The importance of workforce planning for medical care in the NHS

With the increase in demand on the NHS, and no sign of it slowing down, shortfalls in staff are becoming more apparent. With those shortfalls comes a dip in the effectiveness of care that patients require.

The importance of workforce planning for medical care in the NHS

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Workforce targets

With over 1.3 million clinical staff, carrying out 300 different types of duties, across 1,000 different employers, the NHS requires a suitable workforce planning process, to make sure that the right amount of staff is available.

With the National Audit Office declaring that the current arrangement for managing the supply of clinical staffing is fragmented and not value for money, it is important that a solution is found, in terms of securing staff efficiently.

As well as finding the right staff, it is also important that these staff have the right skills, values and behaviours to deliver the quality of care expected of the NHS. Companies such as play a vital part, providing clinical solutions and placing professionals in a wide variety of roles.

Information is key

At the top of the list of priorities for the NHS, is ensuring that there is enough staff to cope with demand. They have even set up a specific website, dedicated to ensuring that the employees they do have, are kept well informed of the current workforce plan.

The NHS Employers website provides a gateway for employees to fully engage in the debate about the challenges the medical workforce plan presents for the NHS.

It deals with important questions such as what sort of doctors are needed, what is the correct balance between qualified and in training staff and how does the change of local GPs roles reflect on what the rest of the health service does? These are all important factors for building and maintaining a strong and successful workforce.

In addition, the creation of Health Education England has meant that, for the first time, there is now a governing body responsible for making strategic decisions about planning the future workforce. It is now their chief priority to be proactive in ensuring that a long-term national plan is addressed to deal with variations around the country.

Providing sufficient education and training, to ensure the longevity, effectiveness and rejuvenation of the National Health Service, is definitely the key to an effective health care workforce.

The Most Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

The Most Common Causes of Erectile DysfunctionErectile dysfunction (ED) is a common health problem in many older men. In fact, about one-half of the male population aged between 40 and 70 experience problems developing or maintaining an erection at least once in their lives. However, ED can be successfully treated in most cases. Should you need any information on pharmaceuticals that can address this sensitive problem, you can always go to

What are the causes of erectile dysfunction? It is hardly possible to list all of them, but the most common ones are the following:
Endocrine diseases. A good example of these is diabetes. It prevents the body from making use of a hormone called insulin. As a result, the whole organism is affected. Permanent damage to nervous system, as well as blood flow impairment, are among the complications of diabetes that contribute to impotence in men.
Nervous system disorders. For an erection to occur, it is crucial for the connection between the brain and various peripheral nerves to be intact and fully functional. Should it be impaired by certain conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, for instance), the nerves could no longer receive signals necessary to erect the penis.
Certain medications. In most cases, these are pharmaceuticals that influence blood flow. However, ED could also be a side effect or a complication of some other medicines, such as hair loss medications, cancer chemotherapy drugs, and artificial hormones.
Numerous diseases that affect blood flow. Since the heart is responsible for pumping blood, and an erection is dependent on a sufficient amount of blood, it is logical that cardiac problems can lead to ED. Hypertension and clogged blood vessels are also capable of impairing male sexual function, even though they are not heart diseases.

If you are suffering from ED, do not hesitate to consult your medical practitioner, since timely treatment can reduce the long-term negative consequences to the bare minimum and improve your overall quality of life.

Understanding iron deficiency anaemia

Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common form of anaemia and occurs when the body becomes deficient in iron. Because iron is needed to produce red blood cells, when there is not enough iron in the body, there are fewer red cells in the blood. This is important because the red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen throughout the body, so in iron deficiency anaemia, the tissues and organs do not get as much oxygen as they need.


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What are the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia?

The most common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include tiredness and reduced energy levels, being short of breath, pallor and heart palpitations. These can be very noticeable or sometimes appear over a long period of time, in conditions such as a bleeding peptic ulcer.

Other less common symptoms that can be experienced in the condition are loss of hair, tinnitus, headache, itchiness, difficulty in swallowing, a sore, smooth tongue, mouth ulcers and spoon-shaped nails.

Causes of iron deficiency anaemia

Iron deficiency anaemia can be caused by many factors that reduce the amount of iron in the body. The commonest cause in post-menopausal women and in men is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract caused by stomach ulcers, and cancer of the bowel or stomach. As explained by Medical News Today, taking NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can also cause iron deficiency anaemia.

The commonest causes in women of childbearing age are heavy periods and pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body needs more iron for the baby’s blood supply and to provide the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Except in pregnancy, iron deficiency anaemia is not normally caused simply by not having enough iron in the diet.

Treatment for iron deficiency anaemia

The underlying cause of the anaemia will need treatment, to ensure that it does not recur.

If you have a low level of iron in your body, you will need iron from supplements to boost it. Iron supplements are widely available and can be ordered online from companies such as Blue Iron.

Blood tests carried out at intervals will check that the iron levels in your blood are returning to normal. You may also need to increase your dietary intake of iron, by eating more dark green leafy vegetables, meat and fish, brown rice, dried fruit, pulses and beans.

Why Hair Prosthesis is the Best Options to Cover Baldness

 Why Hair Prosthesis is the Best Options to Cover Baldness

We all love our hair and nobody wants to get bald. But sometimes, diseases like Alopecia Universalis or some medical treatment like chemotherapy make it inevitable. A couple of decades ago, being bald is like getting a death sentence. You have to cope with it for the rest of your life or settle with ugly looking wig that makes everybody jokes about you. But today, several hair replacement systems have been invented, and one of the best is definitely hair prosthesis. Here are some reasons why prosthesis is the best option to cover baldness.

Safe and Comfortable Inside

One of the best things about prosthesis is absolutely the inside, or we also often called the cap. Unlike ordinary fashion wigs, the inside of prosthesis is made of medically safe material that will make you comfortable. Comfort is very important, especially if you have sensitive skin or you are undergoing some medical treatment that makes your scalp gentler than it normally does. The cap can be made of polyurethanes, Swiss lane, silicone or silk. Those materials are very soft and it will allow your scalp to breathe.

Custom Made

Hair prosthesis is custom made so it will fit your head perfectly. Therefore, you don’t have to worry that the wig is going to fly or suddenly move. Even though it is not your hair, it will look perfect and natural on you. You can comb it every time it gets messy, clean it and you can even swim with the prosthesis. This is possible because the cap fits your head size and it follows your head contour. You can also choose what kind of material you want to use to attach the prosthesis to your head. You can use glue, silicone or maybe some clips if you still have some hair left.

Invisible Hairline and Cap

The worst problem about wig and prosthesis is the cap that sometimes is clearly visible. It can really drop your confidence, especially if you don’t want anybody to know that your hair is not real. Hair prosthesis has had many improvements over the years and visible hairline and cap is not a problem any longer. The inside now is really similar with human skin so it will definitely give you a very natural look. Even though the material is very thin and delicate, but it is also very durable so you don’t have to worry that you are going to break it when you are styling your hair.

Not all sleeping pills were created equal

Not all sleeping pills were created equal

In the world of hypnotics, better known as sleeping tablets, there are several classes of medications. Benzodiazepines, regularly named ‘benzos’, and z-drugs are the two classes used most by patients. Although these drugs are primarily used to treat sleeping disorders and anxiety, they can also be prescribed as additional therapy to treat depression and manage chronic pain. There are additional pills in the market, but not as commonly used as the former two – see a comparison of sleeping pills.

Insomnia treatment with the above classes is indicated for short term use (up to 2 weeks), but many patients keep using them for much longer. Here lies the bigger problem.

Long term use of benzodiazepines and z-drugs

Although one can notice improvements in some measurements of sleep, such as shortening the time to fall asleep, the risk of encountering adverse events increases mostly for the elderly. Long term use of benzos may lead to developing issues of tolerance, dependency and withdrawal symptoms. For elderly people, there is an increased risk of car collisions, falls, indoor accidents and more.

Physicians were advised by the American Geriatrics Society to avoid prescribing benzodiazepines to older patients, for insomnia treatment. Nevertheless, many physicians aware of the mentioned risks still renew prescriptions because of the dependency their patients have developed. This leaves a massive population in need of treatment with a worsened condition than before – addiction.

Sleeping pills withdrawal

Withdrawing from benzodiazepines’ short term consumption is easy – just stop taking it. However, things get a little trickier when it comes to longer periods.

Long term use may lead to addiction, and as such an immediate stop of consumption has a high potential of experiencing rebound insomnia and withdrawal effects such as seizures, muscle cramps and tremors. Therefore, long term users should not stop taking these pills at once.

According to multiple studies, tapering off benzodiazepines slowly is the right way to go, preferably with guidance from professionals. A mixture of non-pharmacological treatments (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) while lowering the pill’s dosage has shown better results compared to a stand-alone approach.

Recent studies have shown a different withdrawal approach involving the use of prolonged-release melatonin called Circadin. Used to treat insomnia itself, this melatonin formulation was consumed while gradually lowering benzodiazepine dosage. Patients enjoyed a significantly better sleep and most of them did not return to using benzos or z-drugs.

As a stand-alone sleeping pill, Circadin has shown to improve many sleep measurements while still keeping a good safety profile, hence no dependency or withdrawal issues.

Not all sleeping pills were created equal.