Medical school gets new licence to open doors to the public

Lydia Carline, Claire Smith, Catherine Hennessy and Bruno Smith from The Anatomy Lab celebrate the awarding of the certificate.

The Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) has been granted greater flexibility to open up its doors to the public and showcase the wonders of the human body.

The BSMS Anatomy Laboratory has been awarded a Human Tissue Authority Licence for public display allowing the School’s anatomy team to exhibit publicly consented human tissue.

The permission will give the general public more opportunities to access the facilities based in the Medical Teaching Building on the University of Sussex campus and for human parts and bones in a state of health and disease to be shown to public groups.

The licence will also give the BSMS team the opportunity to offer more public events like the two live non-human dissections it has previously hosted which have attracted more than 100 visitors.

It also permits the team to improve health information for wider groups, giving more people, such as artists and teachers, access to the facilities for education, training and health promotion.

Dr Claire Smith, Head of Anatomy at BSMS, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been awarded the public display licence. The Anatomy Laboratory is a fantastic facility for our students and NHS colleagues to learn about the human body and push the boundaries of science and surgery.

"With this new licence, we are thrilled that we’re able to open our doors to the wider community and increase the number of public events we host each year. Being able to use human parts and bones as part of our external events programme is a fantastic way to educate visitors to the laboratory.”

Each year the Anatomy Laboratory trains more than 1,800 medical and allied healthcare students and receives 30 donor bodies generously donated through a willed body donation program.

The Anatomy Laboratory underwent extensive refurbishments during summer 2018, creating two new state-of-the-art dissection rooms. Advanced audio-visual systems were also installed, allowing the broadcast of live dissections to all parts of the room from a central demonstration area.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Shute - the University of Sussex Human Tissue Authority’s anatomy and research licence holder - said: “We are always looking for ways to open up the doors of our campus for the wider community to come and enjoy so the awarding of this licence is tremendous news.

“We hope that many city residents will be able to take up new opportunities made possible by this licence to learn more about the workings of the body and gain an understanding into the work of the medical school as well as hopefully inspiring some visitors from our local community to pursue careers and study in this field.”

The Anatomy team are currently planning more events for autumn 2019. Keep an eye on the BSMS events page for more information.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) is an equal partnership between the Universities of Sussex and Brighton together with NHS organisations throughout the South East region.

By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Thursday, 11 July 2019