Biomedical Scientists in the Pathology Department at St. Peter’s Hospital have had busy and exciting week. In addition to their usual workload, The Pathology team have organised an exhibition stand and hosted a special event for a small group of A-Level Science students from a local school. These efforts were made to show support for both Healthcare Science Week and National Science and Engineering Week.

This year, these two national events are running concurrently. National Science and Engineering Week aims to celebrate science, engineering and technology and demonstrate its importance in our lives. Whilst the goal of Healthcare Science Week, is to acknowledge the important contribution made by healthcare scientists in the NHS and to educate others about the different roles played by scientists in healthcare today. Over 70% of diagnoses made in the NHS involve pathology, yet people generally know very little about this vital scientific service.

To showcase Pathology, Nicole McAllister, the Pathology Network Training Facilitator for the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust, set-up an exhibition stand in the Reception area of the Outpatient Wing in St. Peter’s Hospital for two days. The staff and public were encouraged to come and speak with Biomedical Scientists who were available to answer questions, demonstrate equipment and explain scientific techniques. The stand had plenty of leaflets and literature for people to take away with them however it was items like the microscope and preserved intestinal worms that really caught people’s interest.

On Thursday 18th March, nine students from TASIS, The American School in England, were invited into the Pathology Laboratory to observe a few of the scientific skills and techniques that are used on a daily basis to screen, diagnose, monitor and treat disease. The session started with a case study presentation on Sickle Cell Disease. The students then followed a blood sample’s journey through the laboratory to see how the tests that were discussed during the case study are performed and to observe the equipment and analysers that are used.

National Science and Engineering Week and Healthcare Science Week provide a fantastic opportunity to engage people with science. Pathology Services Manager Steve Shiel said: ‘People are often genuinely surprised by the size and scope of what we do in Pathology. By running these two events we were able to connect with a variety of people from the local community and I think that everyone enjoyed the experience. I’d like to thank all of the staff for their help and enthusiasm in making these events a success.’

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