UK Government

Department of Health: New book celebrates the extraordinary work of healthcare scientists

Press Release   •   Feb 17, 2010 09:58 GMT

Extraordinary Scientists, Extraordinary Careers, Extraordinary You

The unique work of healthcare scientists will be recognised in a new book, Health Minister Ann Keen announced today.

‘Extraordinary You – Science in Healthcare’ profiles the pioneering work of healthcare scientists within the NHS and details their reasons for choosing a career in science to encourage more people to join the profession.

The book will be showcased at a reception in Number 11 Downing Street and will be attended by key healthcare scientists profiled in the book, along with Health Minister Ann Keen and Chief Scientific Officer Professor Sue Hill.

The book includes the stories of:

  • Dr Val Davidson who made £1m worth of savings from re-organising laboratory work so that she could provide DNA screening for hereditary breast cancer and cancers of the blood in her hospital in the West Midlands for DNA screening;
  • Nuthar Jassam, once a stay-at-home mum with two children, who returned to the world of science having retrained in medical laboratory science and is now a trainee clinical biochemist at Leeds General Infirmary. Nuthar enjoys the balance of working with patients as well as the ‘detective work’ that surrounds being a biochemist. She recently helped doctors diagnose a puzzling metabolic disease without the patient having to endure invasive tests; and
  • Dr Nick Stone made a move from British Aerospace when he realised that he could do something more worthwhile in the NHS.  Now he is one of the international leaders in the field on biophotonics – using light to diagnose disease.  While still a developing area, this technique has huge potential for less invasive cancer diagnosis and to check that cancer cells have been removed during surgery.

Speaking before the book launch, Health Minister Ann Keen said:

“‘Extraordinary You’ gives healthcare scientists the recognition they deserve. The Prime Minister and the Government have rightly invested in science and research given its importance to advances in health care provision as well as to maintaining the UK’s reputation as a world leader.

“As a nurse, I know about the amazing work that healthcare scientists carry out every day to improve the quality of patient care. It is usually nurses and doctors that attract the attention. I am so pleased that scientists have their rightful place on the front line

“It is so important that we change conventional views of scientists locked away in hospital laboratories to one that is more current.  More and more healthcare scientists are directly involved in the pathways of care for patients, regularly engaging face-to-face with patients as well as aiding doctors in up to 80 per cent of all clinical diagnoses.”

Chief Scientific Officer Sue Hill said:

“Healthcare scientists provide the most cutting-edge technology and science for patients in order to improve healthcare and ‘Extraordinary You’ profiles the vital research and patient care they provide.

“My work as a healthcare scientist for 20 years allowed me to carry out extremely rewarding work helping patients suffering from respiratory problems while carrying out research into longer term disease mechanism’s solutions to benefits patients in the future.

“I hope that the publication of ‘Extraordinary You’ will help patients, employers and commissioners recognise the work that they do and inspire others that a career in science in the NHS is an exciting and rewarding option.”

Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation said:

"Healthcare scientists in the UK work at the frontier of medicine, solving the riddles that the human body conjures up. I hope this book will encourage young people to consider a career in this fascinating and life-saving field "


Notes to editors

  • For more information or for interview requests please call the Department of Health press office on: 0207 210 5221
  • 2.  The book has been published by the Crown Copyright printed by COI for the Department of Health.


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