Staff look forward to celebrating NHS70

University Hospital Southampton staff will be among those playing a leading part in celebrations to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Claire Shields, a lead clinical practice facilitator and Arlene Brady from the Emergency Department are due to speak at the commemorative service at Winchester Cathedral tomorrow evening.

The event is a multi-Trust celebration service for staff, both past and present along with the public to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

Claire, whose mum Dorothy Scott became a qualified nurse at the time the NHS was formed in 1948, said it would be a real honour for her to be a part of the service. Dorothy using the steriliser

She said: “I really am very excited and honoured to be a part of the event and to celebrate the fantastic NHS. It obviously means a lot to me particularly with my mum, who is no longer with us, becoming a nurse the same year the NHS was formed.”

Claire has been invited to say a few words as part of the ceremony that takes place tomorrow beginning at 5.30pm. Staff have also been invited to take part in a parade to start the event.

She said: “I really wanted to speak about how there was a great sense of public service that I think still holds true today. My mum very much had in her and I think the NHS is really built on that.”

Dorothy began her training 18 at the Royal South Hants nurses home and also spent time training at the Broadlands estate where, remarkably, she met the Queen and Prince Phillip while walking in the grounds.

Claire said: “I remember her telling me that story and that she didn’t quite know what to do. They were staying there at the time while she was there doing her training, she said she and her friend she was with sort of curtseyed .”

 Dorothy and Joan practicing ear nose and throat techniques on each other two of two

Dorothy was also courting Claire’s father, who had served in the RAF, whilst she was training to be a nurse after they met at a ball where the nurses were invited to be dance partners of the servicemen. Claire says she remembers her parents’ recounting stories of how her mum on occasion missed a curfew and had to crawl through a window to make it back into the home.

Dorothy went on to be a very successful nurse rising to become a Sister and went on to work in London where she specialised in ophthalmology.

She won funding to further her training and all while raising her young family. Claire said: “Looking back on it she was a real pioneer, joining the newly-formed NHS and also raising us kids and looking after the home. She was probably ahead of her time there.”

Claire also went on to become a nurse and works at University Hospital Southampton where she is  a lead clinical practice facilitator.

She added: “It is very important for us to mark what an incredible institution the NHS is and has been over the years and celebrate the people who have been a part of its journey.”

The Cathedral service is one of a number of events being held to mark the 70th anniversary. Tomorrow a party-themed event is being held outside the main entrance to Southampton General Hospital which will include a display of memorabilia that has been collected from staff over the past seven decades. There will also be a chance to send a birthday wish to the NHS, take part in party games and enjoy some birthday cake. The event takes place from 11am to 2pm.

Picture captions: above right, Dorothy using a steriliser; above left, Dorothy (stood) practicing ear, nose and throat techniques with a colleague.

Posted on Wednesday 4 July 2018