Updates to our blogs

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Best Cities In The UK To Have An Office In

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With many start-up schemes available for budding entrepreneurs, it is now easier than ever before to start your own business. A big factor to consider when starting your own business is the location of your business. Many people may presume that London is the best place to be, and while it is a very popular city and the central hub for a number of business opportunities, for many start-up’s it is not economically viable due to the high prices. Today many British cities have undergone regeneration and have UK wide offices for rent, which makes them very appealing for new businesses.

Liverpool

It’s not too long ago that Liverpool was the official city of culture, plus it previously hosted the International Business Festival on two occasions. The city centre is constantly evolving, plus there is a busy port, which could be integral if your business has international connections.  The John Lennon airport is close by if you need to travel anywhere on business, and a train will only take two hours to get you into London.

Newcastle

It should come as no surprise that more and more businesses are deciding to open shop in the north east of England. With a low cost of living being the most attractive prospect, Newcastle is also growing as a city, especially with technology and science businesses deciding to open up in the area. By train you can be in London within three hours, plus Newcastle International Airport is very geographically handed for any international business meetings.

Glasgow

The largest city in Scotland has undergone regeneration on a huge scale and even won the Technology Strategy Board’s Future Cities Demonstrator competition, plus a £24m grant and the status of a ‘Smart City’. BBC Scotland is based in Glasgow, and the area is keen to encourage the arrival of creative businesses, especially in the realms of film, television, technology and entertainment.

Manchester

Labelled as the “Shoreditch of the North”, Manchester been rapidly growing, especially since BBC opened Media City in the area. As a result, Manchester now has quite the pedigree in the creative and digital industries. With the biggest university campus in Europe, Manchester are nurturing the next generation of talent at a young age, plus they have the largest economy outside of London. Business meetings are easy to attend with a two hour train ride into London or Manchester Airport, the third largest in the UK behind only Gatwick and Heathrow.

Cardiff

The Welsh capital is the centre for all financial and professional services. Banks, insurance brokers and pension providers all make a very good living in Cardiff, but technology has also been growing in the area recently, especially in the fields of aerospace and biotechnology. Now is a really exciting time to set up a business in Wales as they are expected to develop over the next 20 years following a £1.28bn City Deal from the UK government. This means local authorities will be in a better position to support local infrastructure, both physical and digital.

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Why you have to be in America for July 4th

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The 4th of July is a monumental holiday for Americans which they celebrate in style! The 4th of July is where America claimed their independence from Britain in which Democracy was born. Each year on this date, Americans all across the land celebrate their freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics and family gatherings. In addition to this, towns and cities host some of the most extravagant parties and festival in respect of this holiday, so if you were looking at traveling to the States but unsure when, this would be a date worth checking out.

Before you plan your visit to celebrate this precious event, make sure you fill out an ESTA waiver form. With ESTA, you will be guaranteed full professional support in regards to being accepted through the Department of Homeland Security. The ESTA Visa Wavier will allow travellers to enter the country either by sea or air, so it’s really important that you fill out the ESTA wavier form so you can join the millions of American celebrating such an important event in History

Is it actually worth it?

Yes it is! The country turns into a party nation, everywhere across the land some sort of festivity will be going on, so wherever you are, you’ll be involved in some way or another. You will be spoiled with some amazing food and incredible fireworks lighting up the night sky. Everything is such a spectacle and with it being in July, you are gifted with the country’s beautiful summer season.

Events worth looking out for

Pacific Palisades parade:  get yourself to the Palisades for a beachy Independence Day extravaganza. Starting in the afternoon, you will be entertained by skydivers, baton twirlers, trombonist and to top it all off, the event is free! That being said, if you do want to skip the cues, all you need to do pay $50 to guarantee yourself VIP grandstand seating.

Americafest at the Rose Bowl: this is one explosive celebration! At this event you’ll get classic American food, to motorcycle stunts, to world-renowned fireworks display. In addition to all of this, there will be a goldmine of inflatable rides, games and crafts for any younger ones traveling with you.

Block Part: if you’re on the hunt for a cheap, lively way to celebrate the 4th of July, then head over to Gran Park, and watch Downtown LA light up for free! At Block Party there will be loads of scrumptious food to keep you going and live music to keep you entertained throughout the night. The music starts when the sun’s still out so make sure you bring a picnic and you sit there and relax, you can even bring your dogs! All for free!

Studio City Firework Festival: Studio City’s firework festival is annual event that features live music in addition to a car show, and kid-friendly activities. You can bring your own lunch or purchase summer eats and cold brews when you get to the festival. There is a selection of tickets to buy that suits the specific group you are traveling with, so this event will satisfied your celebrating needs.

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Old buildings are more likely to be damaged by damp

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When a lot of old buildings in Paisley were designed and constructed, there weren’t a lot of regulations in terms of damp proofing. Damp wasn’t much of a concern for a lot of households because the way people used their houses was able to prevent damp from invading their home.

Condensation is one of the most common forms of damp that damp proofers encounter today. In certain buildings, moist air can become trapped indoors and condensate on cool surfaces. This especially happens around windows that aren’t effectively insulated. They allow cool air to enter the home and reduce the temperatures of the surfaces around them, but they do not allow the warm, moist air to exit. In old buildings, as they were originally built, this wasn’t a particularly common problem. This is because many residents heated their homes with open fires. An open fire can improve the ventilation in a home because it draws in cool air from outside, keeping the temperature around the home consistent and preventing warmer or cooler areas of the house. A fire is also capable of drying out damp surfaces, especially timber, so it can prevent the development of damp even if the house is poorly ventilated.

These days, the old houses that were designed to be heated with a fire or furnace have been redesigned and fitted with a central heating system. Because of these, many owners of these particular houses find damp to be a reoccurring problem. Different measures need to be taken to damp proof a house with modern facilities. For example, showers produce a lot of steam and bathrooms are generally quite small spaces. An old house doesn’t have very effective insulation, so the walls and ceiling of a bathroom will be cool because they are exposed to the cold air outside. Similarly, a window that hasn’t been effectively sealed and has only single glazing will likely cool the surfaces around it. So, when the steam from a hot shower comes in contact with all of these cool surfaces the steam will turn to water and be absorbed. This leads to mould and a lot of residents of old houses will find black mould that forms on their ceilings and around their windows to be a regular problem.

Similar problems will occur in other places if old buildings aren’t damp proofed effectively. Old houses were built to be well ventilated while modern buildings owners prefers their properties to be tightly sealed so they can accurately manage the temperature. So, the materials of old buildings were designed to ease the flow of air into and out of the building. This includes the basement, where a lot of property owners first discover damp. When people try to modify their basements with new flooring or windows they are cutting of the pathways where moist air can escape. The moisture that’s been absorbed by the material now has no means of escaping the home and so mould and rot forms.

If you own one of Paisley’s old buildings and are noticing reoccurring damp then the best thing to do would be to completely update the damp proofing of the building and bring it up to modern standards. You would need to hire a cellar tanking service to damp proof your basement and upgrade the insulation to keep cold air and moisture out as well as keep the warm air in.

 

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String Floss vs Water Floss- Which Is Best?

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It’s often labelled as one of our least favourite things to do in our daily routine, but there’s no escaping it: flossing plays an important part in our oral hygiene. Your dentist can’t get enough of flossing while you struggle with bringing yourself do it once a week, let alone daily. In fact, two thirds of us don’t floss at all! Although standard dental floss is generally considered to be the most effective tool for cleaning deeply between our teeth, there is another tool on the market that is fast becoming a favourite among patients – water floss. So, is string floss better than water floss and what are the drawbacks and benefits of both?

It has to be said that a good flossing routine begins with thoroughly cleaning your teeth with a good electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Cheap electric toothbrushes are everywhere at the moment, so why not invest in one in order to minimise the amount of flossing you will need to do in the first place? Electric toothbrushes keep your teeth, gums and tongue cleaner than a manual toothbrush due to their rotating and oscillating heads. Their ability to reach between your teeth and clean that bit deeper than a manual brush, means flossing will be less arduous.

String dental floss works well for regular users who know how to use the tool properly in order to gain a health benefit from using it. It involves wrapping floss string around your fingers and passing it back and forth through your teeth to remove any plaque build-up. String floss is ideal for cleaning the tight spaces in between the teeth and to scrape down the side of each tooth. Water floss (also known as an oral irrigator) differs from string floss on that it aims a jet of water at your teeth. Water flossers have been proven to be highly effective at washing away accumulated bacterial toxins, something which string floss can’t achieve. Clinical studies conducted on water floss have shown to be a shocking 51% more effective in reducing gingivitis and 29% more effective than dental floss at removing plaque.

Dentists argue that while water flossers go a great job in removing food from teeth, string floss is superior in the fact that it scrapes away and removes plaque. The removal of plaque is essential in the prevention of tarter build up which can cause gum disease. However, string floss can cause problems among those with sensitive gums, braces and dexterity issues, for which water floss is a great alternative. Alternatively, string floss is considerably cheaper than purchasing a water flosser and also takes up less room in your bathroom, which makes it a more convenient choice for those on a budget. While the water stream from water flossers picks out and removes food particles and is thought to also reduce bleeding and gum disease, it is still argued to not be a good enough substitute for flossing alone. Alternatively, many dentists agree that if you are not unlikely to use string floss using water floss is better than not flossing at all.

It seems the answer to which floss option is best for you depends on your budget and tooth sensitivity. While water floss is the more ‘fun’ option, string floss is still the best form of floss to use to remove plaque. Why not try using the combined power of both floss types? Using string floss to dislodge plaque and water floss to flush away toxins and food particles will do wonders at improving your oral health!

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Five trendy hobbies that the Scottish are loving

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If you have been feeling a little bit bored of doing the same things all the time, you may be looking to switch up some of your hobbies and try something fun and new. Trying new things, even those a little bit outside of your comfort zone, can be very beneficial for your personal growth. We’ve had a look around and collated a list of all the trendiest hobbies that are super trendy right now in Scotland.

  • Online casino games

The online casino game industry has been vastly expanding internationally over the past few years – and now it has exploded in many Scottish communities across the country. Online sites, and apps such as Mr Green  -a three time Gaming Awards winner – offer you a classy platform on which you can play many exhilarating and fun casino games, such as slots, blackjack, and roulette. It’s so much fun, and super easy to play. Whether you want to play from your computer or your mobile device, you will have a great time.

  • Golf

While golf used to be fairly trendy, it went through a bit of a dip in popularity as many people stopped golfing. However, golf in Scotland is now experiencing a big resurgence in popularity. This could be in part due to more younger players picking up this relaxing and technical sport that requires much skill, determination and focus.

  • Pokémon GO

This year Pokémon GO has been a worldwide trend, with people of all ages taking to the streets with their smartphones in the hopes of catching some rare Pokémon while out. Scotland is no exception when it comes to the Pokémon Go hype, even with dedicated online groups and maps detailing where poke-stops and gyms are located. If you have not joined the craze yet, download the app now and get some fresh air outside –hopefully you will find a Pikachu there!

  • Podcasts

Podcasts are really amazing, and they are becoming more and more popular in Scotland too! Podcasts are great for a variety of reasons; you get to learn new things very easily, you can learn about topics you like in more details and it’s a great thing to listen to when you are stuck in traffic or want to make household tasks such as washing the dishes a little loess boring! The BBC’s Radio Scotland has some really wonderful podcasts you can listen to here.

  • Knitting

This may sound like an old ladies hobby, but many younger people, both men and women, are beginning to enjoy the calming craft of knitting. Knitting can be very relaxing and meditative; helping you reduce your stress levels. It is also a wonderful feeling to be able to make something from start to finish –even if it is just a simple scarf!

Hopefully these five trendy hobbies that people all over Scotland are enjoying will inspire you to try something new. You never know if you will like an activity until you try it!

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LOCAL MP GAVIN NEWLANDS PLEDGES HIS SUPPORT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS

Gavin Newlands MP and Eilidh Whiteford MP hold a sign to show support for the IC Change Campaign to end violence against women

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has pledged to support an upcoming Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which would require the UK Government to legally commit to providing a better framework for addressing violence against women and girls, by making the Istanbul Convention law in the UK – if successful. This legislation requires the UK to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect women experiencing violence, and prosecute perpetrators.

 Gavin Newlands MP and Eilidh Whiteford MP hold a sign to show support for the IC Change Campaign to end violence against women

Gavin Newlands MP and Eilidh Whiteford MP hold a sign to show support for the IC Change Campaign to end violence against women

This Bill has cross party support and if it becomes law would see the UK take a proud commitment to ending gender based violence and taking the next steps in securing a safe future for women and girls.

This legislation is needed because in 2014/15, 1,797 rapes and 104 attempted rapes and 59,882 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by the police in Scotland.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Since my election, I have done a lot of work to tackle the daily violence that too many women and girls still face. One of the most effective ways in which we can take coordinated action on this is to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

“This is a call that I’ve repeatedly made to the Government as it will ensure that a series of preventative policies are introduced to end this shameful violence.

“This private members bill is extremely important. I want to end violence against women and girls in the UK, and I therefore support the Istanbul Convention becoming UK law. I urge all other MPs to do the same.”

Jenn Selby, a campaigner and survivor said: “When I think of all the brave women I’ve met on my way through the system, I wonder how many of them made it. The current legal framework did more to see our perpetrators walk free than to keep us alive. This convention would end this.

Rachel Nye, Co-director of the campaign, says: “We need a strategic plan for addressing violence against

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Three Ways For Families To Enjoy Casino Games

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Despite casinos having a minimum entry age of 18, and gambling being illegal below that age, we play a number of casino games with our children at young ages. Even though people don’t normally place wagers on the games if playing with children, it is common to play games like blackjack and gin rummy. This can be a good thing, because even if you educate your children about gambling and placing wagers, it is good opportunity to educate them about the importance of gambling in moderation. It is a growing trend to play casinos online due to the convenience of them being available all the time. Many online casinos offer a free play option on many of their games, which means that you and your children can play these games for fun and without losing any money.

Bingo

Like the lottery, bingo is one of the oldest betting games, it is also a lot of fun and very engaging. Bingo sets are widely available commercially and can be a lot of fun to play as a family, getting to turn the handle of the round cage as the balls tumble around inside and then fall out the hole. You can take it turns to be the bingo caller with all the fun calls for each number, or you could even make up your own. All the excitement of the game, plus shouting out bingo has loud as can, should wear them out before bed time and provide a peaceful night’s sleep.

UNO

The fast paced family card game can become very intense and competitive within a short space of time. Furthermore, it is easy to play, even at a very young age, as the numbers and colours are good for the development of a child’s sensory skills. It becomes more fun the more players you have, especially when it gets to a point when the gloves are off and everybody’s out to sabotage each other with the ‘pick up’ and ‘miss a turn cards’. You can also turn up the heat by adding extra decks, heightening the unpredictability of the next cards. You could also consider using sweets as betting chips for extra motivation.

Blackjack

The easiest of all casino games, and good for children as it can help to improve their mental arithmetic seeing as all they have to do is count up to 21 with their cards. You could even consider playing this in teams, so each child teams up with an adult to help. Play without any time limits so they have time to count, encourage them to count out loud and even use their fingers if that helps. With each passing hand, you’ll be surprised just how quickly they get better at the game.

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How to have a good, cheap night out in Paisley

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If you’re looking for a good night out in Scotland, visiting most of the big cities can cost you a fortune. But if you’re looking for all of the excitement of culture that the country has to offer, then you’ll want to come visit Paisley. Just a few miles out of Glasgow’s city centre, this place has so much to offer that it’s even being considered for the next UK City of Culture. So if you fancy a good night out in Scotland, here are our top tips for a memorable night out without spending too much money.

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Of course if you are a bit short of money, you could always try and change that by playing your luck. Whilst there is no proper casino in Paisley, a great night out can still be had at the town’s MECCA Bingo hall. The last game of the night starts just after 9pm, you can buy a ticket for as little as 50p and if you’re lucky you could leave with a lot more. But the gaming fun doesn’t have to finish when the hall shuts. If you haven’t been lucky at the bingo, you could always have all the fun of the casino from your hotel room by downloading a casino app like the one from Mr Smith Casino. If it’s your first time, there are tons of welcome bonuses for you to pocket if you’re a bit short of money. The app is so realistic that it’s the closest you’ll get to the casino experience without having to jump on a train to Glasgow.

If you do manage to win a bit of money at either the bingo or the casino and want to celebrate, Paisley is full of great bars and pub to buy a celebratory pint or glass of wine. If you’re looking for a proper traditional Scottish pub, then The Wee Howff is the place for you to visit. Situated on the town’s high street, this small pub has a great range of ales and wines with the warm, friendly atmosphere you’d expect from being in Scotland.

If you’re looking for something a little different, then why not try one of the town’s newest attractions. The Exit Games has recently opened, offering visitors the chance to play detective in their own escape room game. Once you step through the door and it’s locked behind you, you’re instantly transported back in time and you feel like you’re in your own Sherlock Holmes novel. They even provide the costumes to help you really get into character.

And if you’re looking to find out more about the town, a walking tour of the town is a great way to really absorb the rich history of Paisley. The town’s tour guide Les knows nearly everything there is to know about the town, so you’ll be in good hands on this night time walking tour.

 

 

 

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How to deal with a burglary at business premises

Robber with flashlight searching for documents in office at night

How to deal with a burglary at business premises

Crime in Paisley has decreased over recent years but it’s still a risk that nobody in business can afford to overlook, because if a break-in does occur it can be extremely disruptive. Whether an intruder enters during business hours or at night, whether the alarm is raised straight away or the situation is discovered hours later, it can leave staff and owners feeling stressed. What needs to be done? How can the damage be contained so that the business can get back to normal as quickly as possible, and will that nagging feeling of vulnerability ever go away?

Robber with flashlight searching for documents in office at night

Robber with flashlight searching for documents in office at night

Contacting the police

The first thing to do upon discovering a break-in is to contact the police. This should only be done from inside the business premises if it’s clear that the burglars have left – otherwise it’s important to get to a safe place to make a landline call or alternatively use a mobile outside the premises. If a burglar is caught inside the premises violence might be used to make an escape; confrontation is not a good idea.

Upon discovering the crime, to preserve evidence, nothing should be moved or touched. When the police arrive, they will take a statement from the person that discovered the burglary and will talk to any potential witnesses. A forensic crime officer will take photographs and in some circumstances may dust for fingerprints. It’s rare for them to need to be there for more than a few hours and they will say when it’s okay to start cleaning up the scene. The officer dealing with the crime will provide a point of contact so it’s possible to phone for updates about the investigation.

What has been stolen?

After they have finished looking for evidence, the police will ask for a list of the property that has been stolen. This will be incorporated into a statement made by the business owner or the company secretary. Most burglars are after cash and small items that they can easily sell on, however, corporate sabotage is now a possibility and it’s possible that important files and even hard drives could have been taken. Sometimes burglars take keys stored in an office so they can let themselves back into the premises later. If there is any possibility this has happened, locks should be changed as soon as possible.

thief running out of a bank vault, low-key photo

thief running out of a bank vault, low-key photo

Dealing with the insurance company

Once it’s clear what has been taken and what has been damaged, it’s time to contact the insurance company. They will record details of what has happened and send an assessor to investigate the claim. There is normally no reason to delay tidying up because of this, as the insurance company will be able to use the police record of the incident to confirm what happened.

After an investigation the insurer will inform the injured party what is and is not covered by the business policy, and they will be able to advise on how to go about the process of replacing damaged items and having repairs completed as quickly as possible. In most cases, it will mean replacing lost items, saving the receipts and then submitting the claim. As long as the cost is reasonable – not much more than average – this will usually be covered in full, minus any excess stated on the policy.

Dealing with business complications

Once the immediate situation is in hand, the next thing to do is to contact any customers and business associates who are likely to suffer disruption because of what has happened. It’s best to be honest and straightforward about the problems because most people will then understand and be patient about delays.

Having repairs done

Some insurance companies have firms that they recommend for conducting repairs, but again, as long as the costs are reasonable, they will usually be happy to let businesses make their own arrangements. This can be a good opportunity to give work to other Paisley firms. This keeps the money in the local economy and can be a useful opportunity for networking, but it’s also worth looking further afield for help with those repairs that need to be carried out urgently. The Wholesale Glass Company, for instance, is a London-based glass processor with a great reputation for getting glass fitted where it’s needed quickly, even if an unusual type of glass is required.

Looking after employees

A break-in at work can leave people feeling deeply unsettled – not unlike a break-in at home. It’s likely to be particularly traumatic for anyone who was there when it happened (even if they didn’t witness it directly), and for staff members who have to be there alone or late at night. The employer’s responsibility in this situation is to talk to staff members and to make sure they receive any support they need. A team pep talk is a good idea but it’s also important to take people aside individually because they may not feel comfortable describing how they feel with colleagues present. Tackling the subject early can help to stop stress from building up over time and damaging people’s health.

Reviewing site security

To reassure employees they should be told about extra security systems to be put in place to protect them. The police will send over crime prevention officers to help review security arrangements and identify any weak points, and they will make recommendations about how security can be improved. This won’t necessarily entail a lot of expense – it could be something as simple as providing extra illumination outside the premises at night or fitting locks at the top and bottom of doors so they’re more difficult to force open. Visible improvements to security will often deter thieves from returning. The ultimate deterrent to burglars is an alarm system – preferably one that is linked to a security company that will inform a keyholder if the alarm is activated.

Although break-ins are distressing, they don’t need to be overwhelming. Going through the necessary steps one at a time makes it much easier to get back on top of things. The sooner things return to normal, the easier it will be for staff and what might have seemed a major problem can ultimately be brushed off as a mere inconvenience.

 

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Why Are EHIC Cards So Useful?

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We all love the opportunity to escape and visit a European country, whether it’s for business or pleasure. None of us have the ability to predict the future and anything can happen when we’re abroad, no matter how careful we try to be. You could be out eating in a restaurant and get food poisoning or we could have an accident and suffer an injury. In that instance we’d need to seek medical treatment while on the continent. In some cases, health care throughout Europe can be very expensive, but thankfully you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card from https://www.ehic.co.uk/ to help reduce the costs, or in some cases get medical treatment for free.

Healthcare in Europe differs from country to country, there’s not just a universal ‘One size fits all’ solution. Some countries may expect for patients to pay for their food and bedding while in hospital, others may require for the patient to pay the complete costs of their treatment up front before claiming the expenses back later. This is where an EHIC card would come in very useful and would make it easier for your claiming process easier if you were in this scenario.

An EHIC is valid for five years and is valid throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA is comprised of all 28 current member states of EU along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland, are not a member of the EEA or the EU, but they have an agreement to participate as part of the EHIC scheme. Therefore your EHIC card will not be valid should you try to obtain medical treatment outside of the EEA or Switzerland. It also does not cover air ambulance or mountain rescue, private care, cancellation or extra accommodation costs.
As an EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance, it is essential that you take an insurance policy as well, In many cases, insurance companies have been known to reduce the waiver if the claimant had an EHIC.

The European Health Insurance Card covers all medical treatment, including pre-existing illnesses like kidney dialysis and oxygen therapy, you just need to pre-arrange these with the NHS before you travel. You can also obtain routine maternity care under your EHIC, providing you’re not travelling specifically for treatment or with the intention to give birth.

When applying for your EHIC, remember that everybody needs their own individual card. So if you’re planning a family holiday, you will also need to submit applications for your children and partner, all you need is their full name, date of birth and National Insurance Number. Once your application has been approved you should receive your card within seven days.