which provides some guidance and signposting and is working hard to raise awareness.

“However, many professional counsellors and psychotherapists have not been trained to recognise the symptoms and are failing to notice and treat men with eating disorders.

“Equally, men find it difficult to accept diagnosis and treatment although there’s not much support available particularly in the NHS.”

Dr. Tyson, 44, works as a counsellor and psychotherapist, based in Manchester, and specialises in working with men and couples, particularly in the areas of depression, anxiety disorders, premature ejaculation, sex addiction, bereavement, terminal illness, and health anxiety.

He also writes a blog about men’s well-being and mental health, as well as essays on counselling and related themes.

He is regularly quoted in national magazines and talks on radio about men’s and relationship issues.

Last year, he published his first book “An Ethnographic Study of a Counsellor Training Programme: Person Centred Theory in Action.” about his experiences of training to be a psychotherapist 10 years ago.

He is an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

He has three degrees from the University of Manchester: a 1st class degree in Psychology, a Master of Philosophy in HIV Counselling and Support, and a Ph.D. in Counselling Theory and Counselling Practice.

Dr. Tyson is also a former lecturer in psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

PruHealth unveils New Year marketing push

PruHealth has rolled out its first advertising and marketing campaign in over three years, in an effort to increase its brand awareness in 2012 and promote the launch of a new raft of partners providing significant benefits and discounts in its unique Vitality wellness programme.

A lynch pin of the marketing effort is a new website which was created by global marketing and technology agency, LBi, and was launched on 2nd January 2012. It has been built to enable consumers to engage with PruHealth in a rich, rewarding way by presenting information in a personalised way depending on what is relevant to and matters most to them. It includes new digital tools such as a Partner Finder map to show where Vitality partners are located in proximity to a specific postcode, and a new Vitality Savings Calculator, which shows how much people could save when they join, based on their personal preferences.

To support the launch of the website and establish PruHealth's brand credentials, creative agency Rapier has developed a press and outdoor campaign called 'Well Rewarded', which builds on three pillars to communicate that PruHealth makes getting and staying healthier cheaper and easier, motivates people with rewards when they get healthy, and looks after them when they become ill.

The campaign, bought by MediaCom in above the line media (national and regional press and 48-sheet posters at rail and tube stations), and by bigmouthmedia in digital media, will run between January to March in the first instance with follow up campaigns planned for later in the year. These will be supported with social media activity including Facebook, YouTube,Twitter and blogger engagement.

Development of the campaign has been led by PruHealth's marketing director, Keith Kropman, who moved to the role from Discovery in March 2011.

He said: "January is typically a time when people are feeling the pinch, both in terms of their waistlines and in their pockets. We are making it easier for them to get healthier and fitter and helping them save money and enjoy life for less. In addition to traditional channels, we are putting a big emphasis on our website and online promotion due to the increasing growth of digital channels amongst consumers in researching and making purchasing decisions about health and health care."

Although other health insurance providers have started to try to emulate the principles of PruHealth's pioneering Vitality wellness programme which was launched in 2004, none offer such rich 'rewards' for the changes people make to live a healthy life. These include discounts with partners such as Vodafone or savings on a range of holidays with partners such as Thomas Cook, Eurostar and Imagine Cruising. PruHealth is also unique in that it can demonstrate that Vitality is more than a marketing gimmick and is based on a wealth of scientific evidence that shows it changes behaviour and makes people healthier and less likely to be admitted to hospital.

PruHealth was launched into the UK market in October 2004 as a joint venture between Discovery and UK insurer, Prudential, in response to a growing need for consumer-directed private medical insurance products.

PruHealth has received several industry awards, including the Most Innovative New Product, Health Insurance Awards 2011, Most Trusted PMI Provider at the 2010 Moneywise Awards, the Best PMI Provider at the 2009 Moneyfacts Awards, Best use of Marketing to Intermediaries (Brokers) at the 2011 Health Insurance awards and the award for the Best Individual PMI provider at the 2010 Health Insurance Awards and 2010 Cover Excellence awards.

The Vitality programme is PruHealth's proven wellness programme that allows all members to get and stay healthy through a range of tools and discounts. What's even better is that the more a member takes part in Vitality, the more PruHealth reward them for it

(EDITOR: If anyone wants to advertise on That's Health, we accept adverts via Google Adsense.)

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New Year, New back?

The British Chiropractic Association provides tips for taking care of your back when exercising.

With the New Year comes new enthusiasm and commitment to improving your health through exercise. But, after a lull of lazing about over Christmas, launching yourself into a full-on physical programme could put you at risk of back and neck pain.

Tim Hutchful, British Chiropractic Association (BCA) chiropractor, comments: “Exercise puts added pressure on our joints and muscles, which could cause issues for your back and neck if not introduced to your body in a safe way.”

Kick-start your New Year routine and maintain optimum posture with the following advice from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA):

It’s All in the Prep

Before you begin any exercise programme, it is really important to check that there are no medical reasons why you cannot commence the activity, particularly if you are not normally physically active. Consult your GP if in doubt.

 A BCA chiropractor can advise you on how to approach a new exercise routine and tell you what signs to look for if you’re overdoing it

Make sure you get the right attire for your chosen activity. Wearing clothes that are too tight when exercising could constrict your movement and lead to injury. You should also make sure you have appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing – most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to guide you on this.

With all exercise, you need to warm up first. Don’t go straight into it, start with lighter movements like walking or jogging to lessen the chance of muscle strain

Use Equipment Properly
When using weights, make sure your legs are at least hips’ width apart and lift with bent knees. Never keep the knees straight, as this could lead to over-stretching and cause damage to your back. Avoid bending from the waist too, as it will increase stress on your lower back

A weight held at arm’s length can have the effect of being up to five times heavier, so try to work with weights closer to the body to help avoid injury. Always face the direction you want to carry the weight and lift using a relaxed, straight back without twisting

If using machines, make sure the seat is positioned correctly for your height. You want to avoid stooping or reaching when using equipment, or you could over stretch your back

Dedicate Time to Your Back

· Whilst you are ‘in the zone’, why not throw in some stretches and exercises specifically designed to strengthen your back? Easy to learn and do, the British Chiropractic Association has developed a sequence of precise, slow stretches, each with a specific purpose. To see the exercises, watch them in action on a downloadable vodcast, view an online step by step guide or request free leaflets, go to

That's Food and Drink: Fry's Vegetarian to be distributed by 3663

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Trying to quit smoking? Here's help for you

Two thirds of UK smokers, some of six million people, will try and quit in January but half will have failed within just one week, according to new research among 6,300 current or former smokers. In addition, one in ten quit attempts will last less than 24 hours.

On average, smokers admit to having unsuccessfully attempted to quit three times before, with one in five (19 per cent) having tried five times or more. Despite this, half (51 per cent) feel confident they will quit smoking within the next six months.

The most popular method to quit smoking is going ‘cold turkey’ - trying to give up immediately using willpower alone (45 per cent). However, research suggests this is the least effective method with only three per cent remaining smoke-free after one year. A quarter chose this approach because they just want to get on with it, while 16 per cent misguidedly think it’s the most credible way to quit smoking.

The research, commissioned by Pfizer Limited to launch its Don’t Go Cold Turkey disease awareness campaign, revealed that one in five (21 per cent) have opted to cut back on the amount of cigarettes they smoke in a bid to combat their addiction. In addition, eight per cent have tried hypnosis and five per cent have had a go at meditation.

Revealing the extent of nicotine addiction amongst many smokers, 41 per cent admitted to stealing a cigarette from a friend or work colleague in desperation1, while a quarter (26 per cent) have smoked the remains of a previously discarded cigarette butt because they had run out.

Furthermore, one in five (19 per cent) have picked apart a broken or half-finished cigarette to fashion a new one and six per cent even confessed to raiding their child’s piggy bank to buy more cigarettes. Perhaps not surprisingly, 46 per cent believe quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can ever do.

However, only one in ten (11 per cent) have taken time before starting a quit attempt to consider their options for support and what would work best for them. Nearly half (47 per cent) have failed to make use of support from friends and family by keeping quit attempts a secret, due to worries about failing and concern they will be tempted to smoke by others.

Furthermore, just one in five (19 per cent) have sought advice from a healthcare professional or the NHS stop smoking service, despite research showing this can increase the chances of success by up to four times compared to going it alone.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, BBC medical correspondent and practising GP, says: “Many smokers are unaware of the help and support available from their healthcare professional. As a GP, I’m aware that people often fail to quit because they don’t take the right approach. I want those who are motivated to give up smoking to consider that even a brief conversation with their healthcare professional or local stop smoking service can increase their chances of success by up to four times, compared to going ‘cold turkey’. People should consider how they can positively influence their chances of quitting.”

One in six (17 per cent) have not sought help from a healthcare professional because of worry about wasting their time, while 22 per cent admit it is not something they have ever considered. Of the former smokers, 23 per cent recommend those who want to quit seek advice from a doctor or healthcare professional1 while 39 per cent would encourage a planned and well prepared approach to increase chances of success.

In an attempt to quit, 17 per cent of current smokers have avoided friends who smoke to reduce temptation, 12 per cent have chain-smoked their way through their remaining cigarettes to the point of feeling sick and one in six have even taken up a new hobby to distract them.

Popular excuses that smokers have given are that they need cigarettes to relax (38 per cent), that they will cut back to a safe level (one in six) and that smoking makes them a happier person (16 per cent). Furthermore, 12 per cent believe the resulting weight gain from quitting is unhealthier than the cigarettes themselves while one in ten say they have smoked for so long that the damage has already been done.

The Don’t Go Cold Turkey campaign aims to ensure smokers who want to quit are aware of the options available to them and understand how taking the right approach can significantly increase the chances of successfully breaking the cycle of nicotine dependence. Visit for more information and advice on quitting smoking.

Scientists Confirm Tobacco Use by Ancient Mayans

Mass Spectrometry Detects First Physical Evidence of Nicotine in Mayan Container

Archaeologists examining late period Mayan containers have identified nicotine traces from a codex-style flask, revealing the first physical evidence of tobacco use by ancient Mayans. The study published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry reveals the flask is marked with Mayan hieroglyphics reading, “y-otoot ’u-may,” (“the home of its/his/her tobacco,”) making it only the second case to confirm that the text on the exterior of a Mayan vessel corresponds to its ancient use.

“Investigation of food items consumed by ancient people offers insight into the traditions and customs of a particular civilization,” explains Jennifer Loughmiller-Newman from the University at Albany in New York. “Textual evidence written on pottery is often an indicator of contents or of an intended purpose, however actual usage of a container could be altered or falsely represented.”

Many of the Mayan flask vessels from the Kislak collection of the Library of Congress examined in this study were filled with other substances, such as iron oxide used in burial rituals, making it difficult to detect the original content.

The most indisputable evidence of a container’s usage is obtained when hieroglyphic text or pictorial illustrations on the exterior of a container is consistent with the chemical analysis of interior residues. For the current investigation, researchers analyzed samples extracted from the Late Classic Maya period (600 to 900 AD) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS).

Nicotine—the signature alkaloid in tobacco—was identified as the major component of the extracts from one of the 150 vessels in the collection. The flask was determined to be made in southern Campeche, Mexico and dates to around 700 AD.

Prior to the current discovery, the only existing evidence showing a Mayan vessel to have the same content as indicated by hieroglyphic text was the identification of theobromine, an alkaloid found in cacao, more than 20 years ago.

“Our study provides rare evidence of the intended use of an ancient container,” concludes Dr. Dmitri Zagorevski from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. “Mass spectrometry has proven to be an invaluable method of analysis of organic residues in archaeological artifacts. This discovery is not only significant to understanding Mayan hieroglyphics, but an important archaeological application of chemical detection.”
This study is published in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Full citation:
Dmitri Zagorevski, Jennifer A. Loughmiller-Newman, “The Detection of Nicotine in a Late Mayan Period Flask by GCMS and LCMS Methods,” Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry; January 2012, DOI: 10.1002/rcm.5339

Paper URL upon publication:

Monday, 9 January 2012

UK medical first: Laser used to dissolve cataracts

A new laser treatment that actually dissolves cataracts in the eye has been introduced into the UK by one of the country’s top eye hospitals. The London Eye Hospital ( on Harley Street in London is first in the UK to introduce the FemtoSecond laser treatment for the removal of cataracts or clear lens extraction, revolutionising cataract surgery, with a Wolverhampton resident one of the first to undertake the treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, cataracts have not been treated with laser surgery in the UK before. The current technique for cataract surgery or clear lens extraction involves an incision with a blade of approximately 3mm by the surgeon who also creates an opening into the lens and then breaks up the cataract using high frequency ultrasound, a process known as phacoemulsification. This procedure has been refined over the last 25 years and offers a safe and effective but highly invasive option.

By comparison, the next generation of cataract surgery would not look out of place in a science fiction movie. The FemtoSecond cataract laser creates a 3-dimensional model of the eye at close to a micron level of accuracy, in real-time. Controlled by a sophisticated surgeon-guided computer, the laser then dissolves the lens or cataract using perfect precision and also creates the incision that could be as small as a pin-prick.

Bobby Qureshi, Consultant Opthalmic Surgeon and Medical Director at The London Eye Hospital - and currently the only surgeon able to offer the laser treatment - says this new technique will change cataract surgery forever: 

“The FemtoSecond laser has been specially designed to bring an extraordinary level of accuracy and reproducibility to refractive cataract surgery, making this the single greatest breakthrough in cataract and lens extraction surgery in nearly 30 years. No matter how accurate manual procedures may have seemed in the past, they simply cannot compete with the accuracy and precision that is now possible with laser cataract removal, which means that this surgery is now safer than ever before.”

Because the high-tech laser has been designed specifically for refractive cataract surgery, this new procedure will bring the power of image-guided computer precision to Mr Qureshi and his team. As a result, treatments can be individually tailored to each patient’s eyes and deliver a remarkable degree of accuracy. In addition, because the equipment features a customisable 3D surgical platform, it makes it much easier to visualise, customise and perform many of the most challenging steps of cataract surgery.

This new approach to cataract surgery also reduces the risk of complications associated with older techniques such as damage to the fine membrane surrounding the lens and - as the incision is so small – reduces the risk of infection. As such, this new procedure represents a huge increase in safety and reduces the risks of cataract surgery even further.

Mr Bobby Qureshi became the first UK surgeon to use a FemtoSecond laser for cataract surgery at the London Eye Hospital on Harley Street at the start of December 2011 Mr Qureshi says the new technique will change people’s lives:

“Cataracts affect over 60% of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger patients as well. In fact, the condition is so common that almost everyone will develop a cataract if they live long enough. For years, many people have accepted cataracts as an unavoidable part of getting older, but that doesn’t now need to be the case. With this new breakthrough in laser refractive surgery, we can now offer a safe and effective alternative to cataract removal in the UK.”

Case Studies
Susan Morgan, 52, from Weybridge in Surrey, recently had a FemtoLaser cataract extraction and implantation of light adjustable lens in her left eye:

“I’ve never had an ordinary cataract operation to compare it to but the laser treatment was fantastic. I was under it for a very short time and it all seemed very easy. I didn’t feel any pain during the procedure or afterwards – in fact I didn’t need a single painkiller and just had a glass of champagne instead!

“Recovery has been very straightforward and my sight is now so much better. I’ve worn contact lenses since I was 16 and in the last few years I’ve had to wear reading glasses as well. I also had the start of a cataract but I’ll never need to have another operation on it or wear any sort of glasses or contacts again.

“Mr Qureshi was fantastic and explained everything so I felt very comfortable and safe. The treatment has had a huge impact already and really will be life changing.”

Suzanne Rogers, 58, from Wolverhampton, recently had a FemtoLaser lens extraction and implantation of a light adjustable lens in her right eye:

“It’s a very good experience all round for me. It was completely painless, which is excellent! To be honest I didn’t know what to expect but right from going in and all through the treatment I felt very at ease. The laser itself is great – you don’t feel anything and it’s over very quickly and then Mr Qureshi takes over to put the lens into the eye. I had no pain afterwards, either.

My sight is much improved and it’s wonderful to be able to see everything so clearly. Mr Qureshi tells me it will continue to improve, especially after I’ve had further adjustments in a few weeks with the adjustable implants. It’s certainly made a huge difference to my life already.”

The London Eye Hospital has opened a purpose-built operating suite incorporating the first installation of the FemtoSecond cataract laser. The hospital is also the only clinic in the world to offer patients a choice between several different machines including the Technolas Perfect Vision. VICTUS and the Alcon LenSx FemtoSecond cataract lasers, meaning specialists can use the most appropriate treatment for each patient.

The London Eye Hospital brings together leading Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons to create a centre of excellence for the diagnosis and treatment of all eye conditions to the highest standard. All surgery is carried out at the London Eye Hospital, which is possibly the most advanced surgical centre in the world and registered with the Care Quality Commission. 

All London Eye Hospital surgeons hold NHS Consultant posts and are acclaimed experts in their specialist area with an international reputation. They are also registered with all the well-known medical insurance companies such as AXA, Bupa, Norwich Union, Standard Life and others.

The London Eye Hospital is committed to providing the highest level of eyecare without compromise. Patients will have the opportunity to discuss all treatment options including the latest technology and surgical techniques that are currently not available on the NHS, many of which have been pioneered by London Eye Hospital surgeons.

To find out more about the London Eye Hospital:

Tel: 0800 612 2021

(EDITOR: As the recipient of cataract removal and lens replacement several years ago, I am deeply fascinated by such developments.)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Group B Strep Support Founder Awarded MBE

Jane Plumb, joint founder of charity Group B Strep Support, has been awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year Honours List in recognition of her work to prevent potentially deadly group B Streptococcal infection in newborn babies.

Jane said: “I’m delighted to be awarded this honour by Her Majesty the Queen," said Jane. "I was stunned when I received the news. This award recognises the unswerving commitment of all Group B Strep Support’s many supporters and medical advisors over the last 15 years and that of my amazing family. I’m incredibly proud of everything we have achieved together so far. Sadly, there is still so much more we need to do. Babies will continue to suffer and die needlessly until routine antenatal care in the UK includes informing women about group B Strep and offering them sensitive testing late in pregnancy, as is done in so many other countries.”

Jane and her husband Robert started Group B Strep Support in 1996 just weeks after the death of their second son, Theo, from group B Strep infection. At the time there was no information available on group B Strep for parents, there were no UK guidelines on preventing group B Strep infection in newborn babies, and group B Strep was almost entirely unheard of among parents-to-be and many health professionals.

Today, Group B Strep Support supplies a range of leaflets for parents and health professionals throughout the UK. It works with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the National Screening Committee and other national bodies on improving guidelines on preventing GBS infection in newborn babies.

A recent opinion poll conducted by ComRes on behalf of Group B Strep Support revealed that nine out of 10 young women want a national screening programme to detect group B Strep (GBS) in pregnant women. A total of 92% of women surveyed believe screening should be routinely offered to women in the later stages of pregnancy. The same percentage would also like information on the infection to be given to all pregnant women, while 95% believe antibiotics should be offered in labour to women carrying group B Strep.

Jane is currently working on a petition to the Prime Minister asking that information and sensitive testing for group B Strep to be made freely available to all pregnant women routinely during their antenatal care. Please support the campaign by signing the petition at

Jane added: “Recent UK research2 shows that testing pregnant women for GBS late in pregnancy, and treating all those whose babies are at higher risk of developing GBS infection, would not only save lives but would save the Government millions of pounds a year. GBS infection is usually preventable, and I want every mother to have the opportunity to protect her baby from it.”

Debbie Slater, Chair of Group B Strep Support, said "I am thrilled and extremely proud of Jane's award. It is certainly no less than she deserves. Jane's unrelenting dedication and unerring efforts during the last 15 years created Group B Strep Support and she has steered it to become the well-established and highly esteemed charity it is today. Jane always does over and above what is needed and approaches each day with the same positive spirit that she had when starting the charity.

"Jane's inherent kindness and special qualities are felt by everyone who contacts or supports the charity. She deals with tragic stories with amazing compassion. Jane's modesty is another reason why she deserves this award; she is always first to recognise everyone else's achievements and show so much appreciation for the efforts of others whilst shying away from the lime-light.

"Thanks to Jane's efforts and that of others, so many more people are aware of group B Strep and consequently lives are being saved. Unfortunately, others still suffer the consequences of GBS and we will continue to support these families and to strive for change so these tragedies can be avoided. Above all, Jane's never ending energy and inspiration drives the charity (and me) forward. Her selfless devotion has meant that GBSS has achieved so much.

Jane always manages to say the right things to fire my enthusiasm and zest to tackle things I would never have imagined possible. I love working with her and look forward to a lot more exciting times for Group B Strep Support during 2012."

For more information about group B Strep, contact Group B Strep Support, tel: 01444 416176 or go to

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New Natural Device Improves Men’s Health and Sexual Wellbeing

Fine Treatment offersa  new natural device for prostate care that assists men to get rid of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Natural prostate gland wellbeing fundamentally comes from offering the prostate what it really requires naturally. New Thermobalancing Therapy enabled by this device gives to a man such internal security.

Men’s Health news of Fine Treatment that a prostate enlargement can be treated at home without going to hospitals and taking drugs makes the Thermobalancing Therapy an important part of their healthy living. No other current prostate enlargement treatments can do what this therapy does, that is why this natural treatment is essential. According to Men’s Health Network (MHN) benign prostatic hyperplasia is a progressive condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged and BPH is associated with decreased quality of life, worsened sex performance, reduced sexual drive and more frequent erectile dysfunction.

“This men’s health news is crucial matter as most men don’t know how to maintain prostate health,” says Dr. Allen. “The Thermobalancing Therapy is extremely effective BPH treatment that has proven successful in supporting men's health and sexual wellbeing.”

Contrary to all other of prostate treatments, Dr. Allen’s device for prostate care really helps suffers with prostate enlargement that is why it is great medical and social news for men’s health. Medical documents of a Fine Treatment’s patient were discussed by Oxford Innovation Centre in the video on this page. David explained how he shrank his hugely enlarged prostate so the open prostatectomy surgery was cancelled.

Fine Treatment is able to deliver Dr Allen’s device for prostate care all around the World. The device creates the ideal conditions for the body’s own natural defence mechanisms to rebuild the damaged tissues in the prostate and recover from BPH or prostatitis, relieving pain and other symptoms. The therapeutic device shrinks the prostate and takes off the symptoms restoring potency and increasing libido. That is why the exclusive prostate treatment is valuable news for every man’s health and sexual wellbeing. For more information please visit the Fine Treatment website:

Simulated Surgical Systems Delivers Robotic Surgery Simulator to Sweden

Simulated Surgical Systems has announced that it has delivered one of its Robotic Surgery Simulators (RoSS) to the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. As a prerequisite to this delivery, the RoSS was successfully tested for CE compliance, paving the way for international sales.

The RoSS is the first simulator of its kind to feature training for complete surgical procedures. Its patented Hands on Surgical Training (HoST) modules use augmented reality to guide the trainee through the actions of a master surgeon.

Founded in 2009, Simulated Surgical Systems, LLC (SSS) is a pioneer in the development of robot-assisted surgery simulators. The company is a collaborative effort between the Center for Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. SSS has produced one of the world's first simulators that closely matches the touch and feel of a robotic surgery system.

Co-founder Khurshid A. Guru MD is a staff physician in Urology and director of the Center for Robotic Surgery at RPCI and Thenkurussi "Kesh" Kesavadas PhD is the director of the Virtual Reality laboratory and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University at Buffalo.

Treat Coronary Heart Disease in Safety with New Thermobalancing Therapy States Fine Treatment

Fine Treatment introduces a new natural device to help prevent or control coronary heart disease and so reduce the risk of a first or repeat heart attack

New Thermobalancing Therapy for prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease(CHD) is now available at Fine Treatment worldwide. Dr. Allen’s Device for Heart Treatment is essential care of the heart as it works 24 hours a day (day-by-day) improving the condition of the heart muscle. See the video on this page where the interviewer form Oxford Innovation Centre asks questions and the interviewee, one of the Fine Treatment’s patients, answers to them.

As follows from the video, 89 year old lady has recovered from heart failure over 2-years ago and enjoys her life pain free because she wears Dr. Allen’s Device for Heart Treatment.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) each year heart disease kills more Americans than cancer. In recent years, cardiovascular risk in women has been increasing and has killed more women than breast cancer. So the most dangerous disease which causes one in three deaths in the USA can have a safe cure now.

Fine Treatment introduces a new natural device for the heart treatment that everyone will be able to use at home. The major ingredient the natural thermo-element is incorporated in the vest which keeps this thermo-element near to the heart increasing the blood flow inside the heart muscle. Learn more about how easy is to apply the thermo-element to the heart are by watching this video:

“A natural coronary heart disease treatment that reaches your heart is the best way to improve condition of the heart muscle,” says Dr Allen. “Keep the heart muscle in a healthy condition and enjoy your life pain free.”

Dr Allen’s Device for Heart Treatment tackles the cause of the heart problems: by creating a favourable situation for the fine blood capillaries to stabilise the body temperature within the tissue of the heart. This improves the blood flow in the heart muscles on the capillary level which reduces the micro-swelling in the walls of coronary arteries dropping the internal pressure and, thus, stopping pain and discomfort. In addition, the heart muscle gets sufficient nutrients for the processes of recovery. Read more at the Fine Treatment website:

Dr. Simon Allen is a highly experienced medical professional. His specialty is in the cardio-vascular field and he treated patients with coronary heart disease, joints, kidneys and prostate conditions. Fine Treatment produces and distributes devices for the prostate conditionssuch as chronic prostatitis and BPH, coronary heart disease, to dissolve kidney stones and to relieve back pain in the upper and lower spine.

British men have serious body insecurities - New Report

New research shows that men have serious issues and that talking about your body is no longer confined to women.

A major national study examining British men’s attitudes to their appearance reveals that over four in five (80.7%) men regularly engage in conversation about one another’s body and that most are unhappy with their muscularity. The study found that men talk most about their unhappiness with their stomach, refered to most commonly as their beer belly.

The study, a collaboration between experts at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at UWE Bristol, The Succeed Foundation and Central YMCA, also revealed that more than 35% of men would sacrifice a year of life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape. The majority of men surveyed were unhappy with their level of muscularity – most didn’t think their arms (62.8%) or chests (62.9%) were muscular enough.

Over half of men questioned (58.6%) said that body talk affects them personally, mostly in a negative way. This mirrors research in women which shows that listening to just five minutes of body talk can lower overall body confidence. Men revealed that body talk affected their self-esteem, made them more self-conscious and in some cases prevented them from going to the gym.

Nearly all men questioned (95.5%) said they see or hear body talk in the media and that nearly four in five (80.7%) gym members admitted to engaging in body talk in the gym. The most popular terms men use to describe another man’s appearance include commenting on his beer belly (74.5%); six pack (69.8%); or man boobs (moobs) (63%). Nearly half of men also used the terms chubby (46.1%) and ripped (42.4%) to describe another man’s appearance.

‘Body talk’ is the term used to describe conversation in which men reinforce and buy into the unrealistic male body image ‘beauty ideal’ which emphasises leanness and muscularity, for example, by commenting on, and comparing their appearance to, this ‘ideal’.

This desire for more muscle mass may explain why one in five (18.2%) men questioned is on high protein diet, and nearly one in three (32%) use protein supplements.

Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, who conducted the study at the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE Bristol, said, “This research really demonstrates that body image is an issue for everyone, and that we need to take a collaborative approach towards promoting an environment that values diversity in appearance and promotes healthy body image.”

Rosi Prescott, Chief Executive of Central YMCA which commissioned the research in partnership with The Succeed Foundation said, “Historically conversation about your body has been perceived as something women do, but it is clear from this research that men are also guilty of commenting on one another’s bodies; and in many cases this is having a damaging effect. The high levels of body talk that we have found in men are symptomatic of a growing obsession with appearance. The fact that one in three men would sacrifice a year of life to achieve their ideal weight and shape is a worrying sign and suggests that men are placing more value on their appearance than on other things, including life itself.”

Karine Berthou, founder of UK-based eating disorders charity The Succeed Foundation, who co-commissioned the survey, said, “Negative body image is a serious issue in our society and is a key risk factor in the development of eating disorders. 17.4% of men had a definite fear that they might gain weight every day and 31.9% of men reported that they had “exercised in a driven or compulsive way” as a means of controlling weight. This sort of disordered eating and exercise behavior is deeply concerning and highlights that men must be included in eating disorder and body image programmes. Succeed is committed to providing such programmes for everyone.”

Further statistics of note:

• 17.4% of men had a definite fear that they might gain weight every day

• 17.8% of men felt fat every day

• 4.1% of men reported making themselves sick as a mean of controlling their weight at least once

• 3.4% of men reported using laxatives as a means of controlling shape and weight at least once

• 31.9% of men reported that they had “exercised in a driven or compulsive way” as a means of controlling weight at least once

• 32.4% of straight men and 59.2% of gay men compare their appearance to people who are better looking than they are.

For more information about the research please go to:

The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) is a multi-disciplinary research centre based at UWE Bristol. CAR acts as a focus and centre of excellence for psychological and interdisciplinary research in appearance, disfigurement, body image and related studies.

Central YMCA is a leading health and education charity and is working with young people in schools to raise awareness of body image issues and is part of the Government’s Expert Working Group on Body Image.

Central YMCA provides the secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image which is currently conducting an Inquiry into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety. Further information on the group can be accessed here:

The Succeed Foundation – The Succeed Foundation is committed to supporting and developing innovative and evidence-based programmes and strategies to prevent and treat eating disorders and promote wellbeing. Founded in 2010 by Karine Berthou, The Foundation is focused on making available these strategies to men, women and children; young and old.

Together with individuals, carers, clinicians and researchers, The Succeed Foundation uses a holistic approach to work towards creating a world free from eating disorders.

Great news, calories are meaningless!

There have never been more low calorie and low fat products in the supermarkets, with some “light” products doubling their market share year on year, yet we have higher levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes than ever before. So... how can this be? just might have the answer to that!

Because, as Kate Walker of told That's Health: “There is a direct correlation between the invention of manufactured fats and low calorie sweeteners and the increase in obesity and diet related diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

"If you plot them together on a timeline, the relationship between these products and such diseases becomes very obvious”.

She went on to say: “Low calorie manufactured foods have had the calories removed from them by replacing the natural sugars with sweeteners and the natural fats with manufactured ones, which on the face of it seems like a good idea, but these products are so alien to our systems that our bodies have no idea what to do with them. This puts the body under stress which then creates the right conditions for storing fat.”

According to a study published by The American Psychosomatic Society calorie restrictive diets increase the production of Cortisol in the liver, cortisol being a critical factor in fat storage in the body.

“Calories are meaningless because the way in which the calorific values of foods are determined bears absolutely no relation to the way our bodies process them. Humans break down food with enzymes in a chemical process that releases energy and, more importantly, the nourishment.

"What we don’t do is incinerate food at high temperatures using electricity in a bomb calorimeter. Calories are simply an unreliable measure of the energy potential in our food and bear absolutely no relation at all to how nourishing the food is. All foods contain calories to one degree or another, but not all foods contain nourishment. Nourishment is important because that’s the minerals, vitamins and trace elements the body needs to build and replace millions of cells that die every day. Calories don’t build cells.”

There are low calorie foods that contain little or no nourishment and these tend to be manufactured foods. Conversely there are low and high calorie foods that are packed with nourishment and these tend to be the more natural products. So the conclusion is that it doesn’t matter how many calories there are in the food we eat, the important thing is how much nourishment we are able to extract from the food. If we want to slim down as a nation and reverse the diabetes trend, we need to see our food differently. Counting calories doesn’t work because they don’t matter. We need to look beyond calories and see the nourishment in our food.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

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Left is best?

Research by Premier Inn has revealed there is such a thing as sleeping on the wrong side of the bed. 
According to a new study undertaken by the hotel chain, those with a tendency to migrate to the left side of the bed are far better off than their 'right' counterparts!

The study of 3,000 adults by the UK's biggest chain of hotels found not only are those who sleep on the left generally more cheerful, but they are also more positive and capable of tackling heavy workloads and a stressful day ahead. 

Indeed, those who sleep on the right-hand side are less likely to wake up in a good mood. Over a quarter of people who snooze on the left side of the bed feel they have a really positive outlook on life in general, compared to only 18 per cent of right-side sleepers.

The upbeat morning mood of 'lefties' may also go as far as explaining why over half of those surveyed refuse to swap sides with their other half. In fact over 75% of Brits are so stuck in their sleeping routine that they would find it strange to sleep on the other side of the bed. Additionally, a quarter of them claim it would certainly affect their mood the next day, with 23% of the nation convinced there is a wrong side of the bed.

Claire Haigh, spokeswoman for Premier Inn who commissioned the research, commented: "The research clearly indicates a pattern between which side of the bed you sleep on and the mood you wake up in. At Premier Inn we guarantee a good night's sleep for all no matter what side of the bed they sleep on. For those not satisfied with their stay, Premier Inn promises a full refund."

(EDITOR: By the way, Premier Inn is now open in Dubai and India. On a domestic front, Premier Inn aims to be the largest provider of budget hotels in London (within the M25) by 2012.

Premier Inn supports WaterAid, the international charity whose mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. To date Premier Inn has raised £1m for the charity.)

Why a January ‘detox’ can do more harm than good AOk Drinks nutritionist says: “There are no quick fixes”

Feeling bloated after too much bubbly? Partied out? Stuffed after too much Christmas cake and turkey sandwiches? Stuart Roberts, nutritionist and founder of antioxidant juice AOk Drinks (, confirms recent media reports that short-term detox programmes to ‘flush out your system’ are a waste of time and money.

“Do-it-yourself detox kits are widely available to buy, but your body has its own incredible detoxification system known as your liver and kidneys. DIY kits can cause more harm than good, particularly if your body has become accustomed to over-indulgence over a long period of time. The body can go into shock if you go from one extreme to another. You may end up feeling more tired, looking washed out and lack any energy to get yourself to work, let alone do any exercise.

“Quick fixes are not the answer to long-term health improvements. Instead, I recommend small lifestyle changes that you can incorporate into your daily life throughout the year – rather than just focusing on January. You can increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat by adding chopped fruit and nuts to your morning cereal or making a winter salad for a lighter evening meal.

"You can try cutting out processed foods particularly those containing saturated and trans (man-made) fats. I also recommend walking more regularly, avoiding sitting down for long periods of time without moving, drinking more water, upping your vitamin and antioxidant intake and, when possible, getting more quality sleep during the night,” says Stuart Roberts.

“There are no quick-fixes to health and nutrition, however, there are small steps that we can take that add up to massive changes in how we look and feel.”

AOk is a red grape, cherry, aloe vera and ginger drink, with a hint of vanilla. One 250ml bottle of AOk provides your daily recommendation of antioxidants (nutritionists recommend 3,000-5,000 per day and AOk contains 3,600) and just 145 calories.

Stuart created the drink in 2008 to provide a synergistic combination of antioxidant packed ingredients. Designed to meet consumer demands for healthy convenience, the drink is a tasty alternative to mainstream flavours and offers an original taste.

Stuart Roberts says: “Antioxidants are vital in our diets. With most things, consistency makes the difference. Consuming your ‘five-a-day’ and recommended amount of antioxidants (which can help prevent injury and muscle soreness after exercise too) will all add up to make you look and feel better over time.”

AOk retails for £1.69 per 250ml bottle and is available at selected Waitrose stores nationwide (, and

What's in AOk?
One 250ml bottle of AOk provides:
Your daily recommended requirement of antioxidants.
One of your ‘five a day’.
Only 145 calories.

The picture that could save your life (Part of The That's Health Diabetes Series)

SPECSAVERS customers can now benefit from a potentially lifesaving health-assessment service, thanks to the installation of state-of-the-art fundus cameras in stores all over the UK.

What is a fundus camera? The fundus camera is actually a very clever and specialised microscope with an attached camera. It is designed to take a photograph of the interior surface of the eye, which is called the fundus, this is the only part of the human body where microcirculation of the blood can be observed directly.

Paul Carroll, director of professional services for Specsavers, says: ‘The fundus camera can play a vital role in the early diagnosis and management of many conditions, which can lead to blindness if not detected at an early stage. Some are potentially life-threatening.

"The fundus camera broadens the testing process to deliver a more in-depth health assessment for the customer. It also enables the patient to see the image, which helps them gain a greater understanding of the test. It is then retained as a record, to help monitor any changes over a prolonged period."

The free service is offered as part of an eye examination for customers aged over 40 or in cases where the optician or GP recommends it.

All Specsavers optometrists are trained to spot a range of health conditions as part of an eye examination. The use of the fundus camera broadens the testing process, enabling the detection of signs of glaucoma, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, age-related macular degeneration and vascular occlusions, as well as brain tumours, heart disease, high cholesterol, detached retinas and hypertension or high blood pressure. It is also used in retinal screening programmes.

Mr Carroll continues: "Our eyesight changes over time so it’s vital people come in for an eye examination at least once every two years. That’s even more important for higher risk groups, like the over 60s, diabetics and people with a family history of glaucoma."

To find your nearest store call 0800 068 0241 or visit

Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world.

The couple still run the company, with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
Specsavers has almost 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norw ay, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11.

Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.

Specsavers employs over 26,000 members of staff.

Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2010.
More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers  – 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009.

Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK.

Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world.

Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations.

Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects.

Since 2003 over a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers has raised over £370,000 for the charity since 2006, with almost £245,000 going towards its work in Zambia.

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