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Donor registration – simple steps to saving lives

Fiona PI’ve written and rewritten this blog 3 times. The first draft was too emotional, the second draft too focused on fact and the third, a disjointed mix of the two. This should be easy to write because there is just one very clear message that I want to get across: sign up to the donor register and tell your friends and family your wishes. Continue reading

Keep calm and carry on… knitting

ivonneHAs my bit to raise awareness of mental health awareness week and in an effort to reduce my own anxiety I am going to go on record and out myself. I AM A KNITTER (and a crocheter, and a card maker… well generally a pretty crafty person), but let’s just focus on the knitting for the time being. Continue reading

Driving in reverse: How behavioural economics can change smoking behaviour

With October nearing a close it marks the end of Stoptober. Stoptober is a scheme which encourages smokers to stop smoking for the whole of October in an attempt to quit in the long term. The campaign came about after research revealed that stopping for 28 days means a smoker is five times more likely to not go back to cigarettes. Continue reading

I’ll have what she’s having. Later.

Fiona PannellIt’s free, easy to do, will possibly save your life and you are encouraged and frequently reminded to do it. Why then do some women still not go for their cervical screening?

An 80% uptake isn’t bad but considering how early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers it is important for 100% of women to be tested. Continue reading

Let’s get physical – Mental Health Awareness & Walk to Work Week

I’ll begin with a case study. My own

I’ve always been aware of how physical activity improves my mood and lowers my stress but it wasn’t until recently, when the ability to run and jump was temporarily taken away from me that I realised just how important it is. Continue reading

Kate’s Walk to Work Week diary – Friday: This ain’t rock’n’roll … This is genocide

In an amazingly short space of time, the walking thing has just became normal. And especially after the sunny gorgeousness that was yesterday, I found myself looking forward to today’s walk, and sorry that it was all going to be over at the end. But as regular readers will know, today was the Jazz Apocalypse. Continue reading

Kate’s Walk to Work Week diary – Thursday: Waiting for the Beat to Kick in (But it Never Does)

So today I walked to work with Maria Callas (recommended by Chrissie – thank you, Chrissie!). Maria and I got along pretty well, especially the part where she sang bits of Tosca to me as I walked along the edge of Wandsworth Common. Continue reading

The links between financial health and physical health

rachelCOn a recent commute, I read with interest that households are now more worried about the rising cost of living than they are about their health.  According to data from uSwitch released in the build-up to the budget next week, more than half of households (55%) said that their biggest concern was the cost of living, compared with less than a third (29%) who saw their health as their main priority. Continue reading

Is the next big tech revolution on your wrist?

I haven’t owned a watch for quite a few years, but The New York times are reporting that Apple are apparently playing with loading their iOS software into a wrist watch.  Apple aren’t the only ones investing in smartwatch technology. A great crowd funded start-up called Pebble also has a bluetooth enabled watch. Continue reading

Cancer – it’s good to talk

We need to talk about the big C. Cancer. You may well be thinking ‘Talk about cancer, don’t we do enough of that already?’ Unfortunately the truth all too often is no, we don’t. Admittedly cancer is frequently in the news either in the form of a fundraising initiatives, such as Movember, Race for Life  or regarding a new treatment made available (or not) on the NHS. Continue reading

Bringing the power home: can councils handle it?

It’s hard to miss the headlines informing us that obese people could have their benefits cut unless they start exercising. This is bound to spark considerable debate over why only overweight people are being punished and not smokers or drug addicts or why overweight people should be allowed to put a strain on the healthcare system. Continue reading

Calculating the cost of success

Andy GlazierI noticed earlier in the week that the NHS have published their Pensions Scheme contributions calculator for 2013-2014. Whilst it wasn’t quite what I expected when I started to play around with it (I thought it was going to be one of those “if we assume x, y and z, then if you continue to make your current pension contributions you’ll be living on nothing for 20 to 25 years” types of model) it did start me thinking. Continue reading

You are not yet disabled

Francesca Martinez (the Comedian With Cerebral Palsy) argues that the opposite of disabled is not ‘non-disabled’, it is ‘not yet disabled’. We currently use these terms as if there is a clear and stark separation between these two categories, and yet it is evident that most people undergo a gradual loss of their physical and mental capabilities over the course of their lifetime. Continue reading

Participatory research – creating an inclusive approach

rachelCI attended the NHS Confederation’s Delivering Better Health Services conference last week in Manchester.  There was a lot of noise around public involvement in research and adopting a participatory approach, and it did make me question the extent to which this happens in research.  I outline below what I see as some of the key elements to conducting good participatory, people-centred research.  Continue reading

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