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Local hospitals open for Healthcare Science Week

Healthcare Sciences Week

Local hospitals open for Healthcare Science Week

Healthcare science staff from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust will be celebrating Healthcare Science Week from 14 to 18 March, by opening their doors to schools and the public.

Dr Alison Mackie, Consultant Medical Physicist and Clinical Director of Medical Physics, said, "Healthcare Science Week is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and interest people in the work of healthcare scientists. Many people don't realise the essential work we do, sometimes behind the scenes, but we're also often involved in direct patient care.

"Medical physics and clinical engineering, for example, is one of the most exciting parts of the NHS to work in, combining physics and engineering with healthcare. Healthcare scientists and engineers make up 5% of the total NHS workforce and complement the clinical role in all kinds of ways - it's a myth that we only work in laboratories and never treat patients directly.  We push the boundaries and innovate, to constantly improve services.

"An example of the work we do is a computer programme written by one of our scientists, Dr Robyn Cooke, PhD, which determines whether a patient has Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia.  Patients suspected of having one of these undergo a scan, but it can be difficult for the human eye to tell if the scan is normal or not.  Robyn's computer programme is much better at this and has already helped correctly diagnose several patients we weren't sure about.  This is really important as these two diseases require different treatments.

"Everyone is welcome to come along to our open days and we're particularly keen to ensure children are aware of the healthcare science professions and how rewarding these can be."

The Medical Physics Department at University Hospital of North Durham will be open on Tuesday 15 March from 9.30am to 12.30pm and on Thursday 17 March from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

The department at Darlington Memorial Hospital will be open on Wednesday 16 March from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and on Friday 18 March from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Booking for individuals isn't necessary but larger group visits must be arranged by contacting Darlington Memorial Hospital on 01325 743351 or University Hospital of North Durham on 0191 333 2220 for more information.

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