On the 21st April 2016 members of the SITU team attended the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Open Day at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington. It was the third time that the team had attended this annual event. From the time of setting up it was clear that all of the Themes and Working Groups within the BRC had been extremely busy in the last year. There were stands encompassing all areas of biomedical research, and by 12pm the hall was ready to open to the public.
For the first time, SITU took a copy of the board game ‘Operation’ and several pairs of tweezers along for extra fun. For many it was a blast from the past to see the childhood game again, but most were surprised by the vibration when you accidently touch the edges of the hole! Although the extra tweezers didn’t light the body up when you made a mistake, they did help us convey an important message. Presenting people with a choice of instruments to use for the ‘surgery’ meant that most people wanted to try them all out, to see if one made the task any easier. Without testing them all out, it was impossible to draw a conclusion as to which was the best. This is an excellent example of why we need surgical trials. There may be several different techniques, devices or interventions available for a particular type of surgery. However, it isn’t until all of the techniques have been rigorously evaluated through a trial that you can definitively say that one method is best. There are also often other factors that need to be taken into account, such as cost, surgeon experience and acceptability within the community. Through our use of the game, we were able to show to members of the public just how key surgical trials are. In the end we had a winning time of 1 minute 30 seconds for Operation-and recommended that the winner reconsidered a career in surgery! Professor Keith Channon also stopped by and showed off his 'Operation' skills!
The day also gave the SITU team a chance to showcase the surgical trials that we are currently working on. With an ever growing portfolio, SITU is covering many of the surgical disciplines, which makes it possible to find a topic to interest nearly everyone.
One of the highlights of the day were the key note speakers. By including the speeches within the Tingewick Hall, delegates and stall members were able to hear the exciting talks, with highlights from Professor Keith Channon (Director of Oxford BRC) and Dr Bruno Holthof (Chief Executive, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).
The SITU team would like to thank everyone who attended the BRC Day, and the organisers for making it such a success.