Victoria Lambert journalist - portrait photo

Welcome to my website Under the Scope where you can focus on health matters, find facts or listen to the heartbeat of life-in-general. Join the blog debates, browse the archives, engage, enjoy.

Written by  |  March 13, 2015  |  Blog, Lambert Likes  |  No Comments Yet

THE NHS: Things that need to be said – or do they?

After alternately scowling and then nodding in agreement at Iain Dale’s short book The NHS; Things That Need to Be Said (Global; £8.99), I have to hand it to him: this will be uncomfortable reading for some.

I was – to be fair- quite surprised at how often Dale and I agree: we both think that staffing needs to be looked at more closely. That there are managers who are paid far too much, a creeping tendency to over-qualify all staff, and that if we don’t find ways to get women back into general practice (indeed all specialities) after maternity gaps, the country is throwing away knowledge and skills.

I don’t agree with him about NICE – I’ve interviewed scientists and doctors around the globe who envy us NICE. They salivate over a scientifically respected truly independent group of experts who are prepared to make the hard choices the rest of us baulk at.

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Written by  |  December 16, 2014  |  Guest blog  |  No Comments Yet

Walkactive: reinventing my stride

Nicola Hill visited Joanna Hall’s Walkactive Training Camp in Spain and tells Under the Scope of the four days that changed the way she walked (and talked.)

“It’s not a ballet point, it’s not a closed ankle, it’s an open ankle”. As I repeated this mantra to myself I wondered how many Spanish women spent their holidays in English car parks learning how to walk properly. For this is what I was doing in Spain, trudging up and down a piece of gravel wasteland, concentrating on my strides. I did however have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea as I tried to ensure my foot was flexing, my hips were lifted, my shoulders were down and my stomach was doing something called an Ab-J. All these instructions were part of the system of Walkactive, a very different way of moving that I was trying to learn over a four day break in La Manga, Spain.

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Written by  |  September 2, 2014  |  Blog  |  No Comments Yet

Chain of Hope – meeting Hala, miracle child of Gaza

Chain of Hope is the charity set up by British cardiologist Sir Magdi Yacoub to offer disadvantaged children across the globe access to heart surgery. Its most recent – and probably most high profile – patient was Hala al Massri, a three year old girl with Tetralogy of Fallot, one of the most common congenital heart defects in children. Hala was suffering from a decreased blood flow to the lung, a hole between the two ventricles (or main chambers) in the heart, displacement of the aorta (the main artery) and increased thickness of the right ventricle.I met her two weeks after surgery and found her to be a delightful scamp; full of hope and life.

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Written by  |  March 20, 2014  |  Health  |  No Comments Yet

Abraxane added to Cancer Drugs list – at last!

Abraxane – used for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer – has been added to National Cancer Drugs Fund List, it has been announced by the Cancer Drugs Fund Panel (CDF).

This mean doctors will be able to offer patients with advanced pancreatic cancer Abraxane (Paclitaxel Albumin) – which used in combination with standard gemcitabine has been found in clinical trials to extend a patients’ life for on average two months – with some patients living significantly longer.

For anyone diagnosed with this type of cancer (or for their family and friends), this is positive news. Life expectancy of pancreatic cancer patients averages less than six months from diagnosis.

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Written by  |  January 31, 2014  |  Blog  |  No Comments Yet

Marathon effort for Electric’s Charlie

Marathon runners often support the big-name charities but super cool hairdresser Charlie Mann, Director of Electric London, will be chalking up his 26 miles in April at the Virgin Money London Marathon for a cause that is worth a little extra publicity. The Sir Simon Milton Foundation follows its eponymous founder’s ‘One City’ policy – a landmark initiative which provides young people with jobs and training, and ensures older residents are looked after and involved in a community that values their contribution.

 

It’s this latter group which Charlie is keen to support . ‘Sir Simon’s vision is clear,’ he explains. ‘More personal choice and control, personal dignity and the chance to make a positive contribution.’

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Abraxane added to Cancer Drugs list – at last!
March 20, 2014  |  No Comments Yet

Abraxane - used for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer - has been added to National Cancer Drugs Fund List,
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When is it right to stock up on shrimps?
June 25, 2012  |  No Comments Yet
Mangroves are one of the world’s most necessary habitats; supporting local subsistence economies, protect the coastline from erosion, floods and
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Fashion – the smart choice for schools
April 2, 2012  |  2 Comments
You may have spent the past 10 years wrangling them into a uniform or wading through bedroom floors full of
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World of Tanni Grey-Thompson, former Paralympic champion
July 27, 2012  |  No Comments Yet

As the Olympic Games get underway tonight, a fascinating look into the mind and life of one of our greatest
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Lambert Likes
THE NHS: Things that need to be said – or do they?

After alternately scowling and then nodding in agreement at Iain Dale’s short book The NHS; Things That Need to Be Said (Global; £8.99), I have to hand it to him: this will be uncomfortable reading for some.

I was – to be fair- quite surprised at how often Dale and I agree: we both think that staffing needs to be looked at more closely. That there are managers who are paid far too much, a creeping tendency to over-qualify all staff, and that if we don’t find ways to get women back into general practice (indeed all specialities) after maternity gaps, the country is throwing away knowledge and skills.

I don’t agree with him about NICE – I’ve interviewed scientists and doctors around the globe who envy us NICE. They salivate over a scientifically respected truly independent group of experts who are prepared to make the hard choices the rest of us baulk at.

Featured Blog Post
We need to talk about stem cells

For patients with leukemia – and other blood conditions – stem cell transplants can mean the difference between life and death. Stems cells are used in patients with leukemia where the bone marrow is producing disease cells, has been damaged during chemotherapy or has spontaneously failed so no longer produces the cells we need. Stem cells can replace themselves and replace cells in those tissues which are damaged, worn out or have just died.

But 18 years since the first cord blood transplants were performed in the UK, public knowledge on this life-saving process is still lacking. A study of over 4,000 people conduced by YouGov found that because of the lack of awareness that umbilical cord blood and tissue can be stored there is a major shortage of stem cells in the UK. Just 9% of patients stored cord blood when they gave birth and it is estimated that 400 patients each year miss out on treatment due to a lack of suitable stem cell donors.

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