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Community celebrates research and innovation as NHS marks 70 years

Hundreds of people have visited UCLH’s annual event celebrating medical research and innovation.

At the Celebrating Research Open Day last week, doctors and researchers took over 3 floors of the hospital to showcase the latest research being done at UCL/UCLH in areas like cancer, dementia and heart disease.

At the same time visitors marked the NHS’s 70th birthday with an indoor tea party. Visitors sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the NHS, and UCLH chair Lord David Prior cut an NHS 70 birthday cake with Eniafelamo Adejuwon, a local school student who was born at UCH.

At the 50 interactive research stalls, visitors tried their hand at simulated surgery, had a go at resuscitating a dummy, viewed an ultrasound of their hand, and saw how many bugs live on their skin.

UCLH also ran public tours of the hospital, including visits to the proton beam therapy (PBT) building site. PBT is an advanced form of radiotherapy used to treat the most complex forms of cancer. Once built, the PBT centre at UCLH will be one of only two in the UK.

Local school students also went on tours of some of the latest medical facilities at the hospital.

These tours included the opportunity for students to see their own brain waves with a special machine, and to see sports and exercise apparatus used to analyse Olympians, footballers and everyday patients.

This is the fifth year UCLH has organised an open event for the public. The day is designed to get the community interested and involved in UCLH’s work and research.

Professor Bryan Williams, Director of Research at UCLH, said:

‘We had a great turnout at the event, and are delighted so many people could join us to celebrate 70 years of the health service, and to find out about all the fantastic research being done at UCLH and UCL.

‘We want as many people as possible to know about our research to tackle diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and liver disease, and we are glad that members of the public signed up on the day to get involved in our work.

‘Patients and the public are crucial to the research work we do. By sharing their own experience of illness and the health service, patients and the public can make our research better, by making sure it is relevant, communicated in the right way, and reaches the people who need it.’

Local resident Libby Cooper, who has been a patient at the hospital, spoke of her positive experience at the event:

‘The most interesting part was learning about the potential for new technology to improve healthcare. For example, researchers at the event demonstrated motion capture technology, which can detect the movement of patients. This technology can be used in many ways, including to notice when a patient is at risk of falling out of bed.

‘Another stall explained the new electronic health record system which is being developed across UCLH, which will hold all of a person’s healthcare data in one place, which will improve care for patients.’

Pictures from the event are below.

Banner outside UCH on 5 July advertises the Celebrating Research open day


Attendees visit stalls in the ground floor atrium of UCH


Pupils from local school Maria Fidelis attend the day


UCLH chairman Lord David Prior addresses attendees


UCLH chairman Lord David Prior cuts the NHS 70th birthday cake with Maria Fidelis pupil Eniafelamo Adejuwon, who was born at the hospital


Chris Lane learns about the latest cancer therapies at an interactive display


Graeme Crawford, patient involvement network member, welcomes visitors to the event