Healthcare heroes wow at the Big Bang Fair

Last week children and young people from across the UK tried their hand at medical procedures including keyhole surgery, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and endoscopy at King’s Health Partners’ stand hosted by 120 of our staff at the Big Bang Fair - the UK’s largest science and engineering fair.

From Thursday 14 March to Sunday 17 March, over 60,000 children and young people attended the Big Bang Fair at London ExCel. Over 120 staff and student volunteers from Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College London, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley inspired thousands of children by demonstrating the vast variety of healthcare careers.

Children and families attending the King’s Health Partners’ stand – called ‘Healthcare Heroes’ - were shown how to stitch up wounds, how to carry out keyhole surgery, how to help someone who is choking and how a baby is delivered. Dentists, paramedics, doctors, midwives, nurses, scientists, engineers and a whole host of other NHS professionals were on hand to demonstrate tricky medical procedures, to explain and show the scientific principles behind some of these procedures, and to answer any questions.

Our staff performed several medical scenarios live to rapt audiences. From labour to cardiac arrest, audiences were given a glimpse of what working as a healthcare professional is like today. On Sunday, the ‘Healthcare Heroes’ stand was selected to take part in a special lunchtime show hosted by TV science presenter Greg Foot where our staff performed a birthing scenario in front of a large audience.

The stand was organised and run by the King’s Health Partners Education Academy Widening Participation Committee.

Dr Steve Thompson, Chair of King’s Health Partners Widening Participation Committee, said: ‘This was a truly King’s Health Partners collaboration, with people from King’s College London and our three Trusts contributing both financially and with their time. Hopefully we have inspired some young people to become the next generation of healthcare heroes.’

Dr Beth Thomas, Outreach Programme Manager at King’s Health Partners Simulation and Interactive Learning (SaIL) Centres, was involved in organising the event. She said: ‘The King’s Health Partners stand at the Big Bang Fair was a huge success and it was a fantastic opportunity to introduce thousands of children and young people to careers in healthcare. I would like to thank the 120 staff members from across our four partner organisations who gave up their time to volunteer at the Fair – we could not have done it without you!’