Thought of the day 

Something non legal related but a small thought for the day.

Time with family outside the immediate household is now limited; not because we want it to be or that be don’t care but for most of us because the pressures of modern life no longer allow it.  

Once study and commute are factored in, my working week near includes 85 hours. That’s not to mentioned the countless household chores and daily living activities such a food shopping, cooking, unpacking and repacking bags each night. 

The modern life makes it difficult to find the time to check on our families as much as we would like but what we do have time for is to take notice of our neighbours, engage in a short conversation when we see them, ask them how their day was, notice when we haven’t seen them coming or going in a while. 

I am a firm believer that this type of community spirit is essential. It doesn’t take much to care and look out for each other. 

Take the small amount of time it takes to notice your neighbours as they too are likely to be a family member of another individual consumed by modern day living. 

THE SECRET TO A HEALTH MIND AND BODY WITHIN THE PROFESSIONS

Law has long been acknowledged as a demanding career, as can be said for the other professions.  It is certainly not for the faint hearted requiring; dedication, precision, intellect, focus, more often than not longer hours than the 9 to 5 and it is certainly not a job many are able to switch off from even once they have left the office.    It’s not usual for the mind to continue ticking away trying to come up with ways in which to approach a case before you .In addition the legal profession seems to lend itself to certain types of person; those who are driven and ambitious but who are also sometimes described as perfectionists or those who are too hard on themselves consistently trying to do better.

In the last few years it has become more apparent that stress levels, mental health concerns and substance abuse are at a high.  Long hours can make it difficult to fit in exercise, adequate sleep and have you searching for quick fix meals.  However, a healthy and fit lifestyle has many benefits on a professional lifestyle:-

  • A person who is physically fit is less likely to fall sick
  • Exercise increases and sustains energy throughout the day this enables you to remain focused on the tasks before you.
  • Being fit and healthy increase self-confidence.  Choosing a fit lifestyle enables you to accomplish, this leads to a feeling of empowerment.  This motivates you to challenge yourself and aim for higher achievement
  • It allows you to set and achieve goals.  A fit lifestyle encourages goal setting, whether it be to increase endurance, become stronger, become fitter, become more muscular become leaner.  Learning to set goals, work towards them and achieve them is a habit that once learned can be applied to your career.
  • It promotes physical and mental balance which results in a positive “can do” attitude.
  • It allows you time out of the world to release both physical and emotion tensions which can reduce overall stress levels.
  • It requires a certain amount of discipline.  Discipline to make time and attend to your chosen activity, discipline to make your meals in advance and discipline to say no to the office treats when the 3pm slump hits.
  • A clear well fed and hydrated mind improves cognition.

So how can you fit it in?  

As some of you may know, I’m a lawyer with a 2 hour commute door to door each way, I am a student, I am the writer of the Legal Bagel, I have a family but I am also passionate about nutrition and exercise .  So here is how I fit it in.

  • 05:30 – 07:00 – Commute
  • 07:00 – 07:25 – Walk from the station to the gym (25 minutes cardio)
  • 07:25 – 08:30 – Weight training (more information below)
  • 08:30 – 13:00 – Work
  • 13:00 – 14:00 – Some form of 30 minute cardiovascular workout at the gym (cross trainer, stepper, stairmill, treadmill or walk)
  • 14:00 – 17:30 – Work (most days except Thursdays when I work later)
  • 17:30 – 18:00 – Walk back to the station and then home

 

  Diet

In short all meals consist of a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, health fats and green vegetables, no food group is excluded.  I space my meals at fairly equal intervals throughout the day. I avoid processed foods and tend to stick to carbohydrates which grown. I aim to drink around 4 litres of water a day (I find carrying a 1.5 litre bottle around with me helps me keep track).  An example of what I might eat of a day to day basis is as follows:-

  • 05:00 – Meal 1: Porridge Oats, Whey Protein and Berries
  • 08:30 –  Meal 2: Porridge Oats and Whey Protein
  • 11:00 – Meal 3: Tuna, Sweet Potato and Green Vegetables
  • 14:00 – Meal 4: Chicken, Wholemeal Wrap and Green Vegetables
  • 19:00 – Meal 5:  Chicken and Avocado Salad
  • 22:00 – Meal 6: Total Yoghurt

I batch prepare my meals two to three days at a time to save time.  I am hoping to add a quick recipe section to this site to provide some creative meal ideas that are easy to prepare and incorporate into a healthy diet.

 

   

Training Splits 

  • Monday: Legs and Glute Day consists of a mixture of exercises including; squats, leg press, leg extensions, leg curls, lunges and cable kickbacks
  • Tuesday: Shoulders Day consists of a mixture of exercises including; shoulders press, lateral raise, front raises, rear delt raises and upright rows
  • Wednesday: Chest and Back Day consists of a mixture of exercises including; narrow lateral pull downs, wide grip pull downs, bent over rows, dumbbell rows, seated rows, chest press, cable press, flies
  • Thursday: Hamstrings and Glutes Day includes narrow stance deadlifts, wide stance deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, Legs curls, cable kickbacks, adductors, reverse hyper extensions 
  • Friday: Arms and Shoulder Day consists of a mixture of exericses including barbell curls, hammer curls, dumbell curls, cable extensions, triceps extensions, tricep dips 
  • Saturday: 30 minutes cardio only
  • Sunday:  Rest

After three of my weight sessions a week I throw in a plyo circuit which consists of the following: 15 burpees, 20 squat jumps, 20 bunny hops and 20 mountain climbers repeat 4 or 5 times with a 30 second rest between. After the remaining two, I add in some light abs exercises.

I follow the above routine near enough all year around.  The only thing I change is the amount of cardio I do.  Most of the time, I stick to using my daily walk as my cardio for the day.


Application

Now I’m not saying everyone needs to run out, join a gym and start eating six meals a day but I do strongly believe that it is important to think about how we can fit being active, incorporating some form of exercise and choosing healthier eating habits.

  • Small changes can have a dramatic impact so a few easy suggestions are:-
  • Stop eating processed foods.
  • Cut out your sugar
  • Prepare you own meals
  • Make sure you eat at least 3 meals a day of naturally grown or raised products
  • Eat your greens
  • Get walking
  • Stop boozing
  • Start drink more water.

The secret to a healthy mind and body is making conscience decisions, adopting a mindset which prioritises health and fitness and most importantly consistency.

 

 

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OPEN ALL DOORS – MOVE TOWARD THE FILMING OF THE CRIMINAL COURTS

The Ministry of Justice and Lord Chief Justice have  given the green light for TV cameras to be permitted into eight Crown Courts in England and Wales.

Although the public and press have been allowed to attend the majority of cases, videoing proceedings has been strictly prohibited under S41 Criminal Justice Act 1925 and failure to observe the rules could lead to contempt of court proceedings.

However, under the new pilot scheme the Old Bailey, Southwark, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and Cardiff Crown Courts will now open their doors to camera for all to see the giving of sentencing remarks from Senior Judges enabling them to see and hear Judge’s decision in their own words.

Other countries such as South Africa and New Zealand have been allowed cameras into their courts for a number of years as demonstrated in the recent case of Oscar Pistorius which made headline news.

At present the suggestion is that only Judges will be filmed as the filming of other court users including defendants, witnesses and victims would be banned and initially filming will take but not broadcast to allow time for the process to be considered in more detail and ensure that justice is not undermined.

It is hoped that the videoing of criminal hearings will lead to move openness and transparency and allow the public to see what goes on behind the closed doors of the court room by seeing and hearing Judge’s decisions in their own words opposed to merely being reported by the press.

A statutory instrument is set to be laid before the House on Commons tomorrow and the initiative will start as possible once the relevant legislation to allow it has been passed.

Could this be a significant move in the future of the legal process?

#criminalcourt #thelegalbagel

 

 

 

Strength is overcoming the things you once couldn’t achieve – The benefits of exercise in rehabilitation 

  
It is not unusual for people with an acquired disability to feel overwhelmed when considering where to start  in terms of engaging in or returning exercise and sport. Some see their disability as a barrier. It shouldn’t be. 

Being active, joining a gym and engaging in a form of exercise provides an opportunity to learn and understand your condition, establish your boundaries and then find a way to work around then knock them down as you become fitter and stronger. It enables you to establish a routine whilst being able to goal set and achieve is empowering and boosts self-confidence. 

Overall exercise has the ability to help develop independence, improve mental health and social integration.

So where can you start?

When starting physical exercise with a disability it is important to consult your healthcare professionals. Undertake research, this will allow you to learn safe methods of training you could also look for a coach or experiences professional who can help work with you to achieve your goals. It also enables you to be different. There is no reason for disability to prevent you from undertaking sport but merely enables you to do sport differently. It makes you unique.


Joining a Gym

Joining a gym will enable you to seek personalised advice and also boost your social life. Questions to ask yourself when looking to join a gym may include:-

· How busy does the gym get during peak times?

· Is there suitable equipment?

· Is it clean and well maintained?

· Is it accessible?

· Do they have any instructors who have experience of working with disabled people?

Most gyms are easily accessible but if they are not institutions are under an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to access the facilities you want.

The EFDS (English Federation of Disability Sport) runs an Inclusive Fitness Initiative and accredited gyms mean everyone can enjoy accessible facilities, equipment, staff training and marketing. A list of accredited gyms can be found at http://www.efds.co.uk.

If you’re unsure about whether a gym will be able to meet your needs, most offer a free trial to allow you to try before you buy so don’t be afraid to ask. Remember you’re doing them a favour by choosing to take your custom there. If your looking to make long term changes it needs to be right for you.

Dis-ABILITY need not stop you in your tracks. Strength doesn’t come from you can’t do, it’s comes from overcoming what you once couldn’t do.

#dontquitdoit #dis-ABILITY

  

!!!DISABLED ACCESS DAY – TODAY!!!

Disabled Access Day - 17th January 2015

!!Today is Disabled Access Day!!

Think back to the last time you tried something new.

 

We all have times where we feel nervous. When we don’t know how something works.  When we don’t know how people will react.  Whether we will receive support.

However, having a disability can make doing every day activities which the majority of us take for granted more difficult or even sometimes impossible.  For example, driving a car, catching public transport, participating in sport, being able to make it to the supermarket to do your weekly shop, to remember why you went there, cooking a meal, going out for dinner, watching a film, attending the local coffee shop and socialising generally.

 

Participating in and accessing activities can be overwhelming when there are limitations and the circumstances are new. Just remember back to the last time you tried something you were unsure of for the first time. 

A common issue for individuals who have acquired a disability following serious injury is finding way to access the community.  However, this can have a psychosocial impact in terms of isolation, a decrease in confidence and low mood.

One of the focuses of rehabilitation following acquired injury is to assist individuals in finding new ways to access the community.

Today is Disabled Access Day, started in 2015 is a day where individuals with a disability are encouraged to try something new.  It’s about creating opportunities for disabled people to try something new in an atmosphere of cooperation, safety and fun.

The idea came from its founder, Paul Ralph, a powerchair user, who was invited to a “try it out day” with his local bus company.  Prior to this, Paul had not used the bus network in his hometown as he was unsure how the ramp operated, how ticketing worked and if his powerchair would fit.

The day involved a demonstration and provided attendees with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with using the bus service and staff of the bus company provided explanations of the accessibility of buses.

Paul is now a frequent user of the bus service.

The aims of Disabled Access Day are to encourage those with a disability and their families, friends and carers to try something new, to increase confidence in exploring new places in a welcoming setting, to highlight accessible venues across the UK, to gives venues an opportunity to refresh their staff training and focus on disabled access, to educate the wider public on the access issues faced by people with a disability, to raise awareness of disabled access and to give venues and opportunity to showcase their services and facilities and enable them to reflect on how they can improve.

The day was a success in 2015 with 1,000 disabled people and their families, friends and carers trying something new, feedback demonstrated that participants had gained the confidence to try somewhere new, 261 venues to part, venues were able to increase their staff’s awareness of disabilities and the day achieve an increase in general public awareness.

And this year its back, for a list of event that are going on in your area head over to

http://www.disabledaccessday.com/what-s-on/

What will you try that’s new?

#access_day #dontquitdoit #disABILITY #IMABLE

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE COMPENSATION – REHABILITATION IN SERIOUS INJURY CLAIMS

When people think of personal injury claims they think of compensation but that is only half of the story.

Each year, a significant number of people are seriously injured and/or acquire a disability following accidents caused by the negligence of another.

 

In addition to their initial impact serious and complex injuries can lead to a wide range of long standing symptoms including pain, fatigue, deconditioning and mobility issues.

 

It is also not uncommon for individuals to suffer a number of psychosocial conditions such as anxiety, isolation, problems with sleep and depression.   These conditions impose limitations on body structure and functioning and have the potential to impact negatively on aspects of daily living including employment, sport, social and community engagement and the undertaking of everyday domestic tasks which we can often take for granted.

 

One of the most important things following an accident is early rehabilitation and providing support to individuals to rebuild and adapt their lives including the ability to gain access to exercise using adapted methods which are safe and effective.

 

There are in effect four stages to rehabilitation:-

 

  1. Initial Rehabilitation: This is the acute stage, usually lasting a few days to a few weeks depending on the injuries. The focus of this treatment is predominately on restoring body functions and structure and improving the impairments associates with them with the primary goal being to restore physical function and prevent the onset and/or symptoms associates with them.

 

  1. Condition Specific Rehabilitation: Once the acute stage is over it is time to target the improvement of specific systems associated with or causing one of more secondary conditions such as strength, balance, posture and mobility. Training will continue to build upon recovery.

 

  1. Fitness: The next stage is to focus on fitness.  Improving aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, body composition and flexibility and generally working on building and improving activity limitations.

 

  1. Lifelong: Finally comes the lifelong stage. When an individual plateaus the emphasis on rehabilitation shifts from improvement and prevention to developing a sustainable lifestyle.

 

Rehabilitation is the first step towards restoring health and function of an individual who has just acquired a disability but it is also important to support such individuals in the longer term to develop new lifestyles and habits to accommodate their injuries moving forward.

 

As a Serious Injury Lawyer, I am surrounded by the opportunity to meet a wide range of inspiring individuals who lives have been turned upside down by serious injuries arising from accidents as a result of the negligence of another.  My role not only enables me to provide clients with legal advice but by aiming to achieve early interim payments, allows them access to early rehabilitation something which I believe, along with an understanding of disability, is crucial to rebuilding lives following injury.

 

#DontQuitDoIt  #DisABILITY #IMABLE

A day in the life of

So its 18:15 just 13 hours after I left home this morning and I’m getting on the train home having done my second lot of walking cardio for the day. 

Today was a fairly small job day. After working through my inbox I focused of wading my way through the number of small tasks on my to do list.  
Overall my day involved a degree of evidence gathering and research.

Today I had a number of medical records to request. Some for the first time and others by way of updated records. Medical records form an important part of our client’s for of number of reasons :-

All claims must be supported by expert medical evidence and each client will at some point during the life of their claim will need to be assessed. Part of the expert’s assessment involves considering the claimants medical records  and identifying any entries which are relevant to the injury for which compensation is being claimed.  They will consider whether there has been and previous injuries or complaints of a similar kind and if so they will advise whether such previous history is relevant to the injuries sustained in the accident. They can then rule the previous entries out or they can give their opinion in the effect the injuries had on any previous condition. 

In addition to providing evidence of injuries, medical records that detail your attendances after the accident may also assist in supporting any financial loss such as travel costs to and from appointments, they may also assist in supporting l whether or not your needed care and assistanc and serve as s reminder of what was going on at that time in terms of recovery and whether any prescriptions were made which required a purchased. 

     Post work out meal – chicken, rice and aparagus   All trained. Legs and glutes day today light weight but high intensity lots of reps and supersets made up on one leg leg press, leg extensions, squats, good mornings, cable kick backs and lunges 

 

 I’m  Just getting into Waterloo,  time to tie the laces and get ready for my first bought of cardio for the day. It’s a 25 minutes walk to the gym from here…. Time to wrap up warm. 

Fuelled up on my 5am breakfast of oats, whey and berries today’s plan is to hit the glutes and hamstrings.

 
To do list has been planned now time to study 

  
So it’s 6am and I’m just waiting for my train ready to head into the capital for another jam packed day… The Monday morning commute is my time for planning  time to have a quick look over my cases and work out my game plan for the week.  
     

TO FIX OR NOT TO FIX

Three years after the introduction of the last costs overhaul in 2013, Jackson is back again with his report Fixed Costs The Time is Has Come.

The report suggests that it is now time to consider increasing th application of fixed costs to all fast track cases and some multi-track cases where the value of the claim is less than £250,000. There is, however an undertone that ultimately the future is that fixed costs will apply to all civil cases.

In the report Jackson considers the fixed cost models of Germany and New Zealand both of which run successfully. 

His proposed figures are set out by band 1 to 4. Band 1 being claims between £25,000 and £50,000 which he has suggested legal fees ought to be capped at £18,750 and Band 4 being claims valued between £175,001 – £250,000 to be fixed at £70,250z

The costs include counsel’s fees but exclude other disbursements, the costs of enforcing any order and VAT.

It has been left that must now decide whether to implement the recommendations made and whether o apply fixed costs universally or as or Jacksons recommendations.

In an era where the professions are being criticised for being inaccessible and the hourly rate model for being unaffordable it’s hardly surprising that litigation is now following the footsteps of other areas of law such a corporate, family and conceyancing where a lot of works are now quoted on a fixed price. On the other hand it may be arguable that such types of work have less twists and turns than litigation and can be somewhat more predictable.

Where modern technology is developing faster than the blink of an eye the legal profession are stood at the edge of a transitional cliff edge with the option of sticking to what we know or have the courage to take the plunge into the unknown and remember nothing great was ever achieved in the comfort zone. 

This is not the end but merely the beginning of a new age…. 

NATIONAL MATERNITY REVIEW – A FIVE YEAR FAST FORWARD VIEW OF MATERNITY CARE

 

Today, NHS England published the National Maternity Review following the inquiry into the maternity care provided at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust which found that failures in care may have played a part in the death of three mothers and 16 babies.

 

Whilst reading through the review, the former clinical negligence lawyer in me found it an interesting although unsurprising read yet the young female, one-day future mother, in me found it somewhat heartbreaking to listen to the stories of families who had had their lives turned upside down by the medical failings they had experienced.

 

The review focuses on the importance of women being able to make choices about their care and the safety of the mother and baby being paramount.  It concludes by setting out a number of proposals aimed at improving maternity care over the next five years.

 

Findings include: –

  •  In half of all stillbirths, there are elements of care that if improved could make a difference,
  • In around one in 17 births, there are incidents that result in some level of harm to either the baby or the mother,
  • Nearly half of all inspections of maternity services resulted in safety assessment that were classed as “inadequate” or “requires improvement”,
  • Many women feel they are not being offered a real choice in the services they can access
  • Hospital Services are at capacity,
  • There is a lack of continuity of care from the start, through pregnancy, birth and then after birth with mothers reporting that they rarely saw the same professionals twice,
  • Health professionals are working under pressure and not working well together,
  • The UK achieves poorer outcomes than its European peers,
  • £560 million is spent each year by the NHS on clinical negligence claims relating to maternity care
  • Where things do go wrong, the fear of litigation can prevent staff from being open from their mistakes and learning from them

 

Recommendations of the review include: –

  •  Every woman should have a midwife, who is part of a small team of 4 to 6 midwives based in the community who know the women and family, and can provide continuity of care throughout pregnancy, birth and postnatally,
  • Each team of midwives should have an identified obstetrician who can get to know and understand their service and can advise on issues as appropriate,
  • There should be a national standardised investigation process when things go wrong, to get to the bottom of what went wrong and why and how future services can be improved as a consequence,
  • There is already an expectation of openness and honest between professionals and families, which should be support by a rapid redress and resolution scheme, encouraging rapid learning and to ensure that families receive the help they need quickly,
  • Education ought to be reviewed to ensure that it promotes multi-professionalism and that there are shared elements where practical and sensible,
  • Multi-professional training should be a standard part of professional’s continual professional development, both in routine situations and emergencies,
  • Use of electronic maternity records should be rolled out nationally, to support sharing of data and information between professionals, organisations and with the women.

 

The NHS England have committed to introducing the recommendations made in the report.  However, as always, funding will be an important factor.   Whilst Parliament have committed more money to the NHS it is clear that a number of departments requires extra funding at present and therefore only time will tell whether maternity services are able to receive the funding requirement to meet the recommendations made.

 

Whist maternity services have improved over the years, birth will never be 100% safe and when things go wrong the fall out is devastating, tragic and life changing for those involved.

 

In such circumstances it is important to raise a complaint with the hospital following the NHS Complaints Procedure and separately that advice is sought from an appropriately qualified clinical negligence lawyer with experience in obstetric cases.

 

Details of the NHS Complaints Procedure can be found on each individual hospitals website.

 

Further detail of the National Maternity Review can be found here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf

DOES YOUR PARTNER HAVE A VIOLENT HISTORY? FINDING THE VOICE WITHIN. CLARE’S LAW AND THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCHEME 

  
This is the reason Clare’s Law came into force and introduced The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.   

   Since March 2014, members of the public a ‘right to ask’ Police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual.
If checks reveal that the partner has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate that there may be a risk from the partner, the Police will consider sharing this information.

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic violence at some point during their lifetime. In one year alone, 15.4 million cases of domestic violence were reported, 25% of which involved couples who had never lived together.
It takes a very brave person to find their voice in such a paralysing and terrifying situation. Be reassured that it did not happen because you are weak or that it was your fault and when you are brave enough to speak you will not be alone, friends and family will be there to protect you and help you rebuild. By reporting your experience to the police you may well be saving someone else in the long term.

If you wish to know more contact your local police station and ask to speak to the community safety unit.

 #beaware #besafe #domesticviolence #Clare’sLaw #standtogether