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Healthcare Science Week: Celebrating the Role of Scientists Working in Healthcare

You may not know this, but this week is Healthcare Science Week in the UK. This is an annual week of celebration and awareness-raising to highlight the critical importance of scientists in healthcare.

For the healthcare science community the week provides an opportunity to tell the nation and other health professionals about how science and technology is an essential building block for modern patient care. Quite simply, it is the scientists behind the scenes that do the work that ultimately saves lives.

A Profession in the Spotlight

In the past, this was needed because often the public was not always aware of the scientific research that underpinned the treatment that they receive from their GP or hospital outpatient department.

However, in the last 2 years, this has fundamentally changed. Science has become front-page news. Take Dame Sarah Gilbert, who led the Oxford team that developed the AstraZeneca vaccine to fight COVID-19. This was approved for use in the United Kingdom at the very end of December 2020. By the start of this year 2.5 billion doses of the vaccine had been shared with over 170 countries worldwide.

Not only did Gilbert’s work lead to her being recognised by the Queen with the award of a damehood, but it also led to widescale public awareness of the critical role that scientists play in developing new treatments. Nowhere was this more evident than when Dame Sarah attended the Wimbledon Tennis Championship and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Toymaker Mattel has even made a Barbie doll figure of her.

Supporting UK Science

The fact is, that science and the role it plays in keeping the nation healthy, has never had higher public awareness.

At ENL we are proud to supply high-quality medical components to the scientists and doctors who work to keep us all safe. Without access to medical-grade plastics, they would be unable to undertake their lifesaving research.

In fact, without plastics, no vaccine would ever have been produced. All forms of vaccine production require bioreactors, – large sterile plastic bags. These are effectively the ‘greenhouses’ where vaccine cells are grown.

There is also a whole host of other plastic equipment that is required. The process also needs plastics for the filters and pipes that are used in many biological processes.

Plastic is ideal for such purposes. It is easy to make and keep sterile, does not react with chemicals, and supplies can be scaled up or down quickly to respond to the sort of national emergency that we all faced with the COVID pandemic.

Unsung Heroes

Given the events of the past two years, it is entirely understandable that there is a focus on the scientists who developed our COVID vaccines. However, it is also important to remember that these amazing individuals are simply the most visible aspect of the sector.

Behind the scenes are tens of thousands of scientists who support frontline work. In the NHS alone, over 50,000 scientists are providing a backbone for healthcare in the UK. Together, the work that these scientists undertake underpins an incredible 80% of all diagnoses.

They might be working in a laboratory analysing blood tests, checking DNA to see if there is an inherited illness, or they could be working on developing new techniques for x-rays or ultrasound scans.

These people take off their white coats at the end of their shift and are generally not recognised by the public. None of these scientists are likely to receive a standing ovation at Wimbledon or have a doll made in their honour.

Yet every day, in a quiet, under-the-radar way, these are the people doing the tests, developing the drugs, and inventing the treatments that we all depend upon. Healthcare Science Week is an opportunity to celebrate these key workers and the critical role that they perform.

Supporting the UK Science Sector

ENL Group has a long history of providing components to the UK’s medical sector. We are not scientists ourselves, but we know that the boffins in laboratories up and down the country need to have a reliable supply of high-quality equipment to do their jobs effectively.

When it comes to the medical and bioscience sector, quality and continuity are absolutely key. This is why ENL has invested in the right equipment and machinery for all of our production lines and has implemented the most stringent and comprehensive quality processes. This means that even the most complex moulds are always accurate and precise.

Our commitment to providing this level of quality over decades is what has built a level of trust from our customers in the industry. The medical and bioscience firms that we work with see us as a partner, not simply as a supplier. In short, we know that for them to do their jobs well, we need to do our job well too.  

About ENL Group

ENL Group is based in Portsmouth, UK and Veľké Kostoľany, Slovakia. Established in 1958, we have been servicing UK-based and European companies for decades. Working with a secure supply chain, ENL provides quality components for quality-driven customers – with full certification for all of our products and quality checking at every stage.

Operating 24/7, we design, manufacture and deliver critical components for our customers across the UK and Europe.

Contact Us for more information about ENL and how we can help your business.