Written by Lauren Ostridge ITV Border:

Debra Padgett.PNGDebra Padgett is the infection scientist operational manager at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, where she has worked for almost 25 years.

Huge scientific advances have been made during the pandemic and many of those pushing these new boundaries are women.

To mark International Women's Day and Women's History Month, Debra speaks of the vital work being done in labs like hers to battle and better inform us about coronavirus.

Her work is the kind of vital research that informs the policy makers across the country and is essential in this unprecedented fight.

Debra recollects the moment a year ago when a new virus emerged in China and subsequently the cases that began to be recorded in Cumbria.

She said, as an infections scientist, it was 'exciting':

"That's a hard thing to say when you look back and understand what everyone's been through" she said.

"But for our profession it really is exciting. We're embarking on whole new science. It gives our profession the opportunity to be seen and heard and really understand what we are able to deliver for the public population.

"It's been a really proud moment as a biomedical scientist to be able to do that."

Debra emotionally speaks of the pride she has for her team, who she says have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide service for Cumbria.

A couple of weeks ago, the team of just over 50 people reached the impressive milestone of testing 125,000 coronavirus swabs since the pandemic started.

Watch the full ITV Border interview.

If you are interested in joining the Trust you can find out more about career opportunities on our website.  Some of the roles similar to Debra’s currently out to advert include:


Consultant cellular pathologist


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