The vital behind-the-scenes role of healthcare scientists, including their work in genetics and genomics, will be in the spotlight at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) on 10 March 2017.

Pupils from secondary schools across Birmingham and students at West Midlands universities will be among those invited to the Healthcare Science Day @UHB event at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), which will also be open to patients and visitors.

“Healthcare science staff are critical to the delivery of patient care,” said UHB Healthcare Science Education lead Debra Balderson.

“The healthcare science workforce are involved in more than 80% of all clinical decisions in the NHS and develop some of the most innovative and ground-breaking clinical technologies.

“Much of this work goes unseen but it is essential in helping the nurses and doctors on the frontline to do their jobs.”

The West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre and the West Midlands Regional Genetics Service will be hosting two of more than 15 stands which will showcase the role of scientists at UHB, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust during the event, between 09:30 and 15:30 in the QEHB Education Centre and Atrium.

Visitors will be taken on a journey through the healthcare science specialities. Each stand, manned by hospital specialists, will offer information about roles and career pathways and there will be opportunities to interact and try out activities using specialist equipment.

“This event, during Healthcare Science Week, is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the amazing work of all healthcare science staff,” added Debra.

“It is also a real chance for us to promote this specialism as a career option for young people. There are still a lot of myths about healthcare science as a career, and we want to challenge these misconceptions.”

Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for Healthcare Science at NHS England, said: “Healthcare science staff cover a diverse range of specialisms; everything from directly helping patients on a ward, to working with other healthcare professionals on ground-breaking research.”

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive at Health Education England, added: “Everything healthcare science staff do supports and improves patient care. Their unique contribution of bringing cutting-edge science to patient services should be celebrated across the NHS during National Healthcare Science Week.”

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