Hospital takes urgent action to halt decline in scientific studies

The Birmingham treatment centre is the venue for a ground breaking one day event for teachers and advisors across the West Midlands to meet with NHS Healthcare scientists, to plan how to encourage pupils to take a greater interest in science.

The event next Tuesday – 30th January, is a collaboration between SANDWELL and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust, the Sandwell Education Business Partnership and the Royal Academy of Engineering and will be attended by Professor Sue Hill OBE, The Chief Scientific Officer for the Department of Health.

Professor Hill will launch an innovative challenge to local schools to encourage the development of work based skills, resulting in the production of a business case for the provision of a ‘Health MOT’. A first prize of £1,000 is on offer with two runner up prizes of £250.

Warwick based company, VIASYS Healthcare has sponsored the challenge, UK sales Director Bryn Tudor-Owen explained: “We feel very passionately about encouraging children to explore scientific subjects and fully support SWBH NHS Trust in their efforts to reach out to their local communities and invite teaching professionals to discuss ways to engage young people in subjects that may be seen as complex or unappealing.”

Associate Director of Healthcare Science at Birmingham’s City Hospital, Anne Burge MBE spoke about the reasons behind the event: “We are very concerned with the national trend of declining interest in science subjects. In order to halt the trend we decided to invite educational professionals into the hospital to meet with Healthcare Scientists. They come from a range of disciplines including Audiology, Cardiology, Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Medical Engineering, Medical Physics, Medical photography, Neurophysiology, Pharmacy and Respiratory Physiology.

“Teachers will be taken through a patient journey or process to demonstrate how each science directly affects patient care. We’ll also link the potential application to subjects taught in school and look at the career pathways of different Healthcare Scientists.

“We are absolutely delighted that the Department of Health recognises the importance of this event with the attendance of Professor Hill, and we hope to attract a high standard of entries for our healthcare challenge.”

The event is being held in the Birmingham Treatment Centre at City Hospital Birmingham on Tuesday 30th January, and is being attended by over sixty teaching professionals/personal advisors from across the region and further afield. The challenge will be judged in June with an award ceremony in July 2007.

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Editor’s Note

Pre-event interviews are available with Anne Burge MBE. Please contact Vanya Rogers in the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust press office on 0121 507 5303 to arrange.

Alternatively you are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the Birmingham Treatment Centre, at 9.30am on Tuesday 30th January for the start of the event to be opened by SWBH NHS Trust Chair Sue Davis, or at 2.45pm for the launch of the Healthcare Challenge by Chief Scientific Officer Professor Sue Hill.

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