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Society | The Guardian

  • Why am I so tired and when is it time to see the doctor about it? A GP explains | Natasha Yates

    After ruling out lifestyle factors, we can investigate for health conditions that might be contributing to the fatigue

    Everyone feels tired sometimes. But how do you know whether your tiredness is a problem worth seeing a doctor about? And with all the mental and emotional strain we have been under from the pandemic, isn’t it just normal to feel tired?

    Tiredness is subjective; what’s normal for one person won’t be for the next. Many people see their GPs reporting tiredness (a recent study in Ireland found that it was present in 25% of patients).

    feel too tired to exercise (this can be a vicious cycle because regular exercise can actually give you more energy – however, it can be risky for people with ME/CFS to exercise, so caution is required for these patients)

    feel too tired to go out, see friends or do activities you once enjoyed

    hit the alarm snooze button a lot because you don’t wake feeling refreshed

    doze off in front of the TV regularly

    spend the whole day wishing you could go back to bed.

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  • What are the impending threats to the NHS this autumn?

    Explained: from Covid to dire workforce shortages, the health service faces a deepening crisis

    The health secretary, Steve Barclay, has warned the NHS faces serious challenges this autumn. We take a look at the growing pressures on the healthcare system.

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  • One in 25 heart attack deaths in north-east of England ‘preventable in London’

    IFS research shows six in 100 patients would have survived if they had been treated by a similar doctor in London

    One in 25 people who die of a heart attack in the north-east of England could have survived if the average cardiologist effectiveness was raised to the London level, research shows.

    The research, undertaken by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), looked at the record of over 500,000 NHS patients in the UK, over 13 years. It highlights the stark “postcode lottery” of how people living in some parts of the country have access to lower quality healthcare.

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  • UK health agency issues new heat alert warning for England

    Alert comes as south-east England goes 144 days with little to no rain, the longest in half a century

    The UK Health Security Agency has issued a second warning of the summer as England has been placed on a level 3 heat health alert.

    The alert comes as south-east England goes 144 days with little to no rain, the longest in half a century, according to Met Office statistics. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s C for the duration of the warning, from midday Tuesday to 6pm on Saturday 13 August.

    Trying to keep out of the sun from 11am to 3pm.

    Looking out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people who may also live alone, and those with underlying conditions are particularly at risk.

    Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding excess alcohol.

    Checking that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly.

    Checking medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging.

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  • Plan to axe 91,000 civil servants ‘only possible with cuts to services’

    Review casts doubt on Boris Johnson’s claim that frontline services would not be harmed

    Doubts have been cast on claims by Boris Johnson that it will be possible to go ahead with plans to axe 91,000 civil servants “without harming” frontline services.

    The prime minister wrote in May to civil servants justifying plans for a reduction in headcount of almost 20%, saying the government must reduce its costs “just as many families are doing”.

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Community Care


Social Care Network | The Guardian

  • 'Don’t expect a survivor to tell you her experience of undergoing FGM'

    Specialist social workers explain how they support women and girls affected by the practice

    When social worker Sam Khalid [not her real name] first began working with women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM), she found there wasn’t much awareness of the brutal practice in the UK.

    She was in her first year at university, in 2011, on a placement with a Women’s Aid team. “The service I was placed in was just starting its FGM unit, and I learned about the practice and met and spoke to many survivors,” she says.

    This article was amended on 12 December 2018. An earlier version referenced statistics from a recent Guardian article which was taken down after the Guardian was notified of a fundamental error in the official data on which it was based.

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  • We want to attract the right people with the right values to social care | Caroline Dinenage

    New government recruitment campaign will raise the image and profile of the sector

    This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, but we must not forget that adult social care is also marking 70 years. The National Assistance Act 1948 that created many of the core elements of the modern social care system came into effect on the same day as the NHS act.

    In the NHS’s birthday month we have heard many stories of the dedicated nurses, doctors and support staff who have been saving and transforming lives across its seven decades. While these staff are rightly seen as the backbone of the NHS, hardworking care workers, nurses, social workers, managers and occupational therapists are, likewise, the foundation of the adult social care sector – and they have been on the same 70-year journey as colleagues in health. They are two sides of the same coin – inseparable and essential to each other.

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  • The UK project giving refugees another chance at childhood

    Young refugees face unspeakable trauma to get here. But a cross-charity initiative is helping them to rebuild their lives

    It is hard to be an adult when you feel like you haven’t had the chance to be a child.

    This simple statement has stayed with me over the last 12 months of working with young refugees and asylum seekers. Among them, a 17-year-old boy forced to sleep in a railway station for months; and another who witnessed the killing of his brother and father and escaped from his home country in fear of his life.

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  • UN: spend an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle global 'care crisis'

    Report highlights risk of rising inequality against women worldwide

    The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn (£5.3tn) on care by 2030.

    Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.

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  • Theresa May got it wrong with her cash boost for the NHS. Here's why

    Assessing what the health service needs is essential before giving it more money to meet demand

    Four key things were missing from Theresa May’s announcement of extra money for the NHS.

    There was no admission that there is an NHS crisis that needs tackling. Or that money is needed now for both the the health service and social care. Without this emergency cash injection, there will be insufficient time and resource to make the necessary preparations to avoid a repeat – or indeed worsening – of last year’s winter crisis in the NHS and social care with the trail of waits, delays, suffering and extra deaths that accompanied it.

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Opinion | The Guardian

  • Martin Rowson on the ongoing Tory leadership contest – cartoon
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  • The Guardian view on the dog days of Boris Johnson’s premiership: crises, which crises? | Editorial

    As the Conservative party talks to itself, a chance to grip the challenges of the autumn and winter is being wasted

    The sweltering summer continues to deliver ominous headlines, all pointing to the perfect storm that seems certain to break in the autumn. A new study from York University predicts that, by January 2023, more than half of UK households could be in fuel poverty, spending over 10% of net income on energy costs. The health secretary, Stephen Barclay, admits that the NHS may be unable to cope with a likely Covid wave, seasonal flu and the health impact of the cost of living crisis. Charities, which successive Conservative governments have relied on to prop up one of the meanest social safety nets in Europe, are struggling to meet soaring demand for basics as their own finances are hit by the economic squeeze.

    Against this sobering backdrop, the ongoing Tory leadership race has become a darkly surreal distraction; a private affair which, increasingly, insults the intelligence of the country at large. As they seek to peddle old-time religion to Conservative party members, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have deployed vintage Thatcherite dog-whistles rather than offer proper reassurance to those in need of it. Confronted with the reality that the budgets of millions of families risk being holed beneath the waterline, Ms Truss sounded utterly out of kilter with the times as she used an interview to reject the idea of additional “handouts”. During a hustings debate, Mr Sunak actually argued for a crackdown on welfare benefits, blaming the unemployed for driving up inflationary pressures in the labour market.

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  • The Guardian view on ancient trees: natural monuments need protecting | Editorial

    Trees that have been standing for hundreds or thousands of years are entitled to special treatment – just like precious buildings

    Efforts to increase the level of protection available to ancient – or simply old – trees in the UK have been building for some time. In 2019, Janis Fry, an artist and yew expert living in Wales, launched a petition calling for new laws that would prevent the destruction of about 157 ancient yew trees at least 2,000 years old. Since then, the chorus of disapproval about current provision has grown steadily louder (if not exactly deafening: tree enthusiasts not generally being the noisiest protesters).

    The launch of the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition this week – in which five venerable oaks dominate a shortlist of 12 – offers another chance to focus minds. The wider problem goes beyond the lack of protection for individual trees, and includes issues relating to the conservation of nature more broadly. While tree cover in the UK is increasing, woodland wildlife is not, and more diverse planting, including a larger proportion of native species, is needed if that is to change. The consensus among experts and charities such as the trust is that government proposals recently sent out for consultation did not go far enough. Pressure must be applied to ensure that existing protections are not only maintained but strengthened as the risks from unchecked global heating and fossil fuel production continue to increase.

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  • The customer is always angry – here’s why | Letters

    Gary McKillion, Christina Freeman and Louise Richmond on how bureaucracy and the erosion of society have dehumanised people and led to a customer service nightmare

    Regarding your article (‘Don’t take it out on our staff!’: How did Britain become so angry?, 4 August), in the mid-1990s, when I was 21 and working as a software developer at a well-known burger restaurant chain, I was often sworn at by our customers. The company sent us on courses to help us deal with difficult customers and communicate more effectively. It really helped. Since then, I’ve been involved in the mass rollout of IT systems and seen the effects on society over the past 30 years. Recently, I’ve worked in customer service myself.

    I believe that the increasing aggression to staff is driven by two major factors. The first has been a rise in bureaucracy, much of which is enforced by computer systems that can’t handle situations outside the norm, and the corresponding increase in processes and regulations. We are conditioned to expect rigid processes and inexperienced staff who are unable to show initiative. Diminishing margins mean that smaller companies simply don’t have the staff to deal with our problems.

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  • To pay or not to pay exorbitant energy bills | Letters

    People should seek help from their energy supplier first to avoid the consequences of refusing to pay, advises Robert Dow, while John Nicholson recalls the effect of the poll tax protests

    This is a terrible state of affairs (Enough is enough: this winter I will be refusing to pay my energy bills, 4 August). The people running our country had all their eggs in one basket and now we are asked to pay for their mistakes. This is reminiscent of the poll tax, where there could be consequences down the line for customers who don’t pay.

    I for one cannot afford the cost of energy and I’m way over the 10% income threshold for fuel poverty. I will pay, but only what I can afford. My account is in credit at present, but when energy costs rise that will soon be depleted. I will refuse any increase on my direct debit. Prior to going into the red, I will be asking my energy company for help and they are obliged to help me.

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Learning in the Modern Workplace

  • Online Workshop: Empowering self-development at work
    Next public workshop: 7 March – 8 April 2022 Continuous learning and development in the workplace is much more than continuous training. Whilst it is up to everyone to become a lifelong learner and keep up to date with what’s happening in their industry or profession to remain employable, it’s also up to L&D departments […]
  • Online Workshop: Social & Collaborative Learning At Work
    Next public workshop: 17 January – 18 February 2022 Social learning is not a new training trend; it’s the way we have always learned from one another. However, it is something that managers and individuals will need to value as an integral part of their daily work. In this workshop we will look at how […]
  • Online Workshop: Learning from the daily work
    Next public workshop: 25  October – 26 November 2021 Although L&D departments have traditionally focused on training people to do their jobs, research tells us that most of what employees learn at work happens as they do their job – it’s just that they are not aware of it or make the most of it.  So, […]
  • Top Tools for Learning 2021
    The Top Tools for Learning lists have now been published. 2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of […]
  • Online Workshop: Modern Training Practices
    Next public workshop: 6 September – 8 October 2021 Modern training is not just about digitising current training events but thinking differently about what is appropriate for today’s workforce. In this 5-week online workshop we will first look at how to address the issues with current training and then consider some of the modern training […]