April marks both IBS and Bowel Cancer awareness months, and these two conditions also share many similar symptoms as they affect the same part of the body.

Our health is shaped by a complex interaction between many factors, especially when conditions have overlapping symptoms, which can often lead to anxiety and confusion. Consulting a healthcare professional at an early stage is essential, as they can accurately distinguish and diagnose different conditions and help you manage your health effectively.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic condition affecting the large intestine. The bowel or large intestine is at the end of your digestive tract or colon.

The most common symptoms of IBS are changes to regular bowel movement, whether that is constipation or diarrhoea. Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and a sensation that bowel movements are incomplete. Mucous in the stool is very common and is often whitish.

Even though it is a long-term condition, symptoms often fluctuate in frequency and severity. Certain foods can trigger symptoms of IBS, as well as stress, anxiety and hormonal changes.

Mild to moderate IBS is usually managed with lifestyle changes. Severe symptoms that are affecting quality of life may require medication.

IBS is typically diagnosed by taking a comprehensive medical history and reviewing your symptoms. This will cover your medications and if you’ve had any recent infections or periods of stress. A family history will also be taken to see if there are any instances of celiac disease or colon cancer. Testing is usually to rule out other conditions.

What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer can include changes to your bowel habits that last for more than a few days. This could be the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • cramping
  • diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • iron deficiency anaemia
  • blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  • narrowing of the stool
  • mucous in the stool, usually bloody or dark black
  • the feeling that bowel movements aren’t complete
  • the urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need
  • fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
  • weakness

Colon cancer will be diagnosed by taking a complete medical history as well as checking whether there is a family history of colon cancer. Risk factors include colorectal polyps, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis, as well as a poor diet and lack of physical activity. In addition to a physical examination, diagnostic tests include blood and stool tests, a colonoscopy, tissue biopsy, and imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan of the colon and rectum.

Can IBS lead to colon cancer?

This is a common concern, but although IBS can be very uncomfortable, it rarely leads to more severe health problems. Unlike inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, IBS does not cause inflammation, a critical factor in colorectal cancer risk.

However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore symptoms and should seek immediate medical advice if you’re experiencing new symptoms such as unexplained weight loss or rectal bleeding.

March is Ovarian Cancer Month and the focus this year is about raising awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

According to data released by Target Ovarian Cancer, a woman’s chance of surviving ovarian cancer if diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than doubles from just 46% to more than 90%. However, less than a third of women in the UK are confident they know the symptoms and often they can be mistaken for symptoms of other, much less serious illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Ovarian cancer affects the ovaries. These are the organs inside the body which produce eggs and release them every month. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 50 or older, and have been through the menopause, but it is becoming more common in teenagers and young adults.

Ovarian cancer risk factors

Although it is not known what causes this type of cancer, risk factors for ovarian cancer include:

  • Age: more than 50% of ovarian cancers develop in women over the age of 65.
  • Hormonal factors: it’s suspected that the number of times an ovary releases an egg may be linked to ovarian cancer risk because there is evidence that having children, breastfeeding, and taking the contraceptive pill reduces the risk.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): taking HRT after the menopause slightly increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Breast cancer: if you have had breast cancer, you may be more likely to develop ovarian cancer as it is thought that they can be caused by the same cancer genes.
  • Other health conditions: some conditions increase your risk including diabetes and endometriosis.
  • Lifestyle factors: being overweight and smoking can increase your risk of certain types of ovarian cancer.
  • Family history: if a close family relative has had ovarian cancer, your risk may be up to three times higher, particularly if they were diagnosed at a young age.
  • Inherited genetic conditions: it is now known that certain genetic mutations – the most commonly affected genes being BRCA1 and BRCA2 – greatly increases your risk of ovarian cancer, as well as breast, bowel and womb cancers.

Ovarian cancer symptoms

There are four main symptoms of ovarian cancer to be aware of:

  • Pain in the lower stomach area
  • Bloating or a swollen tummy
  • Difficulty eating and/or feeling full more quickly
  • Needing to wee more frequently

Other symptoms can include:

  • Indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Passing urine more often or needing to pee urgently
  • A change in your normal bowel function, either diarrhoea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding
  • Fatigue

If any of these symptoms are persistent or frequent and out of the ordinary, make an appointment as soon as possible with your GP. Keeping a record of any symptoms can be really useful.

If you are aged 50 and over and you suspect you are experiencing IBS, you should ask for further tests; IBS also causes bloating and changes in bowel function, but it does not usually present for the first time after the age of 50.

Please call +44 (0)20 4580 1152 to make an appointment.

Did you know that from the moment you stop smoking your body starts to repair the damage? Within 20 minutes, your pulse and blood pressure start to reduce and within eight hours of having your last cigarette, oxygen levels in your blood return to normal. By the second day, carbon monoxide in your blood will be gone completely. And now, research has shown that stopping smoking at any age reduces the risk of cancer.

A major new study, analysing medical data from nearly 3 million Koreans between 2002 and 2019, found that the chances of developing cancer halved in people who had quit for at least 15 years, compared to those who continued to smoke.

The study also showed that the younger you are to quit, the greater the benefits. Smokers who quit before the age of 50 had their risk of lung cancer fall 57% compared to smokers, while those who quit at 50 or older experienced a 40% reduction in lung cancer risk over the same time period.

What happens when you quit smoking?

After 1 day

  • Carbon monoxide is one of the hundreds of noxious chemicals present in cigarette smoke; it replaces the amount of oxygen in your blood, depriving the body of this nourishment. Within the first 24 hours, the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood return to normal

After 1 week

  • You may notice a heightened sense of smell and taste as the previously damaged nerve endings that control these senses start to regrow
  • You may feel breathing is easier as the bronchial tubes relax
  • Energy levels increase

After 1 month

  • Lung function improves as the cilla, tiny hair-like structures which move mucous out of the lung, begin to work normally
  • Circulation improves as blood pumps through the heart and muscles more easily

After 9 months

  • After 9 months, a person’s lung function increases by 10%

After 1 year

  • Smoking damages your heart by limiting oxygen flow and damaging the lining of the arteries. Quitting smoking reverses these effects and after one year your risk of a heart attack and coronary heart disease becomes half of that of someone who still smokes

After 5 years and more

  • Your risk of certain cancers including lung cancer is significantly reduced
  • At the 15-year mark, your chance of a heart attack becomes equal to a person who has never smoked

For more advice and support in quitting smoking, call +44 (0)20 4580 1152  to arrange a GP consultation with one of our GPs.

At any time, one in six adults in the UK will be experiencing a mental health condition – ranging from anxiety and stress to medically diagnosed conditions such as depression. 

Occupational health focuses on how work and the work environment impact employees’ health, both physical and mental and how this can negatively affect their ability to do their job. GP London’s Dr Caroline Wall explains how often simple workplace adjustments can facilitate job retention and return to work.

Dr Caroline Wall at GP London W1

We’re seeing a lot of patients absent from work with anxiety and depression currently. One of the take-home points of the occupational health diploma is that it’s better to be in work than out of work from a mental health perspective. Our role is to managing return to work without causing a worsening of their symptoms.

The first step is an assessment, either face-to-face or on Zoom, with the with the employee. We discuss what they feel they could manage. We then must offset that with what the employer wants which is usually for them to return to full-time work as soon as possible. But often a phased return is more likely to succeed than jumping back into full-time work.

This can mean rest days in between to help people ease in, particularly if they’ve had a long time off. We might look at reduced working hours initially to avoid traveling at peak times, which can be a big trigger particularly for those suffering from anxiety. Another option is working from home which can mean avoiding many of the stressors within the office environment.

Recently, there’s been much media attention on the explosion in adult ADHD diagnoses – recent research indicated a 20-fold increase in adult diagnoses and nearly 50-fold increase for men aged between 18 and 29.

Men and women who have developed coping strategies to ‘mask’ ADHD in their earlier years, often find it becomes problematic in the workplace, so we create strategies for them to cope. These adjustments can be software changes that help make screens more readable, providing quiet space where interruptions are minimised and frequent work or movement breaks throughout the day so they can manage their symptoms.

We are not acting as their GP but if they are experiencing certain symptoms or difficulties in the workplace, we can signpost them to the right places, either via their NHS GP or, if they have insurance, there are psychologists we can refer them to for a formal ADHD assessment.

Dyslexia is another issue that can be addressed with workplace adjustments such as dictation or note-taking software. Often, they’re relatively inexpensive, but can make quite a significant difference.

Burnout: an ‘occupational phenomenon’

Burnout is an issue we’re increasingly seeing, and over the last 12 months we’ve seen several employees signed off with burnout due to the chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Although not formally classified as a medical condition, it is now recognised as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ and is characterised as:

  • feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • reduced professional efficacy

The value of early intervention in occupational health

Early intervention would be best but often we get referrals when an employee has already been signed off work and we’re trying to manage their return to work after a period of absence. However, if we were able to intervene at the first signs that an employee is struggling, it may be possible to keep them happy, healthy and productive and reduce absenteeism.

Please call +44 (0)20 4580 1152 to discuss our Occupational Health Services.

Heart attacks could be better prevented in those suffering unexplained chest pain, according to recent research funded by the British Heart Foundation into cardiovascular disease risk factors.

It is thought that over a million UK adults visit their GP every year due to chest pain, but for many the cause remains a mystery despite undergoing diagnostic tests.

However, people who suffer from this type of ‘unattributed’ chest pain are a higher risk of developing heart problems and researchers at Keele University have now identified the key risk factors that increase the likelihood of this occurring.

Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study was based on data from over 600,000 GP records of patients that had experienced unattributed chest pain between 2002 and 2018 and followed them up for at least five years.

Their analysis showed that one year after first presenting to their GP with mystery chest pain, patients were 25% more likely to have a ‘cardiovascular event’. This increased heart attack risk persisted for the next ten years.

Cardiovascular disease risk factors identified in study:

Diabetes

Diabetes significantly amplifies the risk of cardiovascular disease, even with well-managed glucose levels. You are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than someone who doesn’t have diabetes, and typically at a younger age. The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to have heart disease.

Regular check-ups, healthy eating habits, weight control and consistent physical activity are essential for diabetes management.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure increases cardiovascular risks by overburdening the heart, leading to muscle thickening and stiffness. This abnormal functioning increases the chances of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. When coupled with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes, high blood pressure elevates the risk of heart-related incidents.

Smoking

Nicotine, found in both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, accelerates heart rate and raises blood pressure, promoting clot formation and arterial plaque build-up. Smokers are not only more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes and angina than non-smokers, but at a much younger age.

Obesity

Excessive body fat, especially around the waist, contributes to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, independent of other risk factors. Overweight and obese individuals with cardiovascular risk factors can implement lifestyle changes to shed excess weight and address issues like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.

Steps to reduce heart attack risk

The team at Keele University hope these findings will assist doctors to spot those at high risk so they can offer preventative treatments and lifestyle advice. Modelling showed that if all current smokers living with obesity were supported to lose weight and quit smoking, the mean 10-year risk in this group would fall from nearly 22% to around 16%.

Please call +44 (0)20 4580 1152 to make an appointment with one of our GPs to discuss your heart attack risk.

First launched in 2014, Veganuary had convinced half a million people to adopt plant-based eating by January 2021, almost double the number that had pledged to go vegan for January in 2019.

According to numerous studies, plant-based products are better for the environment because they generate less pollution and require less land and water than animal products. But veganism has also been proven to be better for our health and our hearts in particular, as a new study published in the European Heart Journal shows.

Researchers in Denmark reviewed four decades of data to show that vegetarian and vegan diets cut levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood that increase the risk of heart attacks. Looking at 30 trials published since 1982 that focused on diet and heart health, they found meat-free diets:

  • cut bad cholesterol by 10%
  • cut total cholesterol by 7%
  • cut apolipoprotein B (the main protein in bad cholesterol) by 14%

“That corresponds to a third of the effect of a cholesterol-lowering statin [pill] – so that’s really substantial,” lead author Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt concluded. He estimated that maintaining such a diet for 15 years could cut cardiovascular disease risk by 20%.

Veganism and heart health

A vegan lifestyle can contribute to a healthier heart in several ways, as well as reducing cholesterol and saturated fats:

  • Rich in heart-friendly nutrients: a well-balanced vegan diet is abundant in essential nutrients that promote heart health. Key nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and fibre contribute to lower blood pressure and improved overall heart function.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids present in plant sources: while omega-3 fatty acids are traditionally associated with fish, vegans can obtain these essential nutrients from plant-based sources such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, lower blood triglyceride levels, and enhance arterial function, all of which are instrumental in preventing heart disease.
  • Weight management: maintaining a healthy weight is vital for heart health, and a vegan diet has been proven effective in obesity prevention. The abundance of fibre and nutrient-dense foods in a vegan diet helps individuals feel fuller for longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
  • Improved blood sugar control: Type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and a vegan diet can play a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels. Plant-based diets have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

Making healthy choices

However, the experts did warn that meat-free diets are not automatically healthy. The data was based on vegetarian and vegan meals comprising vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses such as chickpeas and wholegrains. Yet, a diet of sweets, crisps and sugary drinks is still technically meat-free.

Furthermore, with the growth in veganism, there has been an increase in the availability of vegan ready meals, which are highly processed with added salt, sugar and fat. A poorly planned vegan diet may not provide enough essential nutrients such as niacin, vitamin D, calcium, selenium or zinc.

For more advice on lifestyle changes and health management, call +44 (0)20 4580 1152 or email [email protected] to arrange a private GP appointment.

NHS England’s chief exec Amanda Pritchard recently made the ‘truly momentous’ pledge to eliminate cervical cancer in England by 2040 by ramping up the current HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening programme.

A smear test is the best protection against cervical cancer as with regular screening, it can often be caught early – and early detection and prevention are the key to beating this disease.

Cervical cancer symptoms to watch out for

Being aware of the warning signs of cervical cancer is also essential although, early on, it is often hard to detect, which is why cervical cancer screening is so critical. When symptoms of early-stage cervical cancer do occur, they may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding: one of the most common early signs of cervical cancer is abnormal bleeding. This includes bleeding between periods, after sexual intercourse, or after menopause. Any unexpected changes in your menstrual cycle or unusual bleeding should be promptly discussed with a healthcare professional.
  • Pelvic pain or discomfort: persistent pelvic pain or discomfort can be an early warning sign. This discomfort may range from a dull ache to sharp, intense pain. If you experience ongoing pelvic pain that is unrelated to your menstrual cycle or other known causes, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse: pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia, can be indicative of cervical abnormalities. While various factors can cause this symptom, it’s essential to rule out potential cervical cancer and address any concerns with your GP.
  • Vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour: unusual vaginal discharge that may be watery, bloody, or have a foul odour could be a sign of cervical cancer. While vaginal discharge is normal, any sudden changes or persistent abnormalities should be checked.

Regular gynaecological check-ups, regular smear tests, and HPV vaccinations remain crucial in preventing and detecting cervical cancer. However, knowing these early warning signs could mean seeking medical intervention promptly. Call us on +44 (0)20 4580 1152 to arrange a Well Woman Medical or GP Appointment for your cervical cancer screening.

Dry January began as a campaign created and led by Alcohol Change UK more than a decade ago and has now become a global phenomenon as more and more people appreciate the benefits of abstaining from alcohol for the month of January.

In the first week or so, you may not be convinced as initially, you might find it harder to fall asleep, you may experience hangover-like symptoms because of mild dehydration, and you may start craving the sugar you are no longer getting from your alcoholic drinks. But, by this point, you should feel sharper and more energised.

Here, we will explore five – clinically proven – benefits of Dry January:

1. You’ll experience improved physical wellbeing

One of the most immediate benefits of Dry January is the positive impact on your physical health. Alcohol takes a toll on various organs, including the liver and heart. A month without alcohol allows your body to recover and repair. You’ll likely experience improved sleep, increased energy levels, and a more robust immune system. By giving your liver a break, you contribute to its ability to function optimally, leading to long-term health benefits.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal that investigated short-term abstinence from alcohol, researchers found a significant drop in blood pressure and cholesterol and a considerable drop (25%) in insulin resistance, the main factor in the development of diabetes and fatty liver disease.

2. You’ll get a mood boost

Alcohol has a notable impact on cognitive functions and mental wellbeing. Dry January provides an opportunity to experience mental clarity and improved focus. Without the foggy effects of alcohol, you may find it easier to concentrate on tasks, make better decisions, and enhance your overall cognitive performance. Many participants report feeling sharper, more alert, and better able to handle stress during and after the month-long break, as studies show alcohol-induced brain shrinkage begins to repair within two weeks.

3. You’ll enjoy better sleep

While alcohol might initially induce drowsiness, it can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep quality. Dry January allows your body to reset its natural sleep cycle, leading to more restful and rejuvenating sleep. Improved sleep has a cascading effect on various aspects of your life, including mood, productivity, and overall wellbeing.

4. You should be able to lose weight

Throughout January, you should also notice a difference on the scale. Alcohol contains around seven calories per gram, which is almost as much as pure fat – a pint of larger has more calories than a Mars bar.

As well as cutting calories by abstaining, there are other reasons why you might lose weight. You tend to make healthier eating choices and are more likely to exercise. Your improved sleeping patterns will also help; recent research suggests that better rested adults consume significantly fewer calories than those who are sleep deprived.

5. You’re more likely to establish healthy habits

The habits we form in January often set the tone for the rest of the year. By successfully completing Dry January, you experience the immediate benefits and lay the foundation for healthier habits. Six months after completing Dry January, participants drank one day less per week and consumed around one drink less on each day that they did drink on average, compared to previous alcohol intake, according to one study.

However, if you don’t think you’re ready to abstain totally, you might want to investigate Damp January, when participants tend to limit their alcohol intake throughout the month, rather than cut it out completely.

Clinical studies indicate that even a modest reduction in drinking can lead to an improvement in your blood pressure, mental health and the health of your liver.

For more advice on the benefits of making lifestyle changes, such as limiting alcohol intake or abstaining completely, call +44 (0)20 4580 1152  or email [email protected] to arrange a consultation at GP London W1.

It’s Decembeard! This is the annual campaign to ditch the razor and grow a beard during the month of December to raise awareness for bowel cancer. Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.

The good news is that there are practical steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of developing this type of cancer. Although age and genetics are a factor, lifestyle plays a principal role in causing colorectal cancer.

Research has shown that by adopting a healthy lifestyle and making informed choices, you can enhance your overall well-being and protect yourself from bowel cancer, as well as many other serious health concerns.

In an article published last month in Nutrients, researchers evaluated dietary risk factors in bowel cancer using data from the UK biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource.

The meta-analysis of 139 foods and nutrients found that white bread and a higher alcohol intake were associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Conversely, dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese were all linked to a decreased risk for the condition.Lifestyle factors and bowel cancer risk

In this blog post, we’ll explore six effective strategies to help you minimise your risk and promote colorectal health.

  1. Adopt a balanced diet: One of the most powerful tools in preventing bowel cancer is maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Focus on incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. High-fibre foods, such as beans, legumes, and whole grains, can contribute to a healthy digestive system and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Limit your intake of red and processed meats, as they have been linked to an increased risk of bowel cancer. Instead, opt for fish, poultry, and plant-based protein sources to support a well-rounded diet
  2. Stay physically active: Regular physical activity has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of bowel cancer. Engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 150 minutes per week can promote a healthy digestive system and help regulate bowel movements. Exercise also contributes to weight management, another critical factor in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Whether it’s brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or participating in fitness classes, find an activity you enjoy and make it a consistent part of your routine.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese has been identified as a significant risk factor for bowel cancer. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for a body mass index (BMI) within the recommended range, as excess body fat, especially around the waist, has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Make gradual, sustainable changes to your diet and exercise habits to support long-term weight management and reduce your risk.
  4. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake: The harmful effects of smoking on overall health are well-documented, and bowel cancer is no exception. Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, making it crucial to quit smoking for both your respiratory and digestive health. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption has been associated with an elevated risk of bowel cancer. Limiting alcohol intake to moderate levels (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men) can help reduce this risk and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Get screened regularly: Regular screenings for bowel cancer are essential, especially for individuals with a family history of the disease or those over the age of 50. Screening tests, such as colonoscopies, can detect precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer when it is most treatable.
  6. Prioritise gut health: Maintaining a healthy gut is paramount in reducing the risk of bowel cancer. Probiotics, found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, can support the balance of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. Fibre-rich foods also play a crucial role in promoting gut health by aiding digestion and regulating bowel movements. Stay hydrated, as water is essential for proper digestion and overall digestive system function.

Reducing your risk of bowel cancer or any chronic health condition can be significantly improved by making healthy lifestyle changes. Call +44 (0)20 4580 1152  for more advice and support on making these changes or to discuss a screening programme that aligns with your individual needs and medical history.

Since it was first identified in the US in 2021, the Great Resignation has become a global phenomenon, with higher-than-expected numbers of employees leaving their jobs since the outbreak of Covid. This partly stemmed from a reluctance to return to in-person work once the pandemic was perceived to be no longer a risk to health and safety.

However, it is also clear that the pandemic has had a profound impact on the way employees view their jobs, their work-life balance, and the expectations they have of their employers.

One study by Indeed in March 2021 found that 52% of employees were experiencing burnout, and another by Gartner published last year found that 65% said the pandemic had made them rethink the place that work had in their lives.

The importance of wellbeing at work

This week has been nominated as Wellbeing at Work Week and is an initiative to spotlight good workplace wellbeing practices. In today’s fast-paced world, where work plays a pivotal role in our lives, maintaining employee wellbeing cannot be overstated.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workforce remains healthy, both physically and mentally. One crucial aspect of achieving this goal is through the provision of Occupational Health Services. These services can be instrumental in promoting and maintaining the health and wellbeing of employees.

Occupational Health Services and your employees

Occupational Health Services, commonly referred to as OHS, encompass a range of medical and healthcare services tailored to meet the needs of a company’s workforce. These services can be provided by private doctors’ clinics, in-house medical teams, or through outsourced providers. Regardless of the source, their primary focus is on safeguarding and improving employees’ health in the workplace.

The significance of OHS lies in its role as a proactive measure. Employers who invest in OHS prioritise preventing health issues rather than simply reacting to them. This prevention-first approach has numerous benefits, not least reducing the number of sick days taken by employees. When workers are healthy, they are more productive, engaged, and less likely to be absent from work due to illness. As such, OHS can lead to significant cost savings for employers while boosting their bottom line.

However, the benefits of OHS extend far beyond the financial realm. These services also address the mental and emotional wellbeing of employees, which is crucial in today’s stress-filled work environments.

Furthermore, OHS plays a vital role in the early detection and management of chronic diseases. Regular health check-ups and screenings can identify health issues in their initial stages, making it easier to manage and treat them effectively. This month, we mark World Diabetes Day – as covered in a previous blog, the most recent UK figures suggest that one in three adults are living with prediabetes, meaning they are ‘on the cusp’ of developing type 2 diabetes.

Employers who provide OHS not only contribute to the wellbeing of their employees but also show a commitment to their long-term health. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty among the workforce.

The importance of fostering wellbeing at work goes beyond the individual employee. It extends to the overall performance and success of the organisation. Healthy employees are more productive, engaged, and innovative. They are likely to be more motivated and satisfied, reducing turnover rates and recruitment costs. In a world where attracting and retaining top talent is constantly challenging, offering comprehensive OHS can be a competitive advantage.

If you’re interested in exploring the value of Occupational Health Services, call +44 (0)20 4580 1152 to discuss further with our team.