Drugs and alcohol: How safe do you feel?


At Express Medicals, we believe in prevention, rather than cure.

When it comes to threats to our safety, what comes to mind? Is it natural disasters, terror, crossing the road?

We often fail to consider what’s on our doorstep or part of our everyday community, as we go on with our daily lives and work routine.

Reports tell us that increasing numbers of people are turning to self-medication to deal with increasingly stressful lifestyles: demanding social activities, work, family, bad news, pressure, all of which, over time, can lead to a downwards spiral of behaviour, resulting in drug or alcohol use as a coping mechanism.

In this month’s news, 48-year old head teacher Iain Gilmour was banned from driving and fined after police found him to be over the legal drink-drive limit, and possessing cocaine. His defence? He told Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court he had been under ‘constant’ political and financial pressure at Isambard Brunel Junior School.

The issues raised above, led this teacher to abuse alcohol and drugs, harming himself and raising concerns with others around him. At Express Medicals we offer drug and alcohol tests, medicals and health review assessments, to monitor those in stressful jobs, ensuring they don’t become a danger to the public, their peers or the wider community.

As this month’s case shows, drug and alcohol issues can affect anyone, your nanny, the pilot responsible for 500 passengers, rail drivers getting us to work daily, the surgeon about to go into theatre – or the head teacher concerned at their Ofsted reports.

It’s easy to deny the potential for problems at work, but more and more clients in professional and office-based roles are turning to Express Medicals for health screening. Our fully trained healthcare professionals are ready to help tackle such issues, saving you your job, wellbeing, and maintaining the safety of others and loved ones.

Healthy Heart



When it comes to heart health, many people don’t realize the fact that they can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular problems just by making a few small changes in their lives.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in men and women, greater than the next five causes of death combined!

Fortunately, there are ways to significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease and reverse the effects of a current heart condition you may or may not be aware of. Your diet, your lifestyle, your exercise regimen (or lack thereof) all play a major role in determining whether or not you will eventually become a statistic as well.

Learning the risk factors of heart disease is the first step towards lowering your chances of having a heart attack, stroke or a related cardiovascular problem. Although you may have a genetic predisposition, there are many dietary and lifestyle changes you can implement to not only reduce the risk, but actually reverse the damage of heart disease.

How do you lower your risk of heart disease?

Try to improve your diet by limiting trans fats, fast foods, fried foods and refined sugar. All of these increase your risk of heart disease by causing buildup in your arteries over time. Incorporate Omega-3 fatty acids, a major heart health booster, via cold water fish or a fish oil supplement. Use extra virgin olive oil when cooking, as well as garlic…they can both lower cholesterol naturally.

Definitely start exercising regularly, at least 3-4 times a week, and get your blood flowing. This ensures that a fresh supply of blood is being circulated in your body, giving your cells the energy they need to function properly. Lack of exercise is one of the major risk factors heart disease.

Oftentimes we don’t get the nutrients we need from our diets, as manufacturing and processing methods deplete them before they even arrive at the market. As such you might want to supplement some of the important vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients you may be lacking.

Lastly, try to stop the bad habits. Smoking is one of the leading heart disease risk factors, second only to obesity. If you currently smoke, do whatever you can to quit and avoid second hand smoke as well. Don’t drink excessively, alcohol can cause cardiovascular problems. Try to reduce stress and anxiety as much as possible. Perhaps most importantly, keep your weight within recommended ranges. Obesity tops the list of risk factors for heart disease. The excess weight can really do some damage to your body!

Accessing Your Files

We always value what our customers think. We have had some feedback regarding our previous e-mail in relation to how we now send files. Please read below to hopefully make things clearer for you all.

At Express Medicals, we’ve changed the way our customers access their files. This has been done to ensure only approved personnel can access your company’s confidential information.

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Not Just Dust – ORR Update

The first Office for Rail and Road (ORR) briefing of 2018 has put the spotlight on risks within the rail industry to those working with respirable crystalline silica (RCS), highlighted in our article ‘Not Just Dust’ earlier this month.

Their figures show 800 people a year die from workplace exposure to RCS.

Their key messages include:

We want to see more rail companies make a public commitment to do more to tackle occupational cancers. With silica second only to asbestos in causing work related cancers, now is the time for the rail industry to show real leadership. Will your company commit to tackle occupational cancers?

Do your workers appreciate the risks from exposure to concrete, stone, cement and brick dust? Do they understand that fine dust particles that can reach deep into their lungs are invisible under normal lighting? The free ‘NTTL’ silica campaign resources which include posters, leaflets, pocket cards and tool box talks, could be a powerful tool for communicating these messages. Mainline workers should start to see Network Rail-branded versions of the IOSH silica resources as part of their commitment to the NTTL campaign.

For more information on Express Medicals’ silica testing ring us on 0207 500 6900.

The first 2018 quarterly update from the Office for Rail and Road is here: http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/26570/occupational-health-quarterly-update-january-2018.pdf


New January Weekend Opening


Express Medicals’ London clinic is opening on Saturday 13 and 27 January (9am-1pm for medical assessments and drug and alcohol testing), making it even easier for you to fit in appointments round your work hours.

We’re trialling weekend opening next month after clients told us they’d really value Saturday appointments in addition to our express weekday services.
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