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Why Government Health Departments Are Spending Millions On Mobile Gaming

Why Government Health Departments Are Spending Millions On Mobile Gaming

Today sees the release of The Walk, an iOS and Android game backed by the UK’s Department of Health.

It’s the second release in a collection of apps funded as part of the UK’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). The first — StepJockey, an app that lets you map, locate, rate and log the calorific expenditure of staircases around your city — came out on Monday.

All five apps in the program encourage you to move more, or change negative habits. Can an app improve your life? At the very least, we’re guessing the Department of Health — having just spent £2 million on this round of investment — thinks so.

This is part of a growing trend, that could see government agencies in the UK taking a leaf out of Silicon Valley’s book when it comes to solving (health) problems.

Your mission is simple, ensure safe transit of a package from Inverness, to Edinburgh — and in the process save the world. Only one problem: a terrorist attack has rendered all motorised transport unusable — you’ll have to go on foot.

"The Walk" on Android

“The Walk” on Android


That’s the premise behind The Walk. The concept isn’t complicated — encourage players to preambulate in the real world as part of an apocalyptic game narrative. Your phone’s accelerometer tracks your movements, unlocking levels and hours of story-telling audio which drive the plot along.

Simple, fun, effective. The game’s predecessor (Zombies, Run!) uses similar mechanics, and currently encourages over 750,000 would-be Shauns (or Eds) to escape pursuing Zombies whenever they go for a jog. By lowering the requirement to walking, it’s hoped almost everyone can benefit this time.

The focus is on increasing general daily movement, rather than dedicated, prescribed and sometimes prohibitive training routines.

There’s no question the theory is simple: apps that encourage activity, or responsible drinking, could cut down on healthcare requirements through prevention, negating the need for cure. In turn, it could also take a bite out of the estimated £8 billion that obesity and alcohol related diseases cost the UK’s health service each year.

More interesting, is that the Department of Health is funding external mobile start-ups and indie developers at all. We asked it why, and were told it’s just as much about nurturing innovative ideas (where they can compete with more conventional fitness apps such as Nike+, MapMyFitness and Adidas miCoach) as it is about encouraging lifestyle change.



The motivation might initially be the potential (and hard to quantify) savings through a healthier public. But using apps to achieve this is an idea the US government is curious about also. The UK’s Department of Health claims it’s also about the broader goal of encouraging jobs and economic growth.

By supporting projects like The Walkor StepJockey — apps that otherwise might not have the resources and reach that government backing can allow — it hopes they stand a better chance of gaining traction with the public.

Perhaps most significantly, though, the government is encouraging left field thinking, about problems that the larger sport brands have typically thrown money at internally, namely how to get us to move more (and buy their products to do so).

The Department of Health isn’t just funding apps, either. It’s currently also offering a £3.6-million prize-pool for technology-based kidney care solutions.

The criteria simply being that it must be able to be used in either the home, community or in secondary care. This is a move we’re more used to seeing in silicon valley, such as Google’s approach to bug finding/fixing, but with perhaps slightly more far-reaching outcomes for humanity as a whole.

For Six to Start (the company that developed The Walk), however, the backing is validation of an idea. For the advocates of gamification, it’s rare vindication by the government, and for global brands like Nike/Adidas? It’s a bit of a kick up the butt.

For us? We’ve just taken our first steps into The Walk, but already we can see how apps like this could encourage the general public to at least think about adding in a few more daily footsteps. Unarguably in the right direction, too.

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Department of Health and NHS Bosses Rule Out Charging Patients To Visit GP

Department of Health and NHS Bosses Rule Out Charging Patients To Visit GP

The Department of health rejects idea of fees for appointments after survey shows support among GPs


Most GPs in favour of charging a fee for appointments thought it should be between £5 and £25.

Ministers and NHS bosses have ruled out patients having to pay to visit their GP, after a survey showed growing support among family doctors for introducing charges.

The fees were conceived as a way to help the NHS cope with rising demand for healthcare at a time of tight budgets and to ease the growing pressure GPs are facing.

About half of GPs now back the idea, according to a survey of 440 of them conducted by Pulse magazine, although it was a self-selecting, rather than representative sample.

Most of those in favour thought charges should be between £5 and £25 per appointment.

A spokeswoman for NHS England said her organisation would not support the introduction of charges. “It is a key principle that NHS services should be free at the point of use, based on clinical need and not an individual’s ability to pay,” she said.

The Department of Health also signalled its opposition to ending free access to GPs. “We have been absolutely clear that the NHS should be free at the point of use, with access based solely on need. That is why we are delivering a real-terms increase in NHS spending and protecting the NHS budget,” a spokeswoman said.

The public needed to help the NHS by trying to avoid getting ill in the first place, she added. “We all need to take greater responsibility for living healthier lifestyles so as to reduce the demands we place on the NHS over the longer term.”

However, NHS England’s own chair, Prof Malcolm Grant, said in April that the government that comes to power after the coalition will have to consider introducing charges for NHS services because of the pressure on public finances. He said he opposed charges, but believed they could be necessary unless the economy recovered.

“It’s not my responsibility to introduce new charging systems, but it’s something which a future government will wish to reflect [on], unless the economy has picked up sufficiently, because we can anticipate demand for NHS services rising by about 4-5% per annum,” Grant told the Financial Times.

In Pulse’s survey, 51% of the 440 GPs who participated said yes when asked: “Would you support charging a small fee for all GP appointments?” Some 36% were against and 13% did not know. That 51% figure is a big rise on the 34% Pulse found when it posed the same question last September.

Dr Stephen McMinn, a pro-charges GP in Bangor, County Down, told Pulse: “[It] has been shown to work in other countries. There needs to be some pressure to decrease patient demand and expectation.”

Another backer, Dr Shailendra Bhatt, a GP in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, said: “People don’t value the things they get cheap, worse still if they get them for nothing.”

But a Bristol GP, Dr Sheila Pietersen, warned that payments could deter some poor patients who genuinely needed to see a GP from attending and “may hinder the doctor-patient relationship”. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association’s GPs’ committee, said the doctors’ union opposed fees. “Charging patients would have adverse effects. We need to preserve trust between patients and their GPs,” Nagpaul said.

GPs’ leaders have warned that more and more family doctors are facing burnout as a result of rising, and ever more complicated, workloads. Appointments with GPs are forecast to double to 433m by 2035, partly as a result of the ageing population.

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Doctors Might Charge Patients For NHS CareIn The Future

Liverpool Care Pathway To Be Scrapped

Liverpool Care Pathway To Be Scrapped

The end-of-life plan – which sees treatment, food and water withdrawn from some sedated patients – faces the axe.

Doctors have used a controversial end-of-life care regime “as an excuse for poor-quality care”, an independent review has concluded.

Experts have recommended that the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) should be axed.

They say the regime should be phased out over the next six to 12 months and be replaced with a personalised end-of-life care plan for each individual patient.

The LCP – which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days – has come under intense scrutiny.

Reports have suggested that doctors have been establishing “death lists” of patients to be put on the pathway.

Jeremy Hunt

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt during a tour of University College Hospital

There have also been suggestions that hospitals might be employing the method to cut costs and save bed spaces.

But medics have argued that the pathway has “transformed” end-of-life care, saying it can offer peaceful, pain-free deaths when used properly.

The independent review into the regime found that while the LCP can offer “high-quality and compassionate care”, there were “too many cases” where it was “incorrectly implemented”.

The regime was introduced with the aim of helping doctors and nurses provide quality care for patients during their final hours and days of life.

But, following criticism of the regime, health officials recently commissioned a review into the use of the LCP at hospitals and care homes.

The review of the pathway, chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger, has heard evidence from patients, families and health professionals.

They concluded that there were “too many cases where the LCP was simply being used as a ‘tick box’ exercise”.

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11 Failing NHS Hospitals Report Published Today

11 Failing NHS Hospitals Report Published Today

All 14 trusts have been ordered to act on recommendations after it emerged thousands more patients may have died than expected.

The Health Secretary has revealed that 11 hospital trusts listed in a shocking report of care failures have been placed under “special measures”.

After the publication of Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into 14 trusts, Jeremy Hunt, speaking in the Commons, said we can “no longer ignore mediocre treatment”.

All of the trusts have been ordered to act on recommendations made by health officials.

The review found that none of the hospitals investigated were providing “consistently high quality care to patients”.

Mr Hunt told MPs: “No statistics are perfect but mortality rates suggest that since 2005, thousands more people may have died than would normally be expected at the 14 trusts reviewed.

“Worryingly, in half of those trusts, the Care Quality Commission – the regulator specifically responsible for patient safety and care – failed to spot any real cause for concern, rating them as ‘compliant’ with basic standards.”

The trusts in special measures will be assessed, senior managers “not up to the job will be removed” and each hospital will be given a high performing organisation as a mentor, Mr Hunt said.

He also sought to blame former health secretary Andy Burnham for the failings, telling MPs the findings represented Labour’s “darkest moment”.

But Mr Burnham hit back, accusing the Health Secretary of “playing politics with people’s lives”, adding that the report was based on trust performances in 2011 and 2012, after the coalition had taken office.

Tameside General Hospital in Greater Manchester was one of the worst trusts in England.

The investigation found “insufficient levels of nursing staff”, “poor supervision of junior doctors by consultants” and a “lack of compassion” from staff dealing with patient complaints.

Interim chief executive Karen James apologised to patients unhappy with the care they had received at the hospital.

“I feel disappointed that they have been unable to provide positive feedback,” she told Sky News.

“However, what I want to do is involve patients in the next stage of our improvement programmes, so we need to take on board what they are saying about our services.

“What they feel and what they experience is absolutely key to us in actually addressing the fundamentals,” she added.

Mr Hunt said where failures have been found in hospitals like Tameside “they have been confronted straight away”.

Other examples of problems included patients being left unmonitored on trolleys for excessive periods, staff working up to 12 days in a row and low levels of clinical cover, especially out of hours.

Sir Bruce, NHS England’s medical director, was asked to conduct a series of ‘deep-dive’ reviews into other hospitals with mortality rates which have been consistently high for two years or more after the Francis report into failures at the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust.

He said: “Higher mortality rates do not always point to deaths which could have been avoided but they do act as a ‘smoke alarm’ indicator that there could be issues with the quality of care.

“Not one of these trusts has been given a clean bill of health by my review teams. These reviews have been highly rigorous and uncovered previously undisclosed problems.

“I felt it was crucial to provide a clear diagnosis, to write the prescription, and, most importantly, to identify what help these organisations might need to support their recovery or accelerate improvement.”

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) welcomed the review and is calling for the recommendations to be implemented as a matter of urgency.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary, said: “There’s an undeniable link between nurse staffing levels and patient mortality and we can’t keep failing to address this issue.

“Only with the right numbers of nurses, with the right skills, can we ensure patients are looked after with dignity and compassion.”

Hospitals in special measures:

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospitals not in special measures:

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Download the full report here in PDF keogh-review-final-report

The Governmen Plain Cigarettes And Alcohol you Turn

The Governmen Plain Cigarettes And Alcohol you Turn

Plans for plain cigarette packaging are postponed, amid reports that minimum pricing for alcohol will be scrapped

The Government is facing anger from health campaigners after plans for plain packaging for cigarettes were put on ice while it emerged minimum pricing of alcohol will be killed off altogether.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said a decision on whether to go ahead with plain packaging in England would be postponed until ministers had had a chance to assess the impact of a similar scheme introduced last year in Australia.

Meanwhile, it was reported Home Secretary Theresa May will formally confirm next week – before MPs finally break for the summer – that the Government has dropped plans for minimum pricing of alcohol in England.

Downing Street denied the Tories’ elections strategist Lynton Crosby – who has been linked to lobbying by the tobacco industry – was responsible for the delay to plain packaging.

However, there was widespread suspicion that he was behind the decision – even among some Tory MPs.

Mr Crosby, who was brought in last year after masterminding Boris Johnson’s re-election as London mayor, has reportedly advised David Cameron to “get the barnacles off the boat” and concentrate on the core concerns of voters such as the economy.

Conservative backbencher Sarah Wollaston, a GP who has campaigned for both plain packaging and minimum pricing, said the result would be more lives ruined for the sake of political expediency.

“RIP public health. A day of shame for this government; the only winners big tobacco, big alcohol and big undertakers,” she wrote on her Twitter feed.

“What a tragic waste of an opportunity. ‘Barnacles scraped off the boat’ AKA more lives ruined for political expediency.”

A Downing St spokesman insisted Mr Crosby had no involvement in the decision on plain packaging although he acknowledged that he did take part in meetings in Number 10.

“He is not employed by the Government. He is employed by the Conservative Party as an adviser to the Conservative Party. He doesn’t have a pass for Downing Street. He doesn’t have a desk at Downing Street. Does he attend meetings at 10 Downing Street? Yes, he does,” the spokesman said.

In the Commons, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry insisted the Government’s position on plain packaging had not changed, but she refused to to be drawn on how long ministers would wait before deciding whether to press ahead.

For Labour, shadow public health minister Diane Abbott said it was a “disgraceful U-turn” by ministers.

“We have to ask, what happened? We suspect Lynton Crosby happened.”

There was anger among health campaigners, with British Lung Foundation chief executive Dr Penny Woods describing the decision as “bewildering”.

British Heart Foundation chief executive Simon Gillespie said: “This was the chance for a real show of strength, courage and confidence but instead the Government has capitulated in the face of industry pressure.

“Critical legislation that will help stop young people getting hooked on a lethal habit has now been left hanging in the balance. The longer we have to wait for it, the more harm cigarettes will do to the next generation.”

However, the move was welcomed by many Conservative MPs who oppose what they regard as a “nanny state” approach to public health.

While ministers are expected to announce a decision to scrap plans for minimum alcohol pricing before recess, the Prime Minister’s spokesman would not be drawn.

He said “the position remains the same” on alcohol pricing, adding: “The Prime Minister has set out his views in depth, we’ve had a consultation and we will respond in due course.”

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Scientists Have Found A Link to Prostate Cancer In Omega-3

Scientists Have Found A Link to Prostate Cancer In Omega-3

A new study claims to have found evidence that supplements with omega-3 fatty acids may help trigger aggressive prostate cancer

Taking health supplements with omega-3 fatty acids can increase the chances of contracting prostate cancer, according to new research.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in oily fish and lauded for their anti-inflammatory properties, were found to increase the risk of high-grade disease by 71%.

Taking omega-3 was also associated with a 44% greater chance of developing low-grade prostate cancer.

Overall, the fatty acids raised the risk of all prostate cancers by 43%.

A US team of scientists compared blood samples from 834 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,393 participants without the disease.

High blood concentrations of all three omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in supplements EPA, DPA and DHA were linked to the findings.

Senior report author Dr Alan Kristal told Sky News: “We looked at the marker in blood for the intake of these fatty acids and we found to our surprise that it was associated with increased risk of prostate cancer.

“If you took an omega-3 fatty acid pill, or a fish oil pill every day, you are at the highest risk group.”

Writing in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the scientists said the evidence suggested that the fatty acids played a role in prostate cancer development.

People tempted to up their intake of omega-3, particularly by means of supplements, “should consider its potential risks”.

Further research was needed to uncover the mechanisms that might cause omega-3 to drive prostate cancer, said the researchers.

Nutritionist Nicole Berberian told Sky News: “The fact is that just from this snapshot … we can’t actually say cause of effect, so there is a long way to go before we can say that the cause of this correlation is the actual intake of oily fish.

“So as yet, it is not a cause to panic.”

But GP Dr Ellie Cannon said caution was needed when looking at the results of this study.

“It’s the type of study where we don’t actually know how controlled the trial is and what I mean by that is we don’t actually know what other conditions or the other environment that the people within the trial are actually in,” she told Sky News.

Dr Cannon said she would not dismiss the study, but advised taking the results with a pinch of salt.

She said it draws attention to issues surrounding supplements.

“I think [the results are] very worrying. It highlights the point that we always think that supplements and natural things are safe and healthy and actually this raises the question, ‘what could this actually be causing?’,” she said.

“If you don’t actually know the proven benefit of taking something do you need to risk taking the risk?”

Omega-3 fish oils are one of the most fashionable and popular supplements on the high street, with Britons reportedly spending around £116m on fish oil supplements.

They are said to have a plethora of health benefits, including protection against heart attacks and strokes, staving off arthritis, boosting brain power, and preventing behavioural disorders in children.

Each year around 41,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 11,000 die from the disease.

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In Britain for The  First time Babies Will Be Born With Three Genetic Parents

In Britain for The First time Babies Will Be Born With Three Genetic Parents

  • Posted: Jun 28, 2013
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It is controversial due to fears over genetic ­engineering, but supporters claim only a tiny bit of DNA is change

Britain could become the first nation to allow babies to be born with three genetic parents, officials will announce today.

A landmark decision by the Department of Health opens the door to treatments for diseases that make use of donated DNA from a second donor “mum”.

New regulations to fertility law allowing the procedures will be issued for public consultation later this year and then debated in Parliament.

If MPs find them ethically acceptable the first patients could be treated within months.

Around 10 “three parent” babies could be born every year.

Allowing the currently illegal techniques would mark a turning point because it means altering the “germ line” made up of inherited DNA.

Experts say only the tiny amount of DNA in a cell’s “battery packs” – the mitochondria – would be changed.

DNA in the nucleus, which determines individual characteristics such as facial features and eye colour, would remain intact.

One in every 200 babies born each year in Britain has defects in the mitochondria.

One in 6,500 is seriously affected and can suffer potentially life-threatening diseases including muscular dystrophy and conditions leading to hearing and vision loss, heart, lung and liver problems, and bowel disorders.

The new techniques result in defective mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) being replaced by a healthy version supplied by a female donor – the second donor “mum”.

Draft regulations making the UK the first country in the world to offer the treatments to women with a family history of mitochondrial disease will be published later this year, the Department of Health will announce.

Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which could stop these diseases being passed on, bringing hope to many families seeking to prevent their future children inheriting them.

“It’s only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can.”

Dame Sally added: “There are clearly some sensitive issues here, but…it’s clear there is general support to allow these treatments subject to strict safeguards. So what we’re going to do is move forward.”

She said the outright ban on changing nuclear DNA would remain in place and there was no likelihood of that position changing “in the foreseeable future”.

The move is controversial due to fears over genetic ­engineering, but supporters claim only a tiny bit of DNA would be changed.

Doctors Might Charge Patients For NHS CareIn The Future

Doctors Might Charge Patients For NHS CareIn The Future

  • Posted: Jun 24, 2013
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British Medical Association conference to discuss motion calling current system unviable and proposing fees for some services

NHS treatment free at the point of delivery is no longer affordable, doctors will argue.

Doctors will kickstart a debate about patients paying for NHS care by arguing that everyone should receive a set of core services free but charges should be introduced for others.

Delegates at the British Medical Association’s annual conference will propose on Monday that ministers contemplate bringing in what would be highly controversial fees for accessing certain health services, as a way of ensuring that the NHS continues to be viable.

Doctors will tell the 500-strong gathering in Edinburgh that they have to “face the unpalatable truth that free at the point of contact can no longer be sustained”.

Advocates of charging claim it would help the NHS continue to provide a comprehensive list of agreed basic services and cope with the tight budgets it is expected to receive for years to come and the relentlessly rising demand for treatment caused by an ageing population.

Gordon Matthews, a hospital consultant who is a member of the BMA’s consultants committee, is expected to tell the BMA’s annual representative meeting: “There has never before been a more important time for the government, the opposition, doctors and other health professionals to engage with the public, to explain the issues and seek consensus as to what priorities are for health and social care, and making explicit what can be funded from central taxation and what cannot. A publicly funded and free-at-the-point-of-delivery NHS cannot afford all available diagnostics and treatments.”

Malcolm Grant, the chairman of NHS England, recently suggested that the pressure facing the NHS in the next few years amid continuing tough public spending restrictions meant the next government would have to consider introducing charging, although he also made clear that he did not back such a move.

“It’s not my responsibility to introduce new charging systems but it’s something which a future government will wish to reflect [on], unless the economy has picked up sufficiently, because we can anticipate demand for NHS services rising by about 4% to 5% per annum,” he told the Financial Times in an interview in April. Some countries, including the Republic of Ireland, already charge patients for accessing certain services such as seeing a GP.

The NHS in England is in the third year of a four-year drive to make £20bn in “efficiency savings” by 2015 to release resources to pay for the extra demands placed upon it by the growing numbers of elderly people who need help with dementia or long-term conditions such as heart trouble, breathing problems and diabetes and broken hips, plus big increases in drug costs.

Health economists predict that the NHS is facing more years without real-terms budget increases and will have to make even bigger savings in the future.

Health unions and patient groups voiced disquiet at the prospect of charges. Katherine Murphy, the chief executive of the Patients Association, said the need to improve NHS care after scandals such as Mid Staffs and Morecambe Bay meant it was the wrong time to debate the introduction of fees, which could lead to a two-tier NHS.

“Do you ask people to pay for hospital food? What happens to people who can’t pay for it? Who is in a position to say: ‘You can’t have this operation unless you pay for it yourself’?” she told the Times.

But she accepted that “we do have to have a grown-up conversation with regard to co-payments and top-ups. But with scandal after scandal in the NHS the public wants us to address those now. Unless care is made better, we cut down on waste and the public sees the NHS putting its house in order I don’t think it is the time for that conversation,” said Murphy, an ex-NHS nurse and manager.

The co-leader of the National Health Action Party Dr Clive Peedell rejected the notion of charges. “The introduction of NHS top-up fees would be irresponsible, dangerous and an administrative nightmare. We do not want to go down that road.”

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Anger Towards NHS Boss Which Insulted The Superman Video

Anger Towards NHS Boss Which Insulted The Superman Video

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2013
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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s hospital chief Phil Morley, in a promotional video branded both “idiotic” and “brilliant’

£175,000-a-year NHS boss dressed up as Superman and danced through a hospital for a motivational video that has divided viewers.

The leaked footage featuring Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Phil Morley was branded “insulting” by some, while others labelled it “brilliant”.

It shows an apparently stressed Mr Morley answering phone calls in his office, before he is seen transforming into the super hero as he spins around in his chair.

Dressed in the Man of Steel’s trademark lycra costume, he begins showing off a series of dance moves and stretches to the backing of Tony Christie’s 1971 hit Is This The Way To Amarillo.

After inexplicably adding a white headband to his outfit, he is joined by a number of dancing colleagues on a march through the hospital’s corridors.

chief executive Phil Morley The video, which was intended to encourage the trust’s 8,000 staff to “keep themselves fit and healthy while at work”, was posted online by a user called Jim Brennan.

He said: “Oh and when should they do this?? During lunch time for which many staff simply do not have the time to take. The man is an egomaniac.”

Another user commenting on the footage said: “What an idiot! Is this what our taxes are being used for? It is an insult to all those front line staff working their socks off in the most challenging times.”

And a user called colinhardiman commented: “There’s something seriously wrong with this man. I agree with the above comments INSULTING. Being paid £100k and more to be an idiot.”

But user Karen Boyle defended Mr Morley, saying: “This is brilliant. Goodness me is everyone so uptight that this man can’t display some humour.

“I hope his approach permeates to his staff and brings some happiness there. Well done Phil and ignore the doomsday grumps, they will always find something whinge about, it’s in their nature.”

Mr Morley said the video took 15 minutes to make and cost the Trust nothing.

“I was approached by our physiotherapy team to record a video to promote Work-Out at Work Day,” he said.

“The idea was to create something quirky and memorable to encourage staff to think about how they can keep themselves fit and healthy while at work and I felt it was a worthwhile project to be involved with.

“Whether people loved the event or hated it, the health and well-being of Trust staff is vital to us as an organisation.”

Paul Seabourne, manager at the PhysioHull Service, also defended the Mr Morley’s role.

“Our team viewed Phil’s participation as a real show of support and willingness to invest in the health and wellbeing of the Trust’s staff,” he said.

“Often such initiatives suffer from staff being self-conscious, resulting in a lack of willingness to participate.

“The video, hopefully, helped some people overcome their fears and initiated positive discussions regarding being active and trying to ensure staff take their breaks.”

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Kangoo Jumps A New Hit In Aerobics

Kangoo Jumps A New Hit In Aerobics

  • Posted: Apr 07, 2013
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Boing! The incredible bouncing boots that transform you into… a human kangaroo

  • Featuring a spring-loaded sole, the mini-trampolines for your feet were initially invented to help people recover from sports injuries
  • As well as gaining popularity in Britain, Kangoo Jumps are becoming a hit in America, South Africa and Australia

BOING! Boing! Boing! It’s the exercise regime that puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step – literally.

A new pair of bouncing boots cost £166 which turn you into a human kangaroo.

Featuring a spring-loaded sole, the mini-trampolines for your feet were initially invented to help people recover from sports injuries by taking away the impact of running on their joints.

Now they are being sold as a fun way of enjoying all the benefits of a tough gym or aerobics workout – without anyone bawling ‘no pain, no gain’ in your face.

Last week the boots, called Kangoo Jumps, featured in the hit reality TV show Made In Chelsea when two of the glossy young stars, Binky Felstead and Cheska Hull, were filmed jogging in them beside the River Thames.

The boots are also being used for aerobics and dance classes in a growing number of gyms, although – if you aren’t afraid of attracting the odd snigger – you could wear them while walking the dog.

The product is designed to protect your knees and other joints by taking away up to 80 per cent of the impact, and increase endurance, improve weight loss and help sculpture your thighs and buttocks.

They also claim that the act of bouncing for 30 to 40 minutes twice a week boosts your lymphatic system by encouraging the removal of toxins from your body.

Kangoo Jumps are fastened like roller blades or ski boots, with quick-release buckles and sturdy straps. Once they’re on, you heed need some time to get used with them which fell rather like jogging on a trampoline.

But after a few moments, you’re ready to start running on the spot, moving off – or bouncing up to 3ft in the air.

‘The Swiss are not known for doing things fast,’ he says. ‘Ultimately every household will have a good reason to own at least one pair. Everybody thinks, oh, they’re going to fall. Nobody ever falls.

You have to be extraordinarily clumsy to fall.’

And Nasa has used them to help astronauts get used to terra firma after a spell in outer space. Paul Clarkson, 42, is the head of Kangoo Jumps in the UK. He started working with them by accident

five years ago, after seeing them on a fitness DVD and realising they could help with his own health problems. He says: ‘I was born with spina bifida and have had health complications

all my life. My left leg is three-quarters of an inch smaller than the right and I have only half the ligament in my left knee.

‘I can now use Kangoo Jumps as part of my rehabilitation and for keeping my general health in order.

‘I use them three or four times a week for 45 to 60 minutes a time. I just put my iPod on and bounce and gently jog. They help with my posture, spinal and leg-strengthening.’ Paul is campaigning for the child’s version of Kangoo Jumps – the Power Shoe – to be used in schools to tackle obesity. ‘In secondary schools, the boys want to run on them and see who can bounce the highest but also

play basketball and rounders wearing them.’

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