Episodes

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2019012220190123 (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

2019012920190130 (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

2019020520190206 (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

2020032420200325 (R4)

Margaret McCartney demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Air Pollution; Infectious Disease And Healthcare Staff; Hymenoplasty2020021820200219 (R4)

Evidence is building about the impact of air pollution on health, but the relationship between the cocktail of chemicals, gases and particles in the air we breathe and the direct effect on an individual's health is a tricky one to prove. Dr Farrah Jarral cycles to Kings College London to hear about a new study by researcher in respiratory toxicology, Dr Ian Mudway, which revealed, to the surprise of Ian and his colleagues, that particles from brake dust had the same damaging impact on our lung immune system as that familiar culprit, diesel exhaust. It's a result that demonstrates that the toxic risk to our health doesn't just come out of the exhaust pipe and suggests the concept of a zero emissions vehicle might need further work.

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term for a range of respiratory conditions that used to be known by names like emphysema or chronic bronchitis. COPD flare ups or exacerbations are the second largest cause of emergency hospital admissions in the UK. Dr Jennifer Quint, consultant physician in respiratory medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital tells Dr Farrah Jarral about a world-first study where the individual air pollution exposure of COPD patients was tracked in real time to find out how toxic air can make their condition worse.

What's it like for healthcare professionals working on the front line of infectious disease outbreaks? Dr Michael Kiuber, a consultant in emergency medicine at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, volunteered to treat patients with the deadly infection, Ebola, in Sierra Leone and he describes the challenges to Farrah of caring for very sick adults and children while taking every safety step to avoid contracting the Ebola virus himself. And Inside Health regular contributor, Dr Margaret McCartney outlines the challenges for the NHS in planning how to protect staff as the UK grapples with the global outbreak of Covid-19.

There's a growing trade in female cosmetic genital surgery including hymenoplasty, which claims to the restore the hymen to its virginal state. Scores of private clinics in the UK are offering the procedure with advertising claims like "Get your virginity back!" and "Restore your innocence within one hour!". Dr Leila Frodsham, consultant gynaecologist, specialist in psychosexual medicine and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists discusses the ethics of the procedure.

Producer: Fiona Hill

Keen cyclist and GP, Dr Farrah Jarral investigates the health effects of air pollution.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Farrah Jarral demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Antidepressant Withdrawal; Chemotherapy Backpacks; Dizziness; Over The Counter Gels For Pain Relief2019102220191023 (R4)

Antidepressants and revised guidance from NICE reflecting that, for some people, they can be difficult drugs to come off; Margaret McCartney explains why this initiative is long over due. Chemotherapy backpacks - a novel way of giving cancer therapy that allows people to stay at home, improves quality of life during treatment and takes pressure off the NHS. Plus dizziness - or vertigo - is a common problem but it can mean different things to different people and occasionally can be a sign of stroke; so what are the clues? And our insider's guide to over the counter treatment: this week anti-inflammatory gels for pain relief.

Antidepressant withdrawal; chemotherapy backpacks; dizziness; gels for pain relief

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

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

Anti-inflammatories And Ovulation; Probiotics And Parkinson's; Blood Interval And Patient Forums Online2019072320190724 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter finds out why non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers can affect female fertility by preventing ovulation. Prof Richard Anderson from Edinburgh explains. And the link between gut bacteria and Parkinson's disease and why a new trial that is finding out if a particular probiotic can improve symptoms of the disease. Prof Ray Chaudhuri from King's College London explains. Also the latest evidence on the optimum intervals between blood donations and in the latest look at health and the internet Dr Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan unpick the pros and cons of patient groups and online forums

Anti-inflammatories & ovulation; probiotics and Parkinson's; giving blood; patient forums

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

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

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

Bats And Rabies; Hip Dysplasia In Babies; Online Health Tips; Clinical Law2019073020190731 (R4)

What is the risk of catching rabies from bats in the UK? We answer this question prompted by a case at Mark Porter's surgery last week when a bat flew straight into a person in broad daylight. Hip dysplasia in babies is a condition where the ball and socket of the joint don't form properly in early life. Every baby is examined as part of the National Screening Programme but new research suggests hundreds are being missed. Plus tips from Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan on finding reliable health information online. And what is clinical law?

Bats and the risk of rabies; hip dysplasia in babies; online health tips; clinical law.

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

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

Cbd Oil, Dental Phobia, Gout2019031220190313 (R4)

Cannabidiol or CBD oil has had a recent surge in popularity but is there any evidence for it having any health benefits? Dr Margaret McCartney reviews the research. Mark visits the Dental psychology service at Guy's Hospital in London and talks to Tim Newton about dental phobia, the treatment available and how successful it is at treating a phobia which affects 1 in 10 people in the UK. Also what causes gout and why has advice changed on the best way to treat it? Mark talks to rheumatologist, Dr Tim Tait at United Lincolnshire hospitals.

Dr Mark Porter investigates CBD oil, visits a dental phobia clinic and talks gout.

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

Cigarette Filters; Sepsis2020022520200226 (R4)

Chris van Tulleken examines cigarette filters - the tobacco industry's hidden marketing tool. He talks to historian Robert Proctor, author of The Golden Holocaust and May van Schalkwyk explains why she wrote her paper 'No More Butts'. Plus Margaret McCartney discusses whether the media portrays a balanced view of Sepsis.

Chris van Tulleken examines cigarette filters and how the media report sepsis.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Chris van Tulleken demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Coronavirus Special2020031020200311 (R4)

Inside Health gets exclusive access into Ysbyty Gwynedd, the Bangor emergency department, to see how they are preparing staff to deal with coronavirus patients arriving at the front door. Although advice is for patients to stay at home and call 111, some will be sick enough to need hospital admission. For that outcome, staff need to be properly fitted for face masks and trained in putting on personal protection equipment or PPE. Saleyha works in the department and Inside Health follows her getting kitted out with the help of Tim Hamilton Jones, an ED staff nurse tasked with the job of getting everyone ‘fit tested’.

GP Dr Margaret McCartney talks about the evidence on face masks and the different types that are out there and gives the latest information on the incubation period for COVID19.

It’s estimated that 80% of cases will be able to recover at home but 20% may need hospital care. Reports coming from Italy describe the demand on intensive care beds for patients with coronavirus because of the disease’s potential impact on the lungs. Dr Alison Pittard, Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care and herself a practising ITU consultant in Leeds tells Inside Health about plans for increasing critical care bed capacity, in the NHS. The service is however already stretched before the disease has even taken hold here.

As the government works out a plan of action to support the NHS to cope at this time, Inside Health talks to the British Red Cross, already working in hospitals across Wales, about supporting staff during the normal pressures, even before coronavirus struck. We hear from support workers within the Emergency Department and get an insight into what they do.

Producer, Erika Wright

Saleyha Ahsan reports from her own emergency department about preparations for Coronavirus

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Inside Health demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Coronavirus Transmission; Breakfast; Women And Heart Attacks; Personal Digital Assistants2020021120200212 (R4)

Farrah Jarral on coronavirus transmission and the difference between a cough and a sneeze. Why is health research and media coverage about breakfast often contradictory? Farrah meets senior lecturer Javier Gonzalez and Professor James Betts from the Department for Health at the University of Bath. And Margaret McCartney discusses the complex issue of inequalities between men and women when diagnosing heart attacks. Plus Farrah talks to Dr Ruth Chambers, clinical lead for a project in Stoke on Trent that assesses the benefits of personal digital assistants in the home.

Coronavirus; Breakfast; Women and Heart Attacks; Personal digital assistants.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Farrah Jarral demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Coronavirus; Probiotics And Babies' Gut Health; Pill Organisers; Haemophilia Therapy2020012820200129 (R4)

James Gallagher, BBC health and science correspondent, and Dr Margaret McCartney talk about the new coronavirus and how GPs have been advised to manage a patient at risk. He meets listeners Rich and Lucy who have asked about probiotics and gut health in early life after one of their twins had a vaginal delivery while the other a C-section. They want to know whether the different types of birth might impact on the good bacteria passed from mother to child. What is the evidence for the potential impact on long term health and can probiotics help? Dr Trevor Lawley at the Sanger Centre and Dr Lindsay Hall of the Quadram Institute provide the answers. Debi Bhattacharya of the University of East Anglia and James discuss pill organisers and whether arranging medicines into one single packet is always a good idea. And Prof John Pasi explains the results of trials on a 'Holy Grail' treatment for Haemophilia A and Shaun, who took part in the trial at Guy's and St Thomas in London, reveals how it has changed his life.

Coronavirus; Probiotics and gut health in early life; Pill Organisers; Haemophilia therapy

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

James Gallagher, BBC health and science correspondent, and Dr Margaret McCartney talk about the new coronavirus and how GPs have been advised to manage a patient at risk. He meets listeners Rich and Lucy who have asked about probiotics and gut health in early life after one of their twins had a vaginal delivery while the other a C-section. They want to know whether the different types of birth might impact on the good bacteria passed from mother to child. What is the evidence for the potential impact on long term health and can probiotics help? Dr Trevor Lawley at the Sanger Centre and Dr Lindsay Hall of the Quadram Institute provide the answers. Debi Bhattacharya of the University of East Anglia and James discuss pill organisers and whether arranging medicines into one single packet is always a good idea. And Prof John Pasi at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry explains the results of trials on a life changing treatment for Haemophilia A.

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

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

Covid-19 Intensive Care Beds; Ibuprofen; Laser And Glaucoma; Faecal Incontinence2020031720200318 (R4)

The UK has one of the lowest numbers of critical care beds in Europe but as the coronavirus threatens to engulf us, drastic measures are being taken to increase capacity. Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, Dr Alison Pittard, tells Saleyha that the NHS has been asked to plan for doubling, trebling and then quadrupling the number of critical care beds. So far, health authorities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have identified how they can increase the number of beds from just under 5,000 to around 10,000 but as Nicki Credland, Chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses says, increased beds mean more specialist intensive care nurses in numbers that can't be invented overnight. Additional non-specialist staff are being earmarked to help fully qualified intensive care nurses in the current virus crisis.

Dr Margaret McCartney addresses the confusion around two medications: ibuprofen for viral symptoms and the potential risks to Covid-19 patients who are using ACE inhibitors for their high blood pressure or heart failure.

Meanwhile away from coronavirus, Saleyha reports on new advances for the treatment of glaucoma, a condition which involves increased pressure to the eye and damage to the optic nerve. It's usually treated using eye drops, but laser treatment could be coming to a hospital near you. Saleyha watches as Gus Gazzard, Professor of Ophthalmology at University College London, uses a laser to treat the high pressure in Veenay Shah's right eye. Evidence from the LiGHT trial, which showed the laser works for newly diagnosed glaucoma patients, is likely to lead to new NICE guidelines which could give patients the choice: eye drops or laser.

Faecal incontinence is one of the most debilitating conditions and patients can go for years without even seeking help. But at Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, a revolutionary non-surgical approach is transforming lives. Called the FINCH service, Lead Nurse Kelly Stackhouse, colorectal consultant Rajeev Peravali and patients 21 year old Lara and 74 year old John, tell Saleyha how the new approach works.

Producer: Fiona Hill

Dr Saleyha Ahsan investigates the struggle to increase capacity in intensive care.

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Inside Health demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Declining Male Fertility, Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections In The Elderly, Guide To Health Websites2019071620190717 (R4)

Decline in Male Fertility and evidence sperm counts have dropped dramatically over the last 40 years but despite this, research into the understanding of male fertility problems have fallen behind. Two leading specialists in the filed explain the issues. Plus diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections in the Elderly and risks of over treatment leading to antibiotic resistance. And tips from Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan on identifying health websites to trust.

Declining male fertility, diagnosing urinary tract infections, and health websites.

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

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

Deprescribing2019070220190703 (R4)

In a new series of Inside Health Dr Mark Porter explores the growing initiative to 'deprescribe'. The last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in prescriptions and over the counter medication use with one third of people aged over 75 taking at least six medicines. Evidence suggests a person taking ten or more medicines is 3 times more likely to be admitted to hospital. Yet this is not just an issue in the elderly. Inside Health visits a children's ward with a new drug optimising service leading the way in appropriate prescribing for kids. Mark Porter investigates why such a huge number of people are on multiple medications and discusses the barriers to change with tips from leading experts trying to achieve a new approach.

In a new series Dr Mark Porter explores the growing trend to 'deprescribe'.

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

In a new series of Inside Health Dr Mark Porter explores the growing drive to 'deprescribe'. The last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in prescription and over the counter medication use with one third of people aged over 75 taking at least six medicines. Evidence suggests a person taking ten or more medicines is 300% more likely to be admitted to hospital. Yet this is not just an issue in the elderly. Inside Health visits a children's ward with a new drug optimising service leading the way in appropriate prescribing for kids. Mark Porter investigates why such a huge number of people are on multiple medications and discusses the barriers to change with tips from leading experts trying to achieve a new approach.

In a new series Dr Mark Porter explores the growing drive to 'deprescribe'.

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

Drug Shortages, Eye Drops For Myopia, Is Muscle More Dense Than Fat? Sarcopenia2019011520190116 (R4)

An unprecedented number of medicines are in short supply, according to NHS England. Doctors, pharmacists and patients all over the UK are finding common drugs like naproxen are more difficult to get hold of. Why is there such a problem with supply of medicines that are normally cheap and easy to get hold of? And why a 'severe shortage protocol' due in the next few weeks should give pharmacists more power help ease the situation. Mark talks to Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and pharmacist, Ben Merriman to find out more.
The number of children with short-sightedness, myopia has doubled in the last 50 years. Mark finds out why atropine eye drops, which are widely used in China and Singapore, are being trialled on children in the UK to help prevent the progression of myopia. Professor Augusto Azuara-Blanco from Queens University Belfast explains.
And is muscle more dense than fat? Jason Gill, professor of cardio metabolic health at the University of Glasgow discusses how even a small amount of fat loss can have hugely significant health benefits. Elaine Dennison, professor of Musculoskeletal Epidemiology at the University of Southampton explains why muscle is an under researched part of the body and how we lose muscle mass and strength in middle age and what we can do to prevent it.

Drug shortages, eye drops for myopia, is muscle more dense than fat? And sarcopenia

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.

E-cigs, Prehabilitation Before Surgery, Hospital Safety2019031920190320 (R4)

Why vaping divides public health experts, prehabilitation before surgery, hospital safety

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

Hard Sell For Private Cataract Surgery; Language In Healthcare; Specialist Medical Travel Clinic2020030320200304 (R4)

Inside Health hears from two patients, Surinder Biant and Sam Begum who went for a free eye check up with Optical Express. Both were surprised by a diagnosis of cataracts when previous eye tests hadn't uncovered these. Both felt that they were given a hard sell and felt pressurised to have cataract surgery and both had independent second opinions which brought the diagnosis and proposed treatment into question. And the President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Mike Burdon, explains what cataracts are and how doctor and patient can decide together when surgery is required.

GP and regular Inside Health contributor, Dr Margaret McCartney talks about the language we use in healthcare which blames both patients and doctors unfairly. Words and phrases like "compliance", "bed-blocker" and "unnecessary admissions" are singled out as particular culprits.

The travel clinic at The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London aims to help people with complex medical conditions get to where they need or want to go for work, family or just some winter sun. We meet Elisabeth, who is partially sighted and wants to travel to East Africa with her grandson; Robert who has lymphoma but is far more concerned that he won't be able to fly to a country he loves, Japan, and to Robin, who wants to start a career in Uganda but is allergic to some of the components of essential vaccines. Dr Nicky Longley, consultant in infectious disease and travel medicine runs the clinic.

Producer: Fiona Hill

Chris van Tulleken investigates hard sell in the private cataract business

Series that demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

Chris van Tulleken demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Heparin And Pigs; Anticoagulants; Ovarian Freezing And Cancer; Thumb Surgery2019100120191002 (R4)

Mark Porter reports on shortages of Heparin, a drug to treat blood clots, due to swine fever in Chinese pigs! And staying with anticoagulants Margaret McCartney discusses concerns about taking these drugs along with common pain killers like ibuprofen. Why is this a risky combination? And Alice tells her story of opting for ovarian freezing, the latest technique to preserve fertility when undergoing cancer treatment. Plus a pioneering new type of surgery for arthritis of the thumb.

Heparin and Pigs; Anticoagulants; Ovarian Freezing and Cancer; Thumb surgery.

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

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

Mark Porter reports on shortages of Heparin, a drug to treat blood clots, due to swine fever in Chinese pigs! And staying with anticoagulants Margaret McCartney discusses concerns about taking these drugs along with common pain killers like ibuprofen. Why is this a risky combination? And Alice tells her story of opting for ovarian freezing, the latest technique to preserve fertility when undergoing cancer treatment. Plus a pioneering new type of surgery for arthritis of the thumb.

High Blood Pressure2019010820190109 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter discusses High Blood Pressure , a silent threat that isn’t well managed, with only a third of those affected being diagnosed and treated as advised in the latest guidelines. Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor of Medicine, Bryan Williams help unpick areas of confusion including lifestyle and treatment with the latest thinking in the UK, on who should be offered what and when.

Dr Mark Porter discusses high blood pressure, a silent threat that isn't well managed.

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.

Moving The Goalposts In Research, Involving Parents In The Care Of Premature Babies, Feedback2019032620190327 (R4)

Fiddling figures in research, involving parents in the care of premature babies, feedback.

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

Obesity And Cancer Campaign; Intelligent Liver Function Tests; Getting Reliable Information From Websites2019070920190710 (R4)

The new Cancer Research UK campaign that compares obesity to smoking as a risk factor for cancer has come under criticism; Margaret McCartney debates the issues with Professor Linda Bauld. And how healthy is your liver? Do you know? Does your doctor know? Liver Function blood tests are notoriously difficult to interpret and early disease is often missed. Hence a new initiative - Intelligent liver function tests devised by a team from the University of Dundee. And a new mini series on which websites to trust and whether the health information you've found is reliable. Top tips on how to navigate the internet.

Obesity and Cancer campaign; intelligent liver function tests; which websites to trust.

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

Prescription Charges; Acute Kidney Injury; Mmr Vaccine; Meningitis In Students2019092420190925 (R4)

Why aren't prescription charges free across the whole of the UK? Acute Kidney Injury has shot up the NHS agenda in the last decade. Mark Porter visits Derby Royal Hospital to find out why kidney problems are so common and discovers what's been done to prevent damage to an organ many of us take for granted. Plus the World Health Organisation has removed the UK's measles free status because too few children are being immunised. Could making the vaccine mandatory be the answer? Margaret McCartney examines the evidence. And as the academic term gets underway Inside Health learns of a novel method to help with the prevention of meningitis amongst university students who are at risk of the disease.

Prescription Charges; Acute Kidney Injury; MMR vaccine; Meningitis in Students

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

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

Why aren't prescription charges free across the whole of the UK? Acute Kidney Injury has shot up the NHS agenda in the last decade. Mark Porter visits Derby Royal Hospital to find out why kidney problems are so common and discovers what's been done to prevent damage to an organ many of us take for granted. Plus the World Health Organisation has removed the UK's measles free status because too few children are being immunised. Could making the vaccine mandatory be the answer? Margaret McCartney examines the evidence. And as the academic term gets underway Inside Health learns of a novel method to help with the prevention of meningitis amongst university students who are at risk of the disease.

Remote And Rural Healthcare2020012120200122 (R4)

Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive of the health think tank the Nuffield Trust, joins Dr Margaret McCartney for this special programme about the challenges of remote and rural healthcare.
Margaret travels by boat from Mallaig to the Hebridean islands of Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna off the north west coast of Scotland where, after 100 years the islanders lost their resident doctor. When it was clear there wouldn't be a replacement, the islanders and NHS Highland instead opted for a radical new healthcare model.
Taking inspiration from indigenous tribes in Alaska, the NUKA model has been adapted for the Small Isles and it is very different, with a high level of community engagement. The idea is that local people own their own healthcare rather than having healthcare delivered to them, as passive recipients.
Local people are trained up in first aid and become salaried Rural Health and Social Care Workers. They are the eyes and ears of healthcare professionals. Volunteers also act as First Responders coordinating helicopter and lifeboat rescues in emergencies.
Dr Margaret McCartney joins GP Dr Geoff Boyes on his weekly visit to Eigg and discovers how the community has adapted to this new way of delivering care. She hears from Gill McVicar, former NHS Highland Director of Transformation and Camille Dressler, chair of the Small Isles Community Council, about how the reorganisation was managed; from Julie McFadzean about the new health and rural health and social care worker role; from Sheena Kean, the Eigg healthcare practice manager who makes sure everything runs smoothly and to Eigg residents about how they think their new healthcare model is working.

Producer: Fiona Hill
Credit Photo of Margaret McCartney: Paul Clarke

Dr Margaret McCartney on the challenges of healthcare when help isn't on your doorstep.

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

Dr Margaret McCartney reports on the challenges of healthcare in remote and rural areas

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

Respiratory Syncytial Virus; Coronavirus Vaccine; Unnecessary Vaginal Examinations; Compassion Fatigue2020020420200205 (R4)

It's not a household name but RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is responsible for 30,000 children under five ending up in hospital every year in the UK. The virus can cause serious infections of the lungs and airways (like pneumonia and bronchiolitis). Hannah and Sean from Oxfordshire had baby girls, Millie and Freya, born prematurely in October last year. Just weeks later, the twins spent 12 days in intensive care and then 3 days in the high dependency unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford with bronchiolitis caused by RSV. Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford tells James, the BBC's Science and Health Correspondent, about the dangers of RSV in lower income settings where the virus claims more babies' lives under 12 months old than any other disease apart from malaria. Hopes are that a vaccine for RSV to protect children during the vulnerable first years is imminent.

And as one of the world's leading experts on vaccinations (and chair of the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) Professor Pollard tells James that he is confident that a vaccine for the coronavirus, which some experts have suggested could become a pandemic, could be developed by the end of this year.

Inside Health regular contributor Dr Margaret McCartney raises the issue of unnecessary vaginal examinations. A new American study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that more than half of the bimanual pelvic examinations performed on girls and women aged 15 to 20 in the USA are potentially unnecessary and could cause harm. The fact this is still routine for many American women contradicts clear guidance which states there is no evidence for such internal examinations to be carried out in healthy girls and women who don't have symptoms. It doesn't happen in the NHS, Margaret reports, but they are carried out in the private sector under the banner of "well women checks".

Could you tell somebody that they were going to die? Could you comfort family members after their loved one has passed away? Crucially could you do this as part of your job, day in, day out, without it affecting you? James talks to nurses at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey which has been raising "compassion fatigue" as an occupational hazard within the profession.

Producer: Fiona Hill

James Gallagher on the virus almost nobody's heard of, Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.

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

James Gallagher demystifies health issues, bringing clarity to conflicting advice.

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

Singing For Breathlessness, Aneurysms, Sunscreens And Myasthenia Gravis2019080620190807 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter finds out about 'singing for lung health', an evidence based therapy for helping people with breathlessness arising from conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He hears from the choir based at Charing Cross Hospital in London and talks to respiratory physiologist, Adam Lound, to find out how the breathing and singing techniques being taught there, as well as the camaraderie, improve people's quality of life and confidence. Does exercise increase the risk of worsening an aortic aneurysm? Consultant vascular surgeon, Rachel Bell talks about the benefits of cardio vascular exercise for people with aneurysms. Dr Margaret McCartney reviews the evidence on sunscreens. Also in the programme, Saiju Jacob discusses myasthenia gravis, an auto-immune condition that causes muscle weakening. He explains what causes it and how it's treated.

Singing for breathlessness, Aneurysms and exercise, Sunscreens, Myasthenia gravis

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

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

Statins Over The Counter, Amyloidosis, Gene Silencing2019100820191009 (R4)

There are plans to make high dose statins available over-the-counter without a prescription to improve uptake. Currently around two thirds of people likely to benefit most don't take them, but will these plans make a difference? Amyloidosis is a debilitating rare disease that is often missed: Pam tells her amazing story of recovery and Mark meets the specialists helping her. And news about new gene silencing treatments that could transform the outlook for people with other rare conditions too.

High-dose statins over the counter, amyloidosis, and gene silencing.

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

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

When To Take Blood Pressure Pills; Adhd; Recurrent Fevers; Head Lice2019102920191030 (R4)

When is the best time of day to take blood pressure pills? A new study from Spain has hit the headlines, with dramatic results that could change practice but are the findings too good to be true? And why is getting help for ADHD or other behavioural conditions such a struggle for parents, schools and doctors? Plus recurrent fevers - a rare genetic condition that feels like flu every day. And evidence for the best way to get rid of headlice!

The best time of day to take blood pressure pills; ADHD; Recurrent fevers; Head lice

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

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

Zantac Alert, Newborn Brain Injury, Otc Guide, Surgery For Reflux2019101520191016 (R4)

Zantac alert over concerns that the branded reflux treatment is contaminated with a carcinogenic impurity, so what are the risks? And a new device helping to identify Newborn brain injury earlier. An Inside Health Guide to Over the Counter choices and evidence for those that work best - this week Warts and Veruccas; Plus surgery for reflux as an alternative to pills.

Zantac alert, newborn brain injury, Guide to Over the Counter choices, surgery for reflux.

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

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