Hundreds of members of the public came to Oxford Town Hall on 5 July to find out about the latest healthcare research taking place in Oxford.
The NIHR Oxford and Oxford Health BRCs held a joint Open Day to showcase the research they support, how it benefits NHS patients and how patients and members of the public can get involved in clinical trials.
The event was opened by Prof Helen Mc Shane, Director of the Oxford BRC, and Prof John Geddes, Director of the Oxford Health BRC (both pictured right)
The Main Hall at the Town Hall was transformed into an exhibition space with interactive stands, where researchers from the two BRCs’ themes could explain their work in a hands-on way. The stands covered topics as diverse as genomics, obesity, cardiovascular health breathlessness and virtual reality therapy for mental health.
There were also talks in the Assembly Room about long COVID by Emma Tucker, Oxford Health’s Post COVID Rehabilitation Coordinator, and Dr Emily Fraser, Oxford University Hospitals’ long COVID clinical lead (pictured below); and on whether online cultural experiences can help with young people’s mental health by Oxford Health Consultant Psychiatrist Rebecca Sheriff and Helen Adams, Head of Audience and Engagement Support at Oxford University Gardens, Libraries & Museums accompanied by young people who took part in the associated study.
Prof McShane said: “Events like this are a fantastic opportunity to let the communities we serve know about the amazing research that is taking place in their local hospital trusts, and which they and their loved ones could benefit from. It was also really pleasing to see the enthusiasm of the research teams who clearly loved being able to explain their work to members of the public.”
One of the students attending, Sarah Broad from Didcot Girls School, said: “What a fun and informative afternoon. I really enjoyed speaking to such a passionate bunch of people about the interesting work they are doing across medical research. I’d like to be a surgeon, so it was eye-opening to have the opportunity to chat to research professionals and the NHS careers team.”