•   Royal Voluntary Service is supporting the NHS because it was established, presenting comfort to individuals and helping hold hospitals going. We have over six,000 volunteers supporting the NHS at the moment, and fourteen,000 extra from the neighborhood.

      These generous individuals carry out a range of roles, from giving companionship and inspiring more mature sufferers to carry out mild exercise routines, to giving reassurance to those people ready in Aamp;E and helping people to settle back home after a hospital stay. We also have many volunteers serving sufferers, NHS staff, and visitors at our many hospital shops, caf¨|s, and trolleys.

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      We know the valuable contribution volunteers make to improving patient experience and patient flow. But until now, little is done to understand how NHS frontline staff value the contribution of volunteers and how they feel volunteers can best support them.

      We recently worked with The King Fund and our partner, HelpForce, to explore this very subject, surveying NHS staff for the very first time.

      As hoped, the findings showed strong support for volunteers amongst frontline NHS professionals. The majority of these surveyed said volunteers provide an invaluable contribution, encouraging to improve patient experience and reducing pressure on staff. There was also an appetite for volunteers to get involved in extra aspects of hospital work.

      Nevertheless, the report also highlighted some challenges, challenges that need to be overcome if we want to continue scaling up voluntary services in hospitals.

      The main challenge was a lack of clarity over role boundaries between staff and volunteers, with the report suggesting a need for better training and greater joined-up working.

      Recommending how this might be achieved, The King Fund referred to the guidance from NHS England on managing volunteers. The guidance suggests much more support is needed for staff working with and managing volunteers to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and experience they require to perform their work.

    nursing education courses not that difficult.

      From our perspective, key to the volunteer bedding-in process is opening up an effective line of communication between staff and volunteers from the outset. A critical part of our hospital and on-ward volunteer training programme includes . Our volunteers will also often participate in training courses run by the trust own volunteer teams to ensure adherence with the hospital standards and policies.

      We often hear from the trusts we work with that our volunteers have become an integral part of their team, with staff and volunteers working alongside each other with ease. Our volunteers have also undertaken specific training to help support nursing staff where they need it most ¨C for instance, completing patient feeding courses to help out at busy meal times.

      Indeed, with the right training, volunteers could be utilised inside a wide variety of non-clinical ways. But it is up to volunteering organisations like ours to use our experience to help maximise and fulfil this volunteer potential.

      Working hand in hand with trusts, we can support them to develop an effective volunteering strategy: one that empowers staff to work effectively with volunteers, and also delivers impact on patient experience and alleviates stress on staff teams.

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      Import of plastic pellets approved by China as they cause little pollution

      Customs officers inspect imported waste in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province. photo: VCG

      Overseas countries should change their ideas about shipping garbage to Asian nations and deal with the waste themselves, experts said on Wednesday, as some overseas countries have been upset by China's efforts to reduce overseas waste imports in recent months.

      According to overseas media reports, some countries are scrambling to find alternatives to China as their new waste-exporting destinations, particularly Asian countries like Malaysia and Vietnam.

      "Some developed countries are in the habit of exporting their garbage, but neither China nor countries like Vietnam have the environmental capacity to receive and cope with that waste. Those garbage exporters should change their behavior," Wang Wang, executive vice president of the China Synthetic Resin Association plastic Recycling Branch, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

      The Chinese government issued a guideline in July 2017 telling domestic companies to carry out an orderly reduction in the types and amounts of solid waste imports, according to gov.cn.

      In that month, China also notified the World Trade Organization of its ban on importing several types of solid waste, including plastics and discarded textiles, citing environmental concerns, the Beijing Review reported at the time.

      "Domestic ports' checks on plastics imports have been particularly strict in recent months. Almost no overseas plastic enters China nowadays," said Zheng Tianlu, an expert with the China plastics processing Industry Association.

      According to Zheng, this is because plastics are harder on the environment when it comes to processing procedures, including washing and burning, compared with other solid waste like paper.

      "China has closed most of the domestic waste plastics distribution centers out of environmental protection concerns," Zheng told the Global Times on Wednesday.

      Some other countries can't adjust to this policy change, as they've been in the habit of sending their waste to China. CNN Money reported that in the UK, most recycled plastic was sent to China for processing. The report also cited the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries as saying that the US sent 31 percent of its scrap commodity exports to China in 2017.

      "In the past, China imported solid waste because we were short of raw materials, and also because some domestic trading companies wanted to have some low-cost shipping business when their vessels returned from overseas countries. But this has to stop, given China's deteriorating environment," Wang said.

      According to Zheng, some domestic companies are turning to import plastic pellets (processed from plastics) from places like Thailand and Vietnam, as these cause little pollution. permission to do this is therefore approved by the government.

      "Some US companies are also thinking of exporting plastic pellets to China, but with the trade dispute that's hard to do," Zheng said.

      Wang said that apart from supervising imports of solid waste, China should also announce rules requiring domestic companies such as beverage makers to include recycling in their manufacturing and sales systems.

      "It's hard for companies to voluntarily start such a money-consuming system without a push from the government," Wang said.

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      After canceling B&R projects, China tech becomes new ideal for country

      Malaysia's canceling of two major Belt and Road (B&R) initiative projects is a "forced" choice because of the country's dim financial conditions, but the move has definitely not signaled any unwelcome signs for Chinese investment, a Malaysian official told the Global Times recently.

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      "From my point of view, canceling the China-backed East Coast Rail Link project and the natural gas pipeline project in Sabah was a forced choice, a way out of no ways, based on Malaysian financial conditions at the moment," said Will Fung, chairman of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China.

      "Surveys have found that Malaysia's national debt is on the verge of running into danger. The country really cannot afford such large investment projects, in particular, [when] taking into consideration the costs of maintenance and operations that follow up," Fung told the Global Times in a recent interview.

      Mounting debt is one of the many problems that newly elected Malaysian prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is determined to fix with a reform plan, according to Fung.

      "In the past decade, the Malaysian public lost confidence in the previous government on such issues as corruption and low efficiency of administration," he said.

      "We are really touched by China's understanding about our choice [on canceling the two projects]," he continued.

      Addressing media in Beijing at the end of his visit to China on August 21, Mahathir said the Chinese-funded railway and natural gas projects will be canceled for now.

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      It was reported that the two projects in total would cost about $20 billion. The initial investment is estimated at tens of millions of dollars.

      Despite his remarks on China-funded projects, he called on Chinese companies to continue to invest in Malaysia and increase technology transfer to his country.

      This message has been deemed as a mixed signal and confusing. But in Fung's view, the cancelation of the projects is just a case-by-case situation given Malaysia's financial condition, which cannot fully reflect the prime minister's attitude or view on cooperation with China.

      "Mahathir is obviously showing to the outside world that his country needs more Chinese technology and talent and he's very welcome of Chinese enterprise investment," said Fung.

      "A very interesting thing is that what Mahathir has emphasized is China's technology and talent instead of funds, which is quite different from other countries," he said.

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    Eight out of ten adults experience lower back pain once in their lifetime. I am one of those people and I’m definitely not looking forward to my participation award. I know how it feels like to step out of bed and barely being able to put on your socks. Having lower back pain sucks. But 9 out of 10 patients that suffer from lower back pain don’t even know the primary cause of it.


    Back pain? Blame Our Evolution
    Once upon a time in our fairly recent past, our ancestors felt the urgency to stand up and leave our quadruped neighbors behind. Habitual bipedalism, fancy word for regularly walking on two legs, came with a lot of advantages. With two rear limbs instead of four, we were able to more efficiently use our hands and create tools with them.

    Another point which most of the corporate gift companies in Hong Kong like Asia Premium Solutions Limited take into account is – what type of non-cash items or merchandise must be given to the regular customers!

    Sadly, life on two legs also brought along its disadvantages. Our spine had four supporting pillars previously, but now it only got two. The back is therefore naturally one of the weak links of our human anatomy. Our spine needs constant support from its supporting muscles to minimize the load on the spine. With no muscle support (tested on dead bodies) the back can only bear loads up to 5 pounds without collapsing [reference panjabi 1989]. With well-developed torso muscles, the spine can take loads up to 2000 pounds. That’s a 400-fold increase.

    Most people that come to me with a history of a herniated disc (that’s when the discs between the vertebral bodies are fully collapsed, really severe incident), tell me the ‘story of the pencil’. The injury with the following severe pain usually gets triggered by picking up a small, everyday object. Such as a pencil. Not as you may think by trying to lift 100 pounds – no, but by a simple thing – such as a pencil.

    This tells us that damage in your back adds up over time, it’s a so called cumulative trauma disorder. Meaning back pain is a result of your daily habits.

    Sitting Is the New Smoking
    Whenever I sit for too long, my back hurts. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience lower back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. But isn’t sitting something that should reduce the stress of your back? No, just the opposite.

    The joints between the bones of the spine are not directly linked to the blood supply. These joints instead get nourished through a process called diffusion. Diffusion works because molecules (such as oxygen, important for cells) are constantly moving and try to get as much space for themselves as they can. A key element for diffusion therefore is a pressure difference. In the image below the left room contains more moving molecules than the right, that’s why the molecules from the left are moving to the right. This way nutrition gets transformed into the joints, whereas toxins are transported out of the joints.

    Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spinal chord. The diffusion process therefore can’t function as efficiently. Nutrition and toxins can’t be properly transported, the joints get damaged.

    Sit properly
    If sitting can play such a huge part in the creation of your lower back pain, how do you sit properly then?

    Is it better to sit with a straight back or should you rather lay back in your chair? Can I cross my legs when I’m sitting or should I have a symmetrical position with my feet? These are questions that I hear on a daily basis. The answer might shock you – according to recent science – all of them are right. The best sitting position is an ever-changing one. An ever-changing position minimizes the pressure on certain points of your spine and spreads it on the whole part.

    Credit: StayWow

    Stand Up More
    Even better than a sitting position is a stand up position. Standing dramatically reduces the pressure on your spine. If you’re forced to work on a desk the whole day though, you have two options.

    Take breaks every hour of about 2-3 minutes.
    Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour! In that time you stand up and reach to the ceiling, on your toe tips with fully extended arms. You’re inhaling during the whole process. You do this activity for 20 seconds. Afterwards you’re walking through the office for the next 2 minutes. You might grab a healthy snack or some water in that time. The exercise relieves the pressure on your spine, while the walking makes sure that the joints on your spine are properly used.

    Or get a standing desk.
    One of the best companies on the market for Standing Desks, according to my research, is Autonomous. Autonomous offers a rather cheap Standing Desk, with the ability to change the height. Which means you can start the day standing and switch to sitting if you’re tired.

    Exercise for Lower Back pain
    Sitting is an immobile position. Your joints are made for movement and therefore need movement to function properly. If humans are moving, all moving parts: e.g. the joints, bones and muscles get strengthened. If you’re in a rested position for too long, your tissues start to deteriorate. You have to get the right amount of activity in.

    But not too much activity. There’s a chance that going to the gym may even increase your risk of lower back pain. I know plenty of friends with chiseled bodies that suffer from pain in the spine regularly. Huge muscles do not prevent you from back pain. In your training you should focus on building up the muscles that are stabilizing your back and relieve pressure. Squats with 400 pounds don’t do the trick.

    The more weight you carry around, the more weight your spinal chord has to bear on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why huge, muscular guys can suffer from back pain too. One of the most important goals of your exercise regimen should therefore be weight loss.

    Here are some important tips for you to consider when starting an exercise regimen:

    Make sure you implement cardiovascular training in your workout routine.
    This will not only help you lose weight, it will also make sure that your arteries, which flow to the tissue next to your spinal discs, are free of placque and can therefore transport nutrients properly.

    Important: If you have rather strong back pain, maybe even an herniated disc, don’t start running on a threadmill. Running is an high-impact exercise. Which means there are continuous, reocurring high pressure points on your spine. Your endurance training should therefore either be fast-paced walking or a training on the elliptical trainer for the beginning, because both have little to no stressful impact on your backbone.

    Focus on developing your whole core if you want to minimize your pain.
    There are some people that do hundreds of sit ups a day. While sit ups are a good exercise for your abdomen, it also puts pressure on your spine due to the bending movement. A sixpack workout routine is one-sided. Your abs may become overdeveloped in comparison to your back muscles. You’ve created an imbalance. A great way to train your abdominal muscles and back muscles simultaneously, is holding the plank position.

    Stretch only if you have tight muscles.
    I remember stretching every morning after I woke up. I took 10 minutes out of my day to just work on my flexibility and prevent injuries. Little did I know that I was actually promoting an injury, by doing so.

    Contrary to common belief, stretching is only partially beneficial to treating lower back pain. Stretching makes sense if tight muscles (such as the hamstrings) are forcing you to constantly bend your back. Stretching to treat pain doesn’t make sense if you’re already on a good level of flexibility. Hyper-mobility may even enforce back pain.

    If you found out that you had tight muscles that you need to stretch, try to stretch them at least three times a week. Don’t stretch your muscles right after you wake up in the morning. This is because your spinal discs soak themselves up in fluid over the nighttime. Every bending and excessive loads on your spine is much worse in that soaked-up state. postpone your stretching regime to two-to three hours after you’ve woken up.

    Where to Start
    The key to improving your habits is awareness. Try to get aware of your back while you’re sitting down, laying down or lifting an object next time. This awareness of your body is called proprioception. For example, you have to be aware whether your back is bended or straight in this very second. Trust me, it is harder than you might think. You may need to ask a friend for the first few tries. But the change that this awareness can make in your back pain is absolutely fascinating. This consciousness of your body is one of the most important things in your recovery or prevention.

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    Here are a few behavioural tactics that you need to be considering:

    If you’re leaning forward more than 30 degrees with your upper body, support your spine with your arms.
    Ever tried to show a colleague of yours a complex issue and found yourself awkwardly leaning forward on their desk, pointing with your fingers to his paper? If that ever happens again, make sure you’re using the not-pointing arm to support yourself on the desk.

    Keep a straight back.
    Be it while exercising, stretching or standing. If you’re bending your back you’re putting stress on small areas of your spinal chord. A straight back redistributes the force to a bigger area. You’re minimizing the pressure. Remember this whenever you’re at the gym and reracking your weights, focus on having a neutral spine.

    put symmetrical loads on your spine.
    I used to play the trumpet when I was a child. The instrument is pretty heavy. The trumpet gets transported in a big, metallic suitcase – with no wheels. Being the nature of suitcases, you only carry it with one arm, on one side of your body. This forced me to constantly lean on the other side with my upper body, while transporting the instrument from A to B. Not really the healthiest activity for your spine as you can imagine.

    If you have to carry heavy objects, carry them with both arms. put the object in the middle of your body and keep it as close to your mass of gravity as you can. If this is not possible, try to carry the same amount on the left side than you do on the right side. This puts the stress vertically on a fully extended spine. The load is much better bearable for your spine.

    Stay Away From the Back pain League
    Our world is getting more sedentary. We will continue to develop faster transportation, more comfortable houses and easier lives. While our technological progress definitely has its amazing benefits, it sadly has its downsides too. The danger for back pain will continue to rise on our ever-increasing motionless planet. It’s time to raise awareness.

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  •  Buying people who've had a great World Cup may not workreenex


    History teaches us that a great tournament does not a great Premier League player make: the Karel Poborsky Rule, as it is known. By buying World Cup flop Diego Costa, Chelsea have cleverly insured against this. Let's hope he doesn't become the new Fernando Torres.


     Pundits are better when they tryreenex


    There's been a notable increase in the amount of elbow grease put in by TV pundits in this World Cup, with the likes of Alan Shearer clearly having done research (or had it done for him) about the players he is watching. Let's hope the Beeb pundits' newfound appetite for homework extends to the domestic season as well.


     Luis Suarez has got to go


    Leaving aside morality and all that nonsense, Suarez losing the plot and biting Chiellini robbed his country of their best chance of progressing. Even Liverpool's loyal supporters must now recognise that the guy is a liability: if he keeps doing these crazy things and keeps getting long bans, surely it doesn't matter how good he is?


     There's no thrill like the thrill of the new…


    You'd have to have a heart of stone not to enjoy the way people in America have embraced the World Cup, or to be inspired by Costa Rica toppling three previous winners and then battling on with 10 men to pinch it against Greece. Football is just more exciting when it's not the same old teams winning all the time. Is it time for the Premier League to introduce some sort of draft system or wealth redistribution to try to level the playing field a bit? Or have we all just accepted that the spending power of the big four or five guarantees their dominance in perpetuityreenex ?

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