England’s Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Profession for the Healthcare Science workforce in the NHS, highlights the vital role they play in delivering innovative patient care:
Healthcare Science Week is a celebration of the amazing contribution that healthcare scientists make to patient care every day.
The diagnostic, therapeutic and innovative services they provide are critical in bringing tomorrow’s science to the NHS today.
There are over 50 different specialisms of healthcare science in the NHS delivering, for example, over a billion diagnostic tests each year – from physiological sciences, clinical engineering and medical physics, through to clinical laboratory sciences, genomics and bioinformatics.
There is a wealth of scientific expertise in the NHS that brings cutting edge science to the heart of the NHS. Take a look at the new animation.
We live in exciting times. Innovation and technological advances are revolutionising our lives at a rapid pace. In healthcare, an exponential growth in information is driving a step change in practice. Improved access to quality data is leading to earlier prevention and better integration of health and care. New models of delivery are replacing the old – with the NHS vanguard sites spearheading this change.
Science and technology are at the heart of this healthcare revolution. Healthcare scientists are leading the drive for earlier, more accurate diagnoses and predictive and preventative approaches. In turn, this is delivering more treatment options including more complex and specialised options and more targeted drugs and interventions, including lifestyle choices.
This will deliver the four Ps of personalised medicine: Prediction (and prevention) of disease, more Precise diagnoses and Personalised and targeted, interventions with a more Participatory role for patients.
A network of NHS Genomic Medicine Centres (NHS GMCs) will form the backbone of a personalised medicine service. They are already leading the way with the adoption of new genomic technologies and transformative ways of working. Many of the healthcare scientists in the NHS GMCs are taking part in Healthcare Science Week, so don’t miss the opportunity to speak to them and find out more at some of the following exciting events:
- Cambridge: East of England NHS GMC – Come and meet the genomics team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Sunday 20 March 11am-4pm. Find out more about the 100,000 Genomes Project and about genes, genomes and genome sequencing.
- Manchester: Greater Manchester NHS GMC is hosting a 100,000 Genomes Project participant day on Thursday 17 March at Saint Mary’s Hospital. An opportunity for participants to come into the department and meet the team leading the project.
- Exeter: South West NHS GMC is hosting an event at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Wonford site, from Monday 14 to Thursday 17 March, to promote awareness of the 100,000 Genomes Project and careers in Healthcare Science.
- Birmingham: Staff from West Midlands NHS GMC are taking part in University Hospitals Birmingham’s Scientific Diversity event on Thursday 17 March 12am-3pm: a great chance to find out more about healthcare research and development in the region.
- South London: Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS FT are hosting two events to celebrate National Healthcare Science Week which are taking place on Monday 14 March at Guy’s Hospital, Atrium 1, and on Friday 18 March at St Thomas’ Hospital, Central Hall from 11.30am to 2pm on both days.
Finally, I would like to thank my fellow healthcare scientists across the NHS, for their hard work, commitment and inspirational leadership. This was very much in evidence at the recent #LTF16 event, Leading the Future: the Vision for 2020, crowned by the prestigious 2016 Healthcare Science Awards. I know that they will bring the same passion and enthusiasm to Healthcare Science Week.
- To find out what’s on your doorstep and feel enthused for the ground-breaking scientific work taking place in the NHS for the benefit of patients, visit Healthcare Science Week
- More ‘open house’ events are being organised by British Science Week and you can find out more about the exciting range of careers in healthcare science on the Health Careers website and learn more about genomics on the HEE website.
- NHS England is calling on female NHS healthcare scientists to apply for one of four unique WISE Fellowships. Applications are open till 15 April. Don’t miss out on this unique career development opportunity.
- The 2016 Healthcare Science Awards supported by the HSJ celebrate the role that healthcare scientists play in meeting the NHS’s quality, safety and efficiency priorities. The winners have been announced and will be profiled on hsj.co.uk throughout this month.
- Healthcare Science Week and personalised medicine runs from March 11 to 20 and you can get updates on Twitter with the hashtags #hcsweek and #Genomes100K. Tweet us your comments and photos @NHSEngland #hcsweek.