Posts Tagged ‘UK’

postheadericon Make Sure You’re Covered with a Good Healthcare Plan

Get Good AdviceFor many people good health is an essential part of every day life, from being able to go to work, day in day out, to earn your living, to place food on the table, to look after your family both financially and in a social setting and to enjoy your hobbies whether that be a walk with your dog or a sports activity, or even something as simple as driving your car.

However, for many thousands of people each year, a sudden illness or accident can leave them wondering and in many cases, worrying, about how they will carry on with hospital visits and doctors visits not to mention potential time off from work.

This is why health insurance is an important thing to consider. It is an expense worth shouldering to ensure that, should the worst happen, you and your family are covered.

It can help take the strain in an already stressful situation. The last thing people want to think about when falling ill, is how they are going to pay their way if things do not improve quickly.

Many healthcare plans these days, are simple to understand and provide affordable health insurances that you build yourself online to give you the cover you need.

  • You get the cover you want, without paying for anything you don’t need
  • It’s affordable private medical cover at a price to suit you
  • You can get an instant quote in just a few minutes.

It is important to look after your health at an affordable price that you control, you can choose from a wide range of hospitals & specialists, feel comfortable in private facilities, have less waiting times to alternatives, you can speak to a healthcare advisor or seek health care online.

Examples features whcih a good healthcare plan can offer include:

  • Hospital charges if you’re in hospital for the day or overnight
  • Specialist fees when you’re in hospital for the day or overnight
  • Surgery as an out-patient
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy as an out-patient
  • 24-hour health information helpline

It really is worth looking into the options when it comes to health care plans and health insurance, hopefully you will never need to use it, but the likely hood is that most people at some time in their life will need a hospital treatment for something, whether it’s a minor routine operation or something more serious, the benefits far outweigh the small monthly costs you will have to pay. It is always worth investigating a health insurance company prior to approaching them, you can search for reviews and advice online or through your local GP first to ask on what to look for when choosing a reliable health insurance company.

postheadericon Routes into nursing – what are your options?



Nursing is a challenging but hugely rewarding profession, and whether you’re planning to work for the NHS or a private healthcare, you’re guaranteed a career that’s always filled with variation, opportunities and new people. Depending on your background and prior experience, there are several different routes into a nursing role – this article will help you decide which is best for you.

To become a nurse in the NHS, you need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council: this also means that you will need a degree in nursing. Nursing degrees come in four branches: adult, children, learning disability and mental health. Naturally it’s best to study a degree that best fits what you want to do: for instance, study a degree in mental health nursing if you want to work in psychiatric care units and in the community, while a BSc in adult nursing opens up a diverse range of career options in a variety of workplaces.

To find out more about what a particular degree entails, take a look at the course page of an institution like Middlesex University. Take the time to look at every module and see if what you’ll be learning lines up with what you want to do in your career. It’s also a good idea to study the entry requirements in detail. Degree programmes are typically split into 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice, so you will spend some of your time at lectures and seminars and the rest at a work placement.

If you are a mature student and left education some time ago, it’s likely you will need an NVQ or Access to Nursing certificate before you can get onto a degree – these usually take a year of full-time study, although it might be possible to study part-time over a longer period. Alternatively, if you have already worked as a healthcare assistant, you may be able to get a place on a nursing degree course as long as you meet the entry requirements, rather than applying through UCAS. The minimum requirements usually include a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above, as well as proficiency in literacy and numeracy.

Once you have completed your nursing degree and are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you can begin applying for nursing posts – you might have already found some opportunities during your work placement. As the healthcare industry is constantly changing, you may benefit from returning to study from time to time to improve your skills – this will also open up a wider range of career options for you.

Finally, if you are having difficulty getting the experience you need to start a nursing degree, why not consider volunteering? The NHS Jobs site advertises some of the voluntary roles available in the public sector, and your local NHS organisation will be able to tell you about more. Volunteering is not only a good first step towards a nursing qualification; it will also help you to decide if it’s the right career for you.

postheadericon NHS in London spent almost £13m on public relations in the last three years

The BBC has reported that the NHS in London spent almost £13m on public relations in the last three years. A BBC London investigation has found the information and claims the costs are enough to recruit 600 nurses.

Around £9.7m was spent on press officers’ salaries at hospitals and primary care trusts (PCTs), while private PR companies were paid a further £3m.

Critics called for “medical doctors not spin doctors”, pointing to longer waiting times and cancelled operations.

Some trusts said PR spending was needed to educate the public on health issues. The BBC sent Freedom of Information requests to all 33 London hospitals, in addition to the capital’s primary care trusts and NHS London.

The research revealed some 82 press officers on the public payroll, with an average salary of £37,278.

By stark contrast, in 1981 there were only eight press officers working in the entire NHS.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of The Patients Association, said: “Far too many patients experience longer waiting times, cancelled operations and standards of care below what they deserve.

“These figures are a concerning example of the cost of NHS PR – it is sadly patients paying the price.

“Many will ask whether this funding would be better spent on medical doctors, rather than spin doctors.”

Yet the outlay on staff press officers was supplemented by millions of pounds handed to private PR firms.

Read the full BBC article here.

postheadericon Help Prevent Undiagnosed Hearing Loss

Around two million people in the UK use a hearing aid. It’s surprising fact also, that hearing loss affects more than 50% of over 60’s. There are many ways to help prevent and treat hearing loss and one such company is Amplifon.

Amplifon can offer information and advice to help improve hearing quickly. You’ll find general advice also on how to help combat tinnitus and prevent undiagnosed hearing loss. The infographpic below will help explain a little clearer how Amplifon can help.

postheadericon What to expect from laser eye surgery

laser surgery consultation

laser surgery consultation

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, it’s likely you’ve heard about laser eye surgery – a common medical procedure to correct vision in one or both eyes. Laser (or LASIK, short for laser-assisted in situ keratomiluesis) treatment has become popular in recent years as it offers a convenient, relatively painless procedure that can reduce or eliminate the need for visual aids. However, as with all forms of surgery it’s not without its risks, and if you’re unsure of what to expect, this guide may help.

Put simply, LASIK surgery uses a laser to alter the shape of the cornea (the clear covering at the front of the eye that can grow out of shape, causing short- or long-sightedness). When you choose a LASIK surgeon (such as Ultralase) you will make an appointment with a doctor who will perform an eye exam to see whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. While LASIK surgery can be used to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, there are a number of conditions it can’t help with, and other pre-existing medical conditions may mean the treatment is too risky for you.

The procedure itself is very quick – patients are usually in and out of surgery in less than an hour, during which they will be awake the entire time. This is something that may put people off, but there is very little pain involved: most people report mild discomfort for a few days after the procedure. Patients are given anaesthetising eye drops and a retainer to keep their eyes open, and will be asked to stare at a light while the laser does its work. This part takes typically around five minutes per eye, and after a short rest the procedure is complete.

One of the advantages of LASIK is the low recovery time. Depending on their job, patients may be able to return to work the next day, although your doctor may recommend a few days of rest. Most people notice the benefits immediately, but with others their vision improves gradually over the next few days. It’s important to let your doctor know if you have any negative side effects, such as blurred vision or “halos” around lights – these can usually be corrected with post-operative treatment.

The efficacy of LASIK surgery has improved dramatically over the past few years, and the treatment is now appropriate for more people than ever. If you are still unsure, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists has a more detailed breakdown of the risks and benefits on its website.

postheadericon HPC changes name to HCPC


On Wednesday 1 August 2012 the Health Professions Council (HPC) changed their name to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The decision to change the name was made by government and is being brought about by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which will also see the HCPC taking on the regulation of social workers in England. Although not everyone registered with the HCPC works in ‘health’ or ‘care’ the new name will better describe the diverse range of professions the organisation regulates.

Although the name was chosen by government, the HCPC had the opportunity to offer suggestions. To help the HCPC with this, they commissioned independent quantitative and qualitative research to gauge perceptions of possible names, which included telephone and online interviews with around 2,500 individuals, and discussion-based focus groups of between seven and eleven members.

The HCPC were particularly keen to understand the perceptions of members of the public, who are the potential service users of the professionals they regulate. One poll showed that 81 per cent of the general public felt that ‘Health and Care Professions Council’ could best reflect the role of a regulator of many different professions; another showed that 76 per cent of the general public associated the term ‘care professional’ with ‘social worker’. In the focus groups ‘Health and Care Professions Council’ was the preferred option with both the public and the professionals the HCPC currently regulate. Both groups viewed it as the most suitable name to cover the range of professions to be regulated. This was a unanimous outcome.

The HCPC have previously used the strapline ‘Protecting the public; Regulating health professionals’ on a number of their communication materials. This will no longer be appropriate and instead they will use ‘Regulating health, psychological and social work professionals’. In developing this strapline they considered both the diversity of professions that they currently regulate (including practitioner psychologists who joined the Register in 2009) and the groups that the HCPC may regulate in the future (including public health professionals and healthcare support workers). It was not felt to be appropriate to name any one profession in the HCPC’s strapline; instead they have referred to some of the broad categories in which the professionals that they regulate work.

The HCPC will use this new strapline on all the materials which currently bear their strapline, including their website and social media platforms, public information posters and leaflets and on the banners and display materials which they take to professional and public-facing conferences, exhibitions and events. The HCPC will use the strapline on their most public and prominent materials, with particular emphasis on materials which will be accessed by members of the public, to reinforce who they are and what they do.

The HCPC will be the same organisation and will continue to undertake the same functions. Current registration certificates and cards will remain valid and the HCPC standards will be unchanged.

The new HCPC web address will be and their email addresses will end in ‘’.

The change to the organisation’s name – and taking on the regulation of social workers in England – is not being funded from registration fees. This means that registrants are not paying for the necessary amendments to their materials due to the change of name or the work to allow social workers in England to join the Register. The HCPC has received a grant from the Department of Health to cover the cost of this work.

Article by Simon Lucas

postheadericon Curry and Cancer

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric Powder

The BBC reported recently about new medical research in the fight against bowel cancer.

A report claims that Curcumin (a chemical found in curry spice ‘Turmeric’) is being tested to see how successful it could be in helping kill bowel tumours in patients.

It is already known that Curcumin has a range of other health benefits and the latest research is generating excitement amongst those involved with the fight against cancer.

The BBC reports that “Studies have already shown that it can beat cancer cells grown in a laboratory and benefits have been suggested in stroke and dementia patients as well.

The spice is set to be trialed in Leicester, England along side chemotherapy drugs to investigate the possibility of a combined treatment.

Bowell cancer is one of the most common cancers found in the UK and roughly 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

In some cases, if the disease is not caught early enough, the disease can spread through the body making the disease more difficult to treat. Advances in chemotherapy and surgery are helping prolong life expectancy of patients though, and in some cases patients can go into remission, cancer is still major problem for the NHS in the UK and tumour surgery comes with risks, as with any major operation.

The BBC report that Forty patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital will take part in the trial, which will compare the effects of giving Curcumin pills seven days before starting standard chemotherapy treatment.

More information on the BBC article here: Curry chemical’s ability to fight cancer put to the test

Article by Simon Lucas.

postheadericon BBC reports NHS hospital loans under PFI in question



A recent article by the BBC has shed light on a political row which has erupted over the legacy of PFI for the health service as one hospital trust faces insolvency.

South London Healthcare, a merger of three hospital trusts, is spending 14% of its income on repayments to a private finance initiative (PFI).

The government says the financial problems are caused by a PFI scheme signed off under Labour. Labour says there are wider financial pressures in the NHS, and PFI also delivered many new hospitals. The government could appoint an administrator within weeks, but in the meantime the trust’s hospitals will continue to run as normal. The move raises the prospect that other trusts could follow in its wake.

There are another 20 trusts that have declared themselves financially unsustainable in their current form. Work has already started to rectify their problems and therefore wholesale dissolving is considered unlikely.

However, the move over South London Healthcare does act as a warning that the government is prepared to use the measure, which was made possible by legislation Labour introduced in 2009.

You can read more about the BBC’s report here: BBC NHS PFI Report

postheadericon Back Injuries & Compensation

Back injuries are life changing, claim your rightful compensation today

Whatever the incident, back injuries are a common result – and everything from the level to the manageability of the problem and pain tends to be unique from person to person. So, whether you’ve had whiplash or a serious spinal injury, it is worth looking into back injury compensation. Whether you are less mobile for days or know someone who has been paralysed as a result, it is worth getting the facts about it.

Different back injuries

We all get a little back pain now and again; it isn’t necessarily something to be concerned about. But, if there are repeat factors that lead to this, or you have had an accident you may be entitled to compensation. Here are some common conditions:

  • Strains and sprains – When a ligament is torn or stretched it is known as a strain and a sprain is damage to tendons or muscles. What usually comes of this is pain, cramps and spasms and mobility reduction.
  • Herniated disk – When there is a rupture to one or more of your spinal disks you will get what is known as an annular tear. This problem with a nerve root sees you suffering a lot of pain.
  • Fractured vertebrae – In a bad incident, the trauma will lead to a broken spine. Alternatively, it is known to be a problem for the elderly and it tends to occur in the lower back.
  • Spinal cord injuries – Usually an impact of car accidents, this is where there is an injury to the spinal cord which leads to problems with your body and brain communicating. Generally speaking, the higher the injury, the bigger the problem.
  • Compression fractures – If this happens then your spine may change permanently, and there may be a deformation or collapse to the vertebrae.

As you can see, there are numerous back injuries that could occur – and they have differing results. If you do have one then you should see if you can claim some compensation and how you can get your life back. Many of these problems come from road traffic incidents. Much like this next story.

A client success

When a young man from Birmingham was out getting on with his day-to-day life, tragedy occurred – he was involved in a road accident. Crossing the road is part of all of our everyday lives, but when he was struck by a vehicle he was left with serious problems from a spinal cord injury. Originally, the insured driver denied liability but thanks to Irwin Mitchell the issue was resolved and showed him to have been negligent – at least in part – to the incident.

From here, interim funds were won in order to buy the client a property that was more suited to his needs along with therapy, equipment and a car. After this we were able to recover £3.5 million in damages and help him to lead a normal life again. With help and support we can overcome many things and this is what the man was able to get by claiming with us – for example, the client was able to be one of the first users of robotic exoskeleton equipment.

A partner from our Birmingham office, Stephen Nye, commented: “We are delighted to have achieved such a favourable outcome for our client. He faced his injuries with great courage and has taken a very positive outlook on his life, achieving a very high standard in wheelchair sports.”

Sponsored Post by Forward 3D on Behalf of Irwin Mitchell.

postheadericon Critical Illness Cover; Some Frequently Asked Questions

There is a misconception where critical illness cover is concerned, and it might even be one which you too have thought about at one point or another. Yes, surely nobody wants to think about such things, but there is no need to grind yourselves down with negativity. In fact, critical illness cover as seen here on is designed to give you peace of mind, not stress you out even further and with this in mind, it can certainly help to know as much as possible about your typical critical illness cover plan and the company providing it where, in the UK you should be sure to look out for the FSA logo seen here and check the company on the register…

So, with this in mind, here are a few frequently asked questions on the topic, something which certainly deserves to be addressed by anyone who is thinking about protecting themselves further down the line.

Firstly, is critical illness cover worth the initial outlay?

Is it more trouble than it’s worth? Well, how about we turn this question around to a degree and throw it back at you? Can you really afford not to have a critical illness cover plan? These days, and believe us when we say that this is far better than it once was, even the best company policies in regard to sick pay and cover often only pay out for six months at a time, which isn’t bad of course, but customers are often faced with statutory sick pay after this period which, as we all know can sometimes barely even cover the cost of your mortgage or rent, never mind bills and other expenses. So, with this in mind, there is certainly a financial benefit to enjoyed through critical illness cover.

Another question which is understandably asked fairly regularly relates to what is covered by a typical critical illness cover plan. After all, each plan is slightly different and this is certainly worth noting down before signing up to any specific programme or scheme. Annoying as it is, some policies only cover roughly thirty different illnesses and yet others cover well over a hundred. Put simply, if an illness is not listed on your policy documents, then you are not covered for it unfortunately and this is why it can be hugely important to consider the finer details of any plan before signing on any dotted line, be it online or on paper.

Article by Simon Lucas

September 2015
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