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19Feb 2016

Are lie-ins bad for you?

A study showed that sleeping more at weekends could raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease. So, should you really get up on a Sunday?

Could your weekend lie-in kill you? asked the Daily Mail last month. It cited a study in last month’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) that links sleeping more at weekends with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Since most of us change our sleep schedule depending on whether it’s a work or non-work day, it’s an interesting question. Is lying-in really so dangerous? Researchers say that changing sleep patterns causes social jet lag. Is that even a thing?

Read full story: Are lie-ins bad for you?

19Feb 2016

Is it good to be bored (or will it be the death of you)?

One study implies that boredom make you likelier to die earlier, but another concludes that it spurs creativity …

You’re watching a PowerPoint presentation and it’s slide 10 out of 75. Your boss is present, so you can’t risk a quick game of Football Manager 2016 on your phone. But time is stationary. You feel dejected and trapped. You experience something that the Romans documented on the walls of Pompeii: mind-numbing boredom. And you wonder, is being “bored to death” a real thing?

Read full story: Is it good to be bored (or will it be the death of you)?

3Feb 2016

Cancer charities unite in a first for World Cancer Day

, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan, and the Movember Foundation are collaborating for the first time in a campaign for World Cancer Day, which aims to raise funds for each of the charities as well as raise awareness.

The campaign launched on 21st January, along with the website www.worldcancerday.co.uk, and has run for two weeks prior to today, World Cancer Day (4th February).  It encourages people to get a Unity Band for a suggested donation of £2 to wear on the day.  Each charity will have their own customised version of the band, which they will sell through their own websites, shops or partners, with the income raised by the individual charities spent on their own specific research projects and support services. The hope is that by working together, the charities will be more cost effective, reach a wider audience with a unified message, and share resources to help more people suffering from cancer.

The joint messaging for the partnership is ‘together we CAN do something about cancer’.  This will be reflected in the UK-wide campaign, which also raises awareness of World Cancer Day and runs across a number of channels including TV, out of home, social and online, which will feature all four charities, and each charity will also adapt it for their own supporter channels. The charities are also all using the same hashtag: #ADayToUnite.

Cancer Research UK has spearheaded the , with the aim of testing a partnership for future years with a small selection of charities with different core purposes. The charities will be evaluating the impact of the , with the view to developing and building on the partnership in the future.

Anthony Newman, director of brand, marketing and communications at Cancer Research UK, said:

We’re incredibly excited to be collaborating with Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation for World Cancer Day 2016. It’s the first time we’ve joined forces with other charities for a fundraising and awareness campaign on this scale and it’s really exciting to be part of a collaboration that has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people who are affected by cancer.

Richard Davidson, director of communications and marketing at Anthony Nolan, added:

By joining forces, we’re making it easy for the British public to engage with World Cancer Day. The Unity Bands celebrate our unified goals as well as our individual brand personalities, offering our shared audiences a simple and tangible way to transform lives on World Cancer Day.

21Jan 2016

Mother backs knife crime memorial

The mother of a man who was stabbed to death in a car park has backed a campaign for a national memorial for victims of knife crime.

Trainee accountant Danny Jones, 21, from Chirk near Wrexham, died from a single stab wound from a replica sword.

A sculpture is being created from seized weapons in Oswestry, Shropshire, the town where he died in 2013.

Meanwhile, a north Wales judge said there was huge concern about the number of serious injuries caused by knives.

The British Ironworks Centre is creating the sculpture – Knife Angel – using 30,000 weapons seized from the scenes of crime around the UK.

Mr Jones died in hospital from a single stab wound from an ornamental short sword during an argument with a friend after a night out in Oswestry, Shropshire in April 2013.

His killer was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter.

Read full story: Mother backs knife crime memorial

18Jan 2016

Well-done LIFEPAK 12

A LifePak 12 defibrillator/monitor was recovered from a North West Ambulance Service vehicle, which caught fire due to an electrical fault. The vehicle was a total loss, as was a majority of its contents.

However, to the equipment manager’s surprise, the LifePak 12 powered-up and operated normally when connected to a simulator, recognising the rhythm, charging and delivering a shock.

Paramedics had to evacuate an ambulance after the vehicle caught fire on the A69 in north Cumbria.

There were no patients on board when the incident happened in 2013.

It’s thought an electrical fault caused the fire which badly damaged the vehicle.

Source: Physio-Control Inc and ITV News

25Dec 2015

NHS Choir defeat Justin Bieber to secure the UK’s Official Christmas Number 1

The NHS Choir claim the festive chart crown after a week-long tussle with Justin Bieber.

They’ve only gone and done it! The NHS Choir topple global pop heavyweight Justin Bieber to secure the UK’s Official Christmas Number 1 2015.

It’s been the closest festive chart battle witnessed since Rage Against The Machine’s scintillating victory over The X Factor’s Joe McElderry in 2009, but the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir today claim the coveted yuletide chart crown with their charity single A Bridge Over You.

The choir jingle all the way to the Official Chart’s Christmas top spot today with total combined chart sales of 127,000, nearly 31,000 ahead of their rival.

Watch the NHS Choir celebrate being crowned this year’s Christmas Number 1 below:

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja-_8A9Ejug[/embedyt]

Following a thrilling week-long tussle which saw the choir racing neck and neck with Bieber right down to the final whistle, the NHS Choir tell OfficialCharts.com:

We are absolutely overwhelmed and couldn’t be any happier!

It’s a brilliant celebration for the NHS across the country so well done and thank you everyone for downloading and streaming. A massive cheer for the NHS, thank you!

Despite leading the race at the beginning of the chart week by 5,000 copies, the choristers’ early lead narrowed after 48 hrs to just over 2,000 copies, and by day 3 (Monday) the tide had turned in favour of the Canadian pop superstar.

By Tuesday it was looking like Bieber might have the race locked down as his advantage extended to 7,000 chart sales, but then the choir’s appearance on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show that morning helped them claw back ground, the gap once again narrowed overnight, leaving a nail-biting 662 copies between the two contenders on Wednesday morning’s sales flash.

In a dramatic turn of events Bieber then tweeted his support to his NHS rivals, whose campaign supports the hard work done by doctors, nurses, midwives and many others in the NHS, with proceeds set to be donated to a selection of charities including Carers UK and mental health charity Mind.

All is not lost for Bieber though, as he still claims 3 positions in the Official Chart Top 10 with Love Yourself (2), Sorry (3) and What Do You Mean (5) to round off his remarkable year in pop.

Other notable race contenders this year included unsigned act Stormzy, whose #ShutUpForXmasNo1 campaign sees him finish at Number 9 this week, and X Factor winner, Louisa Johnson is at 12 with her winner’s single Forever Young.

And finally, five festive classics appear in this week’s Top 40: Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You (11), Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York(13), Wham’s Last Christmas (18), Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (27), Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas (29) and Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? (38).

Source: OfficialCharts.com

1Oct 2015

Smoking in cars with children banned from today

Smokers are being given one more reason to quit as new laws come into force which make it illegal for anyone to smoke in vehicles with children present. The new law is designed to help protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Under the ban both the driver and the smoker can be fined £50 if anyone smokes in a vehicle with a person who is under 18.

Newcastle University, Public Health England and Fresh Smoke Free North East conducted an experiment to highlight the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles. This tested the levels of dangerous chemicals (fine particles known as PM2.5) to which children can be exposed in the back seat of a car when a driver is smoking.

Despite what people might think, opening the car windows does not remove the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The experiment showed that even with the window open, levels of dangerous chemicals were more than 100 times higher than recommended safety guidelines.

Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, and parents can be unaware of the exposure to which children are often subjected, particularly in enclosed spaces such as vehicles. Children are particularly vulnerable as they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways and immune systems.

Health risks

Secondhand smoke is made up of over 4,000 chemicals, more than 50 of which cause cancer. Approximately three million children in England are currently exposed to secondhand smoke in a vehicle,  which puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis and respiratory infections such as bronchitis. Exposure to secondhand smoke results in over 300,000 general practice consultations and an estimated 9,500 hospital admissions in the UK each year.



4Aug 2015

Hospital doctors spreading disease by smartphone

Smartphones could be responsible for the spread of disease in hospitals, a Tasmanian study has found.

While the devices have changed the way hospitals operate – frequently being shared between doctors and nurses to access laboratory results and coordinate patient care – the practice could be putting the health of patients at risk.

The study found that 50 per cent of smartphones had one species of bacteria, 40 per cent had two, and three per cent had three species.

Three quarters of phones that we saw actually grew bacteria, out of those a small but significant percentage – 5 per cent actually – grew pathogenic bacteria that can cause infections, said medical researcher Dr Foong Yi Chao.

Even the most mild of these bacteria can cause gut and blood infections in patients with already compromised immune systems.

Keep it clean

According to Dr Chao, smartphones need disinfecting in the same way that doctors wash their hands, but the study shows only one in five medical professionals do so regularly.

Mobile phones are being used by everyone nowadays, they’re so important in hospital settings for communication, Dr Choa said.

So even though it sounds like a small percentage, it’s one in every 20 phones so it’s small but significant.

And while there are stringent protocols for sterilising hospital equipment, clothing and staff hand washing, that is not necessarily the case for mobile phones.

Worldwide there’s no known protocols for phone cleaning, it’s something that’s only been looked at recently… so that’s something that needs to be developed in the future.”

3Jul 2015

Stay Safe and Hydrated in Hot Weather

With temperatures set to remain in their high 20s this week, remember to keep hydrated and stay cool during hot weather.

Everyone is at risk of suffering a heat-related illness during periods of high temperatures. People most at risk of suffering a heat-related illness are the elderly, babies, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers and those who suffer pre-existing medical conditions or take certain medications.

Physically active people, such as manual workers like builders or those that play sport, may also easily become dehydrated or overheat during hot weather.

Drinking plenty of water and keeping your body as cool as possible can reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

Some tips to help keep you cool and hydrated:

  • Switch drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine or that are high in sugar with water and eat small meals often to stay hydrated.
  • Stay cool by wearing light, lose cotton clothing and stay indoors or find a cool shady spot when the sun is at its hottest between 11am and 3pm.
  • Open windows and doors and use fans to circulate air or turn on your air-conditioner if you have one to reduce the temperature indoors.

Signs to watch out for include headaches, nausea, cramps, fainting, excessive sweating, tiredness and dizziness.

The symptoms of heat-related illness can include flushed or pale skin, cramps, fainting, nausea and vomiting, headaches and dizziness, a rapid pulse, disorientation and/or drowsiness.

For further medical advice, you can ring the NHS 111 Service by dialling 111. Please only call 999 in life threatening situations.


1Apr 2015

On Your Feet Britain

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Get Britain Standing have launched a campaign called On Your Feet Britain to encourage office workers to switch their sitting time to standing time.

Ahead of the launch of On Your Feet Britain, research found that office workers spend too much of their time at work sedentary. A poll of 2,000 office workers found that 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes of their day walking around at work and 62% feel that the amount of time spent sitting could negatively impact their health.