qianshanwanshui blog
April « 2007 « PRImage

Archive for April, 2007

Road pricing ‘will take 10 years’

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

A widespread introduction of road pricing will take 10 years, Government special transport advisor Sir Rod Eddington has told MPs.

PRimage comment

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team expect to see increasing media comment on the Government’s controversial road pricing policies.  What are your views on this?  Please let us know.

Irish smoking ban boosts health

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Dramatic” health benefits have been seen in bar workers in the wake of Ireland’s ban on smoking in public places.New research found that the ban, introduced in March 2004, has resulted in an 83 per cent reduction in air pollution in pubs and an 80 per cent reduction in airborne carcinogens for patrons and staff.

PRimage comment

PRimage believe this is an important findng – and is proof positive to those who were cynical about the effectiveness of the smoking ban in Ireland.  It will be interesting to see if the same benefits are apparant after the smoking ban in England becomes effective from July 1st. 

 Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team have been working on smoking cessation consumer PR and communication messages for our pharmacy retailer client, Day Lewis Plc, who have over 160 pharmacies in England.  Day Lewis pharmacies offer their customers support programmes on giving up smoking – and their latest healthcare PR message – ‘Beat the smoking ban – quit and win!” has just been sent to key local radio stations and regional newspapers around the country.

Alliance Boots – bigger bid in takeover saga

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Media reports claim that that Stefano Pessina, the billionaire deputy chairman of Alliance Boots, plans to make a formal offer for the company by the end of next week. He and his private equity backers Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are understood to have already finished their due diligence and are preparing a £10.40-a-share offer. The deal is expected to be recommended by the board of Alliance Boots and will be seen as a significant victory for the private equity industry after the setback earlier this week when the audacious bid for J Sainsbury collapsed. Pessina’s bid, worth £10.1bn, will be the largest-ever private equity takeover of a UK company.

PRimage comment

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team agree with the financial pundits that this latest development in the tbidding war for Boots will be a  major setback to Guy Hands and the private equity concern, Terra Firma, who are also in the process of trying to mount a rival bid for Britain’s largest pharmacy retailer, with the backing of the Wellcome Trust.   Judy Viitanen will be watching the financial press with interest over the next couple of days, to see the affect that this latest development in the bidding war for Boots has on its share price. 

And PRimage was intruiged to see that another bid rumour has emerged, with the Sunday Express claiming that the owner of the Lloyds pharmacy chain is trying to team up with KKR on its potential £10bn takeover of Alliance Boots. Watch this space!

Future of the NHS – still free at the point of delivery?

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

The NHS is unlikely to be free at the point of use within 10 years, according to doctors. Half no longer saw medicine as a job for life, according to the British Medical Association’s survey of nearly 1,000 doctors who qualified within the past 12 years.Fewer than a fifth thought newly-qualified doctors would automatically get an NHS job in the future.

PRimage comment

PRimage was not suprised at the medics views and perceptions of the future face of the NHS – as we have reportedin previous news blogs and comments on this website, morale amongst medics is very low! Judy Viitanen has observed in recent months that Ministers have come under fire from some doctors and nurses for the reforms, which include greater use of the private sector in the NHS in attempt to save money and give patients more choice.   In this latest poll, three in five of those doctors polled said they were “very concerned” about the fragmentation of the NHS, while another third was “somewhat concerned”.   PRimage is somwhat cynical of the response from the Government, with Ministers saying there are 32,000 more NHS doctors compared with 1997, thanks to record investment!  PRimage view is that clearly something is going very wrong — what’s your opinion?

Brain, not heart cause of high blood pressure

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

The brain and not the heart is responsible for high blood pressure, new research has claimed.

PRimage comment 

As a specialist healthcare PR and communications company, PRimage was very interested in this finding. Judy Viitanen is aware that high blood pressure, known as hypertension, is a major health problem in the UK, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney damage, and affects one in three people in this country. According to news reports, the condition has reached pandemic levels with more than 600 million sufferers worldwide.

Medics turn their backs on Labour

Friday, April 13th, 2007

According to a new opinion poll only seven per cent of doctors would vote Labour if an election was called this year, compared to a quarter who voted Labour at the last election in 2005.

PRimage comment:

Judy Viitanen is not suprised at this poll finding – after the Government’s poor record in handling the GP Contract and the recent sagas with junior doctors, the medical profession is right to be disgruntled with Labour!  As a specialist healthcare communications agency, PRimage is in contact with GPs – and we know that many feel let down by Ms Hewitt, the Department of Health and have great concerns at the current state of the NHS and healthcare services in general.

Excessive Bin fines!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Fixed penalties averaging £83 have been issued for putting rubbish out for the binmen too early, even if only by a few hours.

PRimage comment:

As a former District Councillor, PRimage managing director, Judy Viitanen, finds this situation absolutely crazy!  Frankly, those local Council’s who are issuing these fixed penalties to local residents should expect (and deserve) negative publicity.  What’s your opinion?

Excessive Nat West bank charges!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

NatWest is being taken to court over bank charges that campaigners claim are unlawful.

PRimage comment:

PRimage will be interested to see what the court ruling will be on this.

Excessive Car parking prices!

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Car-parking charges have risen by an average 25 percent over the past six years, with towns outside London suffering the highest rises, a survey has revealed.

PRimage comment:

Judy Viitanen believes this price hike in car parking fees explains why some towns and retailers have had the impact of shoppers abandoning their stores and opting for shopping centres which don’t levy a car parking fee.  What’s your view?

Overweight? Obesity gene could be the cause

Friday, April 13th, 2007

A common gene variant found in 16% of the population could be largely responsible for exploding rates of obesity, it has been revealed. People with two copies of the gene are almost 70% more at risk of being obese than those having none, and three kilograms heavier on average. Although the gene mutation only accounts for a modest weight increase, scientists believe it can tip the scales and lead to obesity in an already heavy population.

PRimage comment:

The PRimage team were fascinated by this news report.  Like all ladies who ‘watch their weight’ Judy Viitanen believes this finding can help explain to us why some of us are more prone to a few excess pounds than others!