MORE than 50 people took advantage of a unique opportunity to see the workings of Glan Clwyd Hospital’s radiotherapy department.

The open day, on Sunday, October 22, was held to fire up the imagination of schoolchildren, students and those thinking of a changing careers about taking up a lifesaving vocation. Organisers were pleased to welcome children aged 13 and 14 as well as A-level and college students. The day featured talks, videos, live demonstrations and one-to-one chats with practising radiotherapists.

Tom Netherwood, radiographer, who organised the event, said: “It was an incredible day. To see the enthusiasm and interest from school pupils, through to mature students looking to change careers, was really heartening.

“It’s vital we fire up the imagination of local people to strive for careers which benefit the communities in which they live. So in that respect it was an unqualified success.

“We had people in the department all day, which was excellent – and they were so engaged and enthusiastic about a career in radiotherapy.

“We will definitely be doing more of these events in the future.”

The radiotherapy service, based at Glan Clwyd Hospital, treats people with cancer from across the region and is one of only three such centres in the whole of Wales - the others being in Cardiff and Swansea.

It is a vital medical science, which targets high doses of radiation at cancer cells and involves a team of skilled professionals.

Gemma Beck is a therapeutic radiographer, looking after and treating patients using a £2.1million linear accelerator (Linac) alongside a £500,000 planning-CT scanner.

The Linac is the state-of-the-art device delivering the targeted doses of radiation making such a difference to people’s lives.

She said: “How many people can go to work every single day and say what they do affects someone’s life positively?


“It’s rewarding because we are making a real difference to people’s lives. I love people and I get to meet so many different types of people every day.

“People ask me if the work is depressing, because we are dealing with such a serious disease. I always say not at all because in every aspect we are making patients’ lives better, whether it’s curing them or improving their quality of life.”

Colleagues from other departments took note of the open day and a number have already committed to developing similar projects in the future, after seeing how well it was received.