The Health News United Kingdom September 18 2017


  • Figures show that the number of UK fire and rescue staff taking long-term sick leave due to mental illness has risen by nearly a third over the last 6 years.
  • Affecting around 1 in 4 adults in the UK, high blood pressure can put pressure on the organs, including the heart, which can lead to stroke or heart attack, and can even damage the kidneys and eyes.
  • NHS chiefs say that hospitals should build health centers that offer spas and Zumba classes to encourage people to live with healthy lifestyles – instead of treating healthcare as a “sickness service.”

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

Figures show that the number of UK fire and rescue staff taking long-term sick leave due to mental illness has risen by nearly a third over the last six years. In London, the figure has doubled since two thousand eleven and two thousand twelve. Some one hundred three London fire staff have taken mental health leave this year, some after working at Grenfell Tower.
The Home Office said it was the responsibility of fire services to put wellbeing services in place. Two-thirds of fire services provided data following a Freedom of Information request submitted by Five live Investigates. They reveal the number of firefighters and other staff taking long-term mental health leave rose from six hundred to seven hundred eighty over the last six years. At least one hundred twenty six staff have left the service due to mental health issues since two thousand eleven.The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service only provided comparable figures for one full year. In two thousand sixteen to two thousand seventeen, ninety seven Scottish fire staff took long-term mental health sick leave while in Northern Ireland that figure was one hundred eleven.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said: “The welfare of staff is of paramount importance to the brigade. Our counselling and wellbeing service provides accredited counselling to all staff to help with their psychological well being.

High blood pressure is a common condition believed to affect around one in four adults in the UK. While diet and lifestyle choices can influence high blood pressure, experts have warned it could be altered by a certain deficiency. High blood pressure can put pressure on the organs – including the heart. The condition can lead to stroke or heart attack, and can even damage the kidneys and eyes. Experts have said that when high blood pressure is not controlled, it doesn’t stay high at one level and it can spiral higher and higher. This can influence heart attack risk. Experts believe this pattern could occur because high blood pressure causes nitric oxide to stop being released. If nitric oxide isn’t produce then causes a vicious circle of increased nitric oxide deprivation and even higher blood pressure which can’t be easily controlled.

The study, which was conducted on rates at University California Irvine College of Medicine, found that high blood pressure causes a rise in blood pressure can increase molecules called free radicals which prevent nitric oxide from working and increase blood pressure further.

Fresh fruit and vegetables – Bursting with antioxidants and an excellent source of folate which reduces the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
High blood pressure is a common health condition which can increase heart attack risk
Beetroot is a rich source of nitrates which are rapidly converted into nitrites and absorbed into the body’s circulation. These nitrites are used to make nitric oxide which has a powerful dilating effect on blood vessels to lower blood pressure. Experts have previously said sitting outside in the sun could help lower blood pressure – because the sun can intensify the levels of nitric oxide being produced, which causes blood vessels to dilate.

National Health Service chiefs say that hospitals should build spas and offer facials and Zumba classes to encourage healthy lifestyles. Officials have drawn up plans for “health campuses” which would see swimming pools, beauty treatments and aerobics offered alongside hip replacements. Health officials said the centres would encourage people to take more care of themselves – instead of treating healthcare as a “sickness service.” But critics said the ideas were a “farcial” waste of money at a time when the NHS is under severe financial pressure.

The proposals are part of schemes being drawn up by ten “healthy towns” across the NHS, with other areas planning shopping discounts to reward physical activity, as well as free bikes to encourage it. Ministers are understood to be in talks about an expansion of health campuses across the rest of the country. Plans drawn up by the NHS in Warrington would see a “wellness centre” opening alongside traditional health services offering surgery and diagnostic tests.
Mel Pickup, chief executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said she hoped the ambitious proposals could be realised within five years. “It could be about having a facial in the spa, or going to a Zumba class alongside MRI scans and hip replacements,” she said. “It is redefining what a hospital does; not just being a sickness service but encouraging better lifestyles,” she said.

The new “health campuses” are designed to bring treatment services together with efforts to prevent ill-health, she said. “It is about creating a wellness centre within a medical plaza where you can see a GP – a shared facility for acute care and for the community to socialise, to exercise and to swim,” she said. Authorities have already replaced the local leisure centre with a health “hub” bringing together a swimming pool, dance studios and skateboard park with three GP surgeries and a cafe.

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