Episodes

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2014020420140205

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2014021120140212

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2014021820140219

Dr Mark Porter finds out why cycle lanes on main roads could be bad for your health.

A recent study has found that long term, repeated exposure to air pollution increases the risk of heart attacks. What does this mean for people who live near busy roads and who is most at risk? Mark Porter talks to Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King's College London about why the particles in air pollution cause problems for the heart and why he believes cycle routes shouldn't be on busy, main roads.

2014022520140226

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

20140226

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2014030420140305

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014031120140312

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

20140318

Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014032520140326

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014040120140402

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

With a replacement of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway expected over the next few months Professor Keri Thomas, National Clinical lead for End of Life Care, debates the need for change and calls for a more personalised care for the dying. And Inside Health examines differences in sex development, when it is unclear if a new born baby is a boy or a girl. Plus, does the environment of your GP's surgery increase or alleviate anxiety?

2014040820140409

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014041520140416

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014070820140709

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2014071520140716

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

20140923
2014093020141001
2014100720141008 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014101420141015 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014102120141022 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015010620150107 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015012720150128 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015021020150211 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015021720150218 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015022420150225 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015030320150304 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015031020150311 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015031720150318 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015032420150325 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015060920150610 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015061620150617 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015063020150701 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

20150707

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015071420150715 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015072120150722 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015072820150729 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2015091520150916 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

20150922

Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

2015100620151007 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

2016011920160120 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016020220160203 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016021620160217 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016030120160302 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016030820160309 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016070520160706 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016071220160713 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016071920160720 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

2016080920160810 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

20160920

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2016092720160928 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2017011720170118 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2017022120170222 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2017022820170301 (R4)

Medical series in which Dr Mark Porter explores health issues of the day.

2017031420170315 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

2017032120170322 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

20170704

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Price rises of everyday medicines due to some manufacturers utilising monopolies; Can a simple routine blood test help identify cancer; A definitive guide on undescended testes with evidence for the best time to intervene if a baby boy's testes do not drop and the downsides of delay; Aspirin and the risk of stomach bleeds in the elderly.

20170711

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Are we on the cusp of a new era where computers rather than doctors will be doing the diagnosing. Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon Health, believes we are and is developing an online tool using artificial intelligence that diagnoses quicker and more accurately than a doctor. He debates the issues with resident sceptic Dr Margaret McCartney. Mark Porter visits the world's first national tissue bank for pancreatic cancer, set up to aid research into a disease that has seen no outcome improvement for over 40 years. Plus statins and muscle aches; could the drugs' bad press in the media actually increase the odds of people experiencing side effects - the so called nocebo effect?

20170718

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

The Hepatitis B vaccine has been added to the childhood national programme joining the 5 vaccines already given to all young babies at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford, and Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, explains why.

Margaret McCartney and Mark Porter visit men in north London looking for the physical and mental benefits of community sheds.

The obesity paradox - can being overweight sometimes be beneficial? Gavin Murphy, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Leicester and Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow, debate the latest research suggesting that obese people are more likely to survive heart surgery than their slimmer peers.

Are clinical trials good for you? We examine the evidence behind conventional wisdom that people taking part in research tend to fare better - whatever their illness.

20170725

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

There are growing concerns about the widespread use of PPIs, the acid suppressing family of drugs used to treat indigestion and the most prescribed in the world. They are recommended to be used for weeks in typical cases of heartburn, but most people including Mark, take them for months or years. But one reason why PPIs are being used so widely is to protect the lining of the gut from aspirin and combining these two drugs may also have benefits against cancer. Mark hears preliminary findings on the so called chemo-protective effects of aspirin. And radiotherapy is a crucial part of modern cancer treatment so why does it get so little attention compared to drugs? Plus why radiation and smoking are particularly poor bedfellows.

20170808

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Breast Density - the major risk factor for breast cancer that you may have never heard of. Health Education - a long term approach to changing attitudes to illness by encouraging children to be less dependent on doctors and pills. Switching Outcomes - one reason why so few clinical trials result in real changes in practice that benefit patients.

20170919

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Inside Health reveals the poor state of addiction services in England with heroin and morphine related deaths the highest on record. Professor Colin Drummond raises concerns about a split in care between the NHS and Local Authorities since the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. And personal testimony is heard from Alison Bedford Russell whose son George died of a heroin overdose last year.

The Care Quality Commission, who is responsible for inspections, has found that 2/3 residential drug and alcohol treatment services failed to meet the required standard. Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Investigator of hospitals at the CQC, explains what was discovered.

The correct use of medical language is a topic close to Inside Health so Margaret McCartney was naturally drawn to discuss news this week about the misuse of the term Schizophrenia.

And as London hosts the first ever Cardio-Oncology Summit in Europe, specialists from both fields discuss how to treat and prevent heart problems in people undergoing therapy for cancer.

20170926

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

After Simon Cowell paid for a Britain's Got talent contestant to have surgery in the US for her curved spine we examine the state of therapy for scoliosis here in the UK. Recent headlines claimed that 1 in 4 teenage girls are depressed but were they accurate? And pets in hospital: the Royal College of Nursing has called for patients to have better access to animals, including their own. Plus Eustachian tubes: tips for what to do if you have blocked ears after your summer holiday.

20171003

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Mention arthritis and most people think of older people with osteoarthritic hips or knees. But children get arthritis too, although it's an inflammatory condition where
the child's immune system attacks the lining of the joints causing pain, swelling and stiffness. But the joints aren't the only part of the body affected. Around one in six of the 12,000 children in the UK with juvenile idiopathic arthritis also develop worrying inflammation in their eyes, uveitis. This is a silent, symptomless condition which can result in significant visual impairment and even blindness. But a new drug treatment, tested in the UK, has proved to be so successful for this group of children that it has revolutionised treatment both in this country and around the world. The benefits were so large that the trial was stopped early and the new therapy adopted as frontline treatment. Dr Mark Porter visits the Bristol Eye Hospital and meets paediatric rheumatology consultant, Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan to find out more.

Bigger babies can get stuck in the final stages of labour - a condition called shoulder dystocia. Most are delivered safely but there are both enormous risks to the baby through lack of oxygen and a traumatic experience for the mother. Professor of Obstetrics at Warwick Medical School, Siobhan Quenby, tells Mark that a nationwide trial of big baby births aims to find out whether delivering the child two weeks early, at 38 weeks, reduces shoulder dystocia and makes the birth safer for mother and child.

A report by NHS England highlights cost savings of around £100,000 for GP practices that use telephone triage for patients. But the first independent evaluation of this system, where everyone speaks to a doctor on the phone before they get a face to face appointment suggests that policy makers should reconsider their unequivocal support. Inside Health contributor Dr Margaret McCartney, herself a GP, reviews the findings.

Several thousand people a year, many of them children, are admitted to hospital every year with serious burns. One of the country's leading centres for burns victims is at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. As well as serving 13 million people in the local area, the Healing Foundation UK Burns Research Centre treats injured service personnel, airlifted from conflict zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark gets a tour of the unit from director Naiem Moieman and finds out about the newest research on burns treatment which uses some of the oldest remedies.

20171010

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Vaginal mesh, used for the treatment of prolapse and incontinence, has hit the news recently as women pursue
litigation after suffering serious complications. But there have been concerns ever since the first type of vaginal
mesh was launched in the mid-nineties, only to be withdrawn a few years later. Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine
at the University of Oxford, explains the 'shambolic' regulation of medical devices, Consultant gynaecologist Swati Jha, who has been collecting data on
mesh for over a decade, believes media coverage has been muddled. Women speak of living with surgery, while Inside Health's
Dr Margaret McCartney calls for a registry to collect effective data.

Plus, new guidance in Scotland challenges the so called 'J-shaped curve' - evidence that moderate drinking is good for the heart.
Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow and part of the committee that produced the updated guidance,
talks to Mark Porter about the changes.

20181023

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

2018102320181024 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

2018102320181024 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

20181030

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

2018103020181031 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

06/03/201820180307 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

20/03/201820180321 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Acid Attacks And Corneal Grafts, Bowel Cancer Screening, Sports Prosthesis For Children2018032720180328 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter talks to Andrew who was blinded by a robber in an acid attack.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

The UK has one of the highest recorded rates of acid attacks in the world, nearly 500 cases in 2016. Most of the victims are men and most have corrosive liquid, typically acid or bleach, squirted into their faces while they are being mugged for their phone, bag or car. Andrew Keene was attacked in London last year while he sat in his car, and blinded by a robber who then drove off in his car. He's had five operations, including two corneal grafts, to try to restore the sight in his right eye. Dr Mark Porter talks to Andrew at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, where sight-saving eye surgery was pioneered over sixty years ago. This hospital set up the UK's first Eye Bank for donor eyes and it is from these donations that eyes, damaged like Andrew's, are repaired using grafts. Mark hears about the shortage of donated corneas which mean long waiting lists for eye surgery and Eye Bank head Dr Nigel Jordan tells him they're having to import donor eyes from the USA to meet demand.

BBC News anchor George Alagiah has gone public with the news that his bowel cancer has come back three years after it was diagnosed at an advanced stage. He has questioned why screening starts at different ages in different parts of the UK. If he lived in Scotland where the bowel cancer screening programme starts at 50, up to 10 years before the rest of the country, he would have been screened earlier and his cancer might have been picked up earlier, making it easier to treat. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney discusses the complexities involved in rolling out national screening programmes and tells Mark why there's a difference in Scotland and the rest of the UK about the starting age for bowel screening.

Until a couple of years ago, children who were born without a limb, or those who lost a limb after illness or injury, could get a traditional prosthesis, or artificial limb fitted, but it was a limb of the most basic kind which would enable them to walk, but not to run or do sports. But thanks to money released into a special fund by the Department of Health in England, for the last 18 months these children have been fitted with the high-tech futuristic-looking prostheses - racing blades - that allow them to run, jump and compete in all sorts of activities and sports. Mark visits a paediatric rehabilitation clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore and meets the children who are benefiting from these new activity blades.

Alzheimer's And Parkinson's Research, Hpv Vaccine, Brca Genes20180116

and breast cancer survival.

News that the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has pulled out of research into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease is casting doubt over the future of long promised breakthroughs in this area. Mark Porter hears from two leading experts who explain that due to the complexity of the disease the pharmaceutical industry's single agent 'magic bullet' approach needs to change. And while over the last 15 years nearly every trial into new treatments for Alzheimer's has ended in failure, lifestyle and medical prevention are starting to make a difference.

Plus clarity on headlines that women who've had the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer will need far fewer smear tests in future. But how will the national screening programme know for sure who has been vaccinated - and who hasn't? And Margaret McCartney's thoughts on other news that women treated for breast cancer who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations that dramatically increase the risk of developing the disease, are just as likely to survive their illness as women who don't.

Antibiotics - Lung Cancer - Dying Of A Broken Heart -gender Bias20170801

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Margaret McCartney unpicks recent headlines suggesting its okay not to finish your antibiotics; Lung Cancer screening in the high risk; Can you die a broken heart? Evidence suggests this is a real condition called Takotsubo syndrome and is much more common than previously thought. And gender bias in trials.

Antibiotics Statins And Pneumonia - Neurosurgery For Epilepsy20171024

Antibiotic apocalypse, statins and treating pneumonia, and neurosurgery for epilepsy.

The Chief Medical Officer has warned of a "post-antibiotic apocalypse" and "the end of modern medicine". As antibiotic resistance increases, the options to treat potentially deadly infections reduces. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney discusses the latest campaign by Public Health England to remind us all not to take antibiotics when they're not needed.

It's been over thirty years since there was a breakthrough in the treatment of pneumonia, but that could soon change....and from an surprising source. Researchers in Birmingham at Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been working with the cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, and discovered that this medication can turbo-charge our immune systems, helping us to fight infection. Dr Liz Sapey, respiratory consultant and researcher tells Dr Mark Porter about the exciting possibility of tablets that cost just a few pence each, being used to treat potentially deadly lung infections like pneumonia.

Epilepsy is normally controlled by anti-seizure medication but for a third of patients, pills don't work, and constant fits can have a devastating impact on the developing brain. Neurosurgery - removal or disconnection of parts of the brain where the seizures originate - is now done at a much younger age in patients with untreatable epilepsy. Operating on children takes advantage of brain plasticity. Mark visits Bristol Children's Hospital, one of four national centres which since 2011 have offered increased access to epilepsy surgery. Paediatric neurosurgeon Mike Carter is part of the national drive to operate on children before they are two years old, all to take advantage of brain plasticity. Mark meets 8 year old Lucy, 20 days after she had major surgery to remove a finger-nail sized portion deep in her brain. Lucy's father, Mark Nettle, describes how, before surgery, his daughter had suffered from multiple daily seizures with increasing weakness down the left side of her body. The possibility of ending these debilitating attacks made surgery an attractive option.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Aspirin And Heart Attacks, Bppv Vertigo, Patronising Language, Carpal Tunnel Sydrome, Osteoporosis Treatment2015090820150909 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a programme devoted to questions from the listeners.

Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation answers a question about whether aspirin can protect against a second heart attack.

A number of people asked about the treatment of vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of a variety of conditions ranging from migraine and Meniere's, to strokes and tumours, but by far the most common is a condition called BPPV - benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is caused by debris floating around in the fluid in the balance sensors of the inner ear and typically affects people over 40. And there is a relatively simple way to treat it called the Epley movement, which is much underused. Dr Louisa Murdin, consultant in vestibular and balance disorders at Guy's and St Thomas's hospitals in London, explained how she uses the technique.

Dr Margaret McCartney and Mark discuss why doctors sometimes use patronising language when talking to patients.

Carpal tunnel syndrome - which normally eventually affects both hands - is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes under the flexor retinaculum ligament at the wrist - close to where the clasp or buckle on your watch would sit. The classic story is pins and needles affecting the thumb side of the hand and sparing the little finger, and often worse during the early hours of the morning.

Dr Jeremy Bland, consultant in clinical neurophysiology at King's College Hospital London, and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, where he runs one of the few NHS clinics dedicated solely to carpal tunnel syndrome, explains why people wake up with symptoms and why wearing a splint can be helpful.

Osteoporosis features regularly in our in-box - particularly concerns about bisphosphonates, the gold standard treatment for the bone thinning condition. Every year in the UK around 300,000 people break a bone - such as a hip or wrist - following a relatively trivial injury because their bones are weaker than they should be. Most are middle aged and elderly.

Drugs like alendronate and etidronate are prescribed to make bones stronger after a fracture. Peter Selby, Professor of metabolic bone disease at the University of Manchester and a consultant at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, answers queries about how long these drugs should be taken.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

Aspirin, Stroke, Best Interests, Lasting Power Of Attorney, Bawa Garba2018073120180801 (R4)

A baby aspirin for heart attack or stroke, best interests and lasting powers of attorney.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

If you are taking low dose aspirin - typically 75 mg day - to protect against heart attack or stroke and you haven't been weighed then there is a good chance you are on the wrong dose. And from prevention to treatment; a new way of managing the most common form of stroke by grabbing the blockage in the brain and pulling it out. Charlotte Smith tells her story of a remarkable recovery from the procedure whilst she was pregnant with her second child. Plus a continuation of our guide to the help available when people lose the capacity to make decisions about their care. This week Mark Porter explains Best Interest Decisions and Lasting Power of Attorney. And GP Dr Margaret McCartney reflects on the Hadiza Bawa Garba case.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Asthma, Visual Snow, Confounding Factors20160315

Why asthma is both over diagnosed and undertreated. Professor Mike Thomas and GP Dr Margaret McCartney discuss this apparent contradiction and look behind recent headlines that half a million children in the UK could be taking asthma medicines they don't need. A new study finds that putting doctors under pressure or being a difficult patient may backfire, inducing them to make diagnostic errors. With scarlet fever and measles in the news, Margaret McCartney gives a quick guide on the key symptoms as both diseases have a characteristic rash. A listener has emailed to ask about visual snow, a condition where your vision is like an untuned TV set. World expert, Professor Peter Goadsby explains the latest understanding of visual snow, and says that even 15 years ago it hadn't been universally accepted as a condition. Plus the first in the latest Inside Language series with Margaret and Dr Carl Heneghan of Oxford University. This week, they discuss confounding factors and why they matter to your health.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Back Pain And Paracetamol, Blood Thinning Drugs, Drug Driving, Kidney Stones2014072920140730

Paracetamol and back pain; blood thinning drugs; drug driving limits and kidney stones.

Mark Porter investigates a new research trial which shows that paracetamol doesn't help back pain. And why are blood thinning drugs being overused in NHS hospitals? New laws on limits for driving on prescribed drugs come into force in March 2015. Which prescription drugs are included and what does it mean for people taking them? Also in the programme, can any medications help get rid of kidney stones?

Biosimilars, Insomnia, Abortion At Home2018071020180711 (R4)

Bad sleep breeds bad sleep. Dr Mark Porter reports on what works for insomnia.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Copycat biologic drugs, to treat conditions from arthritis and psoriasis to breast cancer and lymphoma, could save hundreds of millions of pounds off the NHS drugs bill. Called biosimilars, these close copies give the same clinical benefit at a fraction of the cost. Up to now the problem has been take-up, but a new initiative led by the specialist UK cancer centre, London's Royal Marsden, run across the NHS Cancer Vanguard, has demonstrated that patients can be switched effectively onto the cheaper drugs. Chief pharmacist at the Royal Marsden, Dr Jatinder Harchowal, who led the national staff education programme, tells Mark that getting clinicians and patients on board was key to achieving an 80% take up for the blood cancer biosimilar, rituximab. This month a biosimilar copy of the breast and stomach cancer drug, Herceptin (generic name trastuzumab) is being introduced to patients too.

Imogen had sleep problems for almost 30 years and she admits that at times, her insomnia left her in a desperate state. For years she took sleeping tablets but she ended up increasing the dosage, to no effect. Eventually she found help at Queen Victoria Hospital's Sleep Disorder Clinic in East Grinstead. Mark visits the clinic and finds out from its Clinical Director Dr Peter Venn that sleeping tablets aren't the answer to insomnia and cognitive behaviour therapy, which Imogen used, is the best treatment.

Scotland has led the UK nations in allowing early medical abortion at home. Wales in the past 10 days has followed their lead. So where does this leave England? Dr Margaret McCartney reports from Glasgow about the choice now available for Scottish women who opt for a medical termination. Since last autumn the second pill that induces the breakdown of the womb lining can be taken at home, a practice that already happens in Scandinavia and parts of the USA. Dr Audrey Brown, a consultant in sexual and reproductive healthcare, tells Margaret that the impetus for the change in practice in Scotland came directly from women who didn't want to make the second clinic visit for the second set of drugs and risk cramping and bleeding on the way home. A woman who has opted for early medical abortion at home in Scotland shares her experience with Inside Health.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Blood Clots, Iron Supplements, Doctor's Bag20180130

Blood clots acquired in hospital. Taking iron supplements. Plus what is in a doctor's bag?

Over half of all blood clots are acquired during hospitalisation, particularly for surgery, so prevention is key. Deep vein thromboses - DVTs - typically occur in the veins of the leg and central to prevention is the need to assess individual risk, while taking steps like special stockings, leg massagers and anticoagulant "blood thinning" drugs to mitigate them. But there are concerns in some quarters - particularly among orthopaedic surgeons - that the drive to protect patients against clots has exposed them to risks of bleeding and that the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Three leading specialists discuss the issues. And iron deficiency, a very common problem, but what is the best way to treat it? New research from Switzerland unexpectedly suggests that giving less iron, less frequently, leads to more absorption. Plus, what's in a doctor's bag?

Braintraining And Dementia; Cluster Headaches; Cancer Rehab; #hellomynameis2016072620160727 (R4)

Every three minutes somebody in the UK develops dementia, so when it's claimed that tailored computer brain training can reduce cases of dementia and cognitive decline by a third over a decade, people sit up and take notice. The research claiming the 33% reduction for the group of people whose "processing function" was targeted for brain training, hasn't yet been published - so isn't peer-reviewed - but the preliminary data by a US team was presented to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Toronto this week. Dr Doug Brown, Director of R&D at the UK's Alzheimer's Society speaks from the Canadian conference to Dr Mark Porter and says there's widespread excitement about the potential of brain training to protect against dementia. Dr Margaret McCartney urges caution, warning it's too early to make claims before the full data is available.

James is a young man with a high pressure sales job, but every year in the summer months he is crippled by agonising headaches. He's one of the 100,000 people in the UK who suffers from cluster headaches, so called because they come in disabling bouts, lasting for 4-6 weeks at a time. Inside Health visits a new one-stop multidisciplinary rapid-access headache clinic at St Thomas's Hospital in London, where James is getting treatment. Dr Giorgio Lambru, who heads the new service, tells Mark why it's so vital that patients with cluster headaches have to be seen, diagnosed and treated quickly.

Years after cardiac rehabilitation became a standard part of therapy for heart attacks, the same post-treatment care still isn't routinely available for people who've had cancer, despite decade-old guidance from NICE suggesting that it should be. The UK's first clinical trial to measure holistic cancer care is hoping to provide the evidence that will demonstrate the type of support and rehabilitation that really works. Professor of Nursing Annie Young from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust tells Mark that after treatment, patients can feel abandoned and vulnerable.

#hellomynameis is a hugely successful social media campaign which highlights the importance of healthcare staff introducing themselves to patients. It was launched by Dr Kate Granger after her experience of being in hospital. Kate died at the weekend from cancer, aged just 34. Dr Margaret McCartney describes the enormous impact of Kate's campaign throughout the NHS.

Dr Mark Porter investigates whether brain training can cut cases of dementia by a third.

Cardiac Rehab, Withdrawing From Antidepressants, Middle Ear Implant2018031320180314 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter busts some of the myths surrounding recovery from a heart attack.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

There are many myths about recovery from a heart attack. The most dangerous is that exercise is too risky. The truth is that for most people, they should be doing much more exercise, not less. Patrick Doherty, Professor of Cardiovascular Health at York University and lead author for the National Audit of Cardiac Rehab tells Dr Mark Porter that 70,000 people who should be accessing life saving cardiac rehabilitation therapy are missing out. The answer? Don't blame the patients but improve the design of rehab packages, he says. Inside Health visits a rehab session at Charing Cross Hospital in London and hears from cardiac patients about the impact of supported exercise programmes on their health.

A group of psychiatrists, psychologists and patients have complained to the Royal College of Psychiatrists about the withdrawal effects of antidepressants. They say claims that side effects are resolved, for the majority of patients, within a few weeks of stopping treatment are false and in fact, many people suffer unpleasant, frightening symptoms for much longer. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney looks at the evidence.

We're all familiar with hearing aids, amplifiers which boost volume in a failing ear. And you might have heard of cochlear implants which, in people too deaf for aids, can be used to send signals directly to the inner part of the ear, and on to the brain. But in the future we're likely to hear more about middle ear implants, devices implanted because the outer ear hasn't developed properly. ENT surgeons at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, Professor Dan Jiang and Harry Powell, have performed a middle ear implant on the UK's youngest ever patient, Charlotte Wright was just three years old when she had this pioneering treatment.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Care Data, New Gastric Balloon, Vocal Dysphonia, Antacids2014012120140122

Recent reports say that as many as 2 million people in England could be eligible for bariatric surgery. Dr Mark Porter investigates if a new gastric balloon swallowed in a capsule could be a valuable new tool for weight loss. Targeted for people whose BMI is lower than those who would be eligible for weight loss surgery, Inside Health finds out what the new balloon involves and asks two NHS bariatric surgeons - Sally Norton in Bristol and Guy Slater in Chichester - is this a boon to the arsenal of weight loss surgeons or is it a just slimming aid?

Proton pump inhibitors are a family of drugs which reduce stomach acids to stop the symptoms of heartburn and ulcers. But they are being widely overused according to many gastroenterologists and doctors. Mark talks to gastroenterologist, Anton Emmanuel about the scale of the overuse, the potential side effects of being on them for too long as well as what people can do if they think they should come off the drug.

Margaret McCartney and Mark Porter ask whether the anonymity of patient records on a new NHS database can be guaranteed? And using botox to treat vocal dysphonia, a kind of writer's cramp for the voice.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome, Co-proxamol, Meningitis B Vaccine, Smart Tablets2016022320160224 (R4)

Up to half a million people in the UK could have it, but it's a condition that hardly anybody has heard about: Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

It happens to people who are losing their sight through age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic eye problems or glaucoma. They see vivid and often frightening visual hallucinations and these images are soundless. Judith Potts' mother Esme was in her 90's when she eventually admitted to her daughter that she was seeing frightening images of goblins and Victorian children all around her. Judith had never heard of the condition and as she tells Dr Mark Porter, neither had any of the health professionals taking care of her mother. Shocked that there was so little awareness about something that is so common, she set up an awareness group, Esme's Umbrella. Dr Dominic Ffytche, Clinical Senior Lecturer at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry and an expert in visual hallucinations, tells Mark that a key area of research is why some people have Charles Bonnet Syndrome and others don't.

Co-proxamol, or Distalgesic as it's better known, was a common drug for mild to moderate pain in the 1990's. But a decade ago, a review by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) decided that it wasn't a good painkiller and it had very worrying side effects. Its licence was withdrawn and doctors were urged to switch patients onto different medication (although it could still be prescribed on a "named patient" basis). Dr Andrew Green, Chair of the Clinical and Prescribing arm of the GP committee of the British Medical Association tells Mark he's disturbed that nearly ten years after the licence was withdrawn, thousands of patients are still being prescribed co-proxamol at a high cost to the NHS while Bedfordshire GP Dr John Lockley defends continued and careful prescribing for a tiny number of patients who can't get relief from other medication.

In a week in which hundreds of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for more children to receive the Meningitis B vaccine, Dr Margaret McCartney talks to Mark about the tricky decisions involved in planning immunisation programmes.

Traditional bedside paper charts, which record and monitor patients' vital signs, have been replaced in Oxford hospitals with smart PC tablets. Clinical staff enter patients' blood pressure, heart rate and temperature on the tablet and the new "smart" system provides an early warning traffic light system, alerting them if there's a deterioration in the patient's condition. This means clinicians can prioritise care and another major bonus is that the same information is available, at the touch of a button, to medical staff across Oxford's hospitals. The project is called SEND - System for Electronic Notification and Documentation - and it's a collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Mark goes to Oxford and with intensive care consultant and SEND Project Leader Dr Peter Watkinson, sees how the new paperless system is working.

Patient power and the parental clamour for more children to get the meningitis B vaccine.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Chicken Pox In Pregnancy, Club Foot, Test For Conn's Syndrome, Teeth Brushing2016020920160210 (R4)

Dr Margaret McCartney reviews advice to pregnant women concerned about the Zika virus while Andrew Shennan, Professor of Obstetrics at King's College and St Thomas' Hospital in London tells Dr Mark Porter about the risks of infection closer to home - chicken pox.

One in every one thousand babies born in the UK has congenital talipes, or club foot. This is where the foot points inwards and downwards, the sole facing backwards. But thanks to the late Ignatio Ponseti, an orthopaedic surgeon from Iowa in the USA, 95% of children born with club foot will make a complete recovery. Dr Ponseti was concerned about the low success rate of surgical treatment, which often resulted in life-long pain and stiffness and a 50% chance of recurrence. He developed a new technique in the 1960's that involves stretching the foot, holding it in plaster casts and eventually braces. The problem was that nobody believed him and it wasn't until the early 2000's that his technique became the new gold standard for club foot treatment - the news spread by his patients and their parents using the internet. Mark visits the club foot clinic at The Royal London Hospital, which sent a team, led by consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Manoj Ramachandran to study with Dr Ponseti at his Iowan clinic. Mark meets Hannah, whose 8 week old baby, Penelope, is just beginning treatment and hears from Claire, whose son, Lucas, now four years old, has, post-treatment, two perfect feet.

Professor of Endocrine Hypertension at Queen Mary University London, Morris Brown, gives more details about the test for Conn's Syndrome - which could account for as many as one in ten cases of high blood pressure.

And Inside Health listener Howard, calls on Mark to settle a teeth cleaning dispute between him and his wife. Should you brush before or after breakfast? The British Dental Association's Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Damian Walmsley adjudicates.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Conflicted Medicine2014081220140813

Are hidden conflicts of interest in medicine out of control or an over-hyped concern?

Are conflicts of interest in medicine out of control and undermining public trust, or an over-hyped concern? Dr Mark Porter investigates the hidden influences driving your doctor.

Conflicted Medicine2014081920140820

Dr Mark Porter examines the hidden conflicts of interest that can influence your health.

Dr Mark Porter examines the hidden conflicts of interest that may affect how your GP or specialist treats you. He discovers that the advice patient groups give you is also not immune to the influences of organisations such as pharmaceutical companies.

Conflicted Medicine: Pharmaceuticals20140812

Are conflicts of interest in medicine out of control and undermining public trust, or an over-hyped concern? Dr Mark Porter investigates the hidden influences affecting your health.

Conflicted Medicine: Public Health Campaigns2014082620140827

Dr Mark Porter examines how powerful lobbying groups influence what you eat and drink.

Dr Mark Porter examines how powerful lobbying groups like the food and alcohol industries steer public health policy in the direction that suits them most.

Diabetes Tech, Antidepressants, Stem Cell Therapy And Knees20180227

First urine testing then finger pricking and now high-tech scanning. The monitoring of glucose levels is undergoing a revolution for patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Dr Margaret McCartney reports from Glasgow on the new sensing devices which allow for endless glucose scanning without the need for multiple finger prick blood tests. She talks to parents like Ben, who's paying for a continuous glucose monitor because the fingers of his young son George, were so sore from constant finger prick testing that he couldn't even play with his lego. And to 18 year old Matthew and his mum, Barbara, about the flash glucose monitor which they say has transformed the control and management of his diabetes. Dr Kenneth Robertson, who's led NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Children's Diabetes Service for the past 25 years tells Margaret that the new technology is a game changer for diabetes, but urges a cautious, evidence-based roll-out of the best devices.

Many patients, as Margaret hears, are paying for the devices out of their own pockets and the charity UK Diabetes is keeping tabs on which areas of the NHS are funding flash glucose monitors after they came on NHS license four months ago. Policy Manager Nikki Joule tells Mark that they'll lobby hard on behalf of patients denied access to this life-changing technology. Meanwhile Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes at NHS England urges clinical commissioning groups to review national guidance and where patients are multiple testing or at risk of the life-threatening high sugar level condition, ketoacidosis, allow access.

Enthusiastic headlines following the recent Lancet study of antidepressants claimed the drugs work, that they're better than placebo and that more should be prescribed. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney takes a closer look at the large meta-analysis of over 500 clinical trials.

Every year in the UK almost 200,000 hip and knees get replaced, mainly because of osteoarthritis. But if the damaged cartilage could be repaired in younger people, would this prevent arthritis and a replacement joint later in life? Researchers have been using stem cell therapy to re-line damaged joints but it's an expensive and complex process, which up to now has involved two stages, one to harvest the stem cells and another, weeks later, to put the tissue back into the injured joint. But now a team at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore has developed a one stop operation. Stem cells are harvested from the pelvis and then in the same operation, put back into injured knees to "seed" new cartilage. George Bentley, emeritus Professor of Orthopaedics, orthopaedic surgeon James Donaldson and patient, Nick Brown, talk to Inside Health about this pioneering new treatment.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Diabetes glucose monitors, antidepressants, stem cell therapy and knees.

Diabetes Type Ii; Obesity; Feedback On Anorexia And Shingles; Lyme Disease2013102220131023

Dr Mark Porter investigates how doctors detect and diagnose type-2 diabetes.

With news that actor Tom Hanks has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, how far in advance can doctors predict the onset of the condition and what can be done to delay it.

And is obesity a disease? It has been classified as such in America, so what are the implications and should the UK follow suit?

Plus the first ever conference on Lyme Disease - the tick borne infection that can cause serious complications.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Google - Sexual Orientation And The Nhs - Hypermobility Surgery For Copd20171017

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

GPs have been told to ask about their patients' sexual orientation as NHS England plans to record this data for everyone using the
service over the age of 16. Dr Google - are doctors' noses really being put out of joint by patients searching their
symptoms on the internet to come up with their own diagnoses? Hypermobility is being double jointed and
flexible and is often perceived as an asset, but for around 1 in 30 of the population it can be a problem that is
often missed - and mismanaged. Plus a counterintuitive approach to help people with Chronic Obstructive
Pulmonary Disease. You might think the last thing someone with breathing difficulties needs is smaller lungs,
but lung reduction surgery is exactly what's being offered some people with COPD.

Dry January & Nalmefene, Plac Blood Test For Inflammation, Dental Check Ups2015011320150114 (R4)

Treating alcohol dependence with a pill, predicting heart attack risk and dental visits.

Dr Mark Porter talks to leading experts about treating alcohol dependence with a pill and whether the required counselling services are available to make it work.

And Mark finds out the state of his arteries when he has a new blood test to predict his risk of heart attack. Plus what does the evidence tell us about how often to visit the dentist?

Dying At Home, Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Fh, Delirium2016101820161019 (R4)

Most of us say we'd like to die at home but few of us actually achieve this wish - something the NHS is keen to change. An award-winning GP surgery in Lancaster, The King Street and University Medical Practice, has transformed the way they care for patients reaching the end of their life, twice winning the Gold Standards Framework Quality Hallmark Award. Dr Nour Ghazal tells Dr Mark Porter what they've done to ensure their patients have a say in how and where they would like to die and Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney describes how important it is to broach that most difficult of subjects.

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia, also known as FH means that you have inherited high cholesterol levels and the consequences of this, if you don't know about it, can be deadly. Over half of men with FH will have a heart attack before they are 55, a third of women with FH before they're 60. But a simple genetic test can identify the condition and with a good diet, exercise and lipid lowering drugs like statins, people can live long and healthy lives. Steve Humphries, Professor of Cardiovascular Genetics at University College London tells Mark that only 15,000 people in the UK have a diagnosis of FH but it's thought that almost a quarter of a million people could in fact have the condition. So the race is on to identify and diagnose the thousands who don't know that they're carrying the suspect genes. Lorraine Priestley-Barnham, an FH clinical nurse specialist at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex describes the cascade testing being rolled out across the country in a programme supported by the British Heart Foundation. And three generations of the same family, father Chris, daughter Joanne and grandson, six year old Alfie, tell Inside Health how they found out they have FH.

Delirium - an acute confused state with hallucinations and psychosis - is incredibly common in hospitals. One in five patients can experience it, many more in intensive care. Fiona tells Mark about her own experience in ICU after major surgery last year, when she believed she was being held prisoner and experimented on. She tried to escape from the ward and her daughter, Catherine, describes how distressing it was to witness her mother in such a terrified state. Julie Darbyshire, Critical Care Research Manager at the University of Oxford has done some of the first research into patients' experience of delirium and ICU consultant pharmacist, Mark Borthwick, who has a special interest in the condition, tells Mark about the different types of delirium.

Dying at Home; Familial Hypercholesterolaemia FH; Delirium.

E-cigs; Ppi Feedback; Be Assertive With Your Doctor; Prostate Cancer Diagnosis2014012820140129

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Epipens & Autoinjectors; Meningitis B Bedside Test; Age Related Macular Degeneration20181023

Epipens are in short supply and under fire for their design. Dr Mark Porter investigates.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Epipens & Autoinjectors; Meningitis B Bedside Test; Age Related Macular Degeneration2018102320181024 (R4)

Epipens are in short supply and under fire for their design. Dr Mark Porter investigates.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Flu Vaccine And Narcolepsy, Stoptober, Herbal Medicines, Calcium Supplements2013100120131002

New research linking a swine flu vaccine to a rare sleeping disorder in children

New research has found an association between Pandemrix, a swine flu vaccine, and a rare sleep disorder in children. Fears about a pandemic of H1N1 flu, so called "swine flu", over the winter of 2009/2010 led to millions of vulnerable people across the UK, including every child under five, being offered a new vaccine. There has since been a dramatic rise in the number of children diagnosed with narcolepsy. Paul Gringras, Professor of Children's sleep medicine and neurodisability at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London, is one of the researchers investigating this link.

October 1st marks the start of a mass stop smoking campaign called Stoptober. Last year, 160,000 people gave up for the month, saving themselves £25 million from not buying cigarettes. Inside Health spoke to two of them, Adrian Osborne and Donna Horton.

The Traditional Herbal Medicines Registration Scheme was brought in by the Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2005. But there are concerns that the threshold for this type of licensing is set too low, and is misleading consumers. To debate the issue, Mark Porter is joined by resident sceptic Margaret McCartney and Dr Linda Anderson from the licensing division at the MHRA.

It is thought that around five million people in the UK, most of them women, take some form of high dose calcium supplement to keep their bones healthy. But there have been a number of reports linking them to

heart attacks and stroke. So what is the latest thinking on their use? Juliet Compston is Emeritus Professor of Bone Medicine at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Flu, Cow's Milk Allergy, Robotic Pharmacy20180109

Dr Mark Porter investigates the protection the latest vaccine gives us from Aussie flu.

What goes into our flu vaccine always has an element of guesswork. Usually the experts get it right but sometimes nature has other ideas and a new strain emerges. Dr John McCauley, Director of the Worldwide Influenza Centre at the Francis Crick Institute in London tells Dr Mark Porter about Aussie flu and how different flu strains pose risks to different groups of people.

Cow's milk allergy is the most common food allergy among infants and it affects at least one in 50 babies, toddlers and pre-school children in the UK. It's an allergic reaction to the protein in cow's milk. There are two different types though and one type, called delayed cow's milk allergy, is often missed by health care professionals because it's easily confused with other common conditions. Lucy Wronka tells Inside Health her baby son George was ill for months with reflux, eczema and an upset stomach. It was only a chance meeting with a friend who recognised the symptoms that led to a diagnosis of delayed cow's milk allergy. Twenty four hours after diagnosis and treatment, Lucy says George was a different baby. Dr Adam Fox, paediatric allergist at the Evelina London Children's Hospital explains the difference between the two different types of cow's milk allergy and discusses new guidance for GPs and health visitors which are designed to improve diagnosis.

One of Europe's largest robotic pharmacies is housed in Glasgow and this super high-tech hub has replaced fourteen separate pharmacy stores. It handles almost a hundred thousand packs of medicines a week and Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney, herself a GP in the city, reports on how this automation has transformed pharmacy services in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Folic Acid In Flour, Southampton Fc And Hip And Groin Pain, Online Private Doctors2016012620160127 (R4)

Scotland is considering whether to add folic acid to staple foods like flour to protect babies against conditions like spina bifida.

Frustrated at the lack of action by the UK government on the issue - despite government advisers recommending for 16 years that flour should be fortified with folic acid - the Scottish government is preparing to go it alone.

Spina bifida is one of a group of severe congenital abnormalities known as neural tube defects that affect around 5000 developing babies in Europe every year. It's long been known that taking folic acid supplements, before and after pregnancy, can reduce the likelihood of these defects, as Helen Dolk, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Ulster explains to Dr Mark Porter.

Professional footballers are vulnerable to hip and groin injuries and much more likely to get arthritis as they get older. Southampton Football Club has introduced a new hip stretch and flexibility programme for all their players and the result is a dramatic reduction in injuries. Mark visits the club and meets Olufela Olomola, who, before his transfer to The Saints, spent a season on the bench with hip and groin injury at Arsenal. Just a season later he's recovered and now captains The Saints under 18 team. Mo Gimpel, Director of Medical and Science Performance Support at Southampton FC says the decision to focus on hip flexibility came several years ago, after serious hip and groin injury was keeping key players off the pitch, and the club was losing matches. The new pre-activation sessions have transformed the club's injury rates and research teams are partnering the club to find out how hip impingement develops in the first place. Professor Sion Glyn-Jones from the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences is leading a group tracking 110 young players from The Saints' Footballing Academy, a league two club, a cricket club and pupils from local schools. Detailed mechanical and imaging studies of these young players' hips will help to show exactly when hip injury, or femoroacetabular impingement, first appears, what causes it and most importantly, how to prevent it in the first place.

Private medical helplines providing 24/7 advice are the latest development in private medicine. New companies are popping up, attracting millions in private finance. They offer people access by e-mail, phone or online visual link to a GP consultation, for a fee. Dr Karen Morton, founder of DrMortons.co.uk tells Mark why she believes pressure on primary care will result in an inevitable rise in demand for such services. People who want reassurance and advice, she says, can use such helplines and avoid clogging up GP waiting rooms with relatively minor complaints. But Dr Margaret McCartney disagrees and says phone-only consultations risk fragmenting medical records and undermining the relationship between a GP and their patient.

Folic acid in flour, Southampton FC and hip and groin pain, online private doctors.

France Delists Alzheimer's Drugs, Quality of Life After Hip Fracture, Prostate Cancer20181016

France delists Alzheimer's drugs, quality of life after hip fracture and prostate cancer.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

France Delists Alzheimer's Drugs, Quality of Life After Hip Fracture, Prostate Cancer2018101620181017 (R4)

France delists Alzheimer's drugs, quality of life after hip fracture and prostate cancer.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Free Vit D For Kids, Exercise & Depression, Asthma Inhalers Feedback, Fungal Nails, Gp Pilots2013102920131030

Vitamin D for all kids; Exercise for depression? Fungal toenails; Manchester GP pilots

Current recommendations advise that parents should give children under five Vitamin D supplements, but most parents do not follow this, and Vitamin D deficiency is now widespread, leading to a resurgence of rickets. To combat this, England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies is now recommending that free supplements be available to all children under five.

Following the publication of a new Cochrane review into the evidence behind advocating exercise for people who are depressed, there were very different conclusions in the medical press; ranging from suggesting exercise was as good as antidepressants, to the other extreme that there was not much evidence that it helped at all. But is exercise an effective treatment or not? Gillian Mead, Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, was lead author of the review.

Fungi occur naturally on our bodies but thrive in warm, damp dark places like shoes. If you have healthy nails and a normal immune system, it is hard for the fungi to get a foothold. But if your nails are damaged, creating a portal of entry for the fungus, or your immune system is compromised because of some underlying health issue, then infection becomes more likely. But how are they best treated? Ina Farrelly is a senior podiatrist at Mile End Hospital in London.

We often hear how difficult it is to get a GP appointment. It is an issue that has been picked up recently in the debate about pressure on A + E departments. So how can access be improved? In North Manchester, a group of GPs are trialling web based solutions that blur the boundary between hospital and community and out-of-hours GP clinics and normal surgeries. Dr Frederic Thomason is working on the pilot.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Future Of 7-day Gp Access Pilots, Mers, Laughing Gas Health Risks2015062320150624 (R4)

Across England, selected GP surgeries are trialling 7-day working, but there are reports that take-up has been so low in some areas, particularly on Sundays, that pilots have been abandoned. Dr Margaret McCartney and Dr Mark Porter investigate where the pressure for extended opening hours is coming from. Mark visits Herefordshire where Taurus Healthcare, a federation of local GPs, is running a late night/weekend service. Managing Director Graeme Cleland describes the high take-up of the service after an initial slow start, and says new patients have been treated, showing previously latent demand in the system. Mike Dando is a wheelchair user with spina bifida and diabetes, and before the pilot started a year ago, he would have to wait in all day for a district nurse to dress his ulcerated legs. Now he just makes an appointment at a time convenient for him. But at the end of this year the seed money provided by the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund runs out, so what will happen to the Herefordshire pilot? Chair of the local Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Watts, says without extra funding, the pilot service is unlikely to continue and deputy chair of the BMA's GP Committee, Dr Richard Vautrey, calls for investment in current GP practices rather than expensive additional services.

Doctors in the UK have been warned by public health officials to be on the lookout for people who become ill after travelling to South Korea. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has killed 27 people in the region and there are 174 confirmed cases of the disease. Nearly five hundred people have died worldwide after the virus first emerged three years ago, in Saudia Arabia. Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham, describes how coronaviruses like MERS (and SARS) jump to humans via an intermediary animal. In the case of MERS, that's via the Dromedary camel.

Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas has a long history of recreational use but in recent years, there's been an exponential growth in use among teenagers and young people. Founder of the Psychedelic Society, Stephen Reid, describes the physical effects of laughing gas and tells Mark why he believes the gas shouldn't form part of the government's planned clampdown on legal highs. But Dr Paul Seddon, respiratory paediatrician from Queen Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton, warns that increased use could mean increased health problems, like the case of the teenager girl with a collapsed lung admitted to his hospital after inhaling the gas.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Gender X; Diabetes Diagnosis; Trigeminal Neuralgia; Oesophageal Cancer2013110520131106

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

As Germany becomes the first country in Europe to pass a law allowing newborn babies to be registered as being of indeterminate sex - neither male nor female - should the UK follow suit?

The incapacitating facial pain that feels like an electric shock - a world expert explains Trigeminal Neuralgia.

And recurrent indigestion - should more be done to investigate the millions of people troubled with heartburn?

Plus a new test for diagnosing diabetes that's causing some confusion.

Gp Incentives; Walk-in Ct Scans; Hot Flushes Feedback; New Anti-coagulants2014102820141029 (R4)

Financial incentives for GPs - do they work? Mark Porter learns there are parallels between the latest £55 to diagnose dementia and an incentive to diagnose depression which didn't work and was dropped. Are walk-in CT Scans a good idea - two experts who authored recent reports address concerns about people arranging their own scans. Hot Flushes feedback; plus the new generation of anti-coagulants offering an alternative to warfarin.

Do financial incentives for GPs work? Are walk-in CT scans a good idea?

Health And Exercise Inside Health Special2016011220160113 (R4)

We're getting fatter, living longer and doing less exercise.

No surprise then that osteoarthritis has increased four fold over the past 50 years.

But in this Inside Health special Dr Mark Porter discovers that most of us who suffer joint pain could transform our lives, simply by building up muscle strength.

If you struggle to screw the top off a jar, or use your arms to push yourself up out of a chair, that's a sure fire sign, according to Dr Philip Conaghan, consultant rheumatologist and Professor of Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds, that your muscles are weak. And the good news is that building muscle strength will protect your joints, not damage them, as well as reducing joint pain.

The bad news is that apparently age is no excuse! You can (and should) keep strong, however old you are.

Getting strong to get fit: why making muscles means good medicine.

Health Checks, Fertility, Adjustment2016032920160330 (R4)

The evidence for 'mid-life MOTs', female fertility and age and the meaning of 'adjustment'

NHS health checks or 'mid-life MOTs' have hit the headlines as new research claims they are a success. The aim is prevention - of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes - but their introduction has been controversial amid criticism they are not evidence based or cost effective. Resident sceptic Dr Margaret McCartney debates the issues with National Clinical Advisor Dr Matt Kearney.

And putting the family back into planning. As more couples leave it later before starting a family there is growing concern from fertility experts that many people don't know enough about when female fertility starts to decline. Professor Adam Balen and Professor Joyce Harper discuss the issues. And how accurate is the perception, often reported in the media, that fertility 'drops off a cliff' in the mid to late thirties? Professor Richard Anderson reviews the so called 'broken stick' study, a mathematical model which first defined the sharp drop off of female fertility.

And another instalment of Inside Language where Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor Carl Heneghan examine the terms used in evidence based medicine and why they matter. This week, adjustment and how researchers allow for factors that might skew their findings.

Hiv And Ms; Black Skin And Cancer; Iron Overload; Losing Your Sense Of Smell2014080520140806

Dr Mark Porter finds out why people with HIV very rarely get multiple sclerosis.

Dr Mark Porter finds out about the latest research investigating why people with HIV very rarely get multiple sclerosis. What does it mean for the cause of MS and possible future treatments? Also in the programme how much is black skin at reduced risk of skin cancer from exposure to the sun? Why iron overload can often go undiagnosed and the training for the nose that can help recover a lost sense of smell.

Hospital Patients Dying Of Thirst; Paracetamol; Saturated Fats; Baclofen And Alcoholism2014042220140423

Headlines this week claim that 'thousands of patients die in hospital of thirst' but did the authors of the study actually analyse hydration?

Mark Porter investigates the evidence for using Baclofen to treat alcoholism and hears how it helped a listener to stop drinking 6-8 bottles of wine a day.

Why did NICE question the use of Paracetamol - the UK's favourite painkiller - in the treatment of osteoarthritis?

And are saturated fats really bad for us?

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Inside Health: The Nhs Debate20170214

Dr Mark Porter hosts a special debate on the current state of the NHS.

Medical Cannabis; Hidden Blood In The Urine; Ageing And Immunity20180220

The evidence for medical cannabis, hidden blood in the urine, ageing and immunity.

There are questions in Parliament following the story of 6 year old Alfie Dingley who was refused medical cannabis to help relieve his epileptic seizures. But what is the body of evidence for medical cannabis and does the reality live up to the hype? And age, immunity and the poor performance of this season's flu vaccine. Why do our defences decline as we get older and what can be done to improve vaccines that aim to protect the elderly against flu? Plus blood in your urine - pee the colour of Ribena is hopefully enough to drive anyone to their doctor - but what about tiny traces invisible to the naked eye frequently picked up by sensitive dipstick tests? If that has happened to you listen to our comprehensive guide.

Medical Detection Dogs20180102

Mark Porter investigates the evidence for whether dogs can accurately smell cancer.

Can dogs smell cancer? Ever since Hippocrates the odour of disease has been used to aid diagnosis but has this simple technique been forgotten? Dr Mark Porter investigates the evidence for whether canine super noses can be used to accurately detect cancer. There have been plenty of anecdotes reported but what about hard science? Studies since 2004 from the Medical Detection Dogs Centre in Milton Keynes have shown convincing results and they've now teamed up with MIT in the US, specialists in 'e-noses'. Could devices the size of a mobile phone be used to sniff for disease?

Meningitis Acwy Vaccine, Testosterone For Women, Allotments On Prescription, Heart Failure And Iron2016101120161012 (R4)

There is confusion about how teens should be getting the new Meningitis ACWY vaccine.

The Meningitis ACWY Vaccine was introduced last year to protect teenagers from year 9 in school to those starting university or college. But there seems to be confusion about how to get the jab and many parents remain unaware of the threat posed by Meningitis W. Inside Health's resident GP, Dr Margaret McCartney takes a closer look at headlines reporting that women should be given testosterone for low sex drive. Plus, half of all people with heart failure also have iron deficiency so might iron be a clue to a new type of treatment? And Mark Porter visits his local patch in Gloucestershire where doctors are offering allotments on prescription.

Meningitis B, Hormones And Depression, Statins, Unexpected Heart Attacks2015090120150902 (R4)

The latest advice on statins, menopause and depression, and the meningitis B vaccine.

From this week all UK babies will be vaccinated against that most feared disease, meningitis B, the first country in the world to take this step. But the decision to include Men B in the national immunisation programme has come too late for parents, Freya and Ross. A year ago their baby daughter, Harmonie, nearly died after contracting the infection. Her arms and legs as well as the tip of her nose had to be amputated because of the resulting sepsis. Sue Davie, Chief Executive of Meningitis Now tells Mark that the vaccine is great news and will save many lives. But she hopes in the future that it will be offered to older babies and young children, as well as another at risk group, adolescents.

Mental health problems have long been linked to fluctuating hormone levels, at times of menstruation, childbirth and menopause. Dr Michael Craig who runs the Female Hormone Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital in London discusses the role of hormone replacement treatments.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medicines in the UK. They work to lower the level of cholesterol in your blood. There's been considerable debate about when doctors should start prescribing statins and NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, had been keen for GPs to be paid to put more patients on the cholesterol-reducing drugs. Dr Margaret McCartney outlines the controversy and NICE Deputy Chief Executive, Professor Gillian Leng, tells Mark that the health advisory body has listened to concerns and why their new statins targets are now to be tested in the field.

Young, healthy, sporty people don't get heart attacks. Except when they do. Dr Stuart Miller, Clinical Director of Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Bath admits that he was shocked when he had a heart attack, even though he cycles, swims and eats a healthy diet. Sanjay Sharma is professor of cardiology at St George's Hospital in London and he tells Mark how common unexpected heart attacks are.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Microprocessor Knees, The 'glasgow Effect', Mesothelioma20180123

A look at microprocessor knees, the 'Glasgow Effect' and mesothelioma.

About six thousand people in the UK lose a leg every year from amputations due to vascular problems, trauma and disease. Others are born without limbs. Standard prosthetic knees often meant frequent falls and stumbles as well as the need to use two sticks. But microprocessor power is set to change all that. A new generation of intelligent joints is now available for the first time on the NHS in England - you can already get them in Scotland and Northern Ireland - and they adjust the knee stiffness to match the individual's weight, gait and activity and they even have anti-stumble software. Dr Mark Porter joins Dr Imad Sedki, consultant in rehabilitation medicine at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore at a retrofitting clinic, where patients like Naitik Patel are fitted with these new smart knees.

Almost a decade ago, researchers in Scotland coined the term "The Glasgow Effect" after they exposed the shocking fact that premature deaths were 30% higher in Scotland's biggest city compared with cities with similar histories like Liverpool and Manchester. Since then studies have highlighted a toxic combination of social, political and economic decisions which adversely affected the health of Glaswegians. Sir Harry Burns, the former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, now Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde, talks to Mark about why the phrase "The Glasgow Effect" has fallen out of favour and what he thinks should be done to address continuing health inequality.

Glasgow - in fact the UK as a whole - has one of the highest rates in the world of mesothelioma, a cancer which attacks the lining of the lung and which is directly linked to the breathing in of asbestos fibres. From her home city, Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney reports from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, which is a specialist centre for patients with this cancer. She talks to Robert Henderson, who contracted mesothelioma fifty years after working as an apprentice electrician and to 68 year old Boyd McNicol, who worked as an art teacher in a school full of asbestos when he was in his 20s. Their doctor, Kevin Blyth, is a respiratory consultant who coordinates a mesothelioma service across Western Scotland. He tells Margaret that the 20, 30, 40 and even 50 year time lag between exposure to asbestos and a diagnosis of mesothelioma means that the cancer will still be claiming lives for many years to come and urgent new treatments are needed.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Ministrokes, Midwife Study, Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, Noise In Intensive Care2016100420161005 (R4)

This edition looks at ministrokes, a midwife study, and cyclic vomiting syndrome.

Several decades ago, if you had a mini stroke or a transient ischaemic attack, it wasn't unusual for your doctor to tell you to rest in bed with the reassuring words that you'd been lucky. Follow up was casual to say the least, because it was thought that your chances of having a major stroke within the month was negligible. Dr Mark Porter talks to Peter Rothwell, Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Oxford, whose research transformed the way mini strokes are treated. TIAs are now seen as medical emergencies requiring urgent treatment. Taking aspirin straight after a TIA, his team's research also showed, could reduce the chance of a major stroke over the next few days by a staggering 80%.

Headlines this week from a New Zealand study suggested midwife-led births mean worse outcomes for babies compared with doctor-led care - contradicting other research in the area. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney assesses the new study and concludes the evidence still points to midwife-led care providing reassuringly good outcomes for low risk pregnancies.

Imagine being sick for hours, days at a time, recovering for a few weeks, only for the whole cycle to start again as regular as clockwork. Roger McCleery has Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome and every couple of months he's so sick he ends up in hospital, from where he told Mark about the life-changing nature of this unpleasant condition. Consultant paediatric gastroenterologist, Sonny Chong from St Helier Hospital in Surrey who has a special interest in CVS, outlines the possible causes and treatments.

Hospitals are getting noisier but in intensive and critical care, 24 hour operations, the noise can be intense, as loud as a busy restaurant with peaks of sound as loud as a pneumatic drill. Researcher Julie Darbyshire, critical care research programme manager at the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, has been involved in efforts at intensive care units across the Thames Valley to identify excess noise and take steps to muffle it. Peter Edmonds tells Mark how much sleep he missed being in ICU when he was a patient and Matron and Clinical Director at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Matt Holdaway, outlines how staff have embraced efforts to cut noise levels.

Mutant Flu, Weight-loss Surgery, Young Men And Body Image, Cvid, Dental Check-ups, Doctors' Example, Dry January Findings2015012020150121 (R4)

Mark investigates reports that the UK faces an epidemic of "mutant flu".

Just a month after NICE calls for more weight loss operations to be done, there are proposals to slash the amount hospitals are paid to do the procedures - a move that could see many hospitals stop offering the operation.

Six packs and big guns - there is growing concern about steroid abuse by young men on a quest for the perfect body.

And Dry January - Mark looks at the science behind going on the wagon for a month.

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Nhs Satisfaction Survey; Nhs & Cancer; Headphones Volume; P4 Medicine20150203

Diagnosing Cancer - why does the UK still lag behind much of Europe and what is being done about it? The American dream - personalised medicine based on your genes. Plus do headphones damage hearing?

Nhs Special: What Needs To Give?2017021420170215 (R4)

A special debate on the current state of the NHS. Recorded in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre London.

The last few months have seen the service creaking under unprecedented demand, and there is likely to be worse to come. Something needs to give. Is it simply a matter of more resources, or do we also need to change our expectations of what the NHS provides? Is rationalisation and rationing the way forward?

Dr Mark Porter discusses the issues with a panel including Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, David Haslam, chair of NICE, Prof Sir Nick Black, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and regular contributor Margaret McCartney GP. Issues discussed include whether the NHS should continue to be free at the point of use. Is there too much bureaucracy with too many bosses? Was the internal market evidence based, has it worked and was it fair? Rationing of treatments. And can the NHS be taken out of politics? Inside Health listeners set the agenda by emailing the programme - some of whom joined the audience - so thank you for all your input.

Margaret McCartney writes:

The NHS is never far from the headlines, but the last few months have depicted a service in crisis. It's been made clear that there will be no more money from central government - so what needs to give?

Clare Marx, explained the angst of her members who wanted to operate on people but had been forbidden to. Nick Black, discussed the types of surgery that were now being placed off limits - like hip replacement surgery - even though they were very cost effective. Because of the way hospitals are funded, it is these useful operations that are being stopped rather than the much less cost effective prescription of some very expensive cancer drugs. Chris Hopson described tensions between the expectations being placed on the NHS to provide excellent care despite the funding gap to actually provide it. And David Haslam, chief executive of NICE, expressed his disquiet that patients could no longer expect a consistent service across the NHS. Instead, different Clinical Commissioning Groups decided themselves how many rounds of IVF to fund, for example. The result was a patchwork of provision, and was inherently unfair.

Is rationing therefore the way forward? Some listeners had emailed in suggesting that the NHS shouldn't fund treatments for 'smokers, drinkers and the obese'. Others that people should pay for hospital meals, or there should be a charge made for GP consultations. We already have charges for some things - for example, prescriptions in England, or dental check ups for many people - but as Clare Marx pointed out, removal of teeth is the commonest childhood operation, so can we really say this policy has been successful? I don't believe that we have the evidence to show this is safe: the bureaucracy would be sizeable - I had to sign 12 bits of paper for a routine check when my kids and I last went to the dentist - and then there are unintended consequences. Paying for appointments turns us in to consumers - would doctors feel obliged to give us treatments that people want, even when they don't work well, aren't cost effective or do net harm?

Listeners wanted to know if the NHS was over managed - and had strong opinions on how much could be saved if we got rid of middle managers in particular. But Chris Hopson pointed out that we spend less than the very efficient Germany on hospital managers, and Clare Marx said that hospitals are highly complex places needing a huge amount of organisation to run smoothly. For me it is a question of what managers are doing - is it of value to patients, or is it a waste of time?

Nick Black argued that there was a great deal of waste still in the NHS - and suggested that the internal NHS market may have had some advantages to start off with, but now, the 4.5 billion a year estimated to be spent on it could be better used elsewhere. There is no doubt that the process of bidding and judging for commissioning costs time and money, but how to stop the problem of bad and wasteful policy in the first place? Could politics be taken out of the NHS? I was on my own, arguing that party politics had done avoidable harm to the NHS and that cross party working - as we see in the Health Select Committee and the National Audit Office - was possible. My fellow panellists argued that since the budget of the NHS was such a large amount of money it would be impossible to disentangle it from politics: but Chris Hopson pointed out that defence spending, for example, was ring fenced. The audience overwhelmingly voted to be taxed more to pay for the NHS. If we were sure that extra money would go on human level care, and not wasteful, non evidence based policy making, I would support it completely. But we are not, as a population, being given that option.

Obesity And Smoking, Blood Pressure, Adhd2016091320160914 (R4)

Obesity and smoking, should blood pressure targets get lower? And medicating ADHD.

Is it useful as a public health message to compare obesity and smoking? Controversy in Rome behind a new trial that suggested Blood Pressure targets should get lower. And after a rise of medicating for ADHD over 25 years, the numbers of prescriptions for children has now plateaued. Is this a good news story or is there something more complicated behind the change in trend?

Opt-out Organ Donation; Your Body After Death; What Time Of Day To Take Blood Pressure Medication20170308

More than 6500 people are currently on the national transplant waiting list, hoping for an organ to be donated which might save their lives. Many of them will wait for years and, sadly, hundreds will die before a suitable organ becomes available. The low supply of organs remains the main restriction on performing lifesaving transplant surgery. The British Medical Association believes that moving to an opt-out donation system - where people who die without expressing whether or not they wish to donate their organs will be presumed to be willing to donate - would increase donation rates and save lives. The system has been in place in Wales since December 2015 and now the BMA says it's time the rest of the UK followed the Welsh model. Dr Margaret McCartney discusses with Dr Phil Banfield, chair of the British Medical Association Welsh Council.

An area of medicine not often discussed on Inside Health is pathology. Mark visits the morgue at St Mary's Hospital in London to speak to pathologist Mike Osborn. What happens to your body after death? What is rigor mortis? And how much do crime dramas on TV get right?

Finally, what time of day should you be taking your blood pressure medication? Millions of people take drugs to control their blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes. Most people will take their medications in the morning but with many heart attacks and strokes happening during nighttime hours, just when the medication might be wearing off, should we be considering evening dosing instead? A new online trial has enrolled 21,000 people and aims to find out what time of day is best to take blood pressure medications. Mark speaks to Dr Amy Rogers from the University of Dundee who is in charge of the trial.

Producer: Lorna Stewart.

Over-the-counter Prescriptions, Virtual Reality In Rehabilitation, Sore Throats And Antibiotics2017020720170208 (R4)

Prescriptions for over-the-counter items cost the NHS millions each year; in 2015 paracetamol prescriptions alone cost £87.6 million. Mark talks to Paula Cowen, medical director at Wirral CCG, one of a growing number of Clinical Commissioning Groups that are asking GPs to restrict prescribing of these items, and to Andrew Green, a GP and the prescribing policy lead at the BMA, who has reservations.

Virtual Reality is being harnessed to help people recover from serious brain injury following accidents or strokes, and in conditions like Parkinson's disease and dementia. Mark visits a clinic in Salford where they're using virtual reality in neuro-rehabilitation.

And treating sore throats with antibiotics. Sore throats are common accounting for 1.2 million GP consultations every year in England alone - and they affect many millions more who don't see their doctor. Most are viral and self-limiting, but around 1 in 10 are caused by a bacteria and may benefit from antibiotics. The tricky bit is telling the difference between the two but a new pharmacy-based test and treat initiative may help. Mark speaks to Peter Wilson, one of the authors of the pilot study, and Margaret McCartney is on hand to examine the evidence.

Paracetamol, Prostate And Hifu, Uncertainty - Oxygen And Heart Attacks2017011020170111 (R4)

Evidence suggests paracetamol is not as effective as previously thought for chronic pain.

Evidence suggests Paracetamol is neither as effective or safe as previously thought for chronic pain; Prostate cancer and new targeted treatments with fewer side effects plus feedback following last week's special edition; And is giving oxygen in heart attacks a help or hindrance? Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan debate the first in a new mini-series investigating uncertainty in medicine.

Parkinson's Disease, Breast Cancer Screening, Slimming Pills, Sunscreens, Teeth20130924

Following Billy Connolly's announcement that he has signs of Parkinson's Disease, Inside Health reports from the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna where early diagnosis is top of the agenda.

Suncreams and Cancer. After a long hot summer an evidence based look at whether sunscreens really protect against the lethal forms of skin cancer - melanoma.

And slimming pills - why have two regulatory bodies on different sides of the Atlantic made different decisions about two diet drugs?

As a new NHS information leaflet 'Helping You Decide' is given to women invited for breast screening, Dr Margaret McCartney - who has criticised previous versions - gives her verdict.

And a definitive guide to the only true dental emergency - what to do if you or your child knocks out a front tooth.

Placebo on Prescription: Hepatitis C Transplants, Genes and Back Pain20181009

Hepatitis C infected organs to be offered on the NHS transplant waiting list

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Placebo on Prescription: Hepatitis C Transplants, Genes and Back Pain2018100920181010 (R4)

Hepatitis C infected organs to be offered on the NHS transplant waiting list

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Placebo On Prescription: Hepatitis C Transplants, Genes And Back Pain2018100920181010 (R4)

Hepatitis C infected organs to be offered on the NHS transplant waiting list

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Placebo: Hepatitis C Positive Transplants; Genes and Back Pain20181016

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Placebo: Hepatitis C Positive Transplants; Genes and Back Pain2018101620181017 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Placebo: Hepatitis C Positive Transplants; Genes And Back Pain2018101620181017 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Pollution, Falls In The Elderly, False Positives And Negatives, Meningitis B And Teenagers2015092920150930 (R4)

Pollution kills 29,000 people a year in the UK but where does the statistic come from?

As cars were banned from central Paris this weekend and the health risks of pollution hit the headlines, Mark Porter examines the statistic that pollution kills 29,000 people a year in the UK.

And he visits a pioneering clinic at Southampton General Hospital where falls in the elderly are seen as a risk factor for underlying health problems; 'Having a hip fracture is like having a heart attack or stroke' explains Dr Mark Baxter. 50% of people who have a hip fracture will have previously presented with a fall, but once they go on to break a hip, 1 in 10 elderly people may not be alive at the end of the month and up to 25% by the end of the year. Many elderly people are found to be on multiple treatments - blood pressure pills or bladder pills for example - that make people fall over. In recent years there has been much more attention paid to the cumulative burden of the side effects of medicines in the elderly - particularly the group of commonly used drugs known as Anticholinergics. And according to new research by a team at the University of East Anglia, taking Anticholinergics increases the risk of falls too - particularly in men.

Following news of the Meningitis B vaccine in children, an Inside Health listener got in touch to ask why it wasn't being given to teenagers in light of data showing that there is a second peak in incidence in the disease among 15 - 19 year olds? Mark talks to Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

And Inside Language: Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor Carl Heneghan demystify the terminology of medicine and research. This week, false positives and false negatives; when is something not what it seems, and when does it seem what it's not?

Preventable Deaths, Poo Bank, Waterbirths2017012420170125 (R4)

Preventable deaths in hospitals, Mark visits a stool bank, and evidence for water births.

Are preventable deaths in hospitals a good measure of the quality of care being offered to patients? It's estimated that there are 12,000 deaths a year in hospitals which could have been avoided, but what does that mean and should we be worried that that number could rise with the NHS under pressure?

Mark Porter visits a 'poo bank' in Portsmouth where donated faecal matter is being frozen and stored for later use in patients with Clostridium difficile or C. diff.

And midwife Mervi Jokinen and our own Margaret McCartney take a look at the evidence for waterbirths. Is giving birth in water less painful? And is it safe?

Producer: Lorna Stewart.

Preventive Hiv Therapy, Sugar Tax, Bowel Cancer, Surgery2016032220160323 (R4)

The average five-year-old consumes their own body weight in sugar every year in this country - a scary illustration of the scale of the sugar problem. The new sugar tax is supposed to tackle this, but what's the evidence that a tax on sugary drinks alone will make a difference? Dr Margaret McCartney reviews the evidence from other countries, which have also used fiscal measures to nudge their populations into eating a healthy diet.

PrEP - pre-exposure prophylaxis - is the latest advance in the ongoing battle against HIV. Studies show this preventive HIV therapy can reduce the risk of HIV infection by 86%. So the announcement by NHS England that it wasn't its responsibility to commission the drug has been met by shock and disappointment. Sexual Health and HIV consultant, Dr Jake Bayley, tells Mark that PrEP is a game changer in preventing HIV in high risk groups and the news that it won't be rolled out nationally, as expected, means the UK is falling behind in HIV prevention.

"We don't like to talk about our bottoms", Maureen Williams tells Inside Health is one reason why take up of bowel cancer screening across the country is so patchy. Maureen was one of the first people to receive the faecal occult blood test ten years ago as part of the roll out of the bowel cancer screening programme and despite having no symptoms, they found early stage bowel cancer. Ten years later Maureen campaigns for people to complete and return the potentially life-saving test. The clinical head of the Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme talks to Mark about the new, simpler screening test called FIT, the Faecal Immunochemical Test, due to be rolled out in Scotland, and perhaps soon in the rest of the UK as well.

Researchers in Taiwan have concluded that most patients who undergo surgery can start showering 48 hours after an operation - a finding that flies in the face of traditional thinking that scars need to be kept dry and under a dressing for a week or more, before getting wet. Consultant Surgeon Nicholas Markham from North Devon District Hospital details the dramatic changes for patients undergoing surgery, including keyhole surgery, changes in the use of anaesthetic, access to food and water and bed rest.

Dr Mark Porter explores preventive HIV therapy, the sugar tax, bowel cancer and surgery.

Prostate Cancer2017010320170104 (R4)

This week it has been hard to miss news on prostate cancer. The papers were full of a 'one stop shop' service for the diagnosis of the disease being rolled out in three hospitals in England. Plus celebrities have described their diagnosis and encouraged men to see their doctor for a PSA test. But just published today, the largest every study of prostate cancer over 10 years confirms that a single screening test of PSA does not save lives. With all these headlines this week is an ideal time to repeat Inside Health's prostate special. One in eight men in the UK will develop prostate cancer at some stage, but deciding who needs treatment - and when - is still far from clear. Mark Porter and Margaret McCartney report on two landmark trials that could provide some clarity, and hears from men and their doctors, faced with the dilemma of choosing the right course of action.

One in 8 men in the UK will develop prostate cancer at some stage, but deciding who needs treatment - and when - is still far from clear. Mark Porter reports on two landmark trials that could provide some clarity, and hears from men and their doctors, faced with the dilemma of choosing the right course of action.

Mark Porter reports on two landmark trials assessing when and how to treat prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer2018030620180307 (R4)

One in eight men will develop prostate cancer. Mark Porter and Margaret McCartney report.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

This week it has been hard to miss news on prostate cancer. The papers were full of a 'one stop shop' service for the diagnosis of the disease being rolled out in three hospitals in England. Plus celebrities have described their diagnosis and encouraged men to see their doctor for a PSA test. But just published today, the largest every study of prostate cancer over 10 years confirms that a single screening test of PSA does not save lives. With all these headlines this week is an ideal time to repeat Inside Health's prostate special. One in eight men in the UK will develop prostate cancer at some stage, but deciding who needs treatment - and when - is still far from clear. Mark Porter and Margaret McCartney report on two landmark trials that could provide some clarity, and hears from men and their doctors, faced with the dilemma of choosing the right course of action.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Rickets, Drug Addiction Recovery, Defibrillator Support20180206

The growing problem of rickets, drug addiction recovery and defibrillator support.

Rickets was eradicated from the UK after World War Two but "The English Disease", as rickets has long been known, is back. Two children have died of this completely preventable disease in the past two years. Dr Mark Porter talks to paediatrician Dr Benjamin Jacobs at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore about the importance of Vitamin D supplementation and calcium for proper bone growth. He meets Zana, whose toddler son was diagnosed with rickets six months ago and talks to Dr Priscilla Julies, paediatrician from the Royal Free Hospital in London about the forthcoming British Paediatric Surveillance Unit survey of the disease. Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist Dr Wolfgang Hogler from Birmingham Children's Hospital tells Mark that the UK's record of vital Vitamin D supplementation is woeful compared to our European neighbours and warns that unless rickets is given a higher priority, more lives will be lost.

The number of drug related deaths has soared in recent years and this is against a background of growing concern about the misuse of prescription medicines - particularly morphine type painkillers - and the burgeoning popularity of novel psychoactive substances like spice and mamba. But this changing drugs scene has been accompanied by changing attitudes and approaches to what helps addicts recover. A new European survey - in England, Scotland, Belgium and the Netherlands - led by David Best, Professor of Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University aims to map what has helped people out of their drug addiction and he tells Mark this will better shape policy and services.

Advances in pacemaker technology mean that many people who are prone to life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances, will have, inside their chests, their own internal defibrillators, known as implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs. These tiny devices, not much bigger than a matchbox, sit in the upper chest and monitor the heart. When they detect a problem they automatically deliver a shock, direct to the organ. This is life-saving technology but arrhythmia specialist nurse, Sharlene Hogan from St Thomas' Hospital in London six years ago set up a support group for patients with ICDs, because she realised that there was enormous anxiety about when the device might fire. The group meets three to four times a year and Inside Health reports from their most recent get together.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Running, Cycling And Knee Health, Adrenaline And Cardiac Arrest, Artificial Eyes2018072420180725 (R4)

Does running damage your knees and is cycling any better?

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Does running damage your knees? And is cycling any better? Runner, cyclist, GP and Inside Health regular, Dr Margaret McCartney goes to the new Motion Analysis Lab at Glasgow's Jubilee Hospital and asks orthopaedic surgeon and competitive cyclist Jason Roberts about the latest evidence.

Around 30,000 people a year suffer cardiac arrest - their heart suddenly stops pumping blood around their body - and fewer than one in ten survive. Paramedics and ambulance crews will give CPR and use a defibrillator to try to restart the heart, and for the past 50 plus years, most patients will be given a shot of adrenaline too.
But a landmark new study funded by the government and run by Warwick Medical School reveals that giving adrenaline barely increases survival and almost doubles the risk of severe brain damage. Dr Margaret McCartney discusses likely changes to policy with Dr Mark Porter.

It's said that eyes are the windows to the soul - and certainly looking into other peoples' is the key part of human interaction. But what if one of yours isn't real? Sixty thousand people in the UK have an artificial eye and Europe's largest maxillo-facial laboratory at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead offers a bespoke service where specialists make individual eyes from live sittings. Susan lost one eye as a child and she tells Mark that her latest prosthesis is her favourite. Why? Because it's almost half the weight of eyes she's had fitted before. Dr Emma Worrall, principal prosthetist, has invented a lighter sphere. In a lightbulb moment sitting in a café stirring a sugar cube into her coffee and watching it melt, Emma tells Mark that she realised she could build the plastic sphere around sugar, drill a tiny hole, then melt the sugar out of the middle! Twenty patients at the hospital are now benefiting from lighter eyes (which means less surgery). And there's another plus. The new eyes float in the swimming pool and the sea!

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Does running damage your knees? And is cycling any better? Runner, cyclist, GP and Inside Health regular, Dr Margaret McCartney goes to the new Motion Analysis Lab at Glasgow's Jubilee Hospital and asks orthopaedic surgeon and competitive cyclist Jason Roberts about the latest evidence.

Around 30,000 people a year suffer cardiac arrest - their heart suddenly stops pumping blood around their body - and fewer than one in ten survive. Paramedics and ambulance crews will give CPR and use a defibrillator to try to restart the heart, and for the past 50 plus years, most patients will be given a shot of adrenaline too.
But a landmark new study funded by the government and run by Warwick Medical School reveals that giving adrenaline barely increases survival and almost doubles the risk of severe brain damage. Dr Margaret McCartney discusses likely changes to policy with Dr Mark Porter.

It's said that eyes are the windows to the soul - and certainly looking into other peoples' is the key part of human interaction. But what if one of yours isn't real? Sixty thousand people in the UK have an artificial eye and Europe's largest maxillo-facial laboratory at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead offers a bespoke service where specialists make individual eyes from live sittings. Susan lost one eye as a child and she tells Mark that her latest prosthesis is her favourite. Why? Because it's almost half the weight of eyes she's had fitted before. Dr Emma Worrall, principal prosthetist, has invented a lighter sphere. In a lightbulb moment sitting in a café stirring a sugar cube into her coffee and watching it melt, Emma tells Mark that she realised she could build the plastic sphere around sugar, drill a tiny hole, then melt the sugar out of the middle! Twenty patients at the hospital are now benefiting from lighter eyes (which means less surgery). And there's another plus. The new eyes float in the swimming pool and the sea!

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Shingles Vaccine; Energy Drinks; Liver Function Tests; Anorexia2013100820131009

Margaret McCartney reports on confusion around the new shingles vaccine.

Margaret McCartney reports on confusion around the new Shingles Vaccine - including how old you have to be to qualify and why there's a lack of supply in some GP surgeries.

Why readymade drinks combining caffeine and alcohol have been banned in America.

Are the tests GP's use to screen for liver damage falsely reassuring?

And a leading authority dispels myths surrounding the causes of anorexia.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Social Prescribing, Topical Steroid Withdrawal, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension2018080720180808 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Every GP surgery should provide access to a dedicated social prescriber, according to the Royal College of GPs. Supporting peoples' non-medical needs - including housing, finance and social care - will, it is hoped, free up GP time for urgent medical care and at the same time, provide much-needed access to activities in the community. Arabella describes how social prescribing worked for her. A support worker helped her to join a choir, sort out finances and plan how to return to work after a period of serious illness. Dr Marie Polley, senior lecturer in health sciences at the University of Westminster and co-chair of the Social Prescribing Network (with Dr Michael Dixon) tells Dr Mark Porter that social prescribing will be embedded within medical and social care in the next decade as long as the voluntary sector is supported.

Steroid cream and ointments - like hydrocortisone, clobetasone and betamethasone - are used to treat a number of skin problems. But for some patients long-term topical steroid use can lead to painful, disfiguring and debilitating skin flare-ups. Some call this condition topical steroid addiction. But consultant dermatologist Dr Tony Bewley from Bart's Health in London tells Mark that health care professionals prefer the term topical steroid withdrawal syndrome. He sees the condition fairly often in his clinic and reassures sufferers that there is treatment available.

We're used to having our blood pressure checked using a cuff on our arms but we can also have high blood pressure in our lungs. Pulmonary hypertension tends to put our hearts under strain and causes breathlessness. It can be caused by a range of diseases but in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) the raised pressure is due to constriction of the blood vessels. This narrowing of the arteries makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs, leading to breathlessness. Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney visits the Scottish national specialist centre for the disease at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow's Clydebank. She talks to Lorraine who is living with the disease, to pulmonary vascular consultant Dr Colin Church and watches a team led by Dr Martin Johnson performing right heart catheterisation, the gold standard diagnostic test for the disease.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Statins In The Media, Unusual Neurological Itch, The Hunger Hormone, Viagra2016080220160803 (R4)

Has media coverage of statins caused people to come off the drugs?

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Statins, Cholesterol-lowering Spreads, Olive Oil, Diet And Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Singers' Nodules2014072220140723

With a look at Crohn's disease and diet, teachers' voices and cholesterol-lowering foods.

Some media coverage has suggested that there is a link between eating junk food and the rise of conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis which involve inflammation of the digestive system. Mark Porter questions the evidence. As school's out for summer Mark finds out why teachers' voices need a rest. He also examines whether cholesterol lowering spreads and drinks do what they suggest. Also in the programme: is frying with olive oil harmful or the healthy choice?

Statins; Improving Cancer Survival Rates; Reflux And Heartburn; Recycling Medicines.2014070120140702

Dr Mark Porter returns with a new series to address confusion about statins for healthy people rather than patients. Statins have hit the headlines as doctors debate the draft recommendation from NICE to lower the threshold for offering statins, which could mean millions more will be taking them.

And Mark Porter turns patient when he is investigated for persistent heartburn. Plus should GPs who miss cancers be named and shamed and why drugs can't be recycled.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Stroke man recovers speech, Apple watch and ECGs, Newborn heel prick test20180925

How one stroke robbed a man of speech and four years later another stroke brought it back

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Stroke man recovers speech, Apple watch and ECGs, Newborn heel prick test2018092520180926 (R4)

How one stroke robbed a man of speech and four years later another stroke brought it back

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Stroke Man Recovers Speech, Apple Watch And Ecgs, Newborn Heel Prick Test2018092520180926 (R4)

How one stroke robbed a man of speech and four years later another stroke brought it back

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

How one stroke robbed a man of speech and four years later another stroke brought it back

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Tamoxifen And Breast Cancer Prevention2018070320180704 (R4)

Why are only 1 in 7 eligible women on Tamoxifen, the 'statin of breast cancer prevention'?

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Tamoxifen, the so called "statin of breast cancer prevention" is recommended for healthy women with a family history of the disease. So why are only 1 in 7 of those eligible taking it? And Mark Porter speaks to Professor Gareth Evans working with his team at the Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester to reliably identify women at higher risk of breast cancer. They are testing for SNPS, spelling mistakes in the DNA that influence growth and survival of cancer cells and that give a more accurate assessment of a woman's risk.

Tamoxifen, the so called "statin of breast cancer prevention" is recommended for healthy women with a family history of the disease. So why are only 1 in 7 of those eligible taking it? And Mark Porter meets the team identifying women at higher risk of breast cancer by finding SNPS, spelling mistakes in genes that influence growth and survival of cancer cells.

The Future Heart20171205

Could lab-grown cells be the future for patients with heart failure? Kevin Fong reports.

It's fifty years since the first human heart transplant but the number of donor organs - about 200 per year in the UK - remains dwarfed by demand. About 2,000 people under the age of 65 a year will die of heart failure without a transplant.

Kevin Fong explores new ways that people with heart failure can be helped. He talks to Dr Doris Taylor, director of the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, at the Texas Heart Institute, in Houston, about her research into growing hearts from stem cells. Kevin discusses the prospect of taking organs from pigs and using them for so-called xenotransplants with cardiothoracic surgeon Prof John Dark, of Newcastle University, who says this approach has not delivered benefits.

An alternative to a heart transplant is the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) - an artificial pump that helps the left side of the heart do its job. This has shrunk from a large external piece of kit to a tiny battery-operated device that can be implanted into the chest. For the first year, they are as effective as a transplant, but they have a risk of infection, and they are not always easy to live with. Kevin meets patient Vincenzo Avanzato who had an LVAD that became infected and then a successful transplant.

Kevin also talks to surgeon Mr Andre Simon of Harefield Hospital about the future of completely mechanical hearts made of metal and plastic.

Umbilical cord clamping, Natural cycles, Pedometers20181002

Umbilical cord clamping, Natural Cycles and do pedometers help long term?

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Umbilical Cord Clamping, Natural Cycles, Pedometers2018100220181003 (R4)

Umbilical cord clamping, Natural Cycles and do pedometers help long term?

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Umbilical cord clamping, Natural cycles, Pedometers2018100220181003 (R4)

Umbilical cord clamping, Natural Cycles and do pedometers help long term?

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

Vaccinations, One-to-one Midwives, Leg Ulcers, Asthma Inhalers2013101520131016

Does linking child immunisation to benefits and child care improve vaccination rates?

How would you feel if your child's immunisations were linked to benefits or child care? In Australia, a full set of vaccinations is now a requirement for accessing most types of child care and claiming family tax credit worth around £500 a year. The only exception is if parents ask to be registered as conscientious objectors. Dr Steve Hambleton is President of the Australian Medical Association and explains how well these measures have been received.

University of Sydney researchers have just published a new study adding to a body of evidence that pregnant women who see the same midwife require less intervention, have safer outcomes and are more likely to breastfeed their babies. They also save the healthcare system over £300. Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, tells Inside Health that adoption of this "caseload" model in the UK has been slow.

Around half a million people in the UK have some form of leg ulcer, and up until recently many would have them dressed in the community for years, without the underlying cause ever being diagnosed and treated. But this now looks set to change, as new guidance published by NICE recommends that if ulcers last more than two weeks, patients should be referred to a specialist vascular clinic. Like the one at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, run by consultant vascular surgeon Mr Paul Hayes.

Last year the NHS spent around £800 million on asthma medicines, but research suggests that at least half of people given the most common type of inhaler do not use them properly. This means their asthma remains poorly controlled and the NHS is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds. Mike Thomas is Chief Medical Advisor to Asthma UK.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Weaning Babies, Seeing The Same Doctor Saves Lives, Nhs Research, Mental Capacity2018071720180718 (R4)

The relationship between when babies are weaned and the time they sleep has been published

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice

The relationship between when babies are weaned and the amount of time they sleep has hit the headlines after a new study has been published. Now UNICEF has got involved. Margaret McCartney reviews the evidence. Also proof that seeing the same GP saves lives. Mark Porter meets the man behind new research on mortality and continuity of care, Sir Denis Pereira Gray, who also works in the same GP surgery as his father and grandfather did. And a guide to Mental Capacity, an issue that touches many people but is increasingly pressing as more families manage elderly relatives living with dementia. Plus research and the NHS charter.

Why Hernias, Hands And Varicose Veins Might Not Be Treated On The Nhs2017013120170201 (R4)

Hernias, hands and varicose veins might not be treated on the NHS as such interventions are now on the 'not normally funded' list. This list is where local commissioners show what they are not prepared to pay for, unless circumstances are exceptional. Such prioritising is also known as rationing. Dr Mark Porter investigates if this new layer of bureaucracy is a cost effective use of resources or just delaying inevitable operations with the possible risk of creating emergencies that could cause harm.

0124/04/201220120425

Dr Mark Porter continues his quest to demystify perplexing health issues.

01012012011020120111

New Series: Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Beth Eastwood.

New Series: Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

01022012011720120118

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Beth Eastwood.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

010210/01/201220120111

New Series: Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

010714/02/201220120215
01082012022820120229

10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are written every year in England. So how alarmed should we be over new American research suggesting that people who take them are more likely to die than those who don't? Dr Mark Porter speaks to a leading British sleep expert about the findings and asks what the alternatives are.

An Inside Health listener asked us to investigate how safe "electronic" cigarettes are. So Dr Max Pemberton, who uses them himself, talked to Professor John Britton from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham about these currently unregulated products. Rumours abound that a tobacco manufacturer is about to launch the world's first so-called "safe" cigarette. But smokers' reactions are mixed and some prefer other products like nicotine gum.

GP Margaret McCartney's column is about whether your doctor's dietary preferences and habits influence your well being.

Half of all pregnancies in the UK are unplanned, so women and their babies lose out on important supplements like folic acid to help prevent spina bifida. But for women with an underactive thyroid gland it's even more important that they do their best for their baby by increasing their thyroxine dose as soon as they know they're pregnant. But research from Leicester shows that women often fall through the gaps when seeking care - as GPs, midwives and consultants often think someone else is helping these women.

Producer: Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter asks why sleeping pills increase the chance of an early death.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Producers: Erika Wright/ Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us. With Deborah Cohen.

010821/02/201220120222
010920120306

In Inside Health tonight, Dr Mark Porter tackles the confusion and prejudice that surrounds the skin condition Vitiligo - famously said to have been the reason why Michael Jackson skin looked so light.

Max Pemberton discovers why surgeons may be wearing masks for their benefit rather than their patients.

And Margaret McCartney reminds doctors who tweet to proceed with caution - posting photographs of the first patient you've anaesthetised is likely to get you into trouble!

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues that perplex, separates the facts from the fiction and brings clarity to conflicting health advice.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

010928/02/201220120229

10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are written every year in England. So how alarmed should we be over new American research suggesting that people who take them are more likely to die than those who don't? Dr Mark Porter speaks to a leading British sleep expert about the findings and asks what the alternatives are.

An Inside Health listener asked us to investigate how safe "electronic" cigarettes are. So Dr Max Pemberton, who uses them himself, talked to Professor John Britton from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham about these currently unregulated products. Rumours abound that a tobacco manufacturer is about to launch the world's first so-called "safe" cigarette. But smokers' reactions are mixed and some prefer other products like nicotine gum.

GP Margaret McCartney's column is about whether your doctor's dietary preferences and habits influence your well being.

Half of all pregnancies in the UK are unplanned, so women and their babies lose out on important supplements like folic acid to help prevent spina bifida. But for women with an underactive thyroid gland it's even more important that they do their best for their baby by increasing their thyroxine dose as soon as they know they're pregnant. But research from Leicester shows that women often fall through the gaps when seeking care - as GPs, midwives and consultants often think someone else is helping these women.

Producer: Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter asks why sleeping pills increase the chance of an early death.

01102012031320120314

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues that perplex, separates the facts from the fiction and brings clarity to conflicting health advice.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Producer: Deborah Cohen.

Dr Mark Porter seeks to demystify perplexing health issues.

011403/04/201220120404

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

011510/04/201220120411

Dr Mark Porter seeks to demystify perplexing health issues.

011617/04/201220120418
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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Producer: Erika Wright.

Dr Mark Porter continues his quest to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Is frozen shoulder a condition that's overdiagnosed? Dr Mark Porter investigates.

50,000 people end up in hospital every year in the UK because of bleeding from the top end of the gut - an upper gastrointestinal bleed. Around 1 in 10 of them will die. Gastrointestinal or GI bleeds are often due to ulcers - a side effect of taking aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and diclofenac. The bleeding can occur in the gullet, stomach or the first part of the intestine, the duodenum. Other causes include cancers and liver disease. The location of the bleed can be pinpointed by using an endoscope - a camera to look inside the gut - and treatments include stopping the bleeding with clips, heat or injections of adrenalin.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence hopes to change that with new guidelines on managing GI bleeds - guidelines which, as of last month, hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be expected to follow. Scotland has had similar guidance in place for the last few years. David Patch is a Consultant Hepatologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London and has a special interest in this type of bleeding. He says that patients whose needs cannot be met at smaller hospitals should be transferred to specialist units where they can be treated promptly.

Tariq Iqbal who's a consultant gastroenterologist at the University of Birmingham is evaluating a new kind of treatment called Hemospray. This is a powder that can sprayed over the bleeding area to stop or slow any bleeding by accelerating the natural clotting process.

New research appears to show that standing at work for long periods in pregnancy can affect the unborn child. Research in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, followed 4,680 mothers throughout their pregnancies. Some of the women had jobs where they were on their feet a lot - such as hairdressing, sales and working with toddlers. Women who stood for a long time had babies with smaller heads. It's thought that standing for long periods of time causes blood to "pool" in the legs, limiting the blood supply to the rest of the body including the uterus and therefore the developing foetus. The study also showed that working up to 36 weeks of pregnancy had no impact on birth weight, size or prematurity. Previous studies have shown that heavy lifting increased the risk of babies being born early - but this study showed no such link.

Many people with pain and stiffness in the shoulder are told they have a frozen shoulder. But the label is often incorrect as a truly frozen shoulder means restricted movement in all directions, accompanied by pain. It's not known what causes it but it is commoner in people with diabetes. During the very painful initial phase it's best to rest the shoulder and use analgesia to help relieve the pain, especially at night time when it can be at its worst. TENS and acupuncture can help sometimes. The tissues in the shoulder "capsule" appear to be thickened and rubbery - and some relief can be gained from surgery, to let the shoulder move more freely. If left alone about half of patients still have discomfort after 7 years - so the common belief that it lasts 2 years is a myth. As the pain starts to recede physiotherapy can be helpful and if there is inflammation - eg with calcified tendonitis - then steroid injections can relieve pain.

Producer: Paula McGrath.

0202Coughs - Vocal Cord Dysfunction And Athletes - Taste And Smell - Waiting Room Toys2012071020120711

We are all encouraged to become fit for the benefit of our health. Dr Mark Porter asks what we can learn from the health of those who are the fittest, the elite athletes.

Producer: Erika Wright.

02032012071720120718

Dr Mark Porter asks if amateur sportspeople should be screened for heart conditions.

Following the recent high profile cases of elite sportspeople collapsing with undiagnosed heart conditions, Dr Mark Porter asks if screening should be made available to amateurs.

Producer: Anna Lacey.

0204Gp Access, Telehealth, Icu, Sewage2012072420120725

Dr Mark Porter asks if telehealth is providing better medical care and saving money.

Do you have trouble getting an appointment to see your GP? If so, you are not alone. A Department of Health review from 2009 suggested that as many as 200,000 patients a day struggle to get a consultation with their doctor. And a quarter of those who want to book an appointment in advance simply can't. One Inside Health listener emailed us to ask why some surgeries seem to only release appointments on the day - a bit of a telephone lottery - and others do allow for some advance booking. Chair of the the Royal College of General Practitioners Dr Clare Gerada offers some insight.

Monitoring patients in their own homes - telehealth - is one of the latest developments in general practice.

The government hopes that the technology will help at least 2 million people over the next 5 years, saving the NHS more than a billion pounds. The £2,000 black boxes measure blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood oxygen - information that's then sent over the internet to a medical professional. But the project to monitor patients with long term conditions like diabetes, heart failure and breathing difficulties hasn't got off to a good start and GP Margaret McCartney questions whether it will ever live up to the hype.

The most seriously ill patients in hospital are looked after in Intensive Care - where they are given life-saving treatment and support with vital bodily functions like breathing. To help staff relieve anxiety - and enable staff to carry out procedures like inserting breathing tubes - patients are often sedated. Dr Chris Danbury from the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading says it's important to get the level of sedation right - not too little and not too much. One consequence of the drugs and environment can be hallucinations and flashbacks - with some patients reporting dreams of being abducted by alien space ships. Specialist outreach nurses in Reading - like Sister Melanie Gager - are skilled at offering strategies to overcome this - including follow-up visits to the ICU for both patients and their families.

Now that summer has finally arrived for most parts of the UK, if you are planning an outdoor swim then there may be hazards lurking in the water. Heavy downpours result in the release of sewage into the sea from overflow pipes - which can affect water quality for a couple of days. Inside Health reporter Anna Lacey met Pollution Control Manager Dr Robert Kierle on the banks of the river Axe in Weston-Super-Mare - and Surfers Against Sewage who are offering a free text service to alert would-be bathers about local measurements of any pollutants.

Telehealth - providing health monitoring or advice at a distance using technology - has been heralded as a cost-effective way to better medical care. Is it delivering benefits?

0205Liver Disease, Hepatitis C2012073120120801

Dr Mark Porter discovers the reasons for the recent rise in serious liver diseases.

If you believe recent headlines the growing increase in deaths from liver disease is entirely down to excessive alcohol consumption, but it's estimated that two thirds of liver related deaths are caused by other conditions. Dr Mark Porter investigates two liver conditions that do not hit the headlines but could be silently creeping up on millions of people in the UK.

About a third of deaths from liver disease is down to excessive alcohol consumption, but what is responsible for the other two thirds, the majority? Dr Mark Porter investigates.

020631/07/201220120801
0206Steroids, The Killing Season, Telehealth, Dupuytren's2012080720120808

Dr Mark Porter discovers new approaches to helping people who have strokes in rural areas.

Apart from a few cases that hit the headlines, the use of anabolic steroids is rare among the athletes in the Olympic village. But in the wider society abuse has exploded, according to an expert from Liverpool John Moores University. Jim McVeigh - who's Deputy Director at the Centre for Public Health - says that anabolic steroid abusers are the largest group using needle exchanges. Anabolic steroids are naturally occurring hormones, like testosterone, which influence growth, physical development and the workings of the reproductive system. Abuse allows athletes to train harder for longer so they become bigger, stronger and faster. But those effects will not be seen if you don't exercise or fail to eat and sleep properly. The injected steroids are often combined with tablets. There are a number of side effects like a growth in breast tissue, acne, baldness and shrinking testes - as well as longer-term health concerns for the heart and kidneys. Although they share the same umbrella term - steroids - anabolic steroids are not the same as drugs from the corticosteroid family - found in cortisone joint injections and some types of creams for eczema, sprays for hayfever and inhalers for asthma.

For the best chance of good recovery from strokes patients need to be treated within a few hours. In the Lake District new technology is giving suspected stroke patients access to specialists - using high speed broadband and video cameras. Dr Paul Davies is Consultant Stroke physician at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. He can assess a patient's scans and other tests over a video connection - with the help of nurses and doctors treating them locally. Thrombolytic - or clotbusting treatment - can be given if the stroke is one of the 80% caused by a clot. It's important to get this diagnosis right as the other 20% are the result of a bleed - which could be potentially fatal if thrombolysis is given.

It's has been dubbed the Killing Season by some sections of the media - but Dr Margaret McCartney believes that August isn't as risky a time to be in hospital as the headlines claim. One study compared the number of deaths at the end of July and the beginning of August - but the difference wasn't statistically significant and could have been down to chance rather than a real harmful effect of new doctors.

Inside Health listener and keen pianist Roger emailed the programme about Dupuytren's contracture - where the fingers curve into the hand and can't be straightened. A new treatment is becoming available on the NHS for this common problem which affects 1 in 10 people's hands. The only option used to be surgery but Mike Hayton, who's a Consultant Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon at Wrightington Hospital in Lancashire, is now carrying out collagenase injections on some of his patients. Up to 60% of Dupuytrens patients can benefit from the treatment - which helps to break down the collagen-rich cords so they can then be snapped a day or two later.

For the best chance of good recovery from strokes patients need to be treated within a few hours. In the Lake District new technology is helping stroke patients in rural areas.

0207Over-diagnosis: Chronic Kidney Disease2012081420120815

Dr Mark Porter asks why some medical conditions are over-diagnosed, thanks to test results

Dr Mark Porter finds out that some medical conditions are over-diagnosed and therefore over-treated, because of the results of certain tests.

0208Over-diagnosis: High Blood Pressure2012082120120822

Dr Mark Porter asks whether doctors can try too hard in the early detection of disease.

Dr Mark Porter asks whether doctors can try too hard in the early detection of disease and investigates the overdiagnosis of hypertension. This week he discovers that as many as 3 million people who have been told they have high blood pressure may not actually have it - could you be one of them?

Dr Mark Porter finds out that osteoarthritis should be seen in a new light.

Osteoarthritis is usually put down to ageing and the result of wear and tear. But as Mark Porter finds out, it should be seen as a disease in its own right and treated accordingly.

0209Bp Reax, Fibroids, Access To Notes, Botox2012082820120829

Dr Mark Porter finds out that botox injections can help chronic migraine sufferers.

As many as 2 million people in the UK may have been misdiagnosed with high blood pressure - getting treatment they don't need. But how many of them have so-called "white coat hypertension" - where their blood pressure shoots up at the very sight of their doctor or nurse? For patients with high readings in the surgery doctors can offer "ambulatory" machines for them to take home, which monitor blood pressure round-the-clock. Bryan Williams who's professor of medicine at University College, London, led the team which drew up the latest blood pressure guidelines for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE. He says that anyone considering monitoring their own blood pressure at home should take measurements both in the morning and evening whilst sitting down - and work out the average over four days. The British Hypertension Society has a list of approved home blood pressure monitors on their website.

NICE has also just approved the use of Botox injections to help people with chronic migraine that hasn't responded to other treatments. But it's been a controversial decision - Botox is expensive, and no miracle cure. It was initially rejected and is still not endorsed by NICE's equivalent in Scotland. Consultant neurologist Dr Fayyaz Ahmad has had some success with patients at his private clinic outside Hull. One of them is Dawn Cook, who's just had her third round of injections. She's suffered from headaches since she was 7 years old.

Would you like to read your medical notes? The Government has pledged that everyone will have online access to NHS records by October 2015. So will this change the way doctors write about their patients?

Professor Steve Field - who's Chair of the NHS Future Forum and one of the driving forces behind the plan - hopes that it will mean more plain English that's easy to understand. His own surgery will give patients online access early next year.

One in 4 women develop fibroids at some time - benign, non cancerous growths in the wall of the uterus which can cause heavy painful periods. Surgery might be suggested to help wtih the discomfort - using keyhole techniques via the abdomen or vagina - a procedure known as myomectomy. But in recent years some less invasive techniques have become available to help relieve symptoms.

Dr Mark Porter goes to Hull to watch botox being used on a patient who suffers from severe chronic migraine. Plus, why GPs should allow patients to see their own notes.

0210New Hiv Test, Vitamin D And Tb, Vitamin B12, Mouth Ulcers2012090420120905

Dr Mark Porter and Dr Margaret McCartney explore the incidence of HIV in the UK today.

HIV testing

The first over-the-counter DIY testing kit for HIV is expected to go on sale in America in the next month. It's said to allow people to screen potential sexual partners for HIV before deciding to have sex them - all in the comfort of their own home. But sexual health consultant from London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital Ann Sullivan believes that the idea is flawed as someone could be recently infected and still show a negative result. Her hospital offers an HIV test to all patients who are admitted to the Emergency Department. A positive result is picked up in around 4 people in every thousand tested. Glasgow GP Dr Margaret McCartney analyses the latest HIV figures for the UK - which are on the rise. She advises that safe sex should be practised even with a negative result to help protect people from all sexually transmitted infections.

Vitamin D and TB

As much of the UK enjoys the last of the summer sun, Vitamin D is back in the headlines. The body makes its own Vitamin D with sun exposure - but supplements in tablet form can be taken by anyone who's deficient. A dose of the Vitamin D was given to patients with tuberculosis - along with the regular antibiotics - and it helped to speed up their recovery. Dr Adrian Martineau, who's a Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Queen Mary University, London, says that the Victorian idea of giving "consumptive" patients of sunshine was spot on.

Vitamin B12

A growing number of people believe they're deficient in another Vitamin - B12. Sources of the vitamin include meat, fish and dairy products - so strict vegans can be at risk of deficiency. The vitamin is crucial in the production of red blood red cells and for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous tissue. Symptoms of low levels can include anaemia, tiredness, pins and needles, memory loss and confusion. If it's not addressed promptly the damage can be irreversible. John Hunter who's Professor of Medicine at Cranfield University sees many patients who can't absorb the vitamin because of problems with their gut like Crohn's or Coeliac disease. Another condition - pernicious anaemia - is caused by the lack of a protein required to make absorption possible. As many as 1 in 30 adults have B12 deficiency - rising to 1 in 16 in the over 65s. A blood test which is used to check levels is thought by many doctors and patients to be inaccurate. The top-up injections of B12 are usually given every 2 or 3 months, in spite of many patients saying that their symptoms return well before their next one is due. Martyn Hooper from the Pernicious Anaemia Society says that testing and treatments need to be improved - to stop patients resorting to their own drastic solutions outside mainstream medicine.

Mouth Ulcers

One in 5 of the UK population will get mouth ulcers at some stage of their lives. For some, they can recur every month or so - in painful crops that can take a fortnight to heal. Some are associated with underlying problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but in many cases no cause is found.

Patients like Ruth have to avoid certain foods - like chocolate and fruit - to reduce the risk of recurrence. She's had ulcers since her teens and now takes immunosuppressant drugs to reduce their impact on her life. Tim Hodgson who's a consultant in oral medicine at the Eastman Dental Institute in London has had some success treating them with drugs like thalidomide. He says that some patients fear that their recurrent ulcers could develop into oral cancer - but that simply isn't the case.

Dr Mark Porter and regular contributor GP Dr Margaret McCartney explore the incidence of HIV in the UK today. They find out who is most likely to contract the virus in 2012.

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Dr Mark Porter finds out about the latest understanding and treatment of osteoarthritis.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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0214What Doctors Don't Tell You - Hepatitis E - Vertigo2012100220121003
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Testing everyone over 75 who is admitted to hospital for signs of dementia.

Dr Mark Porter explores a new scheme to test everyone over 75 who's admitted to hospital for signs of dementia. Will this lead to overdiagnosis or will it get people treated early?

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter on alcohol misuse and the latest numbers of deaths from alcohol in England and Wales, caffeine in shampoo, targeted cancer therapies and fear of halitosis.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Can drinking urine help you survive? The risk of heart attacks from the anti inflammatory drug, diclofenac, hospital food as medicine, and pigeon fanciers lung. With Mark Porter

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Dr Mark Porter reports on NHS 111 - the new 24 hour urgent care number. It was meant to go live across the whole of England but has been plagued by problems.

Dr Mark Porter reports on the latest health stories.

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What's the story behind the headlines about the links between red meat and heart disease? Measles outbreak in Swansea; why head injury can lead to unrecognised pituitary damage.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Why pay more for the same thing?

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Prostate cancer and Sir Michael Parkinson's comments this week that the test 'is if you can pee against the wall from 2 foot' - Inside Health brings you the verdict. And stiff painful joints are usually associated with getting old, but imagine being told your toddler has arthritis - Mark Porter investigates. And why the change in doctors' dress code may be doing more for Private Medicine than infection control.

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Why Elton John is waiting two weeks for his appendix operation?

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Dr Mark Porter reports on NHS health checks, gestational diabetes and Crohn's disease.

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Mark Porter finds out why whopping cough is on the rise and who should be concerned.