The healthmatters blog; commentary, observation and review
Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Since the last General Election, the Government has championed the need for a comprehensive and robust strategy to tackle the growing obesity crisis, particularly for children. Today is a missed opportunity in that fight. The sugar levy alone isn’t enough to ensure children live long and healthy lives. While encouraging more exercise in schools is to be welcomed, the evidence is compelling that we also need restrictions on the marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods. We need stronger action to protect children from junk food advertising if we want to make a difference. So for the Government to ignore these aspects is inexcusable.
“The evidence is clear – children who are exposed to junk food adverts are more likely to eat unhealthy food and our research shows that they pester their parents to buy these foods for them. Removing junk food advertising on TV before 9pm would more than halve children’s exposure to this advertising.
“The Government had a chance to protect the next generation from diseases like cancer and reduce the crippling burden of obesity on the NHS. We need the ‘game changing’ strategy it promised a year ago. As it stands, our children will witness a rising tide of ill-health from obesity well into the future.”
The annual care home costs have increased by £1,536 over the past year – almost ten times the average £156 income gains enjoyed by pensioners over the same period, according to a five year study by Prestige Nursing + Care.
- Average cost of a care home exceeds £30,000 for first time – more than double the average pensioner income
- The 5.2% growth rate has more than doubled since 2014/15 and is the highest since before 2012
- Pensioners’ incomes able to fund less than six months’ care as annual shortfall reaches £16,500 – or £317 a week
- Ten out of 11 GB regions see gap between care costs and pensioner incomes widen over past year
- Care at home can save more than £20,000
Costs for an average single room in a UK residential care home have risen by 5.2% to £30,926, more than double the average pensioner’s income of £14,456, while pensioner incomes grew by just 1.1% over the last year.
The annual growth rate of care home costs (5.2%) from 2015 to 2016 has more than doubled from the 2.5% growth rate from 2014 to 2015. This is far higher than the current rate of inflation (0.3%)* and the fastest growth rate since Prestige began collecting data in 2012.
Pensioners short by £290 a week if they require residential care
The annual shortfall between care home costs and pensioner income amounts to £16,470 (£317 a week), should they need to pay for residential care in later life, up 16% from £14,196 four years ago. The total cost of care annually amounts to 114% of the average pensioner’s income after tax.
This shortfall has increased by 9% in the last year alone from £15,089 a year, or £290 a week, in 2015. This means the average pensioner’s income would now pay for less than six months of care – despite research from Saga showing the average stay in a residential home is 2.5 years**.
Jonathan Bruce, managing director of Prestige Nursing + Care commented on the findings,
“It is particularly alarming that care home costs have risen almost ten times as much as pensioner incomes in real terms, with the result that older people will find the challenge of paying for care even more out of their reach. Cuts to social care now also mean the vast majority of people will have to find the funds to cover care home costs themselves, which makes it more important than ever that people start to plan their care in advance. The lack of awareness of these issues, and appetite to tackle them, illustrates the need for a sensible and mature debate on the value our society places on care.
“Those with assets below the means testing threshold will continue to be supported through local authority funding, but this research highlights the escalating costs for those above the threshold as the low interest rate environment leads to reduced monthly income as care costs escalate.
“Care workers and nurses absolutely deserve the boost they have received to their pay, but the increase in the minimum wage has no doubt pushed the cost of elderly care upwards. The UK’s ageing population means many with longer-term conditions will require care of some sort. But for many, the widening gap between costs and income will make it difficult to receive the amount and quality of care they require without substantial savings to fall back on.
“Vast regional differences in the price of care see residents in the East of England, London and the South West facing an annual shortfall of more than £20,000 when paying for care. There remains a clear North-South divide, whereby the South faces the greatest challenge when it comes to funding care.
“The challenge of paying for care in later life needs a broad range of options, of which access to home care is a fundamental part of the solution. Particularly for those with lesser care needs, home care is a much more financially attractive option that potentially offers huge savings. People with complex health and medical conditions can also be treated at home – so this option can be used widely, helping to ease the burden the ageing population places on the NHS.
“Homecare is also typically the preferred option ***** for people who can retain more independence than they would in a care home, while receiving the support and assistance they need in the comfort of their own home. Homecare is also a highly person-centric form of care-provision, which offers people a range of options catered to individuals’ needs.
“As more people will require care of some sort in later life, we need to become more open as a society when it comes to talking about care and how it will be funded, and personal preferences so that people are better prepared to make an informed choice if and when the need arises.”
** Research from Saga shows life expectancy in a care home is typically 2.5 years
*** £15 an hour. Laing & Buisson, Care of Elderly People UK Market Survey 2014/15; based on average figures for the UK (Sept 2015)
****UKHCA home care report figures for average hours of local authority or HSCT funded domiciliary care per person per week in the UK 2014/15 (May 2016)
Research from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (BHW)*, surveying more than 32,538 workers across all UK industries, revealed that high stress and lack of physical activity are causing industries to lose up to 27 days of productive time per employee each year.
- Data from over 32,500 employees shows large productivity disparity between industries
- Employees in the healthcare and financial services sectors lose the most productive time each year
- Lost productivity due to high stress and lack of physical activity
While poor diet, alcohol and cigarettes have a severe effect on long-term health, it is stress and physical activity which have biggest impact on day to day productivity.
The study, which was conducted by VitalityHealth, Mercer, the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, found that productivity varies enormously between industries, with some industries losing almost 27 days of productive time per employee per year, compared to a national average of 23.5 days. Healthcare and financial services lose 26.6 and 24.9 days per employee a year respectively, while high-tech loses just 18.9 days per employee per year.
Shaun Subel, Strategy Director at VitalityHealth, comments on the research: “Although alcohol consumption, poor diet and smoking have a significant impact on long-term health, it is clear to see that day-to-day productivity loss centres on physical activity and stress levels. Within the significant industry fluctuations, it is quite worrying to see that even in high-tech, the best-performing sector in terms of productivity, 19 days of productive time is still lost by each employee each year.
“Encouragingly we note that on an individual company basis, where there is an increased investment in health promotion, the proportion of employees in good or excellent health grows, while the costs to productivity associated with absenteeism and presenteeism reduce. We would urge all companies, and especially those in sectors suffering from acute productivity loss, to invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff. Reducing workplace stress and encouraging employees to stay physically active should help increase productivity levels and protect the business bottom line.”
Higher total physical activity levels are strongly associated with lower risk of five common chronic diseases – breast and bowel cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, finds a study in The BMJ today.
Many studies have shown the health benefits of physical activity. This has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend a minimum total physical activity level of 600 metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes a week across different ‘domains’ of daily life.
This can include being more physically active at work, engaging more in domestic activities such as housework and gardening, and/or engaging in active transportation such as walking and cycling.
But we still do not definitively know how much the type and quantity of physical activity reduces the risk of common conditions.
So a team of researchers based in the US and Australia analysed the results of 174 studies published between 1980 and 2016 examining the associations between total physical activity and at least one of five chronic diseases – breast cancer, bowel (colon) cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke.
They found that a higher level of total weekly physical activity was associated with a lower risk of all five conditions.
Most health gains occurred at a total activity level of 3000-4000 MET minutes a week, with diminishing returns at higher activity levels.
Daily activity levels need to be several times higher than recommended minimum
A person can achieve 3000 MET minutes a week by incorporating different types of physical activity into their daily routine – for example, climbing stairs for 10 minutes, vacuuming for 15 minutes, gardening for 20 minutes, running for 20 minutes, and walking or cycling for 25 minutes.
The results suggest that total physical activity needs to be several times higher than the current recommended minimum level of 600 MET minutes a week to potentially achieve larger reductions in risks of these diseases, say the authors.
Although they cannot tell us about cause and effect, meta-analyses involving observational research are useful for pulling evidence together. And the authors say their findings have several important implications.
“With population ageing, and an increasing number of cardiovascular and diabetes deaths since 1990, greater attention and investments in interventions to promote physical activity in the general public is required,” they write.
“More studies using the detailed quantification of total physical activity will help to find a more precise estimate for different levels of physical activity,” they conclude.
In a linked editorial, researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France say this study “represents an advance in the handling of disparate data on a lifestyle factor that has considerable importance for the prevention of chronic diseases.”
But they point out that “it cannot tell us whether risk reductions would be different with short duration intense physical activity or longer duration light physical activity.”
They conclude: “Future studies must streamline their measurement and reporting for real gains in knowledge.”
In a letter published on Wednesday July 3rd 2016, Mr Hunt asked the Doctors and Dentists Review Body for its “observations” on the factors affecting recruitment, retention and motivation of salaried GPs. The review body’s previous report had an expansion of the salaried model in general practice and the Secretary of State said that “understanding this trend would be important”. GP Online had as its headline on 4th July “Jeremy Hunt asks pay review body to examine salaried GP model”.
Salaried general practice is increasing, within the partnership-based franchise system of general practices, to accommodate part-time doctors and those not yet ready to join partnerships. It may also be a way of increasing partners’ incomes without increasing their workload, but traditionally a salaried option has been very much a minority enthusiasm in general practice.
This seems to be changing. One of the most high profile primary care-led “vanguard” providers is considering whether its GPs should become salaried employees, potentially of an acute trust. Naresh Rati, executive director of Modality, the Sandwell and West Birmingham-based “super partnership”, told the HSJ (July 7th) that its GPs were “not averse” to “moving under an acute trust umbrella” if it aided service integration.
Modality, known until last year as Vitality, is one of the most high profile and widely praised of the national “multispecialty community provider” vanguards. The Five Year Forward View said under the MCP model “larger group practices… could in future begin employing consultants or take them on as partners, bringing in senior nurses, consultant physicians, geriatricians, paediatricians and psychiatrists”. He also said he did not think many GP-led organisations were currently ready to be the lead provider in new care model arrangements.
Comments posted on the HSJ discussion forum were not so enthusiastic about salaried general practice. One anonymous writer said: “Look at acute Trusts that have absorbed community services, and see if they have been treasured and respected or ignored and neglected”.
Another added: “The acute trust model doesn’t create particularly good incentives for its doctors either. Given that the model in most other countries is for specialists to be self-employed, perhaps we should look at a partnership model for specialists, rather than seeking to make GPs employees”.
A named contributor, Andrew Vincent, saw mergers of GPs with acute Trusts as a necessity. “I have been advising Acute Trusts to consider closer integration (with primary care) for some time. However, it is NOT because it would create a more successful model but very specifically because primary care is under so much pressure, in some places in complete meltdown. That becomes the Acute Trust’s problem anyway and so my advice was get ‘stuck in’ before you have to”.
Don Berwick, a North American fan of the NHS and critic of the wasteful US healthcare system, urges us to create ‘ Era 3 ’ of modern medicinei. His arguments have not only appeared in a US academic publication, the Journal of the American Medical Association, but also in a presentation to the King’s Fund on improving the quality of NHS care, in February 2016 he offers a manifesto for the NHS which differs from the usual exhortations to integrate, collaborate and become patient centred. Berwick describes the history of modern health care systems in terms of three eras.
Era 1 was the period of noble, beneficent, self-regulating professionalism that powered the NHS assembled by Labour in 1948. In the compromises needed to launch the new health service, the political class conceded to the professions the authority to judge the quality of their own work.
Era 2 began when the variations in the quality of care; the injustices and indignities inflicted on people because of class, gender and race; the profiteering and the sheer waste of Era 1, became inescapable. Era 2 introduced accountability, scrutiny, measurement, incentives and market mechanisms. As Berwick puts it, “The mechanism of Era 2 is the manipulation of contingencies: rewards, punishments and pay for performance”. Labour contributed to the consolidation of Era 2 during the Blair/Brown governments but the Era’s origin is in the late 1980s with purchaser-provider split, imposition of contracting, the promotion of evidence based medicine and the industrialisation of the NHS.
Era 2 has promoted discomfort and defensiveness amongst NHS staff, and feelings of anger, of being misunderstood and of being over-controlled. Managers and the Department of Health in turn become suspicious, feel resisted and can become either aggressive (the culture of bullying) or helpless while their political superiors invest more and more in “ravenous inspection and control”.
The conflict between the competing and incompatible drivers of Era 1 and Era 2 diverts attention and resources away from improving and redesigning care, according to Berwick. The question for policy makers is how can the conflict be resolved productively, and how can Era 3 be synthesised? In other words, what would a modern care system look like?
Berwick has some suggestions, but before considering them we should think about two things that are specific to our situation.
Firstly, those most publically defending the NHS are mainly defending Era 1. They want to return to a time before the mechanisms of Era 2 were introduced to the NHS. They are deeply conservative in attitude and emotionally are prone to shroud-waving when any change is proposed. Catastrophe is never far away, and conspiracies abound. They are reductionist and tend to have a narrow focus on ‘privatisation’ rather than a broad view of Era 2’s mechanisms. Far from being a solution to the conflict between Era 1 and Era 2, they are part of the problem.
Second, the funding of the NHS is so constrained that its normal functioning cannot be guaranteed. The apparent £22 million budget shortfall in England by 2020 is too big to be corrected by increased productivity, new ways of working, pay restraint and reductions in expenditure on medication. The government’s expectation that squeezing the budget will stimulate higher productivity and creativity in work organisation is not shared by most of those running or working in the NHS.
This is not to say that change is impossible, and some will indeed occur. Nevertheless it seems clear that the financial targets will not be reached. Failure to meet targets is more likely to increase the bullying that is so widespread in the NHS than to reduce it. Continuing reluctance to fund adequately the parts of the care system outside the NHS will just make everything even worse.
Moving from the current underfunded and unstable care system to Era 3 will require solutions to the problems of funding and accountability, but based on a different approach.
Berwick has nine suggestions for helping Era 3 into being:
1. Stop excessive measurement
2. Abandon complex incentives
3. Decrease the focus on finance (once the quality of care is optimal, costs will fall into place)
4. Reduce professional prerogative
5. Recommit to improvement science
6. Embrace transparency
7. Protect civility
8. Really listen (especially to the poor, the disadvantaged and the excluded)
9. Reject greed (it erodes trust)
How can these ideas work for the NHS? Berwick’s experience is based on US medicine, where the problems are starker than in the UK. But the other side of that coin is that the NHS has many people in it who want to make these kinds of changes. Could Labour come to their aid? How do the suggestions fit with the Labour vision of Whole Person Care?
Berwick’s Era 3 is driven by the escalating costs of US health care and the terrible waste of money in their fragmented and consumerist system. What Berwick wants is a single payer system, but we have that already and our funding problem is shortage not over-expenditure. Increasing the funding of the NHS to allow normal function to be restored will be necessary, but how will Berwick’s other aims be reached?
Stopping excessive measurement and abandoning complex incentives within a light-touch management approach would be welcomed, partly because these changes might foster professional prerogative and favour vested interests by reducing scrutiny and inspection. Would central funding and a better definition of what the health and social care systems have to do, combined with decisions by elected local government on how it is to be done, be sufficient to check professional prerogative?
Would our Era 3 system form around a structured response to societal changes like population ageing and rising consumerism? Will it depend on full engagement of citizens if the NHS is to be sustained, as argued by Wanless in 2002? Can we resist consumerism but favour personalisation?
Would Era 3 see the end of the primary/secondary care division? Would it see an end to commissioning as we know it? And would the emergence of local care systems (perhaps based on Sustainability and Transformation Plans) streamline care for reasons of outcome not cost? Would the Treasury accept that this might slow the growth in NHS costs but not save money, as such?
The Coalition government started by insisting on policy based on patient outcomes, but soon had that idea lobbied out of them. Were they onto something important, like a counter to medicalisation and a force for evidence-based policy? Perhaps policy cannot be based solely on patient outcomes because we cannot measure the totality of them – but things like the National Service Frameworks, which were based on evidence, were a good thing, even if that thought takes us back to (the softer end of) Era 2.
Civility really does need protection. Bullying is endemic in the NHS. We know that “policies” can be brilliant on paper but do not necessarily get implemented, and that working relationships can be more significant than structures or laws. How would better relationships be stimulated?
Staff satisfaction correlates with patient satisfaction, so investment in staff well-being and genuine staff engagement really do matter. But probably the majority of Trusts are poor in their treatment of their staff – the junior doctors’ fears about being exploited are well-grounded – and whistleblowing provokes clear threats to the whistler’s career. Home care staff are trapped in a system of zero hours contracts and 15 minute visits with little or no training or development. Will more pay and better conditions be enough to raise morale and satisfaction?
Rolling out best practice after proper benchmarking and a detailed independent evaluation (an Era 2 approach) does not appear to work. What will? What should be measured and what local variability is tolerable; who decides?
Inertia is deep-rooted in the functioning of the NHS. The rationalisation of paediatric cardiac surgery urged in 2001 has yet to happen, whilst discharge planning and alternatives to A&E have been worked on for decades yet remain problematic. Recommitting to improvement science sounds like it belongs here, but in practice what will it mean? Should we try to solve the discharge-from-hospital problem by preferentially funding the growth of 24/7 ‘hospital at home’ services rather than traditional hospitals? What happens when evidence throws up the “wrong” and deeply unpopular answer?
Claims have been made about the transparency within the NHS and much data appears to be available, even to private companies. Yet anyone trying to get information out of the NHS (usually through Freedom of Information) experiences obstruction – often based on spurious claims of commercial confidentiality – or is simply ignored. Who owns the data? Who kite-marks its value? How can parts of the care system outside the public sector brought into a transparency framework?
Sadly few if any other specialities followed the example of transparency by the cardiac surgeons (after Bristol) and put outcome and mortality data freely into the public domain. What will overcome professional reticence; the Royal Colleges?
As for really listening, the NHS is especially bad at this. Can it really move to shared decision making? Can it accept the view that patients and communities are assets not a nuisance? Can it embrace genuine processes of engagement and consultation?
Finally, rejecting greed. Will anyone dare disagree? Not if it is put so pejoratively, but the medical profession in particular plays Knights and Knaves with the NHS. In Knightly mode it asserts its professionalism and commitment to patient care, with unpaid working beyond rostered hours as evidence. In Knavish mode it points out that its’ altruism must be rewarded if it is to continue. Hence the profession’s belief that NHS consultants deserve Clinical Excellence Awards (CEAs, the new name for “merit awards”). Hence also the view among junior doctors that the NHS will be saved by getting the price of Saturday afternoon working just right.
These and other questions need credible answers if the voters are to commit to significant additional funding to support a modern health and social care system. Can Labour find the answers and use them to introduce Era 3 with the same zeal and determination that brought in Era 1?
Steve Iliffe & Richard Bourne 12/7/16
When we think about food poisoning, we normally think about it happening to us when we eat out, but according to statistics released by the British Food Standards Agency, a large proportion of food poisoning incidents that occur in the UK each year actually occur from food that’s been cooked in the home.
There are more than 500,000 cases of food poisoning a year from known pathogens. This figure would more than double if it included food poisoning cases from unknown pathogens.
Campylobacter was the most common foodborne pathogen, with about 280,000 cases every year. The next most common pathogen was Clostridium Perfringens with 80,000 cases, and norovirus was third with an estimated 74,000 cases. Salmonella is the pathogen that causes the most hospital admissions – about 2,500 each year.
Poultry meat was the food linked to the most cases of food poisoning, with an estimated 244,000 cases every year.
After poultry, produce including vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, caused the second highest number of cases of illness (an estimated 48,000 cases), while beef and lamb were third (an estimated 43,000 cases).
So, how can food poisoning be avoided? This article outlines the top five ways that you can clamp down on the spread of bacteria that leads to food poisoning in your own kitchen.
1. Wash your hands again, again, and again
The foundation for all food safety and hygiene training https://www.educare.co.uk/
2. Keep your raw meat and vegetables separate
When you’re storing your groceries, it’s very important to keep raw meat far away from ready-to-eat foods such as salad, bread and fruit. This is because ready-to-eat foods are not cooked before consumption, so any bacteria that gets on them isn’t going to be killed off during the cooking process, which happens with raw food. Keeping these foods separate is a major step to ensuring that your kitchen is a safe and hygienic environment.
3. Check your fridge temperature is below 5°C
Bacteria is a bit like fire: It needs heat, fuel and oxygen in order to grow. Keeping your fridge below 5°C helps ensure that bacteria doesn’t have the heat factor in this “deadly triangle”. Keeping food at a low temperature ensures that bacteria can’t breed and that your food is kept safe, so be sure to check your fridge’s temperature after you pop food in there, especially meats.
4. Cool your leftovers quickly
Leftovers are the best part of a meal – but to make sure you enjoy it, it’s very important to cool them really quickly. Cooling leftovers within 90 minutes of them being prepared and then popping it in the fridge or freezer immediately after that is the best way to ensure that your delicious leftovers will still be good for the next two days. Also, as a general rule, use up any leftovers in the fridge within a couple of days.
5. Don’t reheat meat more than once
When you’re feeling peckish and you make your way to the fridge to eat your yummy, cooled leftovers, make sure that you don’t overdo it. If your leftovers include meat, ensure that you don’t heat them up more than once. Continuously heating and cooling meat allows for bacteria to form and spread across the dish, which can cause illness. If you’ve got a lot of leftovers, the best thing to do is to only heat up the portion that you’re planning to eat, rather than the entire dish.
Want to learn more about food hygiene and safety? Get in touch!
Dealing with the effects of poverty costs the UK £78 billion a year, £1,200 for every person, new research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed.
A new report, Counting the cost of UK poverty by Heriot Watt and Loughborough Universities, is the first research to illustrate how much poverty across all age groups costs the public purse. It finds that £69 billion, £1 in every £5 of all spending on public services, is needed because of the impact and cost poverty has on people’s lives.
The total, £78 billion, also includes £9 billion in lost tax revenue and additional benefits spending resulting from dealing with the symptoms of poverty. It is equivalent to 4 per cent of the UK’s GDP.
It shows how poverty impacts on different government departments and areas of public spending, including:
Health care accounts for the largest chunk of the spending, with £29 billion every year spent treating health conditions associated with poverty. This is enough to pay the salaries of 126,000 nurses, and is almost equal to the £30 billion shortfall which the NHS has said will appear by 2020. The £29 billion makes up 25% of all health spending. Schools spend an extra £10 billion every year coping with the impact of poverty through initiatives such as free school meals and the Pupil Premium. This is nearly 20% of the total schools budget.
Police and criminal justice account for £9 billion of the annual poverty cost, due to the higher incidence of crime in more deprived areas. This represents 35% of all spending on police and criminal justice.
Children’s services, including children’s social services and early years provision, such as free childcare for deprived two year olds, include £7.5 billion spending associated with poverty. The amount spent on poverty represents 40% of the early years budget and 60% of the children’s social care budget.
Adult social care is associated with £4.6 billion of the cost of poverty, 26% of spending
Housing adds £4 billion to the annual public service cost of poverty, 37% of spending on housing and communities.
The report also considers the knock on effect that experiencing poverty has on future costs to the public purse. Experiencing poverty in childhood makes it more likely that a person will be out of work as an adult. The report estimates that this results in £13 billion in lost earnings each year, causing £4 billion of lost tax revenues and £2 billion extra benefit spending. The £78 billion also includes the cost of additional spending on some benefits, such as Pension Credits and Employment and Support Allowance, in more deprived constituencies.
The total does not include the full cost of benefits aimed at preventing poverty or helping people to find a way out, such as Income Support, Working Tax Credits or Job Seeker’s Allowance. It also does not include the amount that experiencing poverty in adulthood costs the public purse through reduced tax revenue.
Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said:
“It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, so many people in our country are being held back by poverty. But poverty doesn’t just hold individuals back, it holds back our economy too.
“Poverty wastes people’s potential, depriving our society of the skills and talents of those who have valuable contributions to make. This drags down the productivity of our economy, hinders economic growth, and reduces tax revenue.
“Taking real action to tackle the causes of poverty would bring down the huge £78 billion yearly cost of dealing with its effects, and mean more money to create better public services and support the economy. UK poverty is a problem that can be solved if government, businesses, employers and individuals work together. If we fail to do so poverty will create an even bigger risk to our country today, and for future generations.”
Professor Donald Hirsch, from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and one of the report’s authors, said:
“It is hard even to estimate the full cost of poverty, not least its full scarring effect on those who experience it. What our figures show is that there are very large, tangible effects on the public purse. The experience of poverty, for example, makes it more likely that you’ll suffer ill health or that you’ll grow up with poor employment prospects and rely more on the state for your income. The very large amounts we spend on the NHS and on benefits means that making a section of the population more likely to need them is extremely costly to the Treasury.
This September, JRF will launch a comprehensive plan to Solve UK poverty. It will set out what government, businesses and individuals can do to support families and communities, improve educational attainment and build skills, promote growth and boost incomes and ensure that everyone has the chance of a decent and secure life.
Just 150 minutes of exercise a week, that’s just over 21 minutes a day, boosts life expectancy by over 3 years
A Survey run by Vitality, Mercer, University of Cambridge and RAND of 6,600 people over 12 months found that sedentary people who increased activity levels to 150 minutes a week (government recommended level) saw life expectancy increase of 3.1 years and:
· People who increased activity levels to 90 minutes saw an increase of almost three years (2.7 years), and exercising just 60 minutes a week saw an increase of more than two years (2.4 years)
· Data from Britain’s Healthiest Workforce, run by Vitality, Mercer, University of Cambridge and RAND with data from over 32,500 employees, found on the basis of the ‘Vitality Age’ gap, Professional Services had the healthiest employees, closely followed by Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences, and the Public Sector. The unhealthiest industries were Insurance, Manufacturing, and Transportation, Shipping and Logistics
* Research calculated through analysis of each individual’s ‘Vitality Age’, an aggregate measure of wellness that evaluates the gap between physical body age and actual age
WideCells Group, a company in the stem cell industry, has raised £2m and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The funds will enable the Company to develop its own stem cell storage facilities and roll out its unique stem cell healthcare insurance plan, the first of its kind globally, that enables people to cover against the high costs of stem cell therapy, to treat diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. This makes stem cell therapy significantly more affordable and opens it to far more people. Notably, WideCells is backed by the founder of the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist Denplan.
WideCells has three divisions. Cellplan, the first of its kind stem cell healthcare insurance, will deliver customers with an affordable monthly plan and access to renowned specialists and hospitals globally with financial cover for medical treatment, travel, and accommodation expenses.
Currently, despite significant numbers of people storing stem cells globally, many do not realise that treatment can cost up to £300,000, meaning it is presently only available to those with deep pockets. The Group also has two other complementary core divisions including a portfolio of best-in-class stem cell processing and cord blood storage facilities with an existing presence in the UK and Brazil, and WideAcademy which is developing an education and training division to promote awareness of the benefits of stem cell storage across the global medical community.