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Media Release

Date: 19 March 2019

RUH healthcare science day for students

Sixth form students from Oldfield School in Bath had the chance to experience some hands-on scientific activities – and consider a career in the NHS – during an interactive Healthcare Science Week workshop at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

Healthcare Science Week is held annually to celebrate the important work of healthcare scientists. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness among young people studying at local schools and colleges of the wide variety of careers available at the RUH, and to inspire the NHS scientific workforce of the future.

Dr Ed Matthews, Lead Healthcare Scientist for the Trust and Head of Medical Physics and Bioengineering said: "Healthcare Science Week is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and showcase the amazing work of all healthcare science staff at the RUH. It's also a great chance to dispel some common myths that healthcare science staff do not treat patients directly, and only work in labs. In fact healthcare scientists make up approximately 5% of the total NHS workforce, but their work underpins over 80% of all clinical decisions."

Activities on the day included exploring how advanced computer software is used by the Radiotherapy Physics team to plan radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients; examining different tissue samples under a microscope with biomedical scientists from the Haematology and Histology Departments; and using an ultrasound probe with our vascular scientists to image and assess blood flow in a 'volunteer' patient. There was also the chance to learn from staff from ten other different healthcare science specialties.

Alison Clark, health and social care teacher at Oldfield School said: "This was a great chance for our students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the variety of healthcare science careers available. All the staff were brilliant at engaging with the students, answering their questions and making it fun and interesting for them."

Healthcare scientists help prevent, diagnose and treat illness using their knowledge of science and their technical skills. They use their expertise to help save lives and improve patient care in a supporting role or in direct contact with patients. They work in four main areas - life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and biomechanical engineering and bioinformatics.

The RUH employs over 300 healthcare scientists in a diverse range of specialisms and roles. There are various training routes available to those interested in working in the field including apprenticeships, a healthcare science degree or the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) after graduating with an appropriate science degree.

ENDS
Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit: www.ruh.nhs.uk/fit4future

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