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February « 2008 « PRImage

Archive for February, 2008

Medicine side-effects problems? – Talk to your Pharmacist

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team applaud an excellent campaign and initiative from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) which has been launched this week to encourage members of the public to report any side-effects they experience after taking medicines. If you have side-effects from any medicines you can report them to the MHRA through the “Yellow Card” scheme. You can either pick up a reporting form from your local pharmacist, file a report online, or speak to the pharmacist, who will help guide you through the process.

Polyclinics: an end to GP services? – PRimage comment

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team have been following the recent political sagas and comments about the alleged proposals by Health Minister, Lord Darzi to create so-called ‘polyclinics,’ which would involve several GPs and other health workers working together. The latest development is that the Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo has denied claims that proposals by Lord Darzi would mean an end to the traditional GP surgery. Her comments came after Lord Darzi, the Health Minister appointed by the Prime Minister to lead a review of the NHS, said on Saturday that single doctor practices should be replaced with one-stop health clinics run by several GPs. PRimage notes that the British Medical Association has given Lord Darzi’s model a frosty reception, warning it would be wasteful and undermine continuity of patient care.

Pet health – PRimage comment

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

PRimage was interested to see that the research company, Datamonitor, has forecast the country’s pet health insurance market will grow to almost £600 million in 2011 from nearly £380 million in 2006. Clearly this is a booming market, as Britain’s devoted pet -owners are prepared to invest to ensure their pet’s health and well-being.

PRimage encouraged that Tories urge rethink on tax system

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team are interested to learn that the Conservative Shadow chancellor George Osborne is due to call for a “fundamental rethink” of the UK tax system to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. We agree!

In his speech at the Policy Exchange think tank, Mr Osborne will say reform of the tax system is needed to bring it up to date to meet the challenges of globalisation and climate change. He will accuse the Government of having a tax policy driven by short-term political goals rather than long-term economic consequences. He will also pile further pressure on embattled Chancellor Alistair Darling, claiming he will “never recover a reputation for competence”. The Government’s “clumsy” attempts to introduce a levy on non-domiciles and “ill-judged” changes to capital gains tax have sent out a “toxic mix of complexity, uncertainty and negative symbols”.

PRimage will be interested to read the media and political reaction to Osborne’s speech – but we’d also like to hear your views, so please post a comment.

Cancers and obesity link – PRimage comment

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Obesity is a major public health problem – and it is an issue that Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team often comment and lobby about. A new study published today in the Lancet medical journal reveals that obesity can double the risk of several cancers – and the study also links being overweight with a number of less common forms of the disease. The findings come after a major report from the World Research Cancer Fund in October showed that excess body fat was likely to cause some cancers.

Happy Valentine’s Day – PRimage ‘thought for this special day’

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

‘Love may or may not make the world go round, but it sure makes the ride worthwhile!’

Retailing prospects in 2008 – PRimage comment

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

PRimage has several clients in the retail sector, so the team try to keep abreast of trends and reports relating to this important sector. We were interested in a new report by the retail analysts Verdict Research which warns that retailers face one of their “toughest ever years” in 2008.  It suggests that like-for-like sales, which exclude the impact of new store openings, could fall 0.2% in 2008, – and goes on to predict the decline as being due to “a dangerous cocktail” of slowing consumer spending, intense competition and an excess of new store openings.

As a result, Verdict predicts a rise in the number of retail bankruptcies. It sees the rate of overall consumer spending growth slowing to 2.4% in 2008 from 3.5% last year. At the same time, Verdict says retail space will rise by a further nine million square feet across the UK this year, on top of the additional 49 million square feet opened since 1998.

Judy Viitanen also read a news report earlier this week from the British Retail Consortium, the sector’s main trade body, which showed that like-for-like sales across the industry rose 2.6% in January. That followed after a rise of just 0.3% in December.

Unemployment falls and wages rise

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

PRimage was encouraged by the latest government figures which show that UK unemployment is down and wages are up. The unemployment rate was 5.2 per cent for the three months to December 2007, down 0.2 percentage points over the previous quarter and 0.3 over the year. There are now 1.61 million unemployed in the UK, a decrease of 86,000 over the year. Wages also grew by 3.7 per cent in December, a 0.1 percentage point increase from last month, although bonuses were down.

Teenage political apathy – PRimage call for politicians to engage with them!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team were disappointed to read the findings of a new survey which show that low levels of voter apathy are unlikely to rise any time soon – and that teenagers had no interest in politics. The survey of over 1,500 UK teenagers showed that 63 per cent of 13 to 18-year-olds would not vote if the legal age was lowered. Forty-six per cent said in the poll that they had absolutely no respect for politicians, while 22 per cent claimed public demonstration was the best way to change the status quo. As many as 67 per cent of those surveyed said that government policy was biased against their age group and 31 per cent claimed the largest reason for not voting was a lack of confidence that it had any effect on public policy.

PRimage are keen observers of the political scene – and have long felt that politicians from all the parties need to connect more with young people, and to develop policies and initiatives that really touch a cord with them. As a former District Councillor and Secondary School Governor Judy has had first hand experience of communicating with teenagers – and understands the need to fully engage with them.

Bleak outlook for UK economy – PRimage comment

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

PRimage reads every day about the gloomy outlook for the UK economy, so we are encouraged that the British Chambers of Commerce is calling on the government to do all it can to limit the impact of the economic slowdown. The BCC’s latest economic forecast blames the global economy for the current situation and believes Britain’s GDP will only recover to two per cent growth in 2009. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to slump to 1.7 per cent this year.

Judy Viitanen believes that to avoid this gloomy economic situation getting worse the Bank of England needs to instigate quick interest rate cuts. Do you agree?