18 / 12 / 2014 12.03pm
Hello everybody and welcome to my December blog.
The Academy for Healthcare Science hosted its first annual Congress earlier this month and I am delighted to say that it was a great success.
The theme of the two day event was ‘Passionate for patients, passionate about science’. We had some brilliant scientists on the programme, as well as some people who have benefitted from their innovations. I was thrilled that we were joined by Chelsea Pensioner, John Short who took to the stage to talk about how his hearing aids have changed his life. He was supported by audiologist Ruth Thomsen who is Scientific Director for London. John was not only a great addition to our programme – he was the best dressed there! Afghanistan veteran and triple amputee Andy Reid also joined us to talk of how his cutting edge prosthetic limbs enable him to do ‘normal’ things with his wife and young son. It really was incredible to hear about how science is impacting on people’s lives and on society. The Congress was certainly a celebration of knowledge, discovery and scientific advancement and the work that is done every day by practising scientists.
The inaugural Academy ‘lecture’ was delivered by Health Education England Chief Executive, Professor Ian Cumming. He said afterwards that inspiring and supporting the current and next generation of healthcare scientists must remain one of our most important roles - I have to say, I agree entirely! He pointed out that while healthcare scientists represent only around 5% of the total workforce, almost 80% of patient diagnoses can be attributed to their work.
We made some awards at the Congress and our judges, after a great deal of discussion and deliberation identified two people who they thought were outstanding. They recognised Prof Sian Ellard of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust and Biomedical Scientist Sue Kenworthy, from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, with national awards.
The event was so well received by all who attended – the speakers, the audience - which was made up of scientists, managers, representatives of professional bodies, commissioners, and sponsors – that I am sure it will be annual event. Next year’s will be even bigger, and even better, and I hope to see you there!
For more information on the Congress, the awards and the twitter conversation it generated, please visit our website at www.ahcs.ac.uk