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DWP Fuller Working Lives Strategy

February 2nd, 2017

Today the DWP has published its strategy document for Fuller Working Lives with its stated ambition to support individuals aged 50 years and over to remain in and return to the labour market and tackle the barriers to doing so.

Through CANTAB Corporate Health, I was pleased to support the development of the strategy as part of the health management group.

One of the key areas of health as we get older is cognition – our thinking ability.  Our cognitive health determines what work we can do and how long we can do it for.

Giving people the opportunity to measure their cognitive health enables them to understand how their performance  relates to their age and other factors.  If it is below expected levels then they can take action to remediate or improve.

Employers now recognise just how important this is and are incorporating CANTAB assessments into their health and wellbeing programmes.

To find out more, please visit www.cantabcorp.com or contact me at john.picken@cantabcorp.com




Dame Carol Black visit to CANTAB Corporate Health

May 26th, 2016

In a recent visit to CANTAB Corporate Health, Dame Carol who is the government’s expert adviser on health and work, highlighted the need to measure cognition to help tackle the mental health crisis  in the workplace.

It was very good of her to spend time with us and share her views which you can read by clicking here

The Benefits of Measuring Cognitive Health

May 18th, 2016
‘Cognition is central to who we are and what we do and, much like physical health, cognition can be viewed along a continuum from optimal functioning to mild cognitive impairment to neurological disease. However, issues with our cognitive health very rarely show outward signs of being a problem until they are quite far developed. And, as with most conditions, the earlier such problems are identified the better the prognosis and outcome.’

You can read the full article by clicking here.

DWP Fuller Working Lives Programme

April 22nd, 2016

I’m currently supporting the DWP Fuller Working Lives Programe as part of the Health Management strategy group looking at ways to improve the health of age 50+ employees.  Cognitive health is a key risk in this growing demographic – already comprising 32% of the workforce according to the ONS.

The strategy group is looking for employers who can provide case studies of any work they have done specifically addressing the health of their employees in this age range.

If you know of any employers who would be happy to share what they are doing in this area, please contact me either via this website or at john.picken@cantabcorp.com

Many thanks

Cantab Corporate Health Distributors

December 31st, 2015

Cantab Corporate Health is looking to engage with global distributors of our cognitive assessment software from Cambridge Cognition.

Our products are CE approved Class II Medical Devices. They are culturally neutral, language independent and applicable across all ages and in all occupations from the shop floor to the boardroom.

Whilst a very basic grasp of English is all that is needed to take the assessments, voiceover instructions for Cantab Mobile are also available in the following languages:

Arabic, Bengali, Chinese Mandarin, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Gujarati,Hindi, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish (European), Spanish (Latin), Turkish, Urdu, Welsh.

The ideal distributor would have a good understanding of the occupational and private health market in that country backed up with key relationships with employers and their health providers.

Please contact me at John.Picken@cantabcorp.com if you would like to know more.

Many thanks and best wishes for 2016.

Cantab Corporate Health

September 21st, 2015

I am delighted to announce that Shandwell has entered into a new joint venture with the truly fantastic team at Cambridge Cognition.

Together we have created Cantab Corporate Health, providing the latest digital tools to help measure and manage the cognitive health of the working age population.

There is a growing understanding that cognitive health determines what work we can do and for how long. Closely linked to physical health, it also has a significant impact on performance and productivity.

There is also a growing realisation that impaired cognitive health poses a risk to individuals and the organisations they work for. This is set against a background of an ageing workforce, 32% of which will be aged over 50 by 2020 (ONS).

The new business works with both employers and their providers to ensure a joined-up approach to delivering on cognitive health objectives across a wide range of corporate health settings including:

• Health Assessments
• Health and Wellbeing Programmes
• Occupational Health
• Primary Care
• Health-Related Insurances
• Rehabilitation

We have already secured major clients in the UK and there is huge interest around the world. You can read the launch press release by clicking here.

Everyone should have the opportunity of measuring and managing their cognitive health. It is the most important factor in determining the length, quality and productivity of our working lives.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Employee Dementia Hits One in Ten Firms

August 2nd, 2015

This article highlights how this is just the tip of the iceberg. We really don’t know the true number of employees affected as most diagnoses are only made when symptoms are very obvious.

Yet through the Cantab cognitive tests developed by Cambridge Cognition and now offered in the workplace, we can help identify problems many years earlier giving everyone the chance to take control of the situation before it takes control of them.

In a recent survey by GE Healthcare, three out of four people said they would want to know if they were at risk of neurological disease.  I would be one of them and will be taking a Cantab cognitive test on a regular basis.

I totally accept that some if not all of my cognitive abilities will start to decline as I get older. But I want to have an early warning system in place that tells me if that decline is beyond what I should expect for my age, gender and educational level – how I compare to normative data.

Our cognitive health impacts every aspect of our life including what work we do and for how long.  Measuring and managing it is one of the best things we can do to look after ourselves and our futures.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.



Assessing Cognitive Health now firmly on the Employer Agenda

May 27th, 2015

This blog post on the Cambridge Cognition website links to two highly relevant and timely articles.


One from me explaining why we need to focus much more on mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and how current thinking has to change.

The second one from the CIPD  website looking at some of the legal aspects around dementia at work and the benefits of early detection.

Please get in touch if you want to know more.


Creating a dementia friendly workplace

April 21st, 2015

This morning I was at the launch event for the ‘practical guide for employers’ produced by The Alzheimer’s Society. You can download a copy here.

It was a truly inspirational event and re-affirmed my strongly held belief that everyone should be given the opportunity to understand their risk of dementia and have that assessed.  That’s one of the main reasons why I’m working with Cambridge Cognition – to give people that very opportunity using readily accessible and scientifically validated assessments.

I was totally bowled over by Hilary Doxford when she told her story of not getting a proper diagnosis for seven years, yes seven years! Doctors kept putting  her problems down to depression without testing her symptoms properly.

When she finally got her diagnosis, she was relieved,  able to plan the rest of her working life and beyond.  At 53, she is still working three years on and continues to make a valuable contribution to her organisation. Her case study is on page 23.

How many Hilarys are there in the working age population?  We really have no idea but bearing in mind only 48% of people with dementia in the UK are diagnosed, it’s no small number.

That’s why we need the effective assessment tools from Cambridge Cognition and why employers are in such a strong position to help introduce them.

Identifying any memory problems early is one of the most important things we can all do to manage our future quality of life and that of those close to us.



Health and Wellbeing @ Work 2015

February 18th, 2015

Cambridge Cognition will be exhibiting at this event at the NEC on 3rd and 4th March.  For more details, please click here.

I’m looking forward to being on stand 2 for both days.