Schoolchildren in Wiltshire will have an opportunity to learn more about science in the NHS when scientists and medical engineers from Salisbury District Hospital take some of their inventions and ideas into the classroom as part of Healthcare Science Week.
The hospital team will show children from Britford Primary School, St Mark's Primary School in Salisbury and Avon Valley College how electrical activity works in the brain.
Interactive sessions will give them first hand experience of how electricity activity in our bodies is used to send messages between the brain and muscles to create movement in our arms and legs.
The children will also be able to try out the special external electrical devices that have been developed and used to restore movement that has been lost following a stroke or neurological condition.
Dr Duncan Wood, Principal Clinical Engineer at Salisbury District Hospital, said: "Most people will be aware of the traditional ways in which our scientific knowledge plays an important part in the care and treatment of patients at Salisbury District Hospital. Yet there is so much more that we do to improve the quality of people's lives through scientific research and revolutionary medical devices."
Dr Wood added: "We have developed a practical and interactive programme of sessions designed to give them a real insight into our work and the way science can directly help people. This is an excellent opportunity for children to find out more about the wide range of scientific work that takes place in hospital and the role science plays in our day-to-day lives."
Over the years, the Salisbury District Hospital scientists and engineers have been involved in a number of groundbreaking developments, producing new technology and systems to improve patient care and transform the lives of many people.
The Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Department has led the way on a number of innovative projects. It was their research that led to the development of their own pioneering electrical devices that stimulate paralysed muscles for people who have had a stroke or other neurological conditions.
They helped develop devices that enabled paralysed spinal patients to move their hands and lift themselves up to a standing position.
It is their innovation, experience and expertise that led the team to be chosen to join a new European team that is leading the way on the development of the next generation of electrical implants.
Dr Wood said "Science is all around us. It has a key role to play in every aspect of our life, so it's important that children have a broad understanding of science and are aware of its uses. It's also important to remember that science has a major role to play locally and nationally in the NHS and that these children could be the healthcare scientists of the future."
"By taking our inventions ideas, and thoughts into the classroom we open their eyes to whole new way of thinking and the scientific and medical engineering career opportunities that are open to them in the future." EndsNotes to editors:
Opportunity for reporters and photographers
There is an opportunity for reporters and photographers to see one of the sessions taking place at St Mark's Church of England Junior School, Somerset Road, Salisbury SP1 3BL on Friday, 25 November at 1.30pm. If reporters and photographers would like to attend please contact Patrick Butler (details below).
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust. Tel: 01722 425170