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World Malaria Day 2016

Also known as WMD, World Malaria Day is commemorated every year on the 25th April in a bid to promote global efforts to understand and control malaria. WMD is one of eight official global public health campaigns upheld by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Each is aimed at raising awareness for a specific illness or health problem. In terms of malaria, the statistics are shocking - across the world, more than 3 billion people in 106 countries are currently at risk of malaria. In 2012 alone, malaria caused approximately 627,000 deaths.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a parasitic infectious disease carried by mosquitoes. When a mosquito carrying malaria bites a human, the disease is spread from the insect’s saliva to the person’s blood. If malaria isn’t diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible after becoming infected, it can be fatal. The main signs and symptoms of malaria include:

  • A severe headache
  • A high temperature
  • Fever-like symptoms, including sweats and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Aching muscles
  • Fatigue
  • A dry cough

Although these are the most common symptoms of malaria, not all of the above may appear. Sometimes, people only experience two or three of the most common symptoms, such as a headache, fever and vomiting. Malaria is mainly found in tropical regions such as large areas of Africa and Asia, Central and South America, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Middle East and some Pacific Islands.

How is malaria treated?

If you have been diagnosed with malaria it is vital that you begin taking your medicine immediately. Depending on where in the world you contracted malaria and the exact type that you have will determine the treatment you receive. If you were taking antimalarial medicine prior to contracting the disease, you will need to take a different form of medication after diagnosis. You will need to stay in hospital to be monitored – it is likely that medication will be distributed intravenously to begin with, followed by a course of tablets.

Every year on 25th April, World Malaria Day focuses on a specific theme. 2016’s theme is “End malaria for good”. For more information, visit the World Malaria Day website to find out how you can help to raise awareness. 

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World Health Day 2016

 

Each year World Health Day is held on 7th April, marking the anniversary of the World Health Organisation being founded in 1948. World Health Day focuses on a different disease or health issue every year in order to raise awareness and educate people on how to treat or prevent certain illnesses. This year, World Health Day 2016 is covering diabetes – one of the most common and serious diseases in the world. In 2008, an estimated 347 million people around the world were diagnosed with diabetes. It is estimated that by 2025 there will be approximately 5 million people with diabetes in the UK alone.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is lifelong metabolic disorder that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2 – with type 2 affecting approximately 90% of adults with diabetes in the UK.

Type 1 is when the patient is insulin dependent and is usually developed during childhood or as a young adult. Type 1 diabetes destroys pancreatic cells, and as a result no insulin can be produced, meaning glucose levels increase which can seriously damage internal organs.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is more prevalent in people who are overweight and over the age of 45. People who suffer from type 2 diabetes are no longer able to produce insulin and sugar builds up in their bloodstream. Type 2 is a progressive condition, meaning those who suffer from the disease may eventually need medication.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Feeling increasingly thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling physically exhausted
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent thrush or itchy genitals 
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts and wounds taking a long time to heal

If you or someone you know is experiencing two or more of the above symptoms, visit your GP as soon as possible and express your concern.

How is diabetes treated?

There is currently no cure for diabetes, meaning if you have been diagnosed you need to carefully manage your treatment. If you have type 1 diabetes you will most likely need insulin injections in order to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is important to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and do an increased level of exercise. In many cases, those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight and should aim to lose 10% of their bodyweight in the space of a year in order to maintain their condition.

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How to Handle Hay Fever

 

Hay fever is a common allergic reaction to pollen released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. Due to plants’ different reproductive cycles happening at different points during the year, hay fever symptoms can occur at any time during spring, summer and autumn. Hay fever is so common that it affects one in five people at some point during their life. Symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose – all of which are a result of an allergy to pollen.

During spring, trees release their pollen and the first signs of hay fever can occur in sufferers as early as February. Following this, allergies to grass pollen begin around March or April, and weed pollen is released any time between March and August.

If you are prone to suffering from hay fever or happen to experience symptoms for the first time this year, try some of the tips below to help ease suffering:

  • Take antihistamine tablets; they are available at supermarkets and pharmacies. You could also ask the pharmacist if they have any other medication to help with your specific symptoms.
  • Avoid alcohol. Many people do not know this, but alcohol contains histamine which is the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in the body.
  • If the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors. Don’t keep fresh flowers inside your house and if possible, don’t dry your clothes outside. Pollen can attach itself to damp clothes and make your symptoms much worse if you wear clothes covered in something you’re allergic to!
  • Avoid areas that are particularly grassy, and don’t cut the grass in your garden – the pollen released from grass is highly likely to affect hay fever sufferers.
  • Keep all windows closed. If it is hot in your house with the windows closed, try closing the curtains to reduce the temperature. Keep the windows in your car closed too – you can also buy a pollen filter for your air vents.
  • If you have been outdoors and your symptoms are particularly bad, when you get home make sure you have a shower and change your clothes. Removing as much pollen from your body as possible is vital in order to reduce symptoms.
  • If your main symptom is a blocked nose and your hay fever isn’t responding to antihistamines, ask your doctor about corticosteroid nasal sprays. They can reduce the inflammation inside your nose and help you to breathe easier.
  • If your eyes are particularly itchy, swollen or watery, try using eye drops specifically for those with hay fever. Eye drops which include the ingredient sodium cromoglicate have been shown to be the safest and most successful in treating symptoms of hay fever.

If you continue to suffer from hay fever symptoms and nothing helps to ease your suffering, speak to your GP. There may be some stronger medications that can be prescribed, or factors to bear in mind that are specific to your particular symptoms. It’s never too early to start preparing for hay fever, so look out for warning signs over the next couple of months. 

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Tips for a Healthy Heart

 

There are numerous lifestyle factors which may be having a negative effect on your heart. When you fall into bad habits, whether it is smoking, drinking too much alcohol or regularly eating unhealthy foods, this can have a detrimental effect on your heart. Other factors such as managing your stress levels and getting enough sleep will help to keep your heart healthy. Below are a few more simple tips on how to improve your heart’s health.

Stop smoking

It’s not a secret that smoking is bad for you – nothing about cigarettes or tobacco are good for a person’s health. However, many people may not know the specifics about the negative effects smoking can have on your health. In terms of your heart, smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases – you are far more likely to have a stroke or develop coronary heart disease if you smoke. Furthermore, smoking damages the lining of your arteries, which can lead to angina and heart attacks. The first step towards a healthier heart is giving up smoking.

Put down the salt

Quite simply, the more salt you eat, the worse your blood pressure will be. The reason behind this is that salt makes your body retain water, therefore if you eat too much salt, the excess water stored in your body will raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a strain on your heart and can lead to heart attacks, CHD and strokes; it can also affect other organs and lead to dementia and kidney disease. CHD (coronary heart disease) is the UK’s biggest killer, with one in four men and one in six women dying from the disease. Cutting down on salt is a big step towards a healthier heart.

Get moving

When we do cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling or swimming, our blood flow concentrates on areas that are doing more work such as the muscles in our legs and torso. This surge in blood flow increases the volume of blood going towards our heart. With regular cardio, our hearts become used to bigger bursts of blood, and as a result fewer beats are needed, even when we are resting. This takes work off your heart and is why cardio is highly recommended for maintaining a healthy heart. Running, cycling or swimming a few times a week is a great way to maintain your fitness as well as keeping your heart healthy.

Be conscious of your diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is also a key ingredient in maintaining a healthy heart. If you minimise your alcohol intake, avoid foods that are high in salt and saturated fat and ensure you eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, this will have a positive impact on your heart. There are numerous benefits to eating healthily; for example, avoiding serious problems such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by stopping smoking, improving your diet and increasing the exercise you do has countless benefits for your heart and other organs. There is no harm in the occasional treat, whether it is a piece of cake or a glass of wine, but be aware of what you put into your body – over time this could have a huge effect on your heart and overall health.

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Workplace Workouts: Stay Fit in the Office

Keeping a healthy work-life balance can be challenging in an office environment. If you don’t have an active job it may be hard to keep your fitness up, whereas if you are on the move during the day you will be able to relax during the evenings. Planning on going to the gym or fitness classes before or after work is all good and well, but actually attending is an entirely different story. Sometimes, when you’ve been sat at a computer for 8 hours a day, all you want to do is go home and crawl into bed. Here, we discuss the easiest and most beneficial exercises you can do at work, either at or near your desk.

1.       Take the stairs

It may sound blatantly obvious that taking the stairs is the healthier option, however when it comes down to it the majority of us would probably opt for the elevator, particularly first thing in the morning. Why not take two steps at a time? You’ll give your legs a work-out simply by making your way into the office. (Feel free to throw in some lunges, squats and knee-raises if nobody is looking.)

2.       Stand to attention

If you are consistently sitting down for long periods of time whilst at work, it is beneficial for you to stand up whenever possible. One of the largest pieces of research conducted by the NHS (involving almost 800,000 people) found that, compared with those who sat the least, people who sat down the longest had a 147% risk increase in cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, the people who sat for the longest periods of time also had a 112% risk increase of developing diabetes. Whilst at work, stand up and walk around as often as possible – even if it means pacing around the room whilst you wait for your document to print!

3.       The lunch time twist

Most office chairs are on wheels and spin around, making it easier for the person sat on it to move around their office or desk space. However, this can also lead to severe laziness! Why not change the purpose of your spinning office chair and put it to good use?  Use its twisting technique to work out your obliques – lift your feet off the ground, hold onto your desk to stay steady and use your core to twist the chair from side to side. Keep going until your muscles start to burn, then have a rest and repeat.

4.       Stationary need not be stationary

Look around your desk – heavy stapler? Ring binders full of documents? Reels of printer paper? Why not utilise the items around you and do some bicep curls, shoulder raises and upward arm pumps whilst holding these heavy objects? If you are on a break, waiting for your computer to restart or on hold with a client on the phone, squeeze in a few reps to keep your arms and shoulders toned.

 

There are many ways to keep fit during office hours that don’t involve making a fool of yourself in front of your colleagues. Perhaps ask your boss if you could trial a standing desk, or gather a few co-workers to go for a 30-minute run after work a couple of times a week. That way, you will still be home in time for tea and to see your family or friends. 

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Dealing With Cold & Flu This Winter

Sometimes, no matter how many layers we pile on during winter or how many people with illnesses we avoid, we are still susceptible to colds and influenza – they are highly contagious. We are all aware that there are no medications, remedies or antibiotics that can specifically cure the common cold. Firstly, if you haven’t had a flu jab, have one. If you are currently suffering from a cold or flu, there are multiple suggestions to help ease your symptoms, soothe your aches and pains and assist with speeding up your recovery.

Stay at home and rest.

It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised about how many people feel that they should power through the symptoms and go to work when they have a cold or flu. The best way to ease your symptoms and speed up recovery is to stay at home, keep warm and get plenty of sleep. Plus, this also means you can refrain from passing on your germs to colleagues!

Drink a lot of water.

Not only will this keep you hydrated, but more specifically, it will keep your respiratory system hydrated. Every time you cough, sneeze or sweat, your body loses fluids. Keeping your respiratory system hydrated will help to liquidise any phlegm or mucus and stop you from getting an infection. Steaming your face will also help clear out your sinuses.

Soothe your throat.

No matter whether you have a sore throat, a chesty cough or aching pains in your neck, keeping your throat lubricated and soothed is essential to ease your symptoms. Try throat lozenges and chloraseptic throat spray if your throat is particularly painful through coughing. Many people describe their sore throats as feeling like “razor blades”- if this is the case try drinking hot water, honey and lemon mixed together to help relax painful symptoms.

Blow your nose.

Many people who get the “sniffles” do just that – sniffle the mucus back into the sinuses, which isn’t going to improve symptoms at all. Blow your nose regularly, but gently; blowing too hard can cause ear ache, and the last thing you need is even more aches and pains.

See your GP.

If your symptoms last more than two weeks without improving, or your symptoms start to worsen and you think you may have an infection, visit your GP. They will be able to prescribe the necessary antibiotics to fight any infections you have, as well as painkillers to improve your sore throat and muscles.

Cold and flu are more common in the winter, so ensure you take care of yourself. If you are out and about wrap up warm and carry hand sanitiser with you at all times – use this after washing your hands, or in between washes. Don’t forget to get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – a regular intake of vitamins will boost your immune system and help to prevent catching a cold.

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World AIDS Day 2015

Each year, 1st December marks international World AIDS Day; it is an opportunity for people around the world to spread awareness, show support for those living with HIV and to remember those who have died from the disease. 1st December not only marked the first ever World AIDS Day, but also the first ever global health day.

There is presently an estimated 34 million people who have HIV across the world, and in the UK alone, more than 100,000 people are currently living with HIV. The virus was only discovered in 1984, and since then more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS. Based on these figures, it is one of the most destructive diseases in history.

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

One of the most common mistakes to make is to assume that those with HIV automatically have AIDS – this is not the case. HIV is a virus that may cause an infection, whereas AIDS is a syndrome or condition. If a person is HIV positive this can lead to them contracting AIDS, due to the virus causing serious damage to their immune system. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

How can I participate in World AIDS Day?

World AIDS Day is an annual reminder not only for the public, but also for the Government, that HIV has not been cured. Despite scientific advances in HIV treatment over the last 40 years, there is still approximately 6,000 people diagnosed with HIV in the UK each year. World AIDS Day is the ideal occasion to not only raise awareness, but also to show your support for the millions of people worldwide who are currently living with HIV. The simplest way is to buy a red ribbon, and wear it with pride. 

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5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Christmas

 

Christmas is renowned as the time of year when everyone enjoys overindulging in festive treats and alcohol with their family and friends. Whilst this may seem like tradition, the tradition also runs strong in January when you will be asking yourself why you ate and drank so much in such a short space of time! This year, follow our 5 simple tips to stay healthy this Christmas, whilst still enjoying yourself.

1.       Only eat one large meal per day

If you decide to have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toast, a piece of Christmas cake and a few glasses of Bucks Fizz for breakfast, try not to follow this up with a large lunch and dinner in the same day. Similarly, if you know you will be having a big roast dinner and a few glasses of wine for dinner, keep your other meals light throughout the day so you aren’t fit to burst by the time you go to bed.

2.       Keep track of snacks

At Christmas time, everywhere you look there will be snacks ready and waiting for you to indulge! From cakes and puddings to mince pies and crisps, the amount of snacks available during the festive period seems to be never-ending. Be mindful of your snacking; for example, choose almonds over salted peanuts, or hummus over cream and chive dip. Making slight changes to your snack choices will make a big difference by the time January comes around.

3.       Stay hydrated

No matter whether you are at home, visiting family or at a festive party, alcohol seems to be on offer wherever you go at Christmastime. Ensure you drink plenty of water; not only to stay hydrated, but also to help aid the digestion of all the food you’ve been eating. Try drinking vodka and soda water instead of vodka and coke, or replace red wine with 50% mulled wine and 50% orange juice. Still the same fulfilment but with half the calories!

4.       Exercise

Don’t give up on your fitness regime just because it’s Christmas – if anything, the over-indulging is even more of a reason to keep it up! Visit the gym a few times a week – it’s usually quite quiet over the Christmas period. If the gym isn’t your thing, get wrapped up and go for a long walk with the family, or set yourself a goal for January. If you have a sponsored run scheduled for the New Year, you have no choice but to go for a few lengthy runs over Christmas to keep your fitness levels up.

5.       Don’t go hungry to parties

One big mistake you can make is going to a party with an empty stomach – you’re bound to accept any food put in front of you! Make sure you eat something beforehand, even if it’s just a light meal. This will help to curb your hunger, and if you do decide to have a bite to eat at the party it will most likely be a small snack or a few canapés.

 

The main trick for staying healthy over Christmas is to consume everything in moderation. From meals and snacks to chocolates and cake, make sure you limit yourself and don’t overdo it. When January comes around, you’ll be able to maintain your weight instead of facing another month of dieting after an over-indulgent festive period! Enjoy yourself, be mindful of what you eat and drink, but most importantly have a very Merry Christmas. 

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November: Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, aimed at improving people’s overall knowledge of lung cancer. There are typical signs and symptoms you can look out for, as well as tips to be mindful of in regards to your general health. As people become more aware of the facts and details about lung cancer, over time the large numbers of those being diagnosed will hopefully fall.

Why do we need to raise awareness?

In the UK, the current rate for someone to survive more than 10 years after being diagnosed with lung cancer is 5%. With the majority of patients being diagnosed at a stage when it is too late to be offered treatment, it is vital that people are more aware of symptoms in order to spot the signs early on. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • A persistent cough that doesn’t go away after a few weeks
  • Regular chest infections
  • Pain when coughing, breathing or swallowing
  • Feeling breathless and/or unable to breathe deeply
  • Coughing up phlegm and/or blood
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Unexplained weight loss and/or loss of appetite
  • Wheezing and a hoarse voice

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, visit your GP. The likelihood is that it is nothing serious, but it is best to have it checked out – if it is lung cancer, being diagnosed in the early stages could save your life. Your GP will examine you, and if they suspect cancer you will be referred for a chest x-ray primarily, followed by a visit to the chest specialist. If you are diagnosed, you will promptly be referred to a lung cancer team for treatment and care.

How do I reduce my risk of getting lung cancer?

There are multiple changes you can make which will improve your chances of never contracting lung cancer, mainly based around living a health-conscious lifestyle. For example:

  • Ask your GP for help to stop smoking. There are numerous organisations who are funded by the NHS to help you stop smoking free of charge. Additionally, if you don’t smoke but are surrounded by second hand smoke on a regular basis, make sure this is reduced as much as possible.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and reduce the amount of alcohol you drink as much as possible. Also, reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt you consume, and increase the portions of fruit and vegetables you eat. The minimum you should be eating on a daily basis is five portions.
  • Exercise regularly - cardio (such as running and cycling) is perfect for increasing your lung capacity. As a result you will be able to inhale more oxygen, burn more calories and have more energy; not to mention decreasing your risk of getting lung cancer.

 

By raising awareness about lung cancer, the number of those being diagnosed in the early stages will increase and those being diagnosed at terminal stage will start to fall. Look out for the signs and symptoms, and be mindful of your diet choices. It is never too early to improve your lifestyle in order to benefit your health. 

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Be Breast Aware!


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with more than 50,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, it is becoming increasingly important that people know the signs and what to look for. With over 100 women on average being diagnosed daily in the UK, the significance of knowing how your breasts look and feel will increase your chances of being able to detect if something is wrong.

Changes in look, shape and feel can all be indicators of breast cancer – but don’t jump to conclusions! UK Healthcare would like to help you look out for tell-tale signs, as well as improve your overall health in order to lessen your chances of developing breast cancer.

What should I look out for?

    • Any new lumps in your breast or armpit, whether they or painful or not – this can also include bumpy areas which feel slightly strange.

 

    • A difference in the shape or outline of the breast, particularly when you lift or move your arm.

 

    • Any changes in the look or feel of the skin on your breast, such as wrinkles and dimples that stand out from the rest of the breast.

 

    • Bleeding or discharge leaking from your nipple.

 

    • Any rashes or sores on or around the nipple that don’t heal, or come and go over time.

 

    • A difference in the position of your nipple, such as it looking higher up than usual, or pointing in an unusual direction.



What are the main breast cancer risk factors?

There is no definite answer to what causes breast cancer, as each case is different. No evidence is 100% clear, hence why it is still vitally important to continue to raise awareness of breast cancer research. However, there are certain elements of a person’s lifestyle which can sometimes affect your health in a negative way. For example, more than a quarter of female breast cancers in the UK are related to factors such as obesity and alcohol consumption. Other influences can be oral contraceptives, some types of hormone replacement therapy and ionising radiation. Furthermore, smoking is also a common lifestyle choice in those diagnosed with breast cancer, but there is no definite evidence to say it is a direct cause.

Some basic lifestyle changes to help prevent breast cancer include eating a healthy, balanced diet, regular physical activity, and reducing your alcohol consumption. Furthermore, refraining from smoking may also help – although there is no solid evidence linking smoking with breast cancer, there are numerous other health benefits if you do decide to quit. Breastfeeding your baby for a minimum of six months is also recommended. This is based on the fact that around 3% of female breast cancers in the UK are suspected to be due to insufficient breastfeeding after pregnancy.

If you are worried about breast cancer, make an appointment with your GP. Your doctor will be able to answer any further questions you may have, as well as giving you additional advice about how to check your breasts regularly. Many women have nodular, lumpy breasts – this is breast tissue and is completely normal. Some women many also have inverted nipples, or one breast larger than the other – again, this is not uncommon. However, if your breasts change in any way, that is when it is time to visit your GP.

 

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Military charity benefits from £5k donation by UK Healthcare

Health cash plan provider UK Healthcare has donated £5,000 to Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

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Military charity benefits from £5k donation by UK Healthcare

Health cash plan provider UK Healthcare has donated £5,000 to Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

In addition to providing personal and corporate health cash plans for as little as £1 a week, UK Healthcare donates thousands to various health related charities every year. This is the company’s first donation to Blind Veterans UK.

The charitable organisation is celebrating its centenary throughout 2015 and is marking the occasion with more than 100 commemorative events across the country including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the charity’s three centres (in Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield. Founded in 1915, Blind Veterans UK was originally set up to support soldiers who were blinded during World War I. Since then, the organisation has helped more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, from WWII to recent conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blind Veterans UK provides much needed training, rehabilitation, equipment and support to blind and vision impaired veterans, no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

All of these services are provided free of charge, but the charity relies upon the generosity of the general public and organisations like UK Healthcare in order to provide them.

The donation from the UKH foundation will be put towards welfare support for blind veterans in Lancashire. The charity’s regional team of Welfare Officers is there for a beneficiary on every step of their journey and for the rest of their lives. Blind Veterans UK’s Welfare Officers are typically qualified social workers, with extensive experience. They are responsible for assessing, monitoring, and overseeing the needs of each of our beneficiaries, the majority of whom still live independently.

David Bassom from Blind Veterans UK, said: “We are extremely grateful to UK Healthcare for their support and we are looking forward to making the most of this fantastic donation.

“As we celebrate our centenary, we look back on a lot of success in helping thousands of blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women to live as independently as possible. This is critical time for our Charity as we are increasing the number of blind veterans we support; in the past year, more blind veterans have registered for our help than ever before in the Charity’s history and this trend is set to continue.”

“No one who has served their country should battle blindness alone and if readers know anybody who served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and is now suffering severe sight problems, we hope they will get in touch”.

Blind Veterans UK could provide blind or partially sighted veterans, and their families, with a lifetime of practical and emotional support, For more information, call 0800 389 7979 or visit http://www.noonealone.org.uk.

To find out more about health cash plans, which allow plan holders to claim back cash on a variety of medical services, up to generous policy limits, visit http://ukhealthcare.org.uk.

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Charitable donation helps Action for Sick Children to expand reach


Action for Sick Children, a leading children’s healthcare charity in the UK, will help more people than ever before, as it expands its Dental Playbox Project to Leeds for the first time ever.

The expansion can be completed thanks, in part, to a charitable donation from UK Healthcare.

Healthcare services face different challenges to meet the needs of children and young people than they do with adult patients. Action for Sick Children has campaigned on all aspects of children and young people’s healthcare for more than fifty years, lobbying to improve standards within hospitals and the wider community. With their help, children and young people have a better chance of getting the help that they need, in family-focused healthcare environments.

The Dental Playbox Project was launched in response to the increasing number of young children who are admitted to hospital in the UK because of avoidable tooth decay.

According to statistics, more than 46% of children suffer from tooth decay before entering primary school. The charity aims to combat this by sending specially trained facilitators to nurseries, schools and playgroups to implement good oral hygiene practices through the medium of play

They reach more than 7,000 children every year and this number is set to rise as facilitators reach more locations than ever before.

As Valerie Jackson, the CEO of Action for Sick Children, explains “There has been much debate about children’s oral health. The number of children with dental problems is growing at an alarming rate, putting an even greater strain on the healthcare sector. Dental Playbox is a fun way for children to learn about the importance of visiting the dentist and looking after their teeth.

“The generous donation made by UK Healthcare couldn’t have come at a better time, as we expand our Dental Playbox Project to reach more locations than ever before. For the first time ever, our facilitators will visit children in Leeds to teach them about good eating habits and oral hygiene -- and this is just the first step on an exciting journey. We are grateful that UK Healthcare decided to support us along the way”.

Our donation to Action for Sick children is just one of the healthcare donations we have made in the past few months. Last year we raised £139,000 for UK charities and we are working hard to beat this in 2015.

When you sign up for a personal or corporate health cash plan with UK Healthcare, you don’t just enjoy a comprehensive plan -- you help us to continue to support many health related charities across the UK. Find out more about our health cash plans right here, and discover more about Action for Sick Children with a visit to their official site.

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Charitable donation to Snowdon Trust helps disabled students get ahead


We recently donated £2,500 to the Snowdon Trust, a unique organisation which supports young people living with physical and sensory disabilities via grants for higher education.

With our help, a student in the Bolton area will receive financial support to cover expenses which aren’t essentially factored into typical student support.

The Snowdon Trust believes that everybody should have access to a post-16 education. Their grants allow young people living with disabilities to pay for a variety of things they might need to enjoy an adult education, including:

• Computer equipment
• Adapted living environments
• Travel expenses
• Mobility aids
• Human assistance (sign language etc.)

It’s a fantastic cause, and an invaluable help to many ambitious young people, because statutory funding is not always available and when it is, the amount provided may not adequately cover the costs of the support required.

The Snowdon Trust works hard to fill in the gaps, but relies upon donations to provide these grants and make many students’ dreams come true.

We were more than happy to help and Paul Alexander, Chief Executive of the Snowdon Trust, was grateful of our support.

He said: “The Snowdon Trust helps disabled students across the UK who need extra support that is not available through statutory funding.

“We were delighted to receive this donation from UKH Foundation specifically towards our support for students studying in the Bolton area.

“A Snowdon grant can make a huge difference. Quite a few students applying from Bolton are deaf sign-language users. The cost of sign-language interpreters is high and the funding available through Disabled Students Allowances is often insufficient to pay for their needs.”

Find out more about The Snowdon Trust at their official website.

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Deal with UK Healthcare direct

UK Healthcare is one of the few cash plan providers that only deals directly with businesses, preferring not to promote its proposition through an intermediary, broker or affiliate markets.

As a not for profit business, with a registered charity as a parent company, our values are very altruistic. We provide a very competitive corporate health cash plan that is well used by the many employees it serves. Following necessary investment in our business, we work to donate the surpluses we generate to a wide range of charities, predominantly health related, that have applied for our assistance.

Since 2010, UK Healthcare has donated nearly half a million pounds to more than 120 different charities. This has been made possible by successfully developing corporate relationships with local authorities, PLC's, SME's and several charitable causes.

Apart from appreciating the competitiveness of the proposition, together with the high levels of customer service provided, there is also a high level understanding of how the altruistic nature of UK Healthcare can compliment a company’s own corporate social responsibility policy.

Plans start from as little as £1 per week, so why not pick up the phone and have an initial chat to understand how UK Healthcare could help your business.

We really do look forward to hearing from you.
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Autism charity Peach benefits from UK Healthcare donation

UK Healthcare has donated £5,000 to Peach, or Parents for the Early Intervention of Autism in Children.

The donation will be used to fund the Peach helpline, which offers help and advice to parents after their child is first diagnosed with autism, or before an official diagnosis has been made.

Sometimes a parent might suspect that their young child is living with autism without having yet to confirm this with a medical professional -- while others might struggle to come to terms with a diagnosis, or refuse to accept it.

Berkshire based charity Peach is perfectly positioned to support them all. The charity is run by fellow parents who are passionate about releasing the potential within every child they work with; and the best way of doing so is acting early to deal with their situation.

When parents call the Peach helpline, they gain access to all of the information and advice they might need, and can even talk to other parents who have been in their situation. They can also book bespoke training courses to help them to prepare for their new role. Often, they simply want to talk to an understanding person who could help them come to terms with life changing news like a diagnosis of autism.

Peach can provide this, but the organisation relies upon charitable donations, from companies like UK Healthcare, to be able to do so.

Mandy Williams, CEO of Peach, said: “We are a small organisation and appreciate every penny we receive from individual patrons or businesses like UK Healthcare. We were delighted to find out that UK Healthcare wanted to help.

“For a young charity such as ourselves, £5,000 represents a significant donation, which will allow us to keep helping parents through the Peach helpline. We are really grateful to UK Healthcare for their support”.

Peach is currently conducting research with Warwick University on parental experiences and outcomes of behavioural intervention for children living with autism. Their report is expected to be published later this year.

Parents can find out more and participate in the latest Peach survey at http://www.peach.org.uk.

UK Healthcare specialises in corporate health cash plans which can be used by company employees to claim back cash on a number of medical treatments and services up to generous policy limits.

Recent Comments
Guest — Visitor
This is not a blog - a blog is supposed to be interesting and relevant - not you promoting your ego!
Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:10 AM
Guest — Visitor
Delete comments - ok but still doesn't make your blog anything but self serving promotion. At least make it interesting and releva... Read More
Friday, 15 May 2015 9:09 AM
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UK Healthcare donates £5,000 to Winston’s Wish Child Bereavement Charity

UK Healthcare has donated £5,000 to Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity in the UK.

It is the latest in a long line of charitable donations from the company, which gave £139,000 to health related charities in 2014.

Winston’s Wish offers practical support and advice to bereaved children and their families. They also deliver guidance and training to bereavement professionals on working with young people.

Family bereavement is always extremely difficult to cope with, but this is especially true for children, who may struggle to understand the concepts of loss and death. Cheltenham based charity Winston’s Wish understands the difficulties that children and young people can experience and aim to help them in a variety of ways.

Therapy is provided through individual, group or residential sessions and help is also available from a national helpline, an interactive website and a host of helpful publications. Over the years, the charity has amassed a wealth of experience in working with bereaved children and their families. They continue to share this information with their peers in the bereavement counselling community through training and consultancy sessions. But the charity relies upon the generosity of others to provide all of this and more.



Speaking about the UK Healthcare donation, Family Services Team Leader Rebecca Lawson said: “We are extremely grateful to UK Healthcare for this generous donation to Winston’s Wish and we guarantee that this funding will be put to good use.

“We continue to work with families that have been devastated by the loss of a loved one. Children in particular can suffer with the loss of a family member and could even experience confusion and behavioural changes.

“Our aim is to help children, develop coping mechanisms and understanding about the nature of life and loss. We are driven by positive outcomes and with the help of businesses like UK Healthcare there will be plenty more positive outcomes in the future.”

UK Healthcare specialises in corporate health cash plans which can be used by company employees to claim back cash on a number of medical treatments and services up to generous policy limits.

Winston’s Wish run Drop-in sessions in the North West region, open to anyone who would like to find out more about the charity and the services provided around bereavement:

    • Tuesday Drop-in sessions are held every Tuesday from 11am-1pm at Compassion in Action, Patrick House, 58 Leigh Rd, Leigh, WN7 1QR

 

    • Wednesday Drop-in sessions are held every Wednesday from 3.30-5.30pm at Sunshine House, Wellington Street, Wigan, WN1 3SA



Find out more about Winston’s Wish and UK Healthcare right here:

http://www.winstonswish.org.uk

http://www.ukhealthcare.org.uk

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Mummy’s Star to boost workforce after donation by UK Healthcare

A donation by health cash plan provider UK Healthcare will help cancer charity Mummy’s Star to expand their workforce for 2015.

The organisation, which specialises in supporting pregnancy through cancer and beyond, has recruited an additional member of staff ahead of Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week, which the charity launched in June 2013.

Of course, that event may last for just a week, but the team behind Mummy’s Star work all year round providing information, help and support to families affected by cancer, during or after pregnancy.

Mummy’s Star is the only UK charity dedicated to pregnancy and cancer. It is an area in which little information or support is available.

As champions of this cause, the charity aims to create a registry for Cancer and Pregnancy, which would be the first of its kind in the UK. This register would map occurrences of cancer in pregnancy along with other pertinent data regarding these instances. They hope that one day this information could be used, not only to understand cancer developing during pregnancy but also prevent it.

This is the kind of issue that will be discussed during Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week.

The event launches with a conference held on Thursday 18 June at the University of Salford. With an array of medical professionals including midwifes, obstetricians and oncologists, joined by supporters of the charity it promises to be an informative event and an important occasion.

Mummy’s Star’s new recruit will be responsible for raising awareness in the event and the condition, but the organisation relies upon charitable donations to provide all of its services. Founder Pete Wallroth was delighted that organisations like UK Healthcare were there to provide support.

He said: “Everybody at Mummy’s Star is immensely grateful to UK Healthcare for their support and their donation, along with the donations of our other patrons, will be a big boost to the charity in 2015.

“Our aim is to generate as much awareness as possible in cancer through pregnancy and beyond and for this reason we want to make Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week 2015 our biggest occasion yet. Thanks to UK Healthcare, we can welcome some fresh blood into our team and they will be directly responsible for making the week a success.

“It’s a really exciting time for us and we look forward to working UK Healthcare again in the future”.

In addition to providing corporate health cash plans which allow employees the chance to claim cash back on the cost of various medical treatments, up to agreed policy limits, UK Healthcare is committed to making donations whenever possible to appropriate healthcare organisations and charities. Last year, the company raised £139,000 for good causes in the UK and they’re already working to beat this in 2015.

Find out more about Mummy’s Star, and their work to raise awareness of cancer in pregnancy, by visiting http://www.mummysstar.org/.

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UK Healthcare shows support for the Haemochromatosis Society

UK Healthcare, the northwest based provider of personal and corporate health cash plans, has provided support for the Haemochromatosis Society in a bid to raise awareness of a little known yet serious condition.

Genetic Haemochromatosis, or simply GH, is a genetic disorder which causes the body to absorb too much iron from the diet. This iron is then deposited in various organs, particularly in the liver. The result, if untreated, can cause cancer and death.

Yet, despite the severity of the condition, the average person knows little about it. The Haemochromatosis Society works tirelessly to increase awareness of the condition in the medical community and the wider world.

With early diagnosis the condition is treatable. Yet GH is rarely considered as a possible diagnosis when a patient first consults a GP. Bernard McGrath, the chairman of the North West Support group of the Haemochromatosis Society, believes that this is because the disorder is considered far rarer than it actually is.  The symptoms are similar to other illnesses and disabilities .

He said: “GH is now recognised as being one of the most common genetic disorders, but we are still working tirelessly to educate people in the northwest about the problem.

“Recent surveys of people of Northern European origin show that around 1 in every 200 people are at risk of an iron overload. It is our hope, that with greater awareness of the issue, more people will receive an early diagnosis and a better chance of a long and happy life. This would save time and a huge amount of money for the NHS”.

Mr McGrath knows all too well how devastating GH can be after inheriting the disorder genetically from his parents. A prompt diagnosis might have led to a simple course of treatment. Mr McGrath did not discover his condition until it had already led to cancer of the liver.

After a successful liver transplant the northwest resident is still able to champion the GH cause, but other members of his close family were not as fortunate.

He explained: “By the time we discovered that GH was hereditary, it had affected no less than 4 members of my immediate family. My sister in America diedas the necessary tests were not then in place.”

The northwest resident continues to campaign throughout the area to raise awareness and funding for the cause.

The UK Healthcare donation will fund the support group for people living with GH in the North West of England, in addition to funding the group’s ongoing awareness campaign.

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Charitable donation helps A Child of Mine to spread the word

We recently donated £5,000 to A Child of Mine, which will help the organisation to produce new leaflets and educational content for children’s hospitals like Alder Hey and Great Ormond Street.

The charity provides help, support and advice to all families who have lost a child, either from an illness or a sudden death.

Most parents cannot imagine the heartache of losing their children, but this situation becomes a reality for thousands in the UK every year. A Child of Mine delivers practical information, guidance and support -- and perhaps most importantly, tailors this advice to each member of the family.

The organisation can provide this quality of empathetic advice because founder Gayle Routledge has experienced the pain of losing a child, for herself.

Son Lewis was just two when he died of an aggressive form of cancer. Since then, the Stafford resident has made it her mission to provide the empathy and advice that parents require when they experience the same.

Part of this service is the production of helpful leaflets and educational content which can be provided to bereaved parents, grandparents and other members of the family.

The last run of this literature proved extremely popular -- so popular, in fact, that demand way outstripped the supply. Our donation, along with the support of the charity’s other patrons, will allow A Child of Mine to create new, leaflets with more up to date content and advice.

These leaflets will be available from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Gayle Routledge, the charities founder also hopes to provide the booklets to GP’s and anybody else who will benefit from them.

She said: “We were absolutely delighted to receive the support of UK Healthcare. This donation will allow us to meet the great demand for help and advice in this area.

Our last run of leaflets was really well received, but we just didn’t have enough to go around. Now that we have an opportunity to go back and redo them, we intend to make them better than ever before, and also ensure they reach as many people as we can.

This would not have been possible without UK Healthcare.”

A Child of Mine requires £10,000 in total to complete this ambitious project and the organisation still needs all the help it can get. Find out more at http://www.achildofmine.org.uk/.

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