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NHS70 celebrations in pictures

Parties were staged across University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust sites, to mark the 70th anniversary of the formation of the public health service in 1948.

The main event took place outside Southampton General Hospital which was also celebrating 70 years since it changed its name from the Borough Hospital.

Guests enjoyed a host of party games, face painting and also had a chance to look at memorabilia that had been collected from over the past seven decades and send a birthday wish to the NHS.

Donations of food and drink from Asda and M&S were also enjoyed before staff then gathered for a commemorative photo to mark the occasion.

David French, interim chief executive of UHSFT, said: “I’m proud to work for the NHS and I’m proud that through all the changes we’ve seen since 1948, ‘free at the point of need’ remains at the core of the NHS.

“Today has been a wonderful occasion to reflect on the achievements since then look forward to the future. Through our 10,000 brilliant staff, we will continue to make our services and facilities better every day.”


Celebrations to mark 70 years since the formation of the NHS continued into the evening last night, as staff headed to Winchester Cathedral to celebrate with other local NHS trusts at a special service. There, they were greeted with singing from Koro Filipino, Southampton’s Filipino choir, who had been invited to perform at the event. Choirmaster Nalla Diamante, who works as a rehabilitation technician at Southampton General Hospital, said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be in this event, especially representing the Filipino community.”

After opening prayers and hymns, UHS staff members Arlene Brady and Claire Shields read inspiring testimonials on what celebrating the NHS at 70 means to them. Arlene, a nurse practitioner in the emergency department, spoke of how the service has changed since she started her career in the 1960s. She said: “The biggest milestone I’ve witnessed post millennium has been the advancement in technology helping to rehabilitate and treat patients … to see it this far has just been amazing.” Claire, a clinical practice facilitator, told the story of her mum Dorothy, who qualified as a nurse in Southampton in 1948, the year the NHS was formed.

After a song from the Basingstoke Hospital Male Voice choir, it was time for UHS’s head of spiritual care, Reverend Canon Karen MacKinnon, to give a reading. When asked what the service meant to her, Karen said: “It means a great deal. We’ve all been touched by the NHS, whether we work in it or we’ve been treated by it, so this is a great opportunity to celebrate that.”

Members of five local NHS trusts, including UHS’s clinical non-executive director Dr Mike Sadler, read ‘These are the hands’, a poem written by Michael Rosen for the 60th anniversary of the NHS ten years ago. The poem honours people who work in all the different roles in the NHS, from those who ‘test the skin’ and ‘replace your hip’ to those who ‘wheel the bin’ or ‘design the lab’. This was followed by a round of applause for the past and present NHS staff who have made the NHS the incredible service it is today.

Rosemary Chable, deputy director of nursing at UHS, summed up her feelings on the day: “It was such a privilege, having worked in the NHS for 34 years, to be part of the celebrations at Winchester Cathedral. I feel so proud of the services we are able to offer everyone and it was an opportunity to reflect on how far the NHS has come, how much it has done and how strong the commitment is to keep on improving.”