New gadget to zap agonising 'cluster' headaches available on the NHS
The gammaCore, a device delivering a low-level electric current to the neck area to block pain signals, is now available on the UK's NHS to treat cluster headaches.The gammaCore, a device delivering a low-level electric current to the neck area to block pain signals, is now available on the NHS.
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Health Editor Barney Calman , pictured, has spoken to a vaccine sceptic who said she will not gt a jab even if the Queen rolls up her sleeve on live television. Many hesitant people are simply that.
We already know, from tens of thousands of trial participants, that side effects of the Covid vaccine are little more than a transient headache and fatigue in roughly half of people. Rather than try to debunk complex theories, sometimes the most persuasive approach is to simply say: ‘ I ’ ve had the jab, and I ’ m fine.’
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Staying fit also helped her control the symptoms of chronic lung disease. Having been cooped up since March, her condition has now worsened considerably. She told me : ‘They say I ’ m being shielded for my health but no one has asked us, and they don’t think about how what they’re doing is making us suffer.
Last week I downloaded the NHS App. I don't mean the NHS Covid app – I have that too but disabled it months ago because it endlessly pinged messages telling me I'd been exposed to Covid when I hadn't even left the house.
The NHS App has, apparently, been knocking around for years, offering a way for patients to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view medical records. But I'd never heard of it prior to this month, when it was announced it would become our default Covid passport: a way of displaying our vaccination status.
We are likely to need it to go abroad – just showing that card they give you when you have a jab won't work. Roughly 50,000 Britons have been downloading it every day since this relaunch, and I decided to join them. I've already used it to order a repeat prescription for my eczema cream, which took seconds. It was ready to collect from my local Boots the next day.
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By Barney Calman Health Editor For The Mail On Sunday. Published: 22:01 BST, 22 August 2020 | Updated: 22:01 BST, 22 August 2020.
Don't you hate them? I do, possibly because it feels as if I ' ve spent much of this year in one.
Queues to get into a restaurant, to get your hair cut.
Despite all the frustrations, I ' m part of what I reckon is a relatively fortunate majority, still working , healthy, and just
BARNEY CALMAN : Like most doctors, my dad, a retired GP in the UK, has a fair few war stories from his days on the beat.
The worst fury seems to come from doctors who say they they've never stopped seeing patients face to face. But no one ever said ALL doctors had. My own GP has been outstanding, for instance. Many of my colleagues and friends say similar. But I ' ve been able to step outside of my own experience, and believe the clear evidence that other patients are having an absolutely torrid time.
It can also be used to search for NHS-backed health advice (type in your condition or symptom and it comes up with a list of web-pages) and contact NHS111. There's access to the eConsult service, too, so you can have a virtual appointment, filling in all your concerns, which is then sent to your surgery that will then get in touch.
As soon as I managed to sign in (more about that later) I could click through to a screen that shows that I had my first Covid jab on May 1.
It even has the brand (Vaxzevria – otherwise known as the AstraZeneca jab) and batch-number. The 'share your Covid-19 status' button takes you to a screen with one of those whizzy QR code images.
This can be scanned by the camera on another phone or device – held by, say, Border Control officers – transferring your Covid status data so it can be read and logged. Nifty, I thought.
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Home/News/ Health / BARNEY CALMAN : My
A British Medical Association spokesperson hit out at NHS England for not understanding how stressed out GPs are right now (which I ’ m sure they are – like everyone in the NHS they’ve had a
But I ’ ve been able to step outside of my own experience, and
BARNEY CALMAN : No one will force you to take the pills. Whether you take their advice is up to you. But if you do, it might just save your life ( Barney Calman is pictured).
It was only when Australian researcher Barry Marshall willingly swallowed H Pilori bacteria in an attempt to prove his thesis, that it was the infection that caused the ulcer, that the truth emerged – and a simple course of antibiotics is now offered as a solution. ‘Everyone was against me , but I knew I was right,’ he famously said.
Predictably, there has been a fair amount of shroud-waving by people who say they're deeply concerned about privacy and the creeping hand of Big State as some people have suggested it might also be required for entry to concerts, museums and other venues.
Objectors say blocking access to certain areas of life for those not jabbed, in effect, means you're forcing people to have it. And, they add, what about those who can't have the jab? Well, to be honest, there are vanishingly few valid reasons not to get vaccinated, beyond simply not wanting to be.
Pregnant women are fine to have it, according to numerous studies.
Those who have a specific allergy to Covid vaccine ingredients will need to take medical advice but even then, the ingredients differ between vaccines so there's always a suitable alternative.
Likewise, people with blood-clotting problems are being advised not to have the AstraZeneca jab, which has been linked to a slightly increased risk of blood clots, but they can have the Pfizer or Moderna jab. We'll soon have one from Johnson & Johnson, and potentially Valneva, from France, and Novavax, from America. You might be advised to wait if you're currently fighting an infection, or about to have brain surgery. But other than this, there are basically no illnesses or conditions that would preclude someone from having this jab.
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Explore tweets of Barney Calman @BarneyCalman on Twitter. Got a question or suggestion for what we
After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get
Revealed: The NHS failings that cost Nikki Grahame her life.
reading the Women and Equalities Committee report on body images this morning and this has got to be the most depressing fact I ' ve see all week (and that's
Should those who 'just say no' be forced? Absolutely not. Should businesses say: no jab, no entry? I can see why they would.
There are gaps for the app: roughly one in ten Britons don't have a smartphone, and older phones might not be compatible with the app. But there is an NHS App website where you can do all the same things, such as order prescriptions and talk to a doctor, and print off your Covid status, too.
There are about four million Britons over the age of 65 who do not use the internet. But they can call 119 and ask for a letter confirming their vaccine status.
Our resident GP, Dr Ellie Cannon, is a huge fan of the app and the whole concept – and mentioned it in her column last week. In response, dozens of readers wrote in, pointing out much of what I've mentioned above. Others said they'd downloaded the app but found it difficult to use. I didn't find it all that straightforward either – although I was an exception among my colleagues, who all managed to get to grips with it in seconds.
But it was worth persevering, and now I'd say I'm pretty much an evangelist.
The first thing you have to do is prove your identity. You upload a picture of your passport or driving licence – I chose the latter, which I now think might have been a mistake as the picture isn't all that clear – and then the app takes a scan of your face, using the camera in your phone. There are all sorts of psychedelic flashing lights emitted by the screen as you do this. It told me I'd not been recognised. I was then asked to record a video of myself saying a series of numbers. A few days later I got an email back saying: still not recognised.
How to book my second vaccine: Covid jab booking explained – and if you can bring your appointment forward
Some people can now get their second jab eight weeks after the firstA new milestone has been reached, with more than 60 million doses now administered, and more than 22.6 million people have received their second jab as well as their first, according to official government figures.
I then tried uploading my passport as my proof of identity. The initial scan again didn't recognise me, but the video method did work. I got an email overnight saying I'd been approved. © Provided by Daily Mail (
I called my mum, who's 74 and a retired oncologist. She was way ahead of me, having downloaded it 'weeks ago'. Her vaccine status was there, full and complete. She'd already used it to view her GP patient records and order a repeat prescription. But she said a friend had difficulty accessing her hospital test results on it. This latter point is a technical one.
creating easily accessible, comprehensive online patient records isn't as simple as it sounds. The data is held in different computer formats depending on where you are treated. This makes aggregating it a tricky job. Some local health authorities have employed third-party tech companies to help them with this. Others have not, and so service, when it comes to records viewable via the app, is patchy.
My colleague, Deputy Health Editor Eve Simmons, could see her notes going back decades, including childhood vaccinations. I, on the other hand, having recently changed GP surgery, could see only my current medications. I have contacted my practice, via the app, to try to remedy this, so fingers crossed.
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Ahead of its launch, WH was given early access to the app to put it through its paces for a week. © Provided by Women's Health UK Ahead of its launch, WH was . Here's how acting social media editor Rachel Andrews fared. If you’re on Instagram, you’ll have likely heard of Alice Liveing. And if not, you’ll have probably spotted her beaming face on Women’s Health’s cover a couple of times now, too.
My (younger) colleagues have rolled their eyes at my struggles, although I'm no Luddite. I suppose it's always a bit of a headbanger, trying to learn a new 'system'. But the NHS App is intuitive – especially the Covid passport bit, prescriptions and contacting your GP.
I can imagine there will be some who just give up – so might need some extra support. I'm saying this with my dear old dad in mind.
A retired GP, aged 75, he has a smartphone which we bought him a few years back. He was very resistant to this, and said his 1996 Nokia was just fine. And he barely used his new device for anything except phone calls. He was particularly resentful about WhatsApp: 'I don't want people sending me texts whenever they feel like it.'
But he was recently in hospital for an operation, and finally started to respond to our messages. He even took a few selfies, which was helpful as we weren't allowed to visit and see how he was. Yesterday, I messaged him on WhatsApp asking if he'd got the NHS App. He replied: 'No... don't know much about apps and suspect I don't want any.' He followed this with: 'Bet you didn't know there is now a pill to transfer the pain of childbirth to the father... video to follow.'
My point is, this is something else he's got the hang of with a bit of persistence. So I do hold out hope for the NHS App.Read more
Pingdemic: Vaccinated NHS Staff will be spared quarantine in ‘exceptional circumstances' .
FRONTLINE NHS staff who have been fully vaccinated are expected to be spared from quarantine if they have been "pinged" by the Covid tracing app in "exceptional circumstances", the Government has said.On Sunday, The Department of Health said that staff will only "be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and where additional safety measures can be upheld".