Hospital Trust marks Healthcare Science Week with its four ‘WISE women of Romford’

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has been celebrating its 250+ healthcare scientists during National Healthcare Science Week, which runs until Sunday (15 March). It’s an annual event to raise awareness of careers in healthcare science, and the role it has to play in patient care and treatment.    

The Trust ran a special event, Making Waves Monday, on 9 March, where as well as hearing from key speakers including Ruth Thomsen, Scientific Director, NHS England, and Aarti Makan, Professional Lead for Healthcare Science, attendees also got to learn more about four healthcare scientists at the Trust, who have dubbed themselves the ‘WISE women of Romford’!

They are: Yun Miao, radiotherapy physicist, Keeley Thwaites, immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics scientific lead biomedical scientist, Jodie Hampel, senior clinical scientist in radiation protection and Karen Gannon, deputy head of radiation protection and imaging physics. All four have secured places on a prestigious leadership programme run by the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).

Despite working across the same two hospitals run by the Trust, Queen’s and King George hospitals, some of the four had never even met before! All are in agreement that the best thing about being accepted onto the programme was forming their own network.

Karen said: “I’ve been working in the industry for quite a while so I wondered if I was a bit long in the tooth for a programme like this. However, I was encouraged by a colleague and I’m so glad I did – meeting the rest of the women was the icing on the cake!

Sometimes healthcare scientists can be invisible, and it can be lonely. I wanted to do this to give something back, by promoting what we do, we can encourage other young women to consider careers in healthcare science.”

To mark Healthcare Science Week, the Trust also relaunched its own Healthcare Science Network, to bring colleagues together to support each other, as well as share their expertise across the Trust for the benefit of patients. 

Ruth Thomsen, Scientific Director, NHS England, said: “I had an amazing start to Healthcare Science Week in London by coming along to this event.

There were amazing stories from the ‘Romford WISE women’ and it was great to see such rich enthusiasm for healthcare science supported by the Trust’s Chief Executive.

Other events taking place across the Trust this week include several opportunities to ‘meet the scientist’, and science students from local schools will be visiting to tour the labs at Queen’s Hospitals.

Find out more about careers in healthcare science

Keeley Thwaites,Yun Miao,Karen Gannon and Jodie Hempel with interim Chief Executive Tony Chambers.

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