One in five people in the workplace will experience a mental health condition, causing over 70 million working days to be lost each year. Managing mental health conditions (such as stress, anxiety, depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder) remains a challenge, despite the recent efforts of many companies to implement policies to support a healthy workforce.
As Porterhouse Medical celebrates its 15 year anniversary, joint MD and founder, Brian Parsons reflects on the changes to the medical communications industry over the past decade and a half.
The Porterhouse team made us proud by wearing jeans to change lives and baking a variety of blue cakes and cookies for Jeans for Genes Day last Friday. Thank you to Alice for organising the day and to all those who got involved!
I love working for Porterhouse Medical and enjoy working with our talented and highly qualified team of account and event managers, medical writers and designers. Together, we work hard to deliver intelligent, scientific and medical communications that are second to none and that we are proud to have produced.
Every 28 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with lymphoma. Lymphoma is a form of blood cancer that occurs when certain cells in the blood, known as lymphocytes, divide and grow in an out-of-control manner and cease to function effectively. As a result, the body is unable to fight off infection or other forms of cancer. However, lymphoma is treatable, and early diagnosis is important for ensuring that patients receive treatment in a timely manner.
The 2017 Women in Business Awards shortlist (http://womeninbusiness.biz/wib-awards-2017/) – released yesterday – includes an impressive three ‘finalist’ nominations for Porterhouse Medical across three award categories. Senior Medical Writers Lisa Gallacher and Gillian Hancey have been nominated for individual awards, with the company also being nominated for an employer award.
Porterhouse Medical is 15 years old next month and plans to celebrate delivering on its mission – “Developing a shared vision with our partners to deliver programmes to improve people’s lives” – for a decade and a half.
Last week the mighty Porterhouse Power Athletes took on the new challenge of static wheelchair racing to fundraise for our local charity partners, SportsAble.
2017 has been a busy year for Porterhouse Medical so far, with a full calendar of advisory board meetings, steering committee meetings, stand-alone meetings, international congresses and symposia.
Porterhouse Medical, winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, was delighted to welcome Rob Wilson MP to open our new office in Windsor Square this month.
At Porterhouse Medical, we are passionate about the work we do with our partners to help improve people’s lives; which includes using our medical and scientific communications expertise to help raise awareness of disease symptoms and encourage support for relevant charities.
Promising news for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) was reported at the 13th International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Vienna earlier this month. PRX002/RG7935, currently in Phase 1b clinical trials, has been identified as having an acceptable safety profile and is expected to go into phase 2 clinical trials in the next few months.
Porterhouse Medical prides itself on being a company that works together as a family, with humour and happiness instilled in all that we do.
We are delighted to announce that Richard has been promoted to the role of Creative Services Manager.
To help raise awareness and mark the 10th Annual Rare Disease Day, here we describe five interesting facts about rare diseases.
Here, we look at the past to reveal some surprising perceptions about risk factors that are now widely known to be associated with cancer. We also consider how our awareness of risk factors has moved on, so much so that we may have gone too far in the opposite direction…
In order to leverage the wealth of experience that Porterhouse Medical has gathered over the many years of working in a huge range of oncology disease and therapy areas, we have created a new internal department, known as ‘ONCOR’, to focus predominantly on oncology.
As part of our mission to help improve people’s lives, Porterhouse adopts a local charity to fundraise for each year. For 2017, we are very happy to announce that the charity we will be supporting is SportsAble.
At Porterhouse, we’ve worked really hard over the past 18 months to integrate the company values into everything we do. These values – which emphasise pride, passion, ambition, family and humour in our work and daily lives – are reflected in our approach to the recruitment, training and well-being of our in-house teams of medical writers, account managers, event planners, designers and programmers.
2016 was an amazing year for Porterhouse. In addition to recording a record turnover and profit for our year ending September 2016, we also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016 (international trade) and received Investors in People accreditation at the silver level at our first attempt. We were also highly commended in two other business awards.
It has been a pleasure working for Porterhouse over the past 10 years. In that time the company has grown at a rapid pace into the vibrant force that it is today, while still retaining the nurturing family feel that it has always had under Jon and Brian’s leadership. No mean feat in the world of med comms! I have been fortunate to work with some inspiring colleagues over the years, and it is always rewarding to see how quickly new members of the team settle in and develop their skills and confidence.
The team at Porterhouse Medical is proud to have been given the ‘Highly Commended’ award at the Thames Valley Business Magazine’s 2016 Awards Ceremony last week, in the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) category.
At Porterhouse Medical, we are passionate about the work we do with our partners to help improve people’s lives; which includes using our communications expertise to help raise awareness of disease symptoms and regular donations to charity.
At Porterhouse Medical, we are passionate about the work we do to help improve people’s lives. We are also passionate about doing our bit for charity, so in early 2016 we launched a special fundraising initiative: to adopt a local charity for which we will fundraise throughout the year. This year, we are proud to be supporting the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service (http://www.alexanderdevine.org/).
As a proud provider of outstanding career progression and development opportunities, Porterhouse Medical is once again celebrating staff achievements with two promotions in the editorial team.
Rob Pilbrow, one of Porterhouse’s veteran members of staff, enjoyed a double celebration this month after being promoted to the role of Group Director, Editorial Services, and winning the accolade of ‘Role Model’ in the Champion of Change category at the Women in Business Awards 2016!
Always keen to do our bit for charity, today Porterhouse will be supporting Jeans for Genes Day. Rare genetic disorders are a key area of focus for the Porterhouse team, and we are glad to be able to raise money to support patients with genetic disorders and their families.
As a reward for all our hard work, the team at Porterhouse enjoyed a glamorous day of horse racing in Newbury on last Friday, despite heavy rain flash flooding hitting the town on Thursday night and causing flash flooding in the town centre.
Hot topics at the 16th EURetina Congress include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and imaging.
We are delighted to announce that our Editorial Services Director, Rob, has been selected as a finalist in the Women in Business Awards 2016, in the category ‘Champion of Change’.
2016 has been a busy year for office refurbishments, which have included some major upgrades to our meeting rooms and kitchen area. We now have three super-smart meeting rooms, a cute little meeting “pod”, and loads more space to enjoy our lunches thanks to the addition of some lovely bright benches. This month it was all topped off with the unveiling of our stunning new office artwork.
The directors of Porterhouse Medical, Jon and Brian, attended the reception for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 14 July 2016.
On Wednesday 6 July 2016, Porterhouse staff were delighted to receive a visit from Mr James Puxley, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, who presented proud company directors Brian Parsons and Jon Hallows with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Porterhouse received this award on the Queen’s birthday in recognition of our international work, which earned us over £2 million in 2015.
We are delighted to announce that we have received Investors in People (IIP) accreditation at the Silver level. IIP accreditation is an internationally recognised and rigorously assessed performance framework that demonstrates a company’s commitment to staff training and development. Organisations that meet the world-recognised IIP Standard reflect the very best in people management excellence.
Like everyone who works in medical communications, I am passionate about medical science. But unlike a lot of people, I am also fascinated with the human skeleton and what you can learn about a deceased person just from looking at their bones.
Wednesday 8 June was the fifth annual MedComms Day, an opportunity for med comms professionals across the globe to share their experiences of life in our fantastic industry.
Something was different at the office yesterday – everyone looked smart and all the desks were tidy! Work has begun on the production of our new video.
We are delighted and proud to announce that Porterhouse Medical has been recognized with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016 – the UK’s highest accolade for outstanding achievement in business.
We are delighted to announce that Alison Washer, our Operations Director, has been shortlisted for the Investors in People’s People’s Manager of the Year award.
Late last year I finally achieved a fantastic goal: my very first first-author paper. This wasn’t exactly as it sounds, as although I am a senior medical writer at Porterhouse, the article was largely written by my PhD supervisor from 13 years ago, Dr Tracey Bradshaw.
As part of a number of exciting changes taking place at Porterhouse Medical, we have decided, for the first time ever, to adopt a company charity and fundraise for it over the course of the year!
To help raise awareness and mark the 10th Annual Rare Disease Day, here we describe five interesting facts about rare diseases.
Disease classifications generally look at similarities in causes or symptoms. Rare diseases are different, as the classification is based on prevalence. In Europe, a rare disease is defined as one that affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 people, while the American definition states that a rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the USA [1,2].
Rare diseases can be inherited (e.g. mucopolysaccharidoses ), or caused by bacterial or viral infections (e.g. anthrax  and rabies ), or environmental factors (e.g. malignant peritoneal mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure ). People of any age can be affected by a rare disease, although it’s estimated that 50–75% affect children [7,8]. The signs and symptoms of rare diseases are also highly variable and complex – even patients with the same disease can experience different symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, with slow or rapid progression.
The prevalence of rare diseases varies widely. For some rare diseases only one case has been reported (e.g. some congenital disorders of glycosylation), while others can affect hundreds of individuals (e.g. tens or hundreds of cases of some immunodeficiency syndromes are known), or even hundreds of families (e.g. some types of epilepsy are reported to affect about 100 families ).
Although each individual disease may only affect a few people, the large number of different types of rare disease means that an estimated 350 million individuals are affected globally . Moreover, approximately 5 new rare diseases are identified each week, so we can expect the number of affected individuals to grow .
Diagnosis of rare diseases is challenging. The rarity of some conditions may mean that a particular doctor has never encountered the rare disease their patient is affected by. Furthermore, many rare diseases include common signs and symptoms, leading to misdiagnosis, which delays appropriate disease management. Misdiagnoses and the resulting treatment delays can be enormously detrimental to the patient, and symptoms developed before diagnosis may have an irreversible impact on the patient.
The overall prevalence and heterogeneity of rare diseases result in a large number of patients affected by these complex, life-changing disorders. The impact of rare diseases on the day-to-day life of patients and their families is compounded by diagnostic delays and a challenging environment for the development of therapies that target rare diseases. Limited knowledge of rare diseases may reduce the likelihood of patients initiating treatment in a timely manner, while the high costs of running clinical trials and manufacturing drugs for a relatively small number of patients means that, when available, treatments are frequently expensive.
The Rare Disease Day campaign aims to combat these issues by raising awareness among the public, healthcare professionals, researchers, industry, and policy decision–makers. This global campaign aims to bring down barriers to timely diagnosis, and improve access to available treatments and comprehensive care. By supporting coordinated, international research and clinical trials, it is hoped that new therapies will be developed for the many rare disease patients who rely on palliative strategies. Starting as a European initiative in 2008, the campaign is now global, with 84 countries holding events in 2016. There is still much work to be carried out to ensure rare disease patients are receiving optimal treatment and support, and today organisations across the globe will be supporting the Rare Disease Day campaign to ensure this goal is reached.
To find out more, please visit http://www.rarediseaseday.org/.
1. Orphanet. About rare diseases. Available at: http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Education_AboutRareDiseases.php?lng=EN. Accessed February 2017.
2. National Organization for Rare Disorders. Resources & FAQs: What makes a disease rare? Available at: https://rarediseases.org/for-patients-and-families/information-resources/resources-faqs/. Accessed February 2017.
3. Lehman TJA, Miller N, Norquist B et al. Diagnosis of the mucopolysaccharidoses. Rheumatology 2011; 50 (Suppl 5): v41–v48.
4. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Bacterial infections. Available at: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/diseases-by-category/2/bacterial-infections. Accessed February 2017.
5. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Viral infections. Available at: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/diseases-by-category/25/viral-infections. Accessed February 2017.
6. Asbestos.com. Peritoneal mesothelioma. Available at: https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/peritoneal.php. Accessed February 2017.
7. Rare Disease UK. What is a rare disease? Available at: http://www.raredisease.org.uk/what-is-a-rare-disease/. Accessed February 2017.
8.RareDiseaseDay.org. What is a rare disease? Available at: http://www.rarediseaseday.org/article/what-is-a-rare-disease. Accessed February 2017.
9. Orphanet Report Series. Prevalence and incidence of rare diseases: Bibliographic data; November 2016. Available at: http://www.orpha.net/orphacom/cahiers/docs/GB/Prevalence_of_rare_diseases_by_alphabetical_list.pdf. Accessed February 2017.
10. Global Genes. Rare diseases: Facts and statistics. Available at: https://globalgenes.org/rare-diseases-facts-statistics/. Accessed February 2017.
11. Engel PA, Bagal S, Broback M et al. Physician and patient perceptions regarding physician training in rare diseases: The need for stronger educational initiatives for physicians. J Rare Disord 2013; 1 (2). Available at: http://www.journalofraredisorders.com/pub/IssuePDFs/Engel.pdf. Accessed February 2017.
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