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My Story - Patrick Kumah and Sandie Iles (Healthcare Science Week 2024)

Healthcare Science Week runs from 11-15 March 2024. It is an annual week of celebration and awareness-raising for the many careers in healthcare science.

Healthcare scientists have played a vital role in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and the health of our population. Healthcare Science Week is an opportunity to showcase this work and inspire the scientific workforce of the future.


To celebrate, we here from HCPC-registered healthcare scientists who share their story about their experience and passion for healthcare science.

Patrick Kumah is a Consultant Biomedical Scientist who says they “fell into” Healthcare Science!


Since my first role in Manchester, I have worked in Histopathology Departments in Nottingham, Cambridge and Derby. I currently work as a Consultant Biomedical Scientist at Peterborough City Hospital, part of Northwest Anglia Foundation Trust. Becoming a Consultant Biomedical Scientist has involved taking lots of exams while still holding down a job. It has been challenging at times, but ultimately extremely rewarding.

In my current role, I undertake independent reporting of gastrointestinal specimens. The specimens can range from endoscopic biopsies to part of a large bowel. Specimen dissection is a really “hands on” aspect of my role that requires an in dept knowledge of anatomy and pathology. I also help to teach and train Junior Doctors and other scientific staff in specimen dissection.

One of the many misconceptions about pathology is that it involves working in isolation. However, a big part of my job involves interacting with a wide range of colleagues. I present the pathology with clinical colleagues at weekly Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings to discuss patient management. I could be liaising with a radiologist for advice regarding a tumour that has been difficult to locate grossly at the dissection bench or receiving a request from a Specialist Nurse to initiate molecular tests for a patient.

Healthcare Science is a career where there are many opportunities to develop and constantly learn. After 31 years in the discipline, I still feel very inspired and I definitely have a fair few more years left in me!


Sandie Iles is an Advanced Specialist Biomedical Scientist in Gynaecology reporting (stage D) within Cellular Pathology at North West London Pathology. They have been a Healthcare Scientist (HCS) for 18 years.


I chose Healthcare Scientist as I wanted to help people but didn’t feel that I would be effective in front of the patient. So, I choose my career based on my love of science and problem solving. Over the course of my career, this still stands but now as I am reaching my career goal, I realise that this role is perfect for me. Being a reporting Biomedical Scientist combines the best parts of the scientific and clinical world.

I find it incredibly rewarding to make a positive impact to the patient’s diagnostic and prognostic pathway. I love that each day brings a new challenge and no one day is the same as the next. I like the continuous scientific and practice advancements that allow for continuous learning and progression. Finally, I love supporting and sharing skills and capabilities with the team and helping them develop and progress.

No role is without obstacles. My main obstacle has been being the first member of staff in a new advanced practice role within North West London Pathology. Being a new entity has required a lot of organisation and preparation to be able to complete the required training and documentation. I feel that if you are in the right role, have an understanding team and a progressive and supportive management team like I do at North West London Pathology, any obstacle can be overcome.

Thank you to the healthcare scientists who continue to pave the way for future healthcare.

Read more about Healthcare Science Week

In your words
Page updated on: 08/03/2024