The best haematology app? Buku Haematology

January 17, 2019

What is the best haematology app?

Watch this review of Buku Haematology - a useful clinical reference resource that details how to manage haematological investigation results, work up for common haematological conditions and emergencies.

With a clean interface and clear explanations and reference to BMJ, CKS and national guidance it really is a valuable resource for anyone in primary care.

The highs and lows section covers individual test results and the implications of them to help clinicians understand how to manage the results in the context of each patient.

The coagulation section gives useful guides on problems with coagulation including FAQs on DOACs like Rivaroxaban.

The workup section explains common presentations and considerations for haematological conditions and how to manage from a primary care perspective and what point to refer.

The obstetric section has useful criteria for managing anaemia in pregnancy. The emergency section helps guide how to manage complex haematological emergencies.

Created by Dr Alex Langridge and Prof Steven O'Brian it really is a useful app that is updated in content on a regular basis.

Check out this app in detail use the link below to download it:

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Must own GP app- Nottinghamshire LMC

January 10, 2019

Must own GP app- Nottinghamshire LMC app

Hi #eGPlearners , with millions of apps out there how do you know which ones you should use. Try one of my top 5 apps as a must own GP app- the Nottinghamshire LMC app. 

Watch the video here and do not forget to subscribe to be the first to see future episodes. 


The Nottinghamshire LMC app in my view is a must own GP app. 

It contains multiple resources useful for any GP at any stage of their career.  Linking to BMA resources means that although Nottinghamshire centric, the app is relevant to GPs in any geographic location. This includes a guidance section which is kept up to date, resources for partners, trainees, practice managers, and sessional GPs. 

The app contains useful news links and contact details including local LMC events (Nottinghamshire focused). 

The SHOP library allows you to share experience and innovation while the services section links to valuable resources offered by the LMC. 

Finally, the Wellbeing section is diverse with multiple resources, tools, and links to financial, mental health, well-being, support and self-development help. 

I find this a truly useful app with multiple resources. One development could be to enhance reporting like the BEAM to LMC app offered by the Londonwide LMC. 

Take a look and download the app from the link here

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Are you hoping for a Dry January?

January 3, 2019

Are you hoping for a Dry January?


Hi #eGPlearners - are you hoping for a Dry January? Check out this Dry January app review on how the app works and whether it is useful for individuals or patients. 

Click on the image below to see the full video or read below. 



It is reasonable to assume that alcohol drinking increases over December with Christmas parties, festive celebrations over the holiday period and New Years which also culminate in lesser-known occasions like Black eye Friday. 

But with a new year comes change and a slew of new years resolutions. Many may participate in Dry January - where you do not drink alcohol for the whole month. To support people,  the Alcohol Change UK charity has created the Dry January app, but is it any good?

The app is easy and free to download. It asks for your current drinking habits and lets you add this quickly and easily. Presenting you with an approximate unit intake, cost and calorie intake per week is also a good set of metrics to use. 

The app does ask if you want to contribute and savings you make as a pledge. I think this is reasonable as the Alcohol Charity UK have created this app for free and offer you the choice. Better yet- even if you pledge it is only a percentage of the savings you have made so technically you are not paying for it. 

Logging your habits is easy and customisable. The main dashboard provides clear information and some resources to support you. 

However, I think the app could be improved. while Dry January can be a useful idea, for those significantly high drinkers stopping suddenly can be dangerous and clearer warnings on this would be more ideal particularly when logging your intake. Also signposting to regional support services would be a more useful way to use the app. 

Overall, I like the app and think it works better than many of the tools in the patient health records I use. If it leads to a permanent change in drinking habits this can be really helpful, although it is important to remember that boom or bust methods to cut vices can sometimes lead to rebound use which can be just as damaging to a person's health. Subjectively many clinical colleagues mention higher admission rates for alcohol misuse in the first two weeks of February and Dry January may be the cause. 


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#TipThursday -


Do you need some Headspace?

December 20, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners do you need some Headspace?

Working in healthcare whether as a GP, part of the primary care team or in hospitals can be emotionally stressful. There are many ways to manage stress and lately mindfulness is seen as an effective tool to support stress management. But access can be tricky – so let us look to technology to help in the form of Headspace.

  • Edit

Headspace was founded in 2010 by Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe (who wrote the Headspace guide to Mindfulness and Medication).  The Headspace platform offers unique content varying from guided meditations to animations and videos via the Headspace website and mobile app, teaching users the techniques of mindfulness.

The app is free to download and use with extra features behind a subscription paywall. These extra functions include modules to help deal with stress,  difficulties in focusing, sleep issues, chronic pain,  fear of flying and more. It also has dedicated sections to help with younger people such as settling the active child at night. 

The variable module length is useful with a minimum of 3 minutes meaning anyone can use at some point in the day. 

I love the animations which do draw me in, and the interface which is easy to use. The guided meditations work well and its simplicity is a key reason I do recommend this app to patients as well. With often limited timely access to mental health support, I have found this a useful tool for several patients as an adjunct to their treatment.  Just simply switch on the app, select your module and time length, audio or headphones on and go. 

The app also continues to work if you have to multi-task with your device. I accept this may defeat the object of guided mindfulness- but a useful feature to know about. 

Additionally, the app is resource packed including the obstacle section in the settings which are short free modules which offer advice on overcoming obstacles when trying to use the app such as worry, posture, stiffness, pain etc. 

With the rise of AI assistants like Google Home, Siri, and Alexa you can also set Headspace to run from these systems like using the Headspace Skill for your Amazon Echo

As mentioned the extra modules come at a cost. Last year Headspace was offered as part of the BMA membership at a reduced rate (as mentioned in a previous eGPlearning Podblast episode).

Currently, the app is on offer for £44 for a year compared to £9.99 a month or £72 a year if paid annually. 

Another option is to sign up at a reduced rate via Anxiety UK as part of their membership. 

I do like the interface and it is simple to use, however, I would like to change the voice if possible to customise it more, also I can see how social sharing of goals can be a valuable asset, much how many running apps use this method as a motivator. However, I can also appreciate this is not a feature all users would want given how physical health and mental health are viewed. 

Feel free to given Headspace a try either for yourself or for patients. 

Do not forget to subscribe to our various channels and feel free to comment below or on the various channels. 


(ps. I receive no benefit from eGPlearners signing up to Headspace, however, some affiliate links to other resources on this page). 


How to use Twitter as a clinician- hints and tips

December 13, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners

Welcome to the weekly showcase of Technology-enhanced primary & learning resources from eGPlearning.

In this final part of the series on using Twitter as a clinician, I share my own personal hints and tips on using Twitter and how you can use it to collect and manage your continuous professional development (CPD). 

This episode contains hints on who to follow, how to engage in a twitter debate, which primary care and clinical hasthtags are worth following, and how to create your won CPD Twitter system. 

Subscribe on YouTube for the latest video or follow and share the eGPlearning Facebook page for more. 

As always, comment, share and keep eGPlearning. 



Anatomy of a Tweet

December 6, 2018

Anatomy of a Tweet

Hi #eGPlearners – Do you know the anatomy of a tweet?

In this episode of TipThursday we continue the series looking at how to use Twitter as a clinician by looking deeper at what I call the anatomy of a tweet.


This episode is a showcase of the Twitter interface including how to use the newsfeed, search, trending and moments, sections, notifications, personal messages, exploring your own and other’s profiles, retweeting, quoting and liking a tweet; and how to create a tweet including images, videos, gifs and more.

This video uses my own personal profile and references various others including @matthancock and @NikkiKF.

If you want to subscribe to the DrGandalf UK Primary care twitter list see here:

Next week we explore more specifically how Twitter may help you as a clinician, how you can use it for continuous professional development and a few of my personal tips.

Watch the full video below, or subscribe on our audio platforms:




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How to sign up to twitter as a doctor

November 29, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners

I am a big fan of social media and often I get asked how can I use social media effectively as a clinician. In this series, we will look at how to use Twitter as a clinician. 

Twitter is a micro-blog site that lets you post (tweet) comments or re-port (retweet) comments of others to share information. Originally tweets were limited to 140 characters but this has now increased to 280 – however, you still have to be concise. 

Twitter allows the rapid sharing of information and can be an effective way of supporting learning and information discovery as well as networking. 

This TipThursday focuses on the basics of creating an account the first step to using Twitter. This includes creating your own profile and initial guidance on where to find medical tweeters (or twits if you want ;p) to follow (check out this twitter list for hints).  For information on creating safe passwords read the blog post here


Next week we will look at the anatomy of a tweet including common terms and how you can post, learn more about profiles and start on your journey to become a part of the Twitterati. The final week will cover more tips on using Twitter including specifically as a clinician and important considerations. 

Please comments and share any challenges you have, or if this TipThursday has made you take the leap into Twitter let me know. I am happy to help on @drgandalf52 or @egplearning

As always: 

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NHS Digital resources to help you be safe using health technology

November 22, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners

Welcome to the weekly showcase of Technology-enhanced primary & learning resources from eGPlearning.

This episode looks at NHS Digital resources and governance posted on the eGPlearning Facebook page ( or available here

This is pertinent guidance that talks about four key areas such as instant messaging apps, video conferencing, bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile device use in hospital. 

Listen to the video below or read our brief notes under for more details. 

Messaging apps:

This document outlines key aspects such as encryption, passcode use, notification issues, and remote wiping- key aspects with most of the following guidance. 

The guidance does not specify which apps to use despite mentioning a few and ignores apps specifically used for secure healthcare instant messaging like Siilo, Forward and Cupris to name a few. This was covered in our previous episodes of the eGPlearning Podblast about GDPR and our interview with Dr Aisha Malik

Video Conferencing:

This guidance offers information about the use of video conferencing as a service provider, clinician and aspects for patients to be aware. It also offers a template consent form citing that use should not be compulsory. These are interesting aspects which are covered in more detail in the upcoming eGPlearning Podblast episode out at the end of this month. Click the links below to make sure you subscribe for this episode which talks in depth about video conferencing in primary care. 


Increasingly BYOD is being considered for healthcare delivery given the lower cost to organisations and increasing in remote and part time working. This document does outline key issues to consider as both a provider and user. Particularly focusing on safety and responsibility such as two-factor authentication, sandboxing of software and remote wiping of data. 

Mobile device use in hospitals. 

How devices are used is changing. This document does outline key considerations and regulations that are applicable. The last sheet is an excellent summary. 

What are your thoughts on these NHS Digital resources?

Do not forget to subscribe to our various channels to be the first to hear more useful TipThursday bites, and as always:

Comment, share and keep eGPlearning. 



Should you stand as a GP?

November 15, 2018

Sitting is the new smoking. Staying sedentary for several hours a day increases your risk of diabetes. So should you stand as a GP?

I remember visiting my GP as a child. Sit in the waiting room normally sullen and low because of yet another episode of tonsillitis. 

Then I was called into the doctor’s office. I would enter a room that CQC would now shut down in a heartbeat with mosaic rugs, plush furry chairs, and a beautiful mahogany desk.

And there was the GP….sitting behind his desk. I remember him moving in his chair to get some forms from a cabinet. I remember him asking me to stand as he examined me sitting in his executive chair, and I remember him always sitting behind a desk. 

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. I remember finishing work with my shoulders feeling tight, my lower back aching for a stretch, as I scooted in my chair to get a form from my cabinet next to my desk. It was at that point I realised I had been sitting in my chair for over four hours. 

I wanted to change this sedentary life. I had a chat with my partners and highlighted I would be changing my room. Shortly after I got a rising desk (Yoyo-90). 

I love it. The build quality is excellent with significant heft. The hydraulic risers are simple to clip and push my whole station upwards to allow me to stand. Initially I could only manage an hour or so before my legs tired out and I had to sit again. A further investment in a standing mat helped there. Within a month I was standing while doing all my admin. Then I took the plunge and stood while consulting with patients.



Should you stand as a GP?

Some will feel less happy about standing while consulting. I know in sharing my story I have heard several criticisms such as:

  • It means you are trying to rush the patient
  • To stand over a patient is to exert a power dynamic in the consultation
  • It means you are trying to hide the screen from the patient

Over the past year, I have not found any of these to be true. 

  • In my clinic, patients sit while I stand (see the chairs above). 
  • If a patient feels uncomfortable I will sit, however, I have only been asked this twice in the past 18 months.
  • When there is a need for additional empathy, I often sit next to the patient. 
  • I actively share my screens when needed with the patients. 
  • Patients often comment on the desk, about seeing similar in the media and how positive such changes are. 

Sounds encouraging and even our Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Matt Hancock is very pro-standing desks. 

However, it is important to recognise that standing desks on their own is not enough.  This is a useful article and another here that comments on the opposing view. This includes complications of standing for long periods (tiredness, varicose veins, musculo-skeletal pain from adjusted positions of screens etc.)

Encouraging our patients to be more active is important. So for Self-care week, I am showing how it works in my practice.  Watch the video below and feedback your thoughts on should you stand as a GP?







When should I worry?

November 8, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners

Welcome to the weekly showcase of Technology-enhanced primary & learning resources from eGPlearning.

When should I worry? This is a common question for parents when looking after an unwell child. In primary care, this can often be a challenge for clinicians to manage due to parental anxiety, the expectation of treatments like antibiotics, concerns about antibiotic resistance and growing demand. 

A helpful resource which can be used with and for patients is the When should I worry booklet found at

This short booklet provides clear and helpful advice on managing common conditions that can be self-managed by parents, with advice on self-care options, symptom management and importantly clear guidance on when to see further advice. 

The website even offers training on how to use the booklet effectively, and it is available in a variety of languages. Taking it one step further, you may choose to send parents the weblink for the booklet and for the English version: use this helpful case-sensitive shortlink:

For proactive practices, you could send this as a public information message to all registered parents or share via practice social media channels. 

Watch the video guide below and free to share your thoughts on this resource and as always:

Comments, share and keep eGPlearning. 



eGP DRAMA - eGPlearning TipThursday

November 1, 2018

Hi #eGPlearners

Welcome to the weekly showcase of Technology-enhanced primary & learning resources from eGPlearning.

This week TipThursday covers a resource from the eGPlearning platform –  the eGP DRAMA plan

eGP DRAMA (eGPlearning General Practice Disaster Record And Management Action) plan is a fail-safe document used as an adjunct to you practice business continuity plan. 

It identifies and helps record pertinent practice-related information that if not available at key times can lead to significant stress and impact on the business of running a practice. Particularly with larger scale working, such information needs safeguarding and access at appropriate times. 

To store the document ensure either keeping a hard copy in a safe location or preferably store on an encrypted USB stick or password protected part of the practice intranet. 

This document is free for all eGPlearners via signing up below as part of the eGPlearner induction.

However, for the first week of this video, it is accessible directly via this link:

As always, comment, share and keep eGPlearning.