Category Archives: Health News

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2021

This year the theme of International Women’s Day on March 8th is #Choosetochallenge – encouraging people to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.

Inequality in the workplace is still, in some areas and markets, sadly still apparent. Here at Covance, Leeds we are encouraging all our team to show their support and raise their hands to show they’re in. 

Gender inequality simply should no longer be an issue but whilst unfortunately it still exists we need to make sure that everyone is confident to call it out if they do feel it is happening in their place of work.

At Covance we are a diverse team and that is why, we believe, we work well. Different experiences make more informed decisions. Our unit is led by Heather Davis who is passionate about all the team having opportunities in their work life to thrive and best suit their life choices.

One valued team member is Syeda Lipi Begum who works in Good Manufacturing Practice Quality Assurance at Covance – in short this is the pharmaceutical manufacturing part of the business. Syeda is making sure the necessary systems and process are in place to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of the drug we manufacture

Syeda has worked at Covance since graduating in 2006. Coming from a traditional Asian background, her ambition to follow a career in science was not really the norm for a young girl. However encouraged by her parents, she decided to keep on doing what she enjoyed and went to University in Bradford to study for a BSC in Pharmaceutical Management. Following her graduation she joined Covance.

She initially joined the company as a Pharmacy Technical Assistant. During this time she completed a qualification in Pharmacy Services, so that she could register as a Pharmacy Technician.

Syeda said: “I can’t quite believe I have been with Covance nearly 15 years now! When I started, I was not entirely convinced that I was going to work in this area for the long term, but I soon became aware of the support and encouragement Covance gives its employees.

“I have been fortunate to work in a company where gender inequality simply does not exist. There are women in all levels within Covance. Women in leadership positions alongside male colleagues is the norm.

“I don’t doubt gender inequality is still active in other areas of work. Everyone needs to #choosetochallenge and stand up to it if they see it happening. If we stay quiet it will carry on. I am proud to support International Women’s Day.”

Syeda’s role today within Covance’s has evolved and she is currently in the process of qualifying to become a QP (Qualified Person). This is a person who is responsible for certifying batches of drug product before it can be released for use. Syeda has been encouraged and supported by Covance throughout this training.

Love Your Liver

January is ‘Love Your Liver’ month

As we embark on a new year, January always seems to have a focus on health. Most of us are full of good intentions.  This year, more than ever, people are conscious about their health and how keeping healthy through diet and exercise can play a huge part in fighting off viruses and diseases.

This January it is Love your Liver month a national campaign led by the British Liver Trust Organisation, focusing on how we should all look after our livers in order to be healthier.

Did you know that the liver is our largest solid organ in our body? It is also vital for our overall health. Look after your liver and it will look after you!  Currently one in three of us are at risk at getting liver disease, when it is in fact pretty simple to prevent with lifestyle changes.

Our livers have a lot of jobs to do to help keep our bodies healthy. One of these jobs is processing the alcohol we drink. The more we drink the harder it is for our liver to process it quick enough, which in turn means damaged cells. So, the obvious advice here is to keep your alcohol intake to the recommended in take (no more than 14 units per week) and try to have three days off drinking any alcohol each week, to give your liver time to repair itself.  

Our livers also process most of the nutrients and fats from the foods we eat. If we’re overweight we can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which can cause lasting liver damage. Simple steps we can take include eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water plus taking at least 30 minutes of exercise each day if you can.

The British Liver Trust has put a simple screening questionnaire on its website for you to see if you’re putting your liver at risk. Nine out of ten liver diseases are preventable, but it’s often detected too late for intervention to make a difference – so we need to be mindful of our livers at all times. Treat them right!

At Covance Leeds we have a trial looking at treatments for liver disease coming up soon. We will be looking for healthy volunteers to get involved. It may be that you’ve had a family member or friend who has suffered from liver disease and you’d like to help future patients. Check out forthcoming trials on our website for more information or get in touch to register your interest and apply to become a volunteer with Covance.

Sunset landscape

Supercharge your wellness this winter

We think this year has gone by so quickly and now we find ourselves in winter again, we wanted to bring you some tips to supercharge your wellness this winter! Here at Covance Leeds, we are all about health and wellbeing and we wanted to share some wisdom with you, to make you feel better in body and mind this winter!


Eating a balanced diet with a healthy amount of protein and carbohydrates is a crucial way of staying healthy this winter. There are plenty of healthy winter recipes to be found in this collection from BBC Good Food –

At this time of year many of us can fall prey to the dreaded common cold, but there are some easy ways you can boost your immune system by adding a few key things to your diet. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, known to improve the production of white blood cells, which are key to warding off infections.

Antioxidants are found in a variety of sources, such as green vegetables like broccoli and leafy vegetables like spinach and courgettes. The more fruits and vegetables in your diet the merrier as most are rich in vitamins and antioxidants!


Getting a good night’s sleep is key to feeling good throughout the day and being productive. Lack of sleep affects mood and concentration and it can contribute to more serious health problems such as obesity and diabetes. The NHS has an excellent resource of tips for getting a good night’s sleep on their website :


Most of us know the benefits of regular exercise to our health and wellbeing but finding the time to exercise when you lead a busy lifestyle can be difficult. Thirty minutes of brisk walking a few times per week  is a simple way to boost your exercise regime and walking to work or university is a good way to make time for this. Try setting your alarm half an hour earlier or making time for a walk in your lunchbreak during busy times. According to NHS ‘Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.’ Check out these easy ten minute workouts from NHS if you are pushed for time :

Fresh air

Being outside is sometimes less appealing during the winter months due to the weather, but as long as you wrap up warm getting outside is so beneficial to health and wellness. Check out this interesting article from Mental Floss ‘11 Scientific Benefits of Being Outdoors’, which links being outdoors to boosting energy, creativity and the immune system :

We hope that you all find these winter wellness tips helpful and thank you for reading our latest blog from here at Covance Leeds!

World Mental Health Day

Here at Covance, we believe that raising awareness of mental health issues is vital. ‘World Mental Health Day’ is this week on Thursday 10th October, and this year’s theme, set by the ‘World Federation for Mental Health’ is suicide prevention. In 2018 there were 6507 deaths in the UK from suicide. Anybody killing themselves is too many.

For those that may be suffering from mental health issues there is a range of support available here in the UK.

The NHS have a superb website called ‘Every Mind Matters’ where you can find useful information about mental health, and get your own ‘Mind Plan’ with advice for how to look after your own mental health, by taking a short quiz. Visit the link to their website to find out more:  

The charity ‘Mind’ does amazing work to break down the barriers surrounding mental health and encourage open dialogue surrounding the topic. You can visit the information & support section of their website here to learn more:

A valued colleague and friend of ours here at Covance Leeds, James is helping to raise funds for the Mind charity in Leeds. James is taking part in ‘Rat Race Hell Runner 2019’ on Sunday 12th October in memory of his friend Maud, a young woman who took her own life recently. You can support his fundraising by visiting this link:  

Rat Race Hell Runner is a half marathon, which sees participants running a course of 13 miles through hills, bogs and water, so we want to say a huge ‘good luck’ to James, who is taking part along with a group of his friends to raise money for this worthy cause.

Photo of sunset at a beach

Put the fun in to summer

Summer is here at last and there has been a welcome heatwave lately which has made us feel the summer vibes more than ever! Here at Covance Leeds we wanted to put together a few ideas for how to add some fun to your summer, which are sure to make it even more special.

Host a picnic.

Why not host a picnic for family and friends this summer? Invite a few people who are special to you and find a local park or woodland which will make the perfect place for an outdoor feast! BBC Good Food has a great selection of picnic recipes here:

Get active.

30 minutes of exercise a few times per week can do wonders for both your mental and physical wellbeing. Try going for a brisk walk somewhere scenic and take your headphones with you so that you can enjoy your favourite tunes wherever you go. Joining a gym can be a great way to motivate yourself in to exercising more frequently too and asking a friend to workout with you makes the whole experience more fun!

Take a day at the beach. 

Being by the seaside is a pleasure in itself and there is something so relaxing about watching the waves roll on to the shore. A day at the beach is an ideal way to put fun into summer. Stroll on the sand, eat an ice cream, paddle in the sea and build a sandcastle! Just don’t forget to pack some tasty food, water and of course sunscreen!
Watch a movie.

In the heat of summer, retreating to the cinema might not be a bad idea! There are plenty of great films out this summer and make sure to buy some popcorn when you go, to complete the experience.

Enjoy barbecue season.

There is nothing better than inviting people over for a barbecue in the summer months. We may as well make the most of  the opportunity to cook outside while we can and there is a great selection of barbecue recipes here:

Go stargazing.

Stargazing is a lovely activity and in the summer months the night sky is often very clear, making it easier to see more stars and even planets! Check out the beginner’s guide to astronomy from the BBC Sky At Night Magazine here :

Don’t forget, if you want to be part of something valuable you could become a volunteer for one of our clinical trials. Our Covance Leeds Clinic is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by attractive gardens. We hope to see you soon!

Woman at the beach during sunset

Wellbeing Week

It is World Wellbeing Week and here at Covance Leeds we wanted to share some important tips with you on how to boost your wellbeing! Life is often so busy nowadays that we can easily neglect our own wellbeing in favour of keeping up with work, life and family commitments. Why not try these ideas to make your wellbeing a priority?

Self – care

When life is hectic, it can often be difficult to make time to do the things we enjoy, but it is essential to find the time to unwind in order to beat stress. Try soaking in the bath, cooking your favourite meal, reading a book or watching a movie to give yourself some essential time to switch off from the world.

Try something new

Challenging yourself to try something new can often be such a rewarding experience. Try taking up a new hobby which you have always wanted to try, volunteering for a worthy cause or simply visiting a new place where you have always wanted to go.

The great outdoors

There is no doubt that spending time outside enjoying nature is an instant way of boosting your mood and feeling uplifted. Whether it is a hike in the mountains, a walk on the beach or even just a short stroll close to where you live, taking time to enjoy being outside is an instant recipe for happiness.


Exercise is an easy way to improve your wellbeing and even walking for just thirty minutes a day is beneficial in terms of improving both mental and physical wellbeing.

Don’t forget, if you want to be part of something valuable you could become a volunteer for one of our clinical trials. Our Covance Leeds Clinic is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by attractive gardens. We hope to see you all soon!

Spring clean your wellbeing

This is the time of year when many of us think about spring cleaning our homes and getting everything nice and tidy, but what about some simple ideas for spring cleaning your wellbeing too? Here at Covance Leeds, we have put together some tips for how you can inject some new energy in to your daily routine just in time for spring!

Get creative

It can be so rewarding to take up a new hobby which allows you to unleash your creative side – whether it is painting, drawing or gardening it is the best feeling to do something creative and it can be such a challenging experience.


Many of us are so busy during the average day that we forget to make time to do the things we enjoy. Self-care is so important for emotional wellbeing, so put aside some time to do something nice for yourself every day whether it is reading a good book, having a long soak in the bath, or treating yourself to a slice of cake – it is important to spoil yourself now and again!

Exercise and eat well

It may sound obvious, but regular exercise and eating a healthy diet are both shortcuts to feeling better mentally. Try to eat three healthy meals per day to keep your energy levels up and aim for thirty minutes exercise daily when possible.

Make plans

Having something to look forward to is such a great feeling, so what better way to improve your wellbeing than to plan something you really want to do. It doesn’t have to be a lavish holiday – just getting tickets to a gig or planning a picnic in the park with friends can create that same feeling of anticipation.

Set goals

Setting goals and completing them is a good way of feeling fulfilled this spring. Even setting a simple goal such as completing a long walk or learning a new skill gives that immense feeling of pride and satisfaction when the goal is completed.

Explore somewhere new

The expression ‘a change is as good as a rest’ is sound advice as far as we are concerned and going somewhere new can really change your perspective and give you a happy feeling. It doesn’t need to be a long holiday, even just a day out to a new place you haven’t visited before can give you a burst of energy. Now that the warmer weather is here, why not plan a trip to the beach or a day in the countryside with friends? Above all, try going to somewhere new!

Do something rewarding

Doing something rewarding such as helping others, taking the time to meet a friend for coffee or volunteering can be such an enriching experience. If you feel like contributing something valuable this spring why not consider taking part in one of our clinical trials here at our Covance Leeds clinic? You can relax in comfortable surroundings while helping to advance treatments for a range of conditions. We are always looking for healthy volunteers and if you would like to see which studies we currently have available, please click here:

What’s happening in February

We can’t believe that February is here already, and we thought we would have a look at some of the important and fun events taking place in the month of February.

Time to Talk Day 2019
Did you know that 7th February is ‘Time to Talk Day 2019’ which encourages people to talk about mental health. Talking about mental health is so important, because many of us experience mental health difficulties at some time in our lives.

There are plenty of easy ways that you can boost your mental health and wellbeing every day. Some simple ideas to improve your mental health include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoiding drinking too much alcohol
  • Organising a short break or holiday
  • Talking to a friend or relative
  • Keeping a diary or journal
  • Trying yoga or meditation
  • Making time to do things you enjoy

Fun events in February
There are also plenty of fun events coming up in February too! World Nutella Day takes place on 5th February and National Pizza Day takes place on 9th February and of course who can forget St Valentine’s Day on 14th February? Valentine’s Day is all about love and the heart is something we should all take care of!

According to the NHS, some top tips for keeping your heart healthy are:

  • Give up smoking
  • Get active
  • Manage your weight
  • Eat more fibre
  • Cut down on saturated fat
  • Get your 5 A Day
  • Cut down on salt
  • Eat fish
  • Drink less alcohol

We hope you enjoyed our round up of some of the health and fun events which there are to look forward to in February!

Find out more about Time to Talk Day here:
Read more about heart health here:

photo of hands in a heart

Can I be healthy and still be prescribed Statins?

From time to time, many of us become concerned about our cholesterol levels and we frequently hear the terms ‘good cholesterol’ and ‘bad cholesterol’ in the media.

High levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ in your blood can lead to fatty deposits building up in your arteries, which can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which includes conditions such as coronary heart disease (leading to angina and heart attack) and stroke.

LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein is often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’ but a healthy diet, not smoking and being physically active are all important factors in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol is usually treated with Statins, so we thought we would share a quick overview of what Statins are.

Statins are a medicine usually in tablet form, which are taken to help lower cholesterol. Once prescribed treatment often continues for life, in fact according to The British Heart Foundation ‘Statins are the most commonly prescribed medicines in the UK’.

Although they are prescribed frequently, Statins have been the subject of controversy in the media as they are sometimes prescribed as a preventative measure to people seen to be at risk of heart disease, who have no history of the condition.

Despite the concerns surrounding them, the benefits of treatment with Statins include reducing the risk of serious cardiovascular conditions and the side effects associated with them are comparatively rare in comparison to the positive benefits of Statin therapy, which include the reduction of heart attacks and strokes.

You can find out more about Statins at the links below:

photo of pumpkins

Looking forward to Autumn

As the days get shorter and the evenings get colder it can be a little disheartening to say a final goodbye to summer, but there is so much to look forward to this autumn…

Did you know that Halloween, which is widely celebrated on October 31st, evolved from the ancient Celtic festival ‘Samhain’. As we all know, the modern version revolves around trick or treating, fancy dress and carving pumpkins! Did you know the biggest pumpkin in the UK was recently grown by twin brothers from Lymington in the New Forest, weighing in at over 1000kg? While the tradition of carving pumpkins is hugely popular, in the past people used to carve turnips to make Jack o’ lanterns as these were more widely available.

One of the most iconic horror films, Halloween (directed by John Carpenter) was released in 1978 and the film grossed $70 million at worldwide box office – more than 215 times its original budget!

Cold nights call for getting cosy and Hygge is the perfect trend for this time of year. Hygge is a Danish/Norwegian word which roughly translates to ‘a mood of cosy and comfy contentment’. Simple ways to add Hygge to your home this autumn include lighting scented candles, putting warm blankets on your sofa, making hot chocolate, reading a book next to the fire and wearing warm sweaters. It really is simple to make things Hygge, it is all about the cosy factor!

Bonfire Night
We celebrate Bonfire Night on 5th November in the UK and this tradition came about after the Gunpowder Plot masterminded by Guy Fawkes and friends on 5th November 1605. To this day, we light bonfires and watch firework displays to mark the occasion and the hearty foods served at organised bonfires such as jacket potatoes, toffee apples, hot dogs and parkin cake make us look forward to this celebration even more!

Find some Halloween and autumn events at the links below: