Doctorcall

As the world moves ever so exponentially online, with the advent of Industry 5.0, virtual reality and AI, it is changing rapidly to one where man and machine are more connected. From smart fridges to self-driving cars, to a face app that shows you a much older version of yourself like a magical wrinkle in time, it really makes you wonder what the world itself will look like in 10 years’ time.

The future has limitations

In the world of healthcare itself, digitalisation and innovation are at the top of the agenda. From apps to electronic records and virtual consultations, technology is increasingly being used to help relieve pressure on services and overworked staff and to help patients access the care they need faster and easier.

Technology has the potential to revolutionise healthcare, to streamline services and allow patients to take greater control of their health. But technology is not risk-free and has its limitations.

With virtual consultations, you can be treated in the comfort of your own home. But can convenience outweigh the benefits of personal GP visits?

The reality of virtual consultations

A recent article has shed light on the reality of virtual GP consultations, in a case where a patient, Max Pemberton, was given the wrong treatment and the wrong diagnosis – twice, following two separate virtual consultations, putting into question how effective they can be. On one hand, they are easily accessible; on the other, they simply can’t offer the same level of personal touch and close examination that meeting in person with a doctor can offer.

In fact, a study from Imperial College London that looked at video consulting found a lack of evidence to truly form a picture of how safe and effective online consulting can be. The inability of carrying out physical examinations especially places a limit on how effective medical assessments can be when carried out online, meaning that they can be clinically risky. In Max’s case, the medication he was prescribed during the online consultation would have actually made his condition worse.

The value of the traditional

When it comes to your health, there should be no short-cuts. With a world focused on the virtual, there is still much to be said for the value of the traditional.

That’s why we at Doctorcall offer a 24-hour visiting doctor service, for both companies and private individuals throughout London. We understand the importance of convenience to our patients, which is why our service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether it be at their home, hotel or office. Our GPs are happy to visit at a time and location that suits their needs.

The world at your fingertips

Technology has changed our ways of communicating, how we watch things, how we buy things, and even how we visit our doctor. It also poses more challenges than the vision of a doomed world taken over by robots, from privacy concerns to declining human interaction.

With social media and messaging apps, most interactions nowadays happen online. We communicate through filters, in front of our phone or computer screens.

While there is no filter to show you what the world will resemble in the future, there is always the ability to look back on what has worked in the past. That’s why we will continue to champion the value of our personal service, at your fingertips.

For more information about our 24-hour visiting doctor service please visit doctorcall.co.uk/OnCallDoctor or call our team now on 0344 257 0345.

Summer is here! It’s time to dust off those barbecues, bask in the glory of longer days and soak in the sun (and enjoy guilt-free ice cream, because it’s summer). Temperatures at the end of June soared to nearly 35C in London, with the UK experiencing its hottest day of the year so far.

While summer may summon trips to the beach, family picnics or holidays abroad, excessive exposure to the sun can also bring along certain health problems, including dehydration, heat stroke, sunburn, and the dreaded hay fever season. Whatever your plans are this holiday season, follow our simple tips to stay happy and healthy this summer.

 

With temperatures set to get even hotter, click here to download our pdf guide to keeping cool this summer!

 

  1. Drink plenty of water
    It goes without saying that summer makes you want to be in the great outdoors, meaning your body loses water more quickly due to perspiration from the heat. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than it takes in, so it is important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking throughout the day (around 8-9 glasses a day) and not just when you’re thirsty. You can use the colour of your urine as a helpful guide to how hydrated you are (the clearer it is, the better).
  2. Be cool (as a cucumber)
    While ‘wanting to cool off’ can serve as an acceptable excuse for ice-cream, there are plenty of refreshing fruits and vegetables that can provide a healthier alternative. It is estimated that we get 20% of our daily water intake from the food we eat, so reach for water-rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, watermelon, celery, and cucumber. As well as helping you be cool, hydrated, healthy and refreshed, this is also a simple way to make sure you are getting your 5 a day. Don’t flake out on your fruits and veg.
  3. Wear sunscreen
    Sun-kissed can easily turn to sun-burnt, red and peeling. While the sun is great for making sure your body gets all the Vitamin D it needs, it also emits harmful UV rays that are damaging to your skin. A tan will not protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. You can protect your skin using sunscreen with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30 and 4-star UVA protection, which you can look for on the labels. Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas, including the face, neck and ears, and at least 30 minutes before you go out. As the sun and water can dry/rub it off your skin, it’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and straight after swimming.
  4. Chase the shade
    Sunscreen is not the only way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Limit your exposure to the sun by staying in the shade, especially during the hours of 10am and 4pm, when UV light is strongest. If you’re planning to be out in the sun for long, you can still make sure you enjoy the sun while avoiding sunburn by wearing a hat as well as appropriate clothing that covers your skin, and by protecting your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses.
  5. Keep it light
    While summer means BBQs, cocktails, hot dogs and burgers, it is important not to allow the sunlight in at the expense of your health going out the window. You may find yourself naturally gravitating towards lighter meals in the summer, so start your day with a healthy breakfast and keep your meals light and healthy. Add salads and berries to picnics and outdoor meals. Cut back on hot dogs at BBQs; replace those with healthier alternatives such as grilled fish. Try to avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks as these can leave you dehydrated.
  6. Sun’s out, runs in
    Just because the sun’s out, does not mean that exercise is also out. On the contrary, you can keep cool by taking a dip at your local pool or gym – getting your exercise in one go. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and can help you burn calories and keep healthy during summer. While it’s best not to exercise outdoors in the sweltering heat, you can take advantage of the long summer days and head out for a run or a bike ride in the mornings or evenings, or when the days are cooler (make sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen). Running near water, such as by lakes, rivers and reservoirs, can also provide nicer, breezier conditions to help you stay cool, protected and healthy this summer.

While summer has just begun, the UK has already experienced its first heatwave of the season. If you’re worried or want to find out more about what you can do to protect yourself from the heat this summer, contact Doctorcall to find out how we can help.

Download our guide to staying cool during the heatwave.

Manchester International Festival launches on 4th July and City Physio at Doctorcall have once again been asked to provide physiotherapy support to this year’s performers.

The festival occurs every 2 years and brings together artists from different art forms and backgrounds to create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work. It is City Physio’s role to support the festival and keep it in fine physical fettle.

The event is staged in a rich tapestry of venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks.

City Physio have been proudly associated with the festival since its early years in 2007, and once again the team will be pulled all over Manchester to support the 5 movement-based companies plus any niggles that other acts experience.

If you haven’t had a browse of exciting range of artists performing, take a look here: mif.co.uk/whats-on

As a leading physiotherapy centre in Manchester, City Physio guarantees to provide fully qualified physiotherapists at short notice and at the best price. All its staff have worked with a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal problems, from those affecting high-level athletes and dancers to the aches and pains encountered by keen weekend warriors and office junkies.

City Physio has 2 clinics conveniently situated in Manchester city centre offering appointments from 8am-8pm, Monday to Friday.

Click here to book an appointment today

If you are travelling abroad for work or study, you may need to meet certain medical requirements to be eligible for a visa. Amongst the many services that we offer here at Doctorcall, we can provide fast and efficient Visa Medicals, covering a range of countries all over the globe, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, China, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. 

How does it work?

If you require a Visa Medical as part of your visa application, you can easily arrange to have it at one of our clinics in London and Manchester.

The appointment will take up to two hours, during which our experienced doctors will conduct a medical examination and complete all the necessary forms for you. The medical exam will consist of different tests (for example Chest X-ray, Urine Analysis, HIV test) depending on the country you are travelling to and the requirements listed on your visa medical form. We will also be at hand to provide all the information and advice you need to make your visa application as fast, efficient and pain-free as possible.

You can check which examination and test you will be required to take here, where you will also find out more information regarding Visa Medicals based on your country of destination.

How to arrange your Visa Medical with Doctorcall

We can provide appointments at short notice and often on the same day. We can also usually accommodate a range of additional tests and services whether they are in relation to your medical or not, as well as provide additional medical advice and assistance for your travel, including travel vaccinations if required.

All you need to do is book an appointment with us and bring along your passport as well as any relevant information such as repeat prescriptions and specialist letters for any medical conditions that you may have.

You can check for availability using our 'Book An Appointment' tool here. For more information, please visit our ‘Visa Medicals’ page, or feel free to give us a call on 0344 257 0345.

 

When we talk about health inequalities, i.e. the avoidable differences in people’s health across specific population groups, there are a whole host of factors that come into play. From education and good quality housing, through to geography and access to health services. Yet one constant right across the globe is the health gap between men and women. And the stats, as they say, don’t lie.

On average, women in the UK can now expect to live almost four years longer than their male counterparts. Much of this is caused by hormonal differences, for example, men generally have more visceral fat which surrounds the organs, whereas women tend to have more subcutaneous fat, which sits under the skin. However, lifestyle differences play a huge part.

In the UK, one man in five dies before he reaches 65. The tragedy in all of this? With earlier detection, so many of these deaths can be avoided.

It may sound like a stereotype, but men’s reluctance to consult their doctor and talk about their problems is a perennial issue. Research conducted by the Men’s Health Forum indicates that men are less likely to visit their doctor, to acknowledge illness and to seek help, compared to women. This is why the Forum are observing Men’s Health Week from 10th – 16th June, to shine a light on the issues facing men’s health, and to encourage men and boys to seek professional advice for health-related problems.

Let’s drill down further and take a look at some of the areas that are driving these statistics.

Diabetes

Men are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women. The charity, Diabetes UK, states that 3.8 million people in the UK are now living with the condition. Furthermore, in middle-aged men, prevalence is expected to become increasingly more common over the next decade. Therefore, men really do need to be more conscious around how to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to recognise those tell-tale symptoms such as excessive thirst, fatigue and frequent urination to name a few. Weight management, diet and alcohol intake all play their part, and we encourage frequent check-ups to assess your risk level.

Coronary Heart Disease (CAD)

One of the UK’s biggest killers is CAD, which accounts for 1 in 7 of every male deaths in the UK. The condition occurs when the heart’s blood supply becomes blocked by the build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries, which, over time, causes the walls of the arteries to become furred up with fatty deposits. The causes are typically due to lifestyle factors, like smoking and obesity, as well as conditions such as diabetes, and, importantly, family history. To prevent CAD, we monitor the levels of cholesterol and other blood lipids carefully, and, if caught early, can be arrested and even reversed.

Prostate Cancer

As men get older, the prostate, which is a small gland that sits under the bladder, can naturally enlarge. Although enlargement is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to other issues, with urinary problems often a common warning sign. In men, we are particularly concerned to screen for prostate cancer from the age of fifty as it is a silent killer. Once you’ve had that all-important assessment and diagnosis, there are many treatment options, which can range from simply monitoring, to medication and surgery, depending on the severity of the diagnosis.

Mental Health

There has been a step-change in how society views mental health in recent years, but we are still a long way off parity between men and women in its impact. Tragically, over three quarters of all suicides are male, and it is now the biggest killer for men under the age of 35. There are a range of treatment pathways available to those seeking help, however, mental health issues can be severely damaging if left untreated. Therefore, having the courage to visit a healthcare professional and being able to talk openly in a safe environment is hugely important. 

Nothing is More Important Than Your Health

So, gentleman, if you want to be there to experience your kids’ graduation, to play with your grandchildren, and to enjoy a long and active retirement, the old excuses just won’t cut it anymore. Too busy to see a doctor? Make the time. Worried they might find something you won’t like? Identify it early and get the necessary treatment. Nothing is more important than your health.

Peace of Mind Health Screening

Doctorcall offer a range of health screening options. If you are worried about a particular problem or symptom, we recommend booking a private GP consultation and getting the tests that are specifically relevant to that issue rather than a full screen. If you are under 50 and apparently in good health, a Health Screen provides excellent value for money. Otherwise we recommend a Platinum Health Screen. Click here for more information.