Useful tools in understanding and dealing with difficult situations

28. Dec, 2016

All the topics covered in 'My Blog'.

  •  Medical Travel Insurance
  •  Pet Refuge
  •  What happens with addiction?
  •  Applicate yourself
  •  Bullying in the workplace
  •  Debt
  •  Age UK
  •  My ageing parent
  •  Free advice on housing for older people.
  •  The Biopsychosocial model of disease
  •  POhWER
  •  Elder Abuse
  •  Dementia Care Matters
  •  Public Health England
  •  Medical Travel Insurance
  •  Pet Refuge
  •  What happens with addiction
  •  Applicate yourself  
  •  Bullying in the workplace
  • Beating the Blues  
  •  Road Safety
  •  Be Dog Smart thanks to the Dogs Trust
  •  Helping our Elders
  •  Dear Diary....
  •  Inflammatory Bowel Disease  
  •  Kris wants you to coppa feel
  •  IDDT 2
  •  The Prince's Trust
  •  Baby Changing Facilities on the tube system
  • Runaway Helpline
  •  When school is not cool....
  •  Hoarding-the Hidden illness
  •  More useful apps  
  •  NHS Apps  
  •  Emergency SOS
  •  EHIC
  •  SilverCloud   
  •  Are you looking after someone?
  •  Everyone needs a buddy
  •  Top Apps for the Elderly
  •  Rethink  
  •  Healthwatch
  •  It's a Breezie!
  •  The CEA Card-improving quality of life
  •  Be Fearless teenagers...Don't do crime, don't fight crime...just stop crime
  •  The role of the Occupational Therapist
  •  Helping yourself and others with Clinical Trials
  •  Understanding ill health and the biopsychococial impact on all affected
  •  Hearing impairment help
  •  Smiling Mind App

Continue to My Blog 1

22. Nov, 2016

For James and Lulu- Heroes!

Animal assisted therapy is a complimentary medicine intervention. Although dogs will never replace therapists, research suggests that animal therapy is beneficial in many areas. Some studies suggest that animals assist in physical health, mental health as well as literacy support.

I am certainly of the opinion that pets have some phenominally positive effects on the sick. I have certainly witnessed some life changing results from our four legged friends.

Treatment for any condition should be approached holistically so if you have a healing pet and want to get involved in pet therapy,or if you want to know more about pet therapy, please visit

There is more useful information regarding pets in earlier pages of this blog including information about pet refuge (April 2015) and becoming dog aware (June 2015). Both very worthwhile sources of information.

15. Nov, 2016

Drinking alcohol regularly can increase the risk of 7 different cancers. It is likely that different cancers are caused in different ways. Cancers linked to alcohol include:

What is acetaldehyde and how can it cause cancer?

In our bodies, alcohol (ethanol) is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde.

It can cause cancer by damaging DNA and stopping our cells from repairing this damage. The International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified acetaldehyde formed as a result of drinking alcohol as being a cause of cancer, along with alcohol itself.

Acetaldehyde also causes liver cells to grow faster than normal. These regenerating cells are more likely to pick up changes in their genes that could lead to cancer.

Ethanol is broken down mainly by the liver, but lots of other cell types can do this as well. Some of the bacteria that live in our mouths and the linings of our guts are also able to convert ethanol into acetaldehyde.

How can alcohol’s effects on oestrogen and other hormones lead to cancer?

Alcohol can increase the levels of some hormones, such as oestrogen. Hormones act as messengers in the body, giving our cells instructions such as when to divide. Unusually high levels of oestrogen increase the risk of breast cancer.

Why is it worse to both drink and smoke?

People who smoke and drink multiply the risk for certain cancers, because tobacco and alcohol work together to damage the cells of the body. For example, alcohol makes it easier for the mouth and throat to absorb the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco. This is one reason why people who drink and smoke multiply the damage they receive and have especially high risks of cancer.

Can liver damage lead to cancer?

Drinking lots of alcohol can damage the cells of the liver, causing a disease called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can make you more likely to develop liver cancer.

What about folate?

Folate is an important vitamin that helps our cells produce new DNA correctly. People who drink alcohol tend to have lower levels of folate in their blood and some studies have found that some cancers are more common in people with low folate levels. But at the moment it isn’t clear if alcohol does cause cancer in this way, or whether the amount of folate people get in their diet affects the risk from alcohol.

How else can alcohol damage DNA?

Alcohol can cause highly reactive molecules, called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), to be produced in our cells. These molecules can damage the DNA, which could cause cancer to develop.

What about possible benefits of drinking alcohol?

There have been some studies in the past that suggested drinking a little bit of alcohol may be good for heart health. But recent reviews have called these findings into question and the UK Chief Medical Officer’s review of the evidence concluded that potential benefits only apply to women aged 55 and over who drink very little (about 5 units per week). The new government guidelines clearly state that drinking for health reasons is not recommended.



26. Oct, 2016

The four-year-old boy with autism was vomiting and constipated after taking too much calcium, vitamin D, camel milk and zinc.


Image Caption: It was three days before doctors were told about the supplements the boy was being given

The unnamed child was rushed to Accident and Emergency having lost three kilos in weight after vomiting and being constipated for three weeks.

He was diagnosed with severe hypercalcaemia - or very high calcium levels in his blood.

Police were called to investigate the naturopath who had advised the parents to give him a combination of 12 different complementary therapies including calcium, vitamin D, camel milk and zinc.

Doctors at Barts Hospital in London only learned about the supplements three days after the boy was admitted.

They have now recommended it become "routine practice" to take details of alternative therapies as part of the patient's medical history.

Writing in the British Medical Journal's Case Reports, doctors from Barts Health NHS Trust said: "His parents were devastated that something they had given to their son with good intent had made him so unwell.


"The safeguarding team became involved as well as the police to investigate the naturopath who had advised the therapies.

"Many families view these therapies as safer 'natural' options. But, as this case demonstrates, there can be significant adverse effects which may go unrecognised due to lack of monitoring, recognition and experience with these therapies."

Jane Harris, of the National Autistic Society, said: "This awful case shows we need more professionals in place to give families accurate advice and talk to them about what really helps and how to find the right support.

"It's crucial that doctors and healthcare professionals take the concerns of families seriously and are able to talk through the potential risks of alternative therapies, even when they might seem harmless."

The boy recovered fully within two weeks.


29. Sep, 2016




An unprecedented insight into the London Ambulance Service, from the highly-pressurised control room to the crews on the streets, Ambulance provides an honest 360-degree snapshot of their daily dilemmas and pressures.

The first episode reveals the dilemmas faced by the London Ambulance Service as they are forced to bump patients down the queue so they can prioritise the sickest, deal with time-wasters and cope with the ever-present threat that a major incident is just a 999 call away.

An ordinary day in London means dozens of car crashes, overdoses, suicide attempts and - statistically - 28 cardiac arrests, where every second can make the difference between life and death. By 11.00am, seven cardiac arrests have already come in, and now there are two more people fighting for their lives. As one crew battles through traffic to try to save a dad of two, across the city, another faces a difficult decision - whether to stop resuscitating their patient, knowing full well the impact it will have on the family.

The brain of the service is the control room and, when a number of stabbings, suicide attempts and a double shooting flood the 999 phone lines simultaneously, they threaten to overwhelm the service. And when there is an unexpected spike in 999 calls - far outstripping the number of ambulances available - drastic action has to be taken. Some emergency callers have to be told an ambulance cannot come to them so that the service can prioritise reaching those in most urgent need. Multiple calls about an explosion in a flat come in and herald the control centre's worst fear - now, the whole of the London Ambulance Service has to step up.


Following this programme, the BBC has provided links to organisations that can provide information and support on some of the issues raised in the series. The topics are as follows:


Emotional Distress

If you are feeling emotionally distressed, the following organisations may be able to help.

Samaritans is available 24 hours a day for anyone struggling to cope and provide a safe place to talk where calls are completely confidential.
Phone: 116 123
Visit the Samaritans website

Breathing Space offers a confidential phone and web based service for people in Scotland experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety.
Phone: 0800 83 85 87 (Mon-Thu 6pm-2am, weekends 6pm-6am).
A BSL service is also available via the website.
Visit the Breathing Space website

Community Advice & Listening Line offers emotional support and information on mental health and related matters to people in Wales.
Phone: 0800 132 737 (24/7) or text "help" to 81066.
Visit the Community Advice & Listening Line website

Lifeline provides support to people suffering distress or despair in Northern Ireland, regardless of age or district.
Phone: 0808 808 8000 (24 hours a day)
Visit the Lifeline website

PAPYRUS offer support, practical advice and information to young people considering suicide and can also offer help and advice if you’re concerned about someone you know.
Phone: 0800 068 41 41
Visit the PAPYRUS website

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.
Phone: 0300 111 5065 (9am to 9pm daily)
Visit the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide website

Addaction has services throughout England and Scotland that help adults, young people and their families recover from addiction and substance misuse problems.
Visit the Addaction website

AddictionNI provides support and treatment to people affected by alcohol or drug addiction in Northern Ireland.
Phone on 0289 066 4434
Visit the AddictionNI website

Alcoholics Anonymous provides opportunities to share experience, strength and hope to recover from alcoholism.
Phone: 0800 9177 650
Visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website

Alcohol Focus Scotland works to reduce alcohol harm by providing information on alcohol consumption, how to recognise problem drinking and how to help someone with a drink problem.
Visit the Alcohol Focus Scotland website

Drinkline is a confidential helpline for those worried about their own or someone else's drinking. They can put you in touch with your local alcohol advice centre for help and support.
Phone: 0300 123 1110

FRANK provides a confidential service to anyone wanting information, advice or support about any aspect of drugs.
Phone: 0300 123 6600
Minicom: 0300 123 1099
Online chat facility (2-6pm weekdays)
Visit the FRANK website

Know the Score provides confidential drugs information and advice across Scotland.
Phone: 0800 587 5879 (8am-11pm daily)
Visit the Know the Score website

The Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline is a bilingual helpline providing information or help to individuals, their families, carers, and support workers.
Phone: 0808 808 2234 (24/7)
Visit the Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline website

COAP, Children Of Addicted Parents And People provides support for young people living with a family member's addiction to drugs, alcohol or behaviour such as gambling.
Visit the COAP website

MAMAA provides a free, specialist support & advocacy service to those who have been victim to serious violence and/or bereaved by homicide.
Phone: 020 8207 0702
Visit the MAMAA website

Victim Support provides emotional and practical help to victims or witnesses of any crime, whether or not it has been reported to the police.
Phone: 0808 16 89 111 (weekdays 8pm-8am; weekends 24 hour service)
Visit the Victim Support website

Victim Support NI offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Northern Ireland.
Phone: 028 9024 3133
Visit the Victim Support NI website

Victim Support Scotland offers emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime across Scotland.
Phone: 0845 603 9213
Visit the Victim Support Scotland website

The British Heart Foundation provides care, support and a range of information for everyone living with heart disease.
Phone: 0300 330 3311
Visit the BHF website

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland offers confidential information and support to people with a condition, their families and carers.
Phone: 0808 801 0899
Visit the Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland website

Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke (NICHS) runs services across Northern Ireland to help people and their families to meet the challenges of living with chest, heart or stroke conditions.
Phone: 028 9032 0184
Visit the NICHS website

Heart UK provides information, dietary advice and support for anyone who has suffered a heart attack or has high cholesterol. Advice in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi is available on Fridays.
Phone: 0845 450 5988 (weekdays 10am-3pm)
Visit the Heart UK website

Myheart network offers help, support and information to young people who are coping with a diagnosis of a heart condition.
Visit the Myheart network website

Sands supports anyone affected by the death of a baby that has died before, during, or shortly after birth and offer telephone support and online message boards.
Phone: 0207 436 5881
Visit the Sands website

Miscarriage Association offers support and information to anyone affected by miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy.
Phone: 01924 200799 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm)
Visit the Miscarriage Association website

Child Bereavement UK supports families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
Phone: 0800 02 888 40
Visit the Child Bereavement UK website

The Child Death Helpline offers support to anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, from prebirth to adult, under any circumstances, however recently or long ago.
Phone: 0800 282 986 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Visit the Child Death Helpline website


Road Traffic Collisions:

The Brake helpline offers emotional support and practical information and help if you have been bereaved or seriously injured by a road crash, or if you are supporting someone affected in that way.
Phone: 0808 8000 401 (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)
Visit the Brake helpline website

RoadPeace provides emotional and practical support to those bereaved or injured in a road crash.
Helpline: 0845 4500 355 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Visit the RoadPeace website

SCARD - Support and Care After Road Death and Injury provides support to anyone who has been affected following a road incident.
Phone: 0845 123 5542 (Daily 9am - 9pm)
Visit the SCARD website