Top medical conference puts Cumbria on the map

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Delegates, organisers and speakers at the BIOS medical conference in Carlisle
Delegates, organisers and speakers at the BIOS medical conference in Carlisle

Top surgeons saw what Cumbria has to offer at a high-profile medical conference in Carlisle.

The British Indian Orthopedic Society (BIOS) chose the city as the location of its annual meeting, attracting more than 100 of the country’s leading orthopedic surgeons.

The three-day event, at the Milton Hilltop Hotel, was also streamed online to a global audience.

West Cumbrian surgeon Suresh Rao, chairman of the BIOS organising committee, brought the event to the county.

His aim was to raise the profile of the area as part of efforts to attract staff and bring new innovation to Cumbria.

He worked closely with Carlisle City Council and several local businesses to promote tourism and industry.

Mr Rao said the event was a huge success and he has had lots of positive feedback from delegates.

"One of the highlights for me was the level of scientific papers. It was really cutting edge," he said.

He added that they really looked at how science and technology could be used to benefit patients, involving two local companies - Maryport-based Protopro and Carlisle-based Tech4 - in the discussions.

"We were looking at the direct application of technology and how that can benefit patient care and influence the design of local services. We even had a rocket scientist with us on the panel," he explained.

Mr Rao said there was also an interesting and productive discussion on health tourism - something he believes could be the answer to many of the problems in Cumbria's health service.

As well as all of the medical agenda, there was also a social programme to show off Cumbria to those attending and their families.

This included arranging day trips for spouses and children aboard a classic coach, visiting Talkin Tarn, Rheged and parts of the Lake District.

On the final day, delegates had the chance to travel to M-Sport at Dovenby, near Cockermouth, for a private tour, and then take trips to Wordsworth House, Bassenthwaite Lake and Ullswater.

Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that the Lake District had been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, Mr rao said it was perfect timing to illustrate Cumbria's wider appeal.

"We really showcased the area. Hopefully they will come back as tourists or even want to work here," he said.

Running from Friday until Sunday, the event features some high-profile key note speakers from across the world of health.

There was also a gala dinner on the Saturday evening, attended by Mayor of Carlisle Trish Vasey. Local band Hardwicke Circus played on the Friday night, while the Saturday event featured Bollywood dancing - fusing Indian and British cultures.

The Cumbrian event was backed by the Carlisle-based World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS).

Mr Rao thanked everyone who supported the event, from delegates to businesses and the wider community.

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