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How to fix public health? A new breed of GP is needed…

College of Medicine founder, senior GP and NHS England social prescribing champion, Dr Michael Dixon, told gponline.com this week that public health needs to be ‘built around general practice’, with an increased role for volunteers. Here, Dr Luke Allen, GP Academic Clinical…

Dr Luke Allen
The NHS has a duty of care to prevent doctor burn-out – for the well-being of staff AND patients

Professor David Peters, Clinical Director in the Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Westminster, warns the NHS urgently needs a Charter of Compassionate Practice to prevent staff demoralised by excessive workloads from leaving the healthcare system…     The NHS…

Professor David Peters
How everyday foods could help fight depression and dementia

Health Guide, herbal practitioner and Pukka strategist Simon Mills on how everyday plants including cocoa and turmeric could help health problems associated with inflammation… Ground-breaking new research suggests that inflammation could be a key contributor to depression, dementia and other pressing…

Simon Mills
How a theatre director changed the way I interact with my patients

London-based GP, acupuncturist and Lu Jong yoga teacher Deniah Pachai explains how a book on communication by British voice coach and director Patsy Rodenburg OBE has changed the way she communicates… I could never have imagined that an author who writes…

Dr Deniah Pachai
Should doctors recommend acupuncture for pain?

Mike Cummings, College of Medicine Lead for Acupuncture within Medicine and Medical Director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, expresses his views on whether doctors should prescribe acupuncture… The evolution of this debate[1], should doctors recommend acupuncture for pain?, has…

Mike Cummings
The mouth reflects whole body health – but what does integrated care mean for dentists?

Professor Sonia Williams holds the Emeritus Chair in Oral Health Services Research at the University of Leeds and was awarded the MBE for her work in child and ethnic minorities dental health. Here, Professor Williams explores how integrated oral health…

Professor Sonia Williams
How health inequality in Crawley has been transformed and the town now boasts the UK’s lowest emergency admission rates

GP Dr Amit Bhargava explains why the north-west Sussex town of Crawley has one of the lowest rates of emergency admissions in the country – and has been recognised as the most dementia-friendly community in the UK. The town, close…

Dr Amit Bhargava
How increased education on Integrative Medicine is changing the way GPs help patients

Dr Elizabeth Thompson, Academic Director for the Diploma for Integrative Medicine, which launched in Bristol in 2017, explains how the course is helping students develop a critical and enquiring approach to a variety of therapeutic interventions: The Diploma Development Team…

Dr Elizabeth Thompson
Social exclusion kills: Society’s healthcare systems can and must help

Medical Director for the charity Pathway, Dr Nigel Hewett OBE has been instrumental in recognising the need for healthcare systems to practise ‘Inclusion Health’. Here, Dr Hewett explains why medical professionals must work together to bring down the high mortality rates experienced by…

Dr Nigel Hewett
Israel’s life expectancy rates match East London’s but the UK spends double the amount on healthcare

GP Sir Sam Everington OBE, Chairman of Tower Hamlets CCG, examines whether the UK’s life expectancy rates could be dramatically improved by focusing on social determinants and a better use of technology: In the East End of London the difference in life…

Sir Sam Everington
Dr Michael Dixon on Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need to find the right fit for patients, not just reach for a pill”

Dr Michael Dixon appeared on the Today programme on Radio 4 on 5th January 2018…below is a transcript of the comments Dr Dixon made in discussion with presenter John Humphrys: ON MOVING AWAY FROM PRESCRIBING TABLETS “Too often we reach…

Dr Michael Dixon
Student doctors need to push for better education on social prescribing

Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Social Prescribing Student Lead and a medical student at Exeter Medical School, believes the new generation of medics must engage now with social prescribing to help build a more sustainable future for the NHS…   The importance of…

Bogdan Chiva Giurca
How a social prescribing pilot in North Staffordshire is transforming GP services

Dr Ruth Chambers, OBE, highlights how a pilot scheme is helping patients with social, emotional and practical needs across North Staffordshire… The Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Hub social prescribing project was launched as a six-month pilot in February 2015…

Dr Ruth Chambers
Nurses are vital to progressive, integrated healthcare – because they have the trust of patients
Nurse and patient

Nurses earn the confidence of their patients and are often best placed to advise them on alternative care, writes Professor Dame Donna Kinnair: Nurses and midwives are in a unique position to ensure that every patient is able to access holistic…

Professor Dame Donna Kinnair
Everyone has a responsibility to nurture today’s children: a sustainable future depends upon it

There needs to be a fundamental change in the way society cares for children if we are to fully unleash their potential, writes Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, currently visiting Professor in Advocacy for Children and Childhood Nottingham Trent University…  Children…

Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green
Grilling patients on sexuality is the NHS playing Big Brother – and it’ll only drive GPs away

Putting principles before the health of patients is a dangerous game, writes Dr Michael Dixon, and sends out yet another warning flag to GPs that medical autonomy is under threat… I took my 97-year-old mother out to lunch last Sunday and…

Dr Michael Dixon
Complementary medicine’s true potential cannot be unlocked without robust evidence for its use

Professor Debbie Sharp questions what needs to happen nationally to develop a proper evidence base for effective complementary therapies… The fashion for delivering complementary therapies on the NHS has waxed and waned over many years, since well before the fashion…

Professor Debbie Sharp
Commissioning cost-saving complementary medicine is the future for integrated health

Retired barrister Richard Eaton blogs on why both complementary and conventional medical practitioners – and their patients – should be lobbying the Government on the increased use of complementary medicine in mainstream care… In October 2005, further to its commission…

Richard Eaton
Self-care is critical to the Five Year Forward Plan… but social prescription alone will never be enough

Teaching patients self-care is the future for UK health, says Dr Michael Dixon,  National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription for NHS England, but only if the whole community – from Government to grassroots get involved… The great medical iconoclast, Ivan…

Dr Michael Dixon
Good food is our human right; but forcing producers to make recipes healthier won’t solve obesity

Simon Tuckey, Ambassador to the Food Industry for the College of Medicine, writes on how the food industry has evolved to put manufacturers in the driving seat, leaving them firmly in control of the nation’s tastebuds…and our health: FOOD IS…

Simon Tuckey
Redesigning the NHS to cope with chronic illness

Many people of my age, including myself, would not be alive today given the knowledge of medicine that existed when I qualified as a doctor in 1963. The advances in biomedical science and technology have been huge over the last…

Sir Cyril Chantler
Yoga therapy

An increasing corpus of research trials show that yoga practice is associated with improved health and quality of life. Through a combination of mindful movement, controlled breathing, and meditation yoga enhances physical functioning, reduces stress, enhances mental health, improves executive…

Heather Mason
Medical Research
Two thirds of GPs think engaging with the arts can help to prevent ill health

A survey of GPs has revealed that nearly two thirds of them think that the arts can make a significant contribution towards preventing ill health among the public. More than 1,000 general practitioners were questioned in the research for AESOP…

Middle-age misery: report finds ‘sandwich generation’ is the least happy

The pressures of looking after growing children…and caring for ageing parents is making middle-aged people miserable, according to new research. A survey into the happiness of the nation found that the ‘sandwich generation’, aged between 45 and 59, who still…

Office for National Statistics
Doctors and ‘bedside robots’ will work side-by-side in NHS Artificial Intelligence revolution

The rise of technology within healthcare could save the NHS £12.5bn a year, according to a new report which predicts an Artificial Intelligence revolution. Embracing ‘full automation’ could see tasks normally performed by GPs, surgeons, nurses and administration staff assigned…

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Lord Darzi
GPs trained in complementary medicine less likely to prescribe antibiotics

GPs who are trained in complementary medicine including homeopathy prescribe less antibiotics than GPs without integrative medicine (IM) training, according to new research. UK, German and Dutch researchers, led by the University of Bristol, used prescribing data from 7,274 GP…

Not exposing infants to germs could increase risk of developing leukaemia, says leading professor

Young children who have not been exposed to microbes during their earliest years could be at an increased risk of leukaemia, according to a leading British scientist. Professor Mel Greaves, of the Institute of Cancer Research, revealed that acute lymphoblastic leukaemia,…

Study finds dementia risk linked to use of anticholinergics

An extensive new study has found links between dementia and people who use anticholinergics over a long period of time. Researchers at the University of East Anglia made the associations after studying the medical records of more than 40,000 patients…

University of East Anglia, UK
Dame Sally Davies: ‘Daily cocktail of pollutants’ is harming health

The NHS Chief Medical Officer is advising people to switch off electronic screens including phones and tablets to reduce the effects of light pollution. Dame Sally Davies said the bright light from screens is just one of a ‘daily cocktail…

Media storm on mixing herbal pills with prescription medicines is ‘nonsense’, says CPP

The College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP) has hit back at recent media reports claiming that mixing herbal pills and remedies with prescription medicines ‘puts health in danger’. Major national newspapers including the Daily Mail, Guardian and the Telegraph ran…

Blood test that can detect eight forms of cancer moves a step closer

A blood test that can potentially detect eight forms of cancer at their earliest stage has been described as ‘enormously exciting’ by scientists. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland revealed that while more work was still needed, they had…

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Swollen lips could be a symptom of Crohn’s disease, says leading gastroenterologist

Swollen lips could be a red flag to GPs that a patient is suffering from Crohn’s disease, according to a leading gastroenterologist. The condition is a chronic inflammatory condition, as is Crohn’s, and Kingston Hospital consultant Dr Rishi Goel says there could be some…

Kingston Hospital, London
Clinical trials show potential migraine treatment breakthrough

Practitioners treating patients suffering from migraine could soon be able to offer a more effective method of cutting attacks. The results of two clinical trials have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of which found 50 per…

King's College London, New England Journal of Medicine
Bowel cancer patients to be given gym sessions following study

Cancer patients in parts of the UK are to have prescribed exercise sessions before they undergo operations after it was found physical activity could increase life expectancy and aid recovery from surgery. Research carried out in a pilot study in…

University of Southampton
More accurate blood test for heart attacks could save the NHS millions

A simple blood test offered to patients suspected of having a heart attack could save the NHS millions of pounds every year, says new research. More than 65 per cent of people who visit A&E with chest pains are not…

King's College London, British Heart Foundation
Scientists say tiny ‘DNA nanobots’ could deliver medicine by travelling through the body

A minute robot too small to be seen by the naked eye could one day be used to carry medicines around the body, say scientists. The nanobot, compiled from DNA, could be used to perform tasks at a molecular level…

California Institute of Technology
Aspirin could be the key to reversing tooth decay, say Belfast scientists

Aspirin could be used to regenerate teeth and reduce the need for expensive fillings, medical scientists in Belfast say. Research into the anti-inflammatory painkiller found that it stimulates stem cells in teeth, encouraging regeneration. Scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast…

School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast
Could better dental care halt Alzheimer’s? Study finds gum disease ‘raises dementia risk by up to 70%’

People who suffer with gum disease could be more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, new research has found. A study of 28,000 people found that those who brush their teeth more are less likely to develop dementia. Taiwanese scientists behind…

Chung Shan Medical University and the National Defense Medical Center in Taiwan
How a double dose of prostate drugs can boost survival rates by up to 40%

Thousands of men could benefit from a new way of treating prostate cancer that doubles their average life expectancy, research has found. Giving patients a combination of two drugs makes them nearly 40 per cent more likely to be alive…

University of Birmingham research project
Food Research
Cutting carbohydrates could damage health, Havard study finds

People trying to lose weight by excluding carbohydrates from their food intake could damage their long-term health, according to a new study by the Harvard School of Public Health. The research, carried out on 15,400 adults aged 45 to 64 over…

Harvard School of Public Health
Dining at least two hours before bedtime could cut risk of some cancers

The southern Mediterranean lifestyle, where dinner is often served very late in the evening, could be putting people at risk from certain cancers. Sitting down to eat a big meal within two hours of going to bed could increase the…

Barcelona Institute for Global Health
Minor changes to diet could ‘supercharge’ the metabolism (and let you eat cheese and biscuits)

An indulgent final course of cheese and biscuits could actually promote weight loss, according to a leading Kings College professor whose new book suggests making small tweaks to how we eat could boost the metabolism and keep weight stable. Professor Tim…

Fish oil could alleviate side effects during some cancer treatments

Taking a fish oil supplement could help reduce painful side effects in patients being treated for breast and bowel cancer, suggests new research. Two studies show that omega-3 fatty acids could help alleviate pain that some treatments cause including joint…

American Society of Oncology, Chicago
A Mediterranean diet boosts good bacteria levels in the microbiome, says new research

The benefits of a Mediterranean diet on health are well documented but new research shows that eating a diet rich in fish, vegetables, legumes, fruit and olive oil could offer a significant boost to levels of good bacteria in the…

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, North Carolina, US
Drinking three cups of coffee a day may decrease coronary calcification, finds research

A new study by a Brazilian university suggests drinking three cups of coffee daily could help to decrease coronary calcification – but drinking too much could have a negative impact. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo found that people…

University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Eating lentils could help to reduce decline in blood vessel health, says research

They are the simplest of legumes…but new research from a Canadian university suggests that lentils could help fight high blood pressure. A research team at the University of Manitoba found that blood vessel health could be improved by eating the…

University of Manitoba, Canada
Dance can help Britain’s health crisis, says Darcey Bussell ahead of conference

Dance and dance fitness can play a significant role in keeping the nation healthy says former Royal Ballet star Darcey Bussell. The Strictly Come Dancing judge will tell delegates at a conference in April that dancing can have an impact…

BBC Radio 4 show explores the influence of iodine on health

A recent Radio 4 programme explored how iodine makes an essential contribution to modern health including sources of iodine, global approaches to the nutrient and whether pregnant women should take supplements to boost the body’s levels: The phrase ‘essential ‘element’…

Compound found in turmeric could boost memory by 30 per cent

A powerful compound found in the spice turmeric could boost memory and even ease depression, according to new research. The US study showed that the compound curcumin can help to prevent protein build-up in parts of the brain that are…

University of California, Los Angeles
Could eating meals at the same time every day help to stave off dementia?

Sitting down to eat meals at the same time every day could help to prevent dementia, according to new research. A study carried out by the University of California looked at how regular meal-times had a positive influence on gene…

University of California, Los Angeles
‘Healthy’ vegetable oil could increase plaque build-ups in brain

A vegetable oil that is marketed as being less expensive and healthier than some other cooking oils could lead to a build-up of plaques in the brain associated with dementia. In a new study, canola oil was also found to…

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), Philadelphia
Good bacteria in the gut could help cancer patients, research finds
bacteria in science lab

How well a patient responds to cancer treatment could be down to the bacteria in their digestive system, says new research. The microbiome – micro-organisms that live in the human body and help regulate the immune system and keep the…

Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, Paris; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
New study says e-cigarettes could be as harmful as smoking tobacco

They’ve been hailed as healthy cigarettes but taking up ‘vaping’ may be just as harmful to health as tobacco, new research says. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that e-cigarettes, which mimic smoking by heating a liquid through…

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Four million children in UK are now overweight, WHO warns

An international study has found that four in ten children aged between five and 19 are overweight or medically obese – with ten per cent of youngsters in the UK deemed at an unhealthy weight. The research, published by Imperial…

Imperial College London/World Health Organisation
A bowl of porridge a day could be better for you than statins, says nutritionist

The nation’s health could be improved if everyone committed to eating a bowl of porridge a day, a professor of food and nutrition has said. Professor Chris Seal of Newcastle University said the simple step could have a marked impact…

Professor Chris Seal, Newcastle University
Cranberry juice can help reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs, new research says

New research has thrown weight behind the argument that cranberry juice can decrease the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTIs). The Journal of Urology has published results of a study involving 28 clinical trials using nearly 5,000 patients, which showed…

Universidade da Beira Interior and the bank Santander/Totta
Research finds eating an avocado a day boosts levels of brain-friendly lutein

Eating a fresh avocado a day could boost brain function in older adults, new research has found. A modest study of 40 healthy adults aged over 50 found that those who consumed the trendy green fruit on a daily basis…

Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston
A side of fries with that? Food outlets fuelling UK’s obesity crisis by ‘upselling’, experts warn

Companies that try and sell customers a side of fries with their meal or persuade them to up the size of their latte are fuelling the UK’s obesity crisis, say health experts. Consumers are being ‘tricked’ into buying larger portions,…

Royal Society for Public Health/Slimming World
Oily fish supplements may prevent cancer death from muscle wasting

Cancer deaths may be prevented by giving patients nutritional drinks with high levels of protein and fish oil, according to continuing research by Irish scientists. The supplements have been shown to prevent wasting, or rapid muscle loss, which is the…

University College Cork
Can olive oil prevent brain cancer? Key nutrient stops tumour-causing cells from functioning

A key nutrient in olive oil may help to prevent cancer developing in the brain, new research reveals. The staple Mediterranean ingredient contains a compound called oleic acid that stops cancer-causing genes from functioning in brain cells, the study found.…

Journal of Molecular Biology
Taking the Pulse: Hospital Food Campaign

The College of Medicine is a supporter of the Hospital Food Campaign which has now published its report ‘Taking the Pulse’ which uses London as a test case for the quality of food in hospitals. You can download and read…

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