The Importance of Healthcare Science Week 2024

11 March 2024

Healthcare Science Week, 11-15 March 2024 brings together over 50 scientific specialisms and professional groups to celebrate and raise awareness of this diverse NHS workforce.

Healthcare Science Week

Healthcare Science Week

Over the last 75 years NHS healthcare science has played a vital role in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and the health of our population. Healthcare Science Week is an opportunity to showcase this work and inspire the scientific workforce of the future.1

As Nye Bevan said at the time of the creation of the NHS, “the eyes of the world are turning to Great Britain”. “This is no less true today as we stand on the brink of a new era of medicine. Across the world, we are witnessing a healthcare revolution driven by scientific and technological advances – in genomics, informatics, and bio nanotechnology to name but a few – which are enhancing our ability to more precisely diagnose illnesses and target treatment of disease.”2

Currently, the work of healthcare scientists underpins 80% of all diagnoses. However, their role will only increase as future genomic medicine and next-generation diagnostics will drive personalised treatments and interventions.2

There are over 50,000 healthcare scientists working in the NHS and public health services. Together they provide the scientific backbone of the NHS and their roles stretch across the whole innovation pathway from academic and translational research, to patient-centred service transformation.1

“The healthcare science profession is uniquely placed to harness the UK’s world class healthcare research base, improve patient outcomes, and assist NHS England in its goal to accelerate innovation. Healthcare scientists work in more than 50 specialisms which can be categorised into four groupings:

  1. laboratory (pathology) sciences
  2. physiological sciences
  3. medical physics and clinical engineering
  4. bioinformatics4

“The healthcare science strategy for England, published in March 2020,  developed with the healthcare science profession and system partners, outlines how a healthcare science profession fit for the 21st century can help deliver the commitments within the Long Term Plan and ambitions of the National People Plan through:

  1. transforming scientifically led services;
  2. supporting research and innovation in healthcare science;
  3. providing scientific leadership, and
  4. partnering to improve information and knowledge.”3

“Healthcare Science Week is open to anyone with an interest in healthcare science, from those already working in the NHS, to those just starting their NHS healthcare science journey and others. We’ve included some ways to get involved but encourage you to reach out to your colleagues to agree local activity.”1 For ways you can get involved, click here.

Many thanks to the healthcare scientists working behind the scenes to provide evidence-based care and increase the standards of care for our patients across the UK. This important field is “making sure science stays at the heart of the NHS to improve care.”3


1 NHS Healthcare Science Week Website

2 Improving Outcomes Through Personalised Medicine

3 The Chief Scientific Officer’s Strategy

4 What is Healthcare Science?