Should we only expect the very basic of patient care?

I’m going to open a whole can of worms here, but that’s what blogging’s about, being honest and sharing your thoughts, so here goes…..

Here in the UK, we’re lucky enough to receive free health care from the NHS. When I say free, obviously I don’t mean ‘free’- free. We pay our taxes in return for this care. But does that mean you should expect only the basic of care? Does the very fact we don’t have much say in where our taxes end up mean we should shut up and be grateful that we get any NHS treatment?

I don’t think it should.

The professionals who care for you when you require of any type of medical attention have trained long and hard, so it would make perfect sense that they are appreciated for what they do to make you better, and I am grateful for that. I’m grateful that they have entered into a profession and studied to ensure they deliver the best possible care. There is a flip side to being grateful however, and that is when things go wrong. I’m not grateful when you have trust in a service, which you have paid for, and receive only the minimum of care in return.

Because that care can go wrong, for a number of reasons.

Take the birth of my 1st child for instance; A long gruelling labour that was scary and very nearly had a bad ending because of bad judgements. My poor little baby had an awful journey into the world and I have no doubt spent most of his first few weeks in pain. Then there was the aftercare from that labour;  a night spent on a ward with minimum staff unable to answer by calls for help or being able to care for a new mum meant my care was none existent.

Is it any wonder I suffered anxiety and put off having another baby for a while?

I fully appreciate that the people who are paid to treat and care for us are only human and there’s always the argument for human error. No one’s perfect. But when that treatment is poor and patchy it verges into neglect. Blame overworked staff, managers expecting too much out of people, the list can go on, but there’s no denying that when you’re suffering and patient safety is compromised, it’s the long-term damage to the patient that the focus should shift on. It’s the compromise to the healing process, PTSD, anxiety, loss of earnings and overall safety which should be taken into consideration.

It was nearly 24 hours until I was offered something to eat after the birth of my 1st baby, I was unable to walk to the restaurant thanks to stitches, catheters and an epidural, when I was finally able to make it out of bed, I had no idea where the restaurant (or bathroom!) was. It was that basic care of food and water which was missing. So should I have claimed compensation? I have no doubt that websites such as Your Legal Friend would’ve helped answer a few of those questions. I’m pretty sure they would for a family member who will be giving up work very soon thanks to a monumental medical cock up!

Who’s to say that my career path in life would’ve been different if I’d not been so traumatised by the birth of my first child? If I’d relaxed a little more and enjoyed parenthood and made sure I’d made time for me and my husband?

Anyway, like I said, a whole can of worms there to gather up and throw back in. And dollop of ‘what ifs.’



The Fitness & Health Benefits of 4 Popular Extreme Sports

Extreme sports, such as skateboarding and paintball, provide an alternative to conventional or everyday activities. As well as being the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies, they are a brilliant way to stay in shape. They also happen to be 2 of the most favourite activities my teenage boys love, ironically, I don’t think they’d even consider them to be a sport.

Both adventure activities and extreme sports  have gone from strength to strength since the late-1990s in regards to exposure and popularity. During that same time, healthy living and fitness have become two of the most popular trends on a worldwide scale. Whether you’re a fitness freak looking for a more exciting way to burn some calories, or an extreme sports enthusiast in need of some exercise, here are four alternative activities that can seriously benefit your own health.


Skateboarding has been around since the 1950’s going through many different changes, trends and levels of popularity. Some people skate on a daily basis, performing various tricks in both street and vert-style skating. Others use it as a mode of transport and nothing more. Either way, the effort and movement involved is a great workout for your body. My eldest is renowned for waking our quiet little village each morning skateboarding to catch his school bus. And when anyone dared grumble to me about it, I defended him explaining it was simply the best way to kick-start his day with a burst of activity

It requires a lot of pushing power from your legs to gather speed, as well as flexibility and stretching while doing tricks — both of which will burn off calories with ease. To become proficient and consistently land tricks, you need to practice a lot, meaning that skateboarding will become a daily workout that’s a lot more fun than the gym. 

health & fitness benefits of extreme sports

BMX/Mountain Biking


Most people have ridden a bike at some point in their life and many still do on a daily basis, as a hobby or primary form of transport. Two adaptations of cycling that definitely fit into the extreme sports category are BMX and mountain biking. Both up the ante in regards to excitement and provide the ultimate pedal-powered workout.

A BMX (short for Bicycle Motorcross if you’re wondering,  comes in two styles. Firstly, there’s racing, which requires intense bursts of pedalling (cardio) and arm strength to manoeuvre the bike around corners and over jumps. This sport has increased in popularity since it became an official Olympic sport. The second is stunt BMX: although the premise is the same, this style of riding requires more strength and balance to perform tricks, spins and flips.



Although paintball is very different in just about every way when compared to the sports mentioned above, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most unique and engaging adventure activities out there. As you explore expertly designed battlefields and dodge oncoming fire from enemies, it’s safe to say your body will be getting quite the workout.

Paintballing for kids and adults are both a possibility (separately or together), meaning it’s the ideal activity to get out of the house for a whole day of exercise with friends or family. Rapid movement to avoid the paintballs, climbing obstacles, crouching behind cover; it all adds up over the course of a day and creates the ultimate workout. But due to the adrenaline rush and distractions of battle, you’ll barely notice how much exercise you’re doing.

Paintball offers a unique take on what an adventure activity should be, using authentic combat as fuel for the fire. It doesn’t matter if it’s paintballing birthday parties, stag dos, or just a day trip with the family; the excitement and diversity involved make paintball the perfect activity for a variety of occasions.



Much like other extreme sports, surfing is an activity that, over the years, has gained a massive following. The UK has an abundance of beach locations that provide the necessary swells and waves that a surfer’s dreams are made of. But aside from being a fantastic way to spend a few hours, surfing requires a fair amount of effort and determination.

Paddling is an essential part of surfing, therefore giving you an effective core and upper-body workout. Maintaining your balance against the resistance of waves will require strength, while swimming back to your board after taking a tumble is fantastic for cardio. The average person burns around 400 calories an hour while surfing, so even if you only have time to surf for a few hours, you’ll still be doing your body plenty of good.

Although many of these sports have been around for decades, it’s only been in the last ten years of so that they’ve been recognised and embraced for their fitness benefits. A skateboard or bike can be just as effective as a few hours in the gym — and a day spent paintballing? Well, it’s difficult to compare that to anything in the gym. All of the activities above are extremely good for you in a number ways. Whether you’re looking for a way to lose weight, build strength, or just get off the sofa for a few hours, extreme sports offer something to suit the needs of everyone.

health & fitness benefits of extreme sports


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Supporting the Early Years Nutrition Partnership

Having worked in early years for 15 years, the issues surrounding the best outcomes for this most precious age group has been forefront in my mind. It went part of the parcel with being a mum, so you could say I had a very close and vested interest. Which is why I am supporting the launch of the Early Years Nutrition Partnership C.I.C; an independent social enterprise created in partnership with the Pre-school Learning Alliance, British Nutrition Foundation and Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition, that will provide ‘hands-on’ support for early years settings aiming to improve their whole approach to nutrition practice, to help support improvements across the sector that will contribute to positive health outcomes for the current pre-school generation.

The Early Years Nutrition Partnership (EYN Partnership) has brought together a unique network of self- employed, registered nutritionists and dietitians, each with extensive experience in the early years. They will work alongside and within early years settings, to help them achieve accreditation with a new EYN Partnership Quality Mark. The support provided by the nutrition professionals will be tailored to meet the individual needs of each particular setting and community in which it operates.

Early years settings that sign-up to the EYN Partnership will also be able to upskill their team with opportunities for professional development. The EYN Partnership will provide study places for a Level 3 CACHE award in nutrition and hydration in the early years, and early years setting chefs and cooks will be able to study for a Level 2 CACHE award in the preparation of meals to meet relevant nutritional standards in an early years setting.

If early years settings choose to do so, they can also access additional services from their EYN Partnership nutrition professional, such as the delivery of bespoke classes for parents, children or practitioners.

Integral to the EYN Partnership model is a commitment to support settings with the highest social deprivation needs, with an ambition that in the first year of the programme at least 10% of the settings registered with the EYN Partnership will benefit from subsidised access. A measurement framework and evaluation strategy has been developed to analyse the success of the programme in delivering demonstrable and sustainable social change.

tackling childhood obesity with the early years nutrition partnership


According to the National Child Measurement Programme, one in every five children starting reception in England is either overweight or obese.1 Obese children and young people are more likely to become obese adults, and have a higher risk of morbidity, disability and premature mortality in adulthood.2 Amongst other issues associated with poor nutrition in childhood, twenty five per cent of five year olds are reported to experience some tooth decay.

Neil Leitch, Chief Executive Officer of the Pre-school Learning Alliance and Chair of the EYN Partnership Board, says: ‘Childhood obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time, and we know that eating a healthy diet during the early years has a significant impact on health outcomes later in life. Early years settings have an essential role to play in helping to establish good eating habits and positive learning about healthy eating. The Early Years Nutrition Partnership model, with its frontline help for practitioners from registered nutritionists and dietitians, offers a more collaborative approach to change at the local level. The Early Years Nutrition Partnership will bring about significant change that will have an impact on the future health of a generation.’

Please share this post with anyone who works in the early years sector as well as parents and carers of children under 5 



Improving my sleep with the S+ by ResMed

It’s probably no surprise that these last few years have been some of my worst for getting a good night’s sleep. Pregnancy, (although I was permanently tired I suffered with frequent night wakings thanks to being the size of rhino and SPD) then the usual new baby phase where sleep just goes out of the window and you grab what you can, whenever you can. And more recently,starting up 2 new businesses, burning the candle at both ends to get everything done and current events in my personal life leaving me buzzing with thoughts at 2am.

I’m a statistic, I know. A classic example of times when you just don’t get in the zzzz’s you need to function normally. I’ve been aiming for 6 hours unbroken stretches. Not a big ask, but that’s what I read to be the minimal amount. 8 would be bliss, but I’ll settle for 6.

But now life’s settling down a little, it’s high time I tackled the issue of sleep. I needed to understand exactly what’s going on and practice some relaxation and mind clearing techniques. I needed a gadget, I (love gadgets, the adult word for toy!) And I’ve found one.

Positioned by my bed, the S+ by ResMed is a device which monitors your breathing patterns and records the light, noise and temperature conditions, as well as features to help you sleep more easily. It’s linked up to an app on your phone which you set each night before you settle down for the night.

I’ve become a little obsessed by checking it as I wake each morning. Aiming for the ultimate 100/100 sleep score. (which I’m hoping will happen one day.) But aside from that, there’s some extras which will help you achieve it.

Starting with  Mind Clear

Specially designed sounds synchronize with your breathing, gradually slowing it down to help you fall asleep more easily. Our “Mind Clear” feature offers simple text and voice tools for recording tomorrow’s to-do list so you can go to sleep with a calm, uncluttered mind

This is most definately the root of my night wakings, when something’s niggling in the background which needs addressing at stupid o’clock. (that time when you can do nothing about it, and everything seems worse.)

I’ve also been making use of the Relax Day time setting, a choice of calming sounds which I pop on for 5 minutes timeout and to calm my breathing; something which was recently picked up at during a reflexology session. Once I’ve taken a few long deep breaths, I’m ready to go again.


My favourite feature, other than my constant need to score my sleep and improve my deep sleep time, is the smart alarm. You put in you time, then give your self a buffer period either side to find the optimal waking pattern. It then gently wakes you rather than giving you an awkward jolt, where you struggle to work out which day it is, where you are and if you’re dreaming.




Lets Talk About Your Oooops Moments…….

I’m not going to beat around the bush (s’cues the pun!) I’m sure you’ve seen the advert below already. I just love the approach that lights by TENA have taken in sharing some oooops moments!

C’est la vie, it happens!

With 1 in 3 women having  light bladder weakness, there’s a chance that many of you reading this will be one of them. It can be the result of many things but for many it’s (one of ) the dreaded side effects of pregnancy.  Childbirth isn’t called labour for nothing, it’s bloody hard work, the hardest thing a woman will probably do and caesarian sections aren’t by any means any easier.

So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that pregnancy pushes your body through momentous changes and what ever way your baby enters the world, you’ve carried round a water melon for many (ok, not so much of the many, but when you’re pregnant if feels like forever) months. All that weight is going to have a effect on your muscles, surely.

And did you do your pelvic floor exercises religiously? (hands up who’s actually doing it right now) If you did, great stuff. You can probably leave it here and head off back to Facebook as the rest of this blog post is aimed at those who forgot, the ladies who were thinking about how life was about to go belly up rather than practice a few squeezie exercises (keep squeezing) which wasn’t going to give them a flatter stomach, bust their bingo wings or tighten up the junk in your trunk.

Because you can’t really see what’s going on can you? And is one of those exercises that you wish you’d done in hindsight, when it’s too late and when you know exactly what I’m on about when I talk about Oooops moments and when trampolines and running races are definitely out of the question! (keep squeezing)

The C’est la vie advert lets women know that light bladder weakness is not something to worry about and something they should be able to say C’est la vie to. And that lights by Tena (the liner which you can use to deal with those moments) is now 5 times drier than before and contains FeelFresh Technology™ to lock in moisture and controls odour.

Lights by TENA are currently hosting a Facebook competition inviting you to share their own Oooops moment for a chance to win up to seven prizes. (The prizes include six £100 Debenhams voucher and a grand prize of a spa break for 2. Winners will be announced on a weekly basis.)

This can be a clothes mishap, forgetting lipstick on your tooth or light bladder weakness. (mine was sitting through a whole midwife appointment with a Gavison tell tale smile, but if you ask my husband there’s probably a whole book’s worth! )

Then after you’ve shared your Oooops moments on the lights by TENA Facebook  page, you can scoot gently over to get your  free samples over at their website.

(You can stop squeezing now. )


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