Healthcare Science Week
An annual week of celebration and awareness-raising, Healthcare Science Week, 9 – 18 March, of how science and technology is vital in modern patient care and changes lives for the better.
Healthcare scientists, across all specialisms, are integral for delivering high quality, innovative patient-centred services. They are critical to ensure that the NHS works at the limits of science. Find out more about the different services at WHH:
The Pathology services provide study and diagnosis of disease through examination of organs, tissues, bodily fluids and autopsies. The pathology department at Warrington consists of Biochemistry, Histopathology, Haematology and Microbiology. Biochemistry and Haematology operate a 24/7 service and Microbiology and Mortuary operate an on-call service. The biochemistry department offers a broad spectrum of tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of disease, and response to therapy. The haematology department delivers a comprehensive service to patients with a wide range of blood abnormalities. Histopathology provides routine and specialised examination of tissue samples, diagnostic screening of body fluids and aspirates and autopsies. Microbiology involves the diagnosis and management of diseases caused by micro-organisms.
Find out more on the individual services here:
Physiotherapy services at Warrington and Halton hospitals provide assessments and treatments across a wide range of specialities including neurological (stroke and long term condition management), respiratory (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Orthopaedics (trauma and elective surgery), musculoskeletal (back pain, arthritis, sports injuries and women’s and men’s health), medical/ older people’s health (including falls and intermediate care), surgical (following general surgery), cardiovascular (cardiac events) and community (services provided at peoples home).
Physiotherapists take a “whole person” approach when helping people to overcome illness, surgery, injuries or disabilities. This science based approach enables people to prevent ill health, self-manage existing conditions, facilitate recovery and manage pain. They work independently or as part of multi-professional teams that include doctors, nurses and allied health professionals such as occupational therapists.
Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.
Occupational therapists play a vital role in helping people of all ages to overcome the effects of disability caused by illness, ageing or accident so that they can carry out everyday tasks. They will consider all your needs –physical, psychological, social and environmental.
They work closely with a variety of other professionals including doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals such as physiotherapists.
A wide range of Imaging techniques are used within Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust’s Radiology Departments:
- General Radiography– the most common type of radiological examination – 9 out of 10 patients see a radiographer - using a wide range of techniques to help diagnose a variety of conditions and injuries.
- Fluoroscopy– where X-ray images are viewed directly on a television monitor providing a real time image of the patient
- Interventional Radiography – used to help repair obstructed arteries or vessels and may reduce the need for a surgical operation
- Ultrasound- high frequency sound waves which produce images of the body. Ultrasound is used to assess the abdominal contents, vessels and superficial studies. It is also used during pregnancy to assess the babies size and health
- Computerised Tomography (CT)– a specialised form of x-ray in which the CT scanner rotates around the patient. More detailed information can be obtained than on a conventional x-ray. It can be used for all parts of the body but is especially useful for scanning the head, chest and abdomen
- Breast Screening– low-energy X-rays are used to show the fine details in the breast tissue
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – modern, high-speed computers map out variations in tissue. This is particularly useful for examining the central nervous system and the musculoskeletal system.
- Nuclear Medicine – Uses Radionuclides and a gamma camera to provide diagnostic images. Very sensitive in demonstrating early functional changes due to disease
- Mobiles and Theatre Radiography - There are also several mobile x-ray machines, which are used to take x-rays of patients on the ward who are too poorly to come to the department eg: patients on Intensive Care Unit (ITU). Radiographers will also go to theatre and x-ray patients having hip operations or other orthopaedic and surgical investigations.
Operating Department Practitioners
Operating department practitioners (ODPs) are a vital part of the multidisciplinary operating theatre team, providing a high standard of patient-focused care during anaesthesia, surgery and recovery, responding to patients' physical and psychological needs. ODPs also work across organisations providing emergency care and transfer of critically ill patients.
Audiology is a challenging and expanding field of clinical science and technology, involving the study of hearing and balance. The department offers a range of services from adult hearing assessment, diagnostic Audiology for hearing and balance disorders, hearing aid repairs and tinnitus therapy.
Nutrition & Dietetics
Our nutrition and dietetics team offer a service to inpatients and outpatients at all our hospitals, advising on nutrition and health, food-related problems and practical ways to manage disease and ill health.
Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that can assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition related conditions. The role of the dietitian is extremely varied and challenging. The Dietetics team at Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trusts covers inpatients, outpatients and community, providing services for adults and children. They work closely with other health professionals to provide tailored nutritional advice, education and support for patients and their families or carers. Dietitians also work to promote good health and prevent disease by informing and teaching the public, health professionals and others about diet and nutrition.
Speech & Language Therapy
Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) provide life-improving assessment and treatment, support and care for adults with acquired communication and/or swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). Communication or eating and swallowing problems can arise as a result of many conditions including Stroke, Neurological Disease, Head Injury, and Dementia, Head and Neck Cancer and Voice disorders. The SLT team atWarrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust covers inpatients, outpatients and community,and work closely with other health professionals to develop individual treatment programmes.
Cardio Respiratory Department
The Cardio Respiratory Department consists of a dedicated team of cardiac physiologists, associate practitioners and assistant technical officers that provide a wide variety of cardiac investigations to inpatients, outpatients and GP open access referrals. The service offers a comprehensive diagnostic support to the cardiac and chest physicians. The majority of our patients are adult, but we do also provide a service to the paediatricians. The Cardio-Respiratory department offers an extensive range of diagnostic testing for both heart and lung conditions. Our cardiac service includes, but is not limited to: performing 12 lead ECGs and ambulatory monitoring of heart rate/rhythm and BP, through to more advanced testing including coronary angiography, pacemaker implantation and a range of echocardiography procedures.
Our respiratory service offers, but is again not limited to: basic spirometry, full lung function studies through to diagnostic sleep testing for sleep apnoea and the treatment of such with CPAP. The majority of our staff works at multiple levels across both of these disciplines as we are combined department. We also work closely with doctors, nurses, wards and other health professional to provide the best service we can for our patients.
Medical Engineers provide an important clinical technical service, working with clinical colleagues and managers to reduce risk and ensure patient safety and continuity of care. We provide a responsive, cost effective and quality controlled medical equipment management and maintenance service. They are able to provide the bridge between technology, clinical users and patients, uniquely understanding both clinical need and engineering solutions.The small team of just seven engineers work across both hospital sites, and in most clinical areas, testing, servicing, repairing and providing technical knowledge and support on the wide range of medical devices in use.
Orthoptics refers to a discipline dealing with the detection, diagnosis and management of patients with eye disorders such as nystagmus, binocular vision, and amblyopia. The Orthoptic Service offers
- Hospital and communityOrthoptic clinics
- Orthoptic support to joint Optometry and Orthoptic clinics, consultant led ocular motility clinics and general and specialised Ophthalmology clinics
- Pre-operative assessment clinics.
- Primary visual screening to children in reception class,
- Specific Learning Difficulties assessment and treatment,
- Orthoptic led Special Educational Needsservice in special schools and child development centres
- screening of premature and low birth weight babies (retinopathy of prematurity).
The service treats patients of all ages, ranging from those with a temporary need to those with a long-term need for orthotic intervention. The Orthotics Department prescribes and provides orthoses to help patients with a range of conditions.
Orthoses that can be provided include:
- Functional foot orthoses
- Ankle foot orthoses
- Knee ankle foot orthoses
- Orthopaedic footwear
- Spinal orthoses
- Upper limb orthoses
An orthosis is a device which is used on the outside of the body to change the way muscles or bones move or develop. They are used to help when part of the body is deformed or weakened
People with some conditions such as diabetes, cerebral palsy and complex orthopaedic conditions will be treated in multi-disciplinary specialist clinics alongside other professionals. Some people with chronic conditions such as stroke, polio and high-risk diabetes may need a service from the Orthotics Department throughout their life.