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Pharmacy practice and profession blog

All posts by Benedict Lam

Healthcare needs a change of culture if it is to thrive and grow

Posted by: Benedict LamWed, 20 Jul 2016

If the healthcare industry is to move forward over the next 20 years, the culture of blame needs to change to encourage healthcare professionals to report errors so that others can learn from them.

Whatever your views on e-cigarettes, they’re not going to go away anytime soon

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 7 Oct 2014

E-cigarette exhibitors dominated the Pharmacy Show this year. Should we embrace is its potential as a substitute for smoking or be concerned at how it is being marketed?

If we don’t stand up for ourselves, who will?

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 7 Nov 2013

We are here primarily to ensure the safe use of medicines. We are not here for convenience, profit or to meet targets set by those who might be clueless about what we do. If we can ensure we are running a pharmacy effectively and safely — and that includes having adequate staffing levels — then those other factors will follow.

C-reactive protein tests: part of the solution against inappropriate antibiotic prescribing?

Posted by: Benedict LamFri, 23 Aug 2013

Recently, the national media have highlighted a three-minute blood test that could tell GPs whether an antibiotic is needed for a patient. It has even been claimed that this test could tackle the ongoing issue of antibiotics resistance since it may put patients — who otherwise pressure GPs into prescribing an antibiotic — at ease. 

Will the new food labelling system help fight the obesity epidemic?

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 25 Jul 2013

A traffic-light food nutritional food labelling system is to be introduced across the UK over the next 18 months. The consistent colour coded labelling will show much fat, salt, and sugar and how many calories are in each product. 

Self-selection from across the Atlantic

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 9 Jul 2013

Since I am certain I am not the only pharmacist guilty of this, what some might call, nerdy habit, I thought I would share my thoughts on my tour of some community pharmacies in the US (it is not the main reason why I travelled there but I do have a habit of visiting pharmacies just to see how they differ to the ones in the UK whenever I am abroad).

Acting in the patient’s best interests: how far would you go?

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 27 Jun 2013

As pharmacists we have an obligation always to act in the patient’s best interests. After all, according to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s “Standards of conduct, ethics and performance”, the first principle is “Make patients your first concern”. But just how far are you willing to go to justify your actions?

A pharmacist’s apocalypse

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 16 May 2013

We’ve all been there. We have all probably done it, but it never gets easier.

You need to walk briskly for how long to burn off that cheeseburger?

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 7 May 2013

Although more restaurants are displaying calorie information on menus, most studies show that this has little impact on reducing the calorie content ordered and consumed. So a new angle to encourage reduced calorie intake in restaurants is being explored by those in the nutrition field: displaying on the menu the minutes of brisk walking needed to burn food calories.

Widening access of EHC to young girls

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 23 Apr 2013

Recently, the US government has been ordered by a federal judge to make emergency hormonal contraception available over the counter to girls of all ages within 30 days.

“Obey your thirst” with fewer calories

Posted by: Benedict LamFri, 5 Apr 2013

Previously I wrote about Coca-Cola’s two-minute advertisement in the US addressing the issue of obesity. And recently a new UK version of the advertisement has been broadcast here.

Let’s skype our way to better health

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 28 Mar 2013

A hospital in north London may soon be providing medical consultations via Skype. Hospital bosses at The Whittington Hospital say the planned system, which would involve patients discussing their illness with doctors using Skype, an internet video-chat service, would free doctors’ time.

Good communication is the foundation of patient safety

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 19 Mar 2013

From next month responsible officers (usually the medical director in an NHS organisation) will have a legal duty to ensure doctors can speak an acceptable level of English to perform their jobs in a safe and competent manner.

The link between diet and acne

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 28 Feb 2013

During my teenage years I was told often by my parents (or some “know-it-all” adult) not to eat chocolate and sugary and fatty foods otherwise I would get spots. But when I asked my GP about this he said I could eat whatever I wanted because diet does not determine the severity of my acne

Lunch breaks and health risks

Posted by: Benedict LamFri, 15 Feb 2013

In a survey carried out for BBC Breakfast of almost 600 office workers, 54 per cent said they regularly work through their lunch hour, 53 per cent believed there is a widespread culture of colleagues doing the same, and 20 per cent said they felt under pressure not to take a break.

The “apocalypse” is coming

Posted by: Benedict LamFri, 1 Feb 2013

Just like the Mayan apocalypse, the prospect of antibioticresistance has been with us for many years. But, unlike 21 December 2012 (whichpassed without much fanfare or drama), antibiotic resistance is real

Obesity: whose responsibility is it anyway?

Posted by: Benedict LamWed, 23 Jan 2013

Coca-Cola has recently released a two-minute advertisement in the US addressing the issue of obesity. If you ignore the cheesy film and soundtrack, there are bits of information worth teasing out from the ad.

A tour of the polyclinic in the Olympic Village

Posted by: Benedict LamWed, 20 Jun 2012

On Monday (18 June) I was given the chance to visit the Olympic and Paralympic polyclinic, learn about the services and examine the equipment ahead of the games.

Sometimes we need to be reminded how valued we are

Posted by: Benedict LamThu, 24 May 2012

Recently a cold bug has been going around our office and, one by one,  members of the PJ team have fallen ill. I was the latest victim.

Fingerless gloves and liver spots

Posted by: Benedict LamTue, 3 Apr 2012

A well known international pop star has been sporting fingerless gloves as a fashion accessory in recent months.

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