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‘Get the healthy eating basics right and the rest will follow’: The project helping youngsters eat well on a budget

A town-wide project that’s helping to teach young people how to cook healthy food on a budget – with minimum waste – is featured in a new YouTube film. And the stars of it are hoping to reach a million…

Joanna Tweedy
“Music often works when words don’t – and we should shout about how crucial it can be to wellbeing”

Dr Simon Procter is Director of Music Services for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. Here, he explains the social value of music… For many people who face health problems or social exclusion, music can be a crucial means of self-expression,…

Dr Simon Procter
Low-cost, easy-to-learn and health enhancing: 5 reasons yoga is fantastic for self care

Public health doctor and yoga teacher Dr. Sakthidharan Paramasivam Karunanithi on why the ancient art of yoga is more relevant than ever in the modern world… Self care has become so important these days. Many modern illnesses can be prevented…

Dr Sakthidharan Paramasivam Karunanithi
“We must find a more sustainable way to farm food”: HRH The Prince of Wales speaks at the ‘Food on Prescription’ conference
HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES

HRH The Prince of Wales has urged the UK’s ‘best brains’ to try and find a more sustainable approach to farming that doesn’t deplete vital soil nutrients. Speaking in a pre-recorded film at the College of Medicine’s third food and…

Joanna Tweedy
VIDEO: “Food can help prevent illness and be part of treating disease”

This month brings the College of Medicine’s third annual Food conference, this year entitled ‘Food on Prescription‘, to the Royal Society of Medicine on October 24th. The one-day conference has become a ‘must attend’ for healthcare professionals who want to…

Joanna Tweedy
First rule of complementary therapy? Recognise ‘red flags’ that indicate a serious medical problem

The College of Medicine’s Dr Toh Wong, a GP trainer, discusses how complementary therapists must feel confident in reporting potentially serious conditions to doctors when necessary… What do red flags have to do with complementary therapy? One of the biggest…

Dr Toh Wong
Doctors and complementary therapists need to work together for better patient outcomes

GP Trainer Dr Toh Wong shares how his London conference has proved an important building block in helping complementary therapists and doctors work in a more cohesive way to improve patient care… The last three years has seen a torrent…

Dr Toh Wong
Dr Zoe Harcombe: ‘Why the Eat-Lancet plant-based diet is nutritionally deficient’

The EAT-Lancet Commission released details of the controversial Eat-Lancet diet in January. Here, ahead of the College of Medicine’s Food On Prescription Conference in October 2019, author and researcher Dr Zoe Harcombe, who specialises in examining public health dietary guidelines,…

Zoe Harcombe
Patrick Holden: ‘We’re paying for cheap food with our health and our planet’

In this interview originally published by Borough Market, Ellie Costigan asks Patrick Holden why our food system needs to change to prevent irreversible climate change and a biodiversity catastrophe… Patrick Holden is the founder of the Sustainable Food Trust, a charitable…

Ellie Costigan
“We need evidence to prove social prescribing works”, says former children’s tsar

Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green was the first Children’s Commissioner for England and is a former president of the British Medical Association. An influential figure on children’s health and development for more than 40 years, here, Aynsley-Green debates the role social…

Joanna Tweedy
Taxing cigarettes has worked: is it now time to do the same with bad food?

Simon Tuckey has spent much of his career in the food industry in the UK and overseas. Here, he debates the idea that obesity has become so costly to the NHS it’s time to use financial mechanisms to reduce food…

Simon Tuckey
How to make GPs stay? Work to reduce lifestyle-related illnesses putting such strain on the NHS

Heather Richards, Director of Nutrition at the Sano School of Culinary Medicine, writes on how GPs need to be better equipped on nutrition if the burden on the healthcare system is to be reduced… Nutrition knowledge for healthcare professionals and involvement…

Heather Richards
‘People come to a yoga class feeling anxious – when they leave they’re able to cope better with life’s pressures’

Davy Jones has been teaching yoga for 12 years and practising for 20. He is chair of the Brighton Yoga Foundation and, here, explains how the organisation is helping to reach out to diverse areas of the community: Yoga is…

Davy Jones
Healthcare professionals should be lobbying against climate change: the population’s health depends on it

Dr James Szymankiewicz is a GP working in North Devon.  He is currently Vice Chair of the GP Collaborative Board representing the 22 North Devon practices. He’s also the current Chair of Devon Local Nature Partnership which focuses on enhancing Devon’s natural environment. Here,…

Dr James Szymankiewicz
Case study: How an impromptu acupuncture session helped prevent a hospital referral

Jens Foell is a peripatetic GP who uses acupuncture within his practice when appropriate. Here, he explains how he turned to his needle kit to treat an elderley patient presenting with acute myofascial pain… Bian Que is a prominent figure in…

Joanna Tweedy
Student doctors need social prescribing in their toolkit: the nation’s future health depends on it

Bogdan Chiva Giurca, Chair of the National Social Prescribing Student Champion Scheme, offers insight how the current generation of trainee doctors are being taught social prescribing… Developing a national consensus for teaching social prescribing within UK medical schools, the Social…

Bogdan Chiva Giurca
How to best support a patient? Start actually listening to them!

Damien Ridge, Professor of Health Studies and Head of Psychology at the University of Westminster, writes on how healthcare professionals need to look more closely at patient evidence… “In thinking about the College of Medicine’s mission to empower patients, I…

Damien Ridge
When the side-effects of medicine outweigh the benefits: How over-prescribing is making us sick

South London GP James Le Fanu published his book, Too Many Pills: How Too Much Medicine is Endangering Our Health and What We Can Do About It, earlier this year. A regular writer on medicine and science for the Sunday…

James Le Fanu
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
News
Prebiotic foods – including garlic and bananas – could slow cancer growth, suggests a study on mice

Prebiotic foods such as asparagus, onion, garlic, leeks and bananas could stop cancers from growing quickly, new research on mice suggests. The study, carried out on rodents by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California, looked at…

Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, California
Many people taking statins and blood pressure tablets view them as a ‘free pass’ to be unhealthy

Statins and blood pressure tablets are being treated as a ‘free pass’ by many people who take them, new research warns. People taking such medication are 82 per cent more likely to be an unhealthy weight, according to a study…

University of Turku in Finland
Ban junk food ads before 9pm to help stop rise in childhood obesity, say campaigners

Television commercials that promote food laden with sugar, fat and salt should be banned until after 9pm to curb rising obesity rates in young people, say experts at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). Childhood obesity rates have continued to…

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)
Lonely forced to seek solace at their GP surgery because community life has broken down, says new NHS social prescribing lead

Where isolated souls might once have sought comfort chatting with locals in the village pub, or speaking with their vicar on a Sunday morning, they’re now much more likely to offload worries on their GP instead. Speaking to the Telegraph,…

Social Prescribing Day 2020 will take place on March 12th

The College of Medicine, a social prescribing pioneer, is delighted to announce that the second annual Social Prescribing Day will take place on March 12th 2020. In 2019, the very first Social Prescribing Day took place on March 14th, and…

Obituary: The College of Medicine pays tribute to former Head of Communications Pat Goodall

Posted by Dr Michael Dixon, College of Medicine Chair ‘It is with great sadness that we have to report that Pat Goodall died over Christmas. She was Head of Communications for the College of Medicine in its early years and, for…

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, could ‘halt tumour development’, major study says

New scientific research has found that a common compound found in the spice turmeric could stop cancerous tumours from growing further. A study, carried out by academics at Temple University in Philadelphia, and published in the Nutrients journal, found the…

Temple University, Philadelphia
Brisk daily walk lowers odds of getting seven types of cancer, new research finds

Walking briskly for just 20 minutes a day or enjoying a leisurely cycle ride could help stave off seven types of cancer, according to a new US study. Research carried out by the American Cancer Society found that exercising moderately…

American Cancer Society
Charity that’s planted one million trees says turning urban areas into ‘edible playgrounds’ can help avert climate crisis

A charity dedicated to planting trees in inner city areas says encouraging children to connect with nature from an early age is key to helping to halt climate change. Trees for Cities, which was founded in 1993, creates allotments for…

HRH The Prince of Wales is announced as College of Medicine Patron

The College of Medicine is delighted to announce that we’ve received Royal Patronage from HRH The Prince of Wales. College of Medicine Chair, Dr Michael Dixon, said: ‘This is a great honour and will support us as an organisation committed to taking…

Propolis, made by bees to protect hives, could help lower blood pressure, a new study suggests

The naturally antiseptic waxy material that bees produce to waterproof their hives could have health benefits for humans, according to new ongoing research. Propolis, which offers a hive protection from predators and bad weather and is made from bee saliva,…

University of Plymouth
A healthy lifestyle could help cancer survivors to counter increased risk of heart problems, say experts

One in ten survivors of cancer are dying of illnesses associated with heart disease, according to a new US study. Research published in the European Heart Journal studied three million cancer patients over 40 years. The results suggests that more…

Penn State Cancer Institute
Keto diet could help trap flu virus before it spreads, Yale study finds

The keto diet, often hailed as an effective way of helping patients with diabetes type 2 manage their condition, could also be a useful ally in preventing flu, a new study has ‘unexpectedly’ found. In research conducted by trainees and…

Yale University
Poor sleep leaves us more likely to crave unhealthy food, says US study

Sleep deprivation makes it harder to resist unhealthy foods, according to a new US study. Researchers at Northwestern University, Chicago, found that not getting enough sleep sparks production of the hormones endocannabinoids, which affect food cravings and how smells are…

Northwestern University, Chicago
Technology such as fitness trackers can provide better health insights for doctors, research finds

Taking note of daily fitness levels via trackers including an Apple Watch or a Fitbit could potentially help doctors diagnose serious conditions in patients, according to new research. Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City said the data provided…

Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City
Salt should carry similar health warnings to cigarette packets, say experts

Salt cellars should come with clear health warnings on them to help prevent people from consuming too much, a group of doctors is advising. The medical experts say consumers should be warned via labelling on salt shakers bought in supermarkets…

European Congress for Integrative Medicine to be held in London in 2020

The European Congress on Integrative Medicine will be hosted in London in 2020, it has been announced. It is the first time the long-established event, which offers a forum to facilitate the advancement of healthcare that combines conventional medicine with evidence…

Short bursts of activity are beneficial to health, say updated guidelines

Partaking in just a few minutes of exercise can still benefit health, new guidelines in the UK state. It was previously recommended that at least ten minutes of exercise was needed to have any positive impact on health. However, the…

Positive thinkers live longer because they’re better at ‘bouncing back’, new study says

Being optimistic could extend life, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Looking on the bright side could even help people achieve “exceptional longevity”, reaching 85 or older. The research, carried out…

University of Boston School of Medicine
Omega-3 fats offer ‘zero benefit’ for type 2 diabetes, says research

People with type 2 diabetes get little or no benefit from taking fish oil supplements, new research says. A study, commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and published by the British Medical Journal, took in data from 83 trials…

University of East Anglia
Poor sleep can ‘increase risk of heart failure, coronary artery disease and strokes’

People who consistently struggle to sleep well could be at a higher risk of heart failure, strokes and coronary artery disease, according to new research. Scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden studied data on the sleep patterns of 1.3million…

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
New research finds herbal tea beneficial for thyroid and liver function

A new paper by the University of the West of England (UWE) and herbal well-being company Pukka Herbs has reviewed available clinical evidence and shows that drinking herbal teas are beneficial for a range of health conditions.  In a review…

University of the West of England (UWE)
Bacteria found in the gut of top athletes could improve physical performance

New research has suggested that high performance athletes have different biomes to those who exercise more moderately or not at all. A special type of gut bacteria, veillonella, was found in the digestive microbiomes of elite athletes and scientists believe…

Havard University
UK’s growing opiate crisis: How do GPs find a safer solution for people in pain?

An article in February this year in The Sunday Times highlighted the dramatic increase in the use of opioids, with addiction rates – including overdoses and deaths – surging in line with a huge rise in the number of painkillers…

Features
Anxiety 2020 survey: The British Holistic Medical Association wants to hear from you

The British Holistic Medical Association has asked College of Medicine followers and members to take a short survey outlining how anxiety affects their lives. The Anxiety 2020 survey: Is anxiety the new normal? asks a series of questions about how…

Our advice on defending against Coronavirus

The current coronavirus (now officially called the COVID-19 virus) alarm has focused our attention on the best ways to deal with a new viral infection. The obvious priority is preventing spread, by isolation and increased hygiene. However, we can also…

College of Medicine social prescribing champions: parkrun

In an occasional series, the College of Medicine looks at projects closely aligned with the social prescribing ethos, which inspire people to take better care of their health. Our first pick is parkrun, a now-global running initiative that supports people…

How does social prescribing funding affect you? Tell us!

The College of Medicine is supporting a research questionnaire reviewing the funding and capacity of social prescribing. The National Lottery Community Fund has funded The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), a UK volunteering charity, over the past two years to support the…

Seasonal mental health: How to turn the winter blues into blue-sky days

When a team of psychologists sat down over a decade ago to examine days when Britons might feel more susceptible to negative feelings, they came up with a formula to pin-point the most depressing day of the year. Suggesting how…

Podcast: UK Health Radio presenter Robin Daly interviews Dr Michael Dixon

The Yes to Life Show on UK Health Radio, which focuses on cancer, sees host and charity founder, Robin Daly, interviewing scientists, oncologists, practitioners and survivors who have exceeded treatment expectations by thinking outside of the box. In January, College…

Our 2019 highlights: The NHS Long Term Plan, Social Prescribing Day and Dean Ornish in a field of cows…

As 2020 chimes in, we take a look back at the College of Medicine’s highlights of 2019. Though there are far too many to list here, we’ve picked a small selection of the most inspiring events the College has been…

Video blog: Dr Michael Dixon reflects on an ‘active’ year – and highlights new causes for 2020

The College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Michael Dixon has delivered a seasonal message reflecting on a ‘really active’ year for the organisation, and congratulating members on the great strides made on increasing awareness of social prescription and the role food…

What is Integrative Health? A simple graphic perfectly explains it…

How best to explain the concept of Integrative Health to those who’ve never heard of it? The College of Medicine’s Dr Toh Wong, a GP trainer, uses a simple graphic to convey how many elements of healthcare can work together…

Gallery: Foundation Course on Integrated Medicine at Dumfries House, Scotland

The final week in November saw the College of Medicine hosting its Foundation Course on Integrated Medicine at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Here, we’ve shared a few pictorial highlights of the beautiful – and very festive – surrounds…

The arts can have a significant positive impact on health, WHO report says

Reading a book, dancing a waltz or spending the night at the theatre might be activities associated with leisure time… but according to a new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO), such pursuits could also improve mental and physical…

World Health Organisation and University College London
How can we promote better mental health in the older generation?

Depression in the older generation is on the rise, with illness and reduced quality of life factors impacting the over 65s. Here, Merisha Williams chats to Dr Simon Chowdhury, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the London Clinic, about the key issues…

Dr Simon Chowdhury
New ITN programme with the College of Medicine separates food fads from the facts

Food has never been more accessible but poor diet is, in part, responsible for the increase in preventable diseases. This short programme produced with the College of Medicine and ITN Productions Industry News discusses key issues in the arena of…

Cycling is great exercise…but is your saddle hurting your health?

Author of Keep Healthy After Cancer, leading oncologist Professor Robert Thomas examines the rarely discussed negative effects of cycling on male health – and how diet can help… Whether you’re commuting, being a weekend-warrior in a gruelling sportif or just having…

Prescription drugs addiction is increasing in England, say health chiefs

The number of people in the UK taking strong painkillers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills long-term is rising, health chiefs have warned. In a new review by Public Health England, research found that 25 per cent of adults regularly use such…

Prue Leith is latest star name to try to improve hospital food, saying meals should give ‘pleasure and comfort’

Television star Prue Leith, a judge on Channel 4 baking show The Great British Bake Off, is set to advise hospital caterers on how to improve food for patients. The high-profile recruitment comes after the government announced in June that it…

The College of Medicine launches online evidence-based Self Care Toolkit ‘to empower patients’

A new online health website has launched to help give patients more control of their health. Our Health Directory, found at ourhealth.directory, has been created by the College of Medicine to offer a reliable, evidence-based user-friendly online guide to a…

Is the UK lagging behind when it comes to supporting complementary medicine?

A new report from the World Health Organisation red flags that the UK is not doing enough to support complementary medicine, says the College of Medicine’s Chair Dr Michael Dixon. The WHO global report on traditional and complementary medicine 2019 aims…

Five superfoods you’ve never heard of (but may well be in your smoothie soon!)

Wind back the clock twenty years and words that are now part of the healthy eating lexicon; spirulina, quinoa, wheatgrass etc were once alien concepts to most of us. Fast forward a decade or so and what foods might soon…

‘We don’t do it for clinical improvements, we do it to relax patients’: How complementary therapies are helping Manchester hospital’s renal unit

Glamourous 80-year-old Ann Critchley, who travels to the Salford Hope dialysis unit three times a week for her four hourly dialysis sessions, was quick to praise the work of Christine, her therapist as she massaged deep into Ann’s ankles and…

Kidney Life Magazine; Salford Hope Hospital
A stroke knocks life sideways but the creative arts can help re-build confidence

Life after a stroke is a journey home, home to one’s post stroke self and the familiarity of family and actual home. However, as Odysseus found on his return from Troy, the journey does not always go as planned. Recovery…

How the College of Medicine marked first International Social Prescribing Day

Thursday March 14th marked the very first International Social Prescribing Day, designed to highlight the importance and significance of social prescribing within healthcare and its potential benefits for well-being for people across the world. Social prescribing is a healthcare model…

Explainer: How does social prescribing actually work?

It’s the healthcare buzzword that has moved from the periphery to the mainstream thanks to the government’s 2018 pledge to inject £4.5million into NHS social prescribing. Ahead of National Social Prescribing Day on March 14th 2019…here’s what you need to…

‘More than five ingredients? Put it back!’ Sano School of Culinary Medicine founder Heather Richards on clean eating, healthy food myths and keeping motivated…

London-based Heather Richards founded the Sano School of Culinary Medicine in 2017 with her husband Doug in a bid to provide education on real, nutritionally-balanced food. Here, she speaks to the College of Medicine about convincing children to enjoy wholesome food over…

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Survey to review how social prescribing is going... surveygizmo.eu/s3/90… if you are involved in social prescribing please complete this @TCVtweets by 21st February. #socialprescribing #socialprescription #prescribing #conservationvolunteers @TCVtweets

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College Update

HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES