Public given rare behind the scenes access to city's hospitals

Open day 2016

Members of the public will be given rare behind the scenes access to Southampton’s teaching hospitals on Saturday (9 September) as part of an action-packed open day.

Visitors will be able to follow the journey of young patients with respiratory illnesses in a makeshift paediatric intensive care unit, see simulated patients in a mock emergency department and tour the operating theatres at Southampton General Hospital.

There will also be a chance to see inside a Hampshire and Isle of Wight air ambulance on the helipad, see the dedicated children's intensive care ambulance and other vehicles and crew from South Central Ambulance Service and the SERV Wessex blood delivery motorbikes bikes.

Heart experts will be on hand to demonstrate cardiopulmonary bypass, vein harvesting and high frequency ultrasound testing techniques, while nurses and scientists from the Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre will discuss how they are working to beat cancer sooner.

The diabetes team will offer blood glucose testing, stroke experts will take blood pressure measurements, maternity staff will provide the opportunity to try on a pregnancy belly and the LifeLab team will give children the opportunity to help design a health app for their age groups.

The radiotherapy team will allow visitors to make bracelets from thermoplastic materials and see demonstrations of equipment, molecular pathology will show the process of extracting and processing DNA and illustrate genetic diversity using marshmallow creatures.

There will also be a chance to meet special guests Willow and Val, the hawks who keep watch over hospital as part of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust's bird control programme and see off 16 members of the emergency department team as they embark on a 350-mile cycle challenge in aid of the children's emergency and trauma department appeal.

The ride, known as Tour de Wessex, will see the team travel across the region to support the £2 million fundraising drive being led by Southampton Children's Hospital Charity - part of Southampton Hospital Charity - and The Murray Parish Trust towards a new £4.8 million state-of-the-art facility.

UHS OPEN DAY WEBSITE 457X393PX2

There will also be opportunities to sample hospital food provided by Serco, see the Pets as Therapy dogs and meet the alcohol care team who will talk to visitors about measuring units of alcohol consumption and offer a chance to try on some beer goggles and look at models of affected livers.

Younger visitors will be able to graduate from the Health Hero Academy by attending various activities and stands during the day, see an MRI machine made of Lego and take their injured soft toys to the teddy bear hospital.

Emma Abdulaal, open day event co-ordinator at UHS, said: “We are thrilled with the wide range of events and activities we have planned for visitors at this year's open day, which will again be the most extensive insight into a working hospital offered to members of the public in this country.

"We truly do have something for everyone and we hope to see as many people as possible come along to see the hundreds of staff who will be around on the day to showcase some of the fascinating work they perform on a daily basis.”

The open day takes place on Saturday (9 September) from 10.30am to 3.30pm at Southampton General Hospital with free visitor parking for the duration of the event.

Posted on Tuesday 5 September 2017