Nicola visited the John Radcliffe Hospital, meeting with clinicians and patients to mark Healthcare Science Week and discuss the vital role science and technology plays in healthcare.
Healthcare Science Week is a national outreach week aiming to raise awareness of the work that scientists do in our NHS. As Minister for Public Health and Innovation Nicola knows that science and technology is crucial to our health service, helping to drive forward improvements in patient care. Lots of patients are interested in the science behind how tests or treatments work, and so Healthcare Science Week gives clinicians the opportunity to explain and engage.
Over the course of the week Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hosted a series of events and information stands at each of the John Radcliffe, Nuffield Orthopaedic, and Churchill Hospitals, enabling people to discuss ongoing work with representatives from across the sector including genomics, physics, engineering and immunology. There have been a number of demonstrations and activities for visitors to take part in, and representatives there discussing career opportunities and promoting healthcare science as one of the fastest-moving areas of the NHS.
Nicola met with a number of clinicians including Emma Parker, a trainee clinical scientist at the Churchill, who Nicola was fascinated to meet and discuss her work in Radiotherapy Physics and cancer research.
Nicola says: Healthcare Science Week is a fantastic initiative, not only does it highlight the truly life changing research that we can see having a direct impact on patient’s lives, but it also helps to inspire the scientific workforce of the future.
Not everyone immediately realises the impact scientists have on our NHS, and so events like these in our local hospitals are crucial to show the role science plays in patient care, diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately placing our NHS on a more sustainable footing.