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Private healthcare in the UK often carries misconceptions that it's exclusively for the wealthy or requires expensive insurance. However, the landscape of private healthcare has evolved, offering more accessible options than ever before. Modern advancements and innovative platforms are reshaping the accessibility and affordability of private healthcare services, making them a more viable option for a wider audience. Here we dispel some of the widespread myths surrounding private healthcare. Is private healthcare worth the cost?One common misconception is that private healthcare comes with exorbitant costs. While it's true that some specialised treatments can be expensive, many private healthcare providers offer a wide range of services at competitive prices, making them accessible to a broader spectrum of individuals. Additionally, with the introduction of online platforms like My Health Assistant, individuals can easily find health and wellbeing professionals tailored to their budgets. This shift has transformed private healthcare into a feasible option for a more extensive audience. Can I still use the NHS if I see a private doctor?Absolutely. You can mix NHS and private care, and this will not effect your place in the NHS ‘queue’ - for example, if you pay a private consultant for an expert or second opinion, you can be referred back to the NHS for treatment without having to see an NHS consultant first. The NHS won't pay for or subsidise any private care, but you will remain entitled to your NHS care and it will always be free, except for things like prescriptions. In response to the increased demand for mixing private & NHS care, the Department of Health and Social Care issued guidance which states that you should receive your private care at a different time and place from your NHS care whenever possible to maintain a clear separation between the two. Can I get private healthcare without insurance?Yes. You don't need pricey medical insurance to access private healthcare services. Self-funded individuals can directly approach private healthcare providers, bypassing the insurance middleman. This approach can provide greater flexibility in choosing treatments, professionals, and appointments. That said, private health insurance can be a way of spreading these expenses over time, but be sure to know the facts on what your policy does and does not cover, particularly with relation to pre-existing or chronic conditions such as diabetes and some cancers. Many employers now offer private medical insurance as part of their employee benefits package, it’s worth checking with your employer to see if you are covered. Do I need a GP referral for private treatment?Another misunderstanding is that a GP referral is obligatory for private healthcare. In reality, many private healthcare providers accept self-referrals, allowing patients to take control of their healthcare journey. This approach provides financial flexibility and empowers individuals to tailor their care to their needs and preferences. However, if you have private medical insurance and intend to claim for the cost of your treatment, be sure ask your insurer if they need a referral before going ahead. What are the benefits of private healthcare in the UK?The main benefit is that most aspects of private healthcare, from diagnosis to aftercare can be obtained much faster than on the NHS. Private healthcare empowers patients with the ability to choose their healthcare provider and treatment options, which fosters a patient-centric approach to healthcare. You may also be able to access certain new treatments and medications that are not yet available on the NHS. Beyond the commonly sought medical treatments, private healthcare in the UK also offers a diverse range of services that may not be widely available on the NHS, such as personalised nutrition consultations, hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Conclusion The landscape of private healthcare in the UK has evolved to be more inclusive and accessible than ever before. With reasonable pricing, options for self-pay patients, and the flexibility to tailor treatments to individual needs, private healthcare has transcended its stereotypes. By understanding the modern reality of private healthcare, individuals can make informed decisions about their healthcare journey.Read more
Increased portion sizes could be one of the contributing factors to the rise of obesity (1) significantly in the last 30 years. It’s hard to sometimes know if we’re plating up the right portion sizes for us as, there are many contributing factors that influence how much we eat during the day like our energy expenditure, hormones and emotions.Rather than being rigid around your portion control (i.e. measuring your quinoa right down to each grain, and counting calories) as this can create feelings of restrictiveness, instead, it’s a good idea to have a better understanding of how to balance your plate and what that looks like and also introduce mindful eating techniques, lets deep dive into both of those now.What does a balanced plate look like?When thinking about what we want to eat it’s important to remember the famous four, carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fats. (please refer to the nutrition guidelines for more information on each macronutrient, vitamins and minerals). Including a variety of all four of these food groups, is going to help us fill full but also satisfied and also optimise our nutritional intake.Aim for ½ of your plate to include non-starchy vegetables, ¼ of your plate carbohydrates and ¼ of your plate protein, with 1 serving of fat per meal. If you are vegetarian 2/3 of your plate should have on starchy vegetables and a 1/3 carbohydrates. Getting into the habit of including all four food groups on your plate, can help you also when you’re not always in control of what you eat (for example if you’re eating out). It can help to influence our choices and choose something on the menu which aims for a well-balanced meal. I appreciate that sometimes the size of the plates can alter so a great way to help gauge these portion sizes is by using our hands as a serving guide.Read more
If someone were to ask me, if I only had to do one thing to help optimise my health what would it be? I would say to aim to drink 2 litres of water daily! Water is essential for our body, to help it function properly.Why we need to stay hydrated and how water functions in our bodies? Our bodies alone our made up of 60% of water and all our major bodily functions depend on water to survive. These are just a few examples of how water helps function our bodies.Regulates our bodies temperatureFlushes out toxins from the bodyPromotes good kidney functionLubricates joints and musclesKeeps our skin hydrated making it look healthier and youngerHow much water do I need? 13 cups (approx. 3 litres) for men and 9 cups (approx. 2 litres )for women. An adequate amount of water intake can vary from person to person. The amount of water you need can also depend on several factors.ExerciseHigh fibre dietAn increased loss from caffeine or alcoholHot weatherIf you are breastfeeding.Tips to increase your water intake. Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before your morning coffee/tea.Sip water throughout the day, and carry a water bottle with you.Set some reminders on your phone throughout your day to help track your intake.Eat it. Lots of fruit and vegetables have a high water content, some of these include cucumber, Tomatoes, celery, watermelon and lettuce.Flavour it.If you struggle to guzzle down plain water why not add some flavour to it with slices of fruit such as lemon, grapefruit, lime or watermelon making it a fruit-infused water.Focus on your body's signals. Is your mouth dry, is your urine colour bright rather than diluted. Do you feel tired or light headed. Being mindful on these signals can help you stay hydrated.Read more