10 September 2018

The College joined forces with a team of defence pathologists to run its popular Blood and Bugs activities at a large charity event, Heroes at Highclere in Berkshire on 8 and 9 September 2018.

The event was held to mark the centenary of the end of World War One and featured a range of themed activities and events including costumes, vintage cars, air shows, exhibitions, and food and drink.  Part of the Defence Medical Services area of the event, ‘Blood and Bugs’ took visitors on an interactive journey, from past to present, exploring blood transfusion and infection control during WW1 and today.

Haematologists, microbiologists and biomedical scientists volunteered to run the activities, which were extremely popular with the 3000+ visitors who flocked to Heroes at Highclere on both days of this weekend event. 

Feedback was collected using each participant’s ‘infection sticker’ on a giant board as visitors exited the tent. The vast majority of visitors reviewed their experience as ‘excellent’.

The 20+ pathologists and biomedical scientists who gave up their weekend to help out also had hugely positive things to say about their experience; Consultant Haematologist and Senior Lecturer, Dr Sylvie Benjamin said:

“Thank you for an excellent day at Blood and Bugs. It was great to see all ages involved and interested in the interactive activities.” 

Huge thanks is owed to the team at the Centre for Defence Pathology at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, and to Defence Consultant Advisor in Pathology, Lt Col Emma Hutley, who all worked tirelessly to ensure the Blood and Bugs activities were a success at the Heroes at Highclere event. The opportunity for the College to be part of this event was created by RCPath Fellows from the Ministry of Defence who had been involved in developing the activities in partnership with the BBC in 2014.

 As 2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War 1, the College will be encouraging its members to use the activities to run their own Blood and Bugs events during National Pathology Week, which will run from 5 to 11 November.