Hospital lab opens doors to visitors

Mum Michelle Hynes and daughter Ellie Hynes listening to biomedical scientist Andrew Ward.
Mum Michelle Hynes and daughter Ellie Hynes listening to biomedical scientist Andrew Ward.

A health trust’s pathology department has welcomed visitors to see exactly what goes on in the hospital’s laboratory.

The pathology department at the University Hospital of North Tees held an open event to mark Biomedical Science day, inviting staff, patients and members of the public to take a tour through the labs and meet the people behind the white coats.

Chief executive Julie Gillon, Nathan Owens, Darren Makin, Jessica Costello, mum Michelle Hynes and daughter Ellie Hynes.

Chief executive Julie Gillon, Nathan Owens, Darren Makin, Jessica Costello, mum Michelle Hynes and daughter Ellie Hynes.

It showcased the integral role of the trust’s pathology staff which includes diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of infections and diseases.

The tour took attendees on a journey through some of the specialities, from learning about blood samples in Biochemistry, to how urine and stool samples are tested in microbiology, to the in depth process of preserving, dissecting and putting under the microscope organs and tissue for diagnosis in histology.

Chief Executive Julie Gillon welcomed visitors at the start of the day, and trust Non-Executive directors Steve Hall and Rita Taylor took a tour themselves.

Parents and school pupils who had an interest in biomedical science who hoped to pursue a career in this field were also given the opportunity to get up close and personal and see what goes on behind the scenes.

Michelle Hynes, who has worked in the trust for 29 years as a PA, and her daughter Ellie, 14, who will be going into year 11 at St Michael’s Academy in September, both came along to the first tour of the day.

Michelle told us: “Biochemistry is something Ellie is very interested in so I thought it would be useful to being her along to see first-hand what goes on, as a result of the tour she is very keen to look for a career in this field.

"It was much more than we expected in that I didn’t realise we would be able to be so up close to all the machinery and to see the tissue samples in histology and how they become slides, it was all very interesting to us both.

“The staff were all very pleasant and helpful, they were so enthusiastic and professional and it was clear to see how passionate they are about their profession.”

James Latham, 23, is one of the trusts youngest biomedical scientists who facilitated part of the tour, he said: “I think the open day was a great idea, it gives us a real chance of showcasing all the great things we do and hopefully gives more insight into the department and hopefully inspires more young students like me to pursue a career in our field.

"I love my job, I have been in the trust for nearly a year now and one of the best things about it is the versatility of the job role, and also the great training we are offered to further develop.”

Training lead in pathology Darren Makin, who organised the open day said: “The tours have been a huge success, we have received great feedback and the staff have really enjoyed being able to share with others what is so great about working here.

"It’s definitely something we want to do again and we hope to hold more tours in the near future – watch this space!.”