The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) marked NHS70 with lots on offer for staff and patients to celebrate the cherished organisation.
Some staff were bound for the big smoke in honour of NHS70, with the Trust’s My WiSH Charity heading to the House of Commons as one of 10 Midlands and East teams chosen as regional champions in the prestigious NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.
Nominated by local MP Jo Churchill, My WiSH was shortlisted in The Patient and Public Involvement Award category. Although the charity did not win the category overall, the team said it was “an absolute honour”’ to attend this prestigious event.
Hot on their heels was chief executive Stephen Dunn, accompanied by employee of the year Tracey Green, mortuary and bereavement services manager at WSFT, who attended a special NHS70 service in Westminster Abbey, London. Tracey said: “It was an absolute honour and privilege to hear other peoples’ stories and for me personally, what with my employee of the year award, it was an honour to represent the Trust. We had a fantastic day and I really enjoyed being part of the NHS70 celebrations.”
Closer to home, to mark the milestone birthday, a history of healthcare walking tour was unveiled on the first floor corridor of the West Suffolk and Newmarket Community Hospitals. ‘Then and now’ posters give an insight into the history of healthcare and the life of the NHS, and how it has changed over the years since its conception.
Staff, patients and visitors were invited to share their NHS memories by pinning postcards on ‘what the NHS means to me’ boards. Touching tributes from anonymous contributors read, “loved ones cared for with compassion”, “it has saved my life four times”, “a deep feeling of safety, of not being alone with ill health”, with one simply stating “family”.
West Suffolk Hospital’s catering team got involved, serving up special dishes from the 1940s era when the NHS was created, such as Lord Woolton Pie. For dessert, NHS70 cupcakes were baked as a treat for every patient. At Newmarket Community Hospital even spam fritters were on the menu, followed by a traditional afternoon tea for patients.
Staff didn’t miss out on a cake treat either, as local charity, Suffolk Family Carers, delivered an NHS70 birthday cake to staff to recognise how they go the extra mile to support family carers in hospital. NHS 70 tea parties were hosted by departments across the Trust too, with Newmarket Community Hospital hosting their very own staff bake-off.
Local media interviewed staff at West Suffolk Hospital, including clinical staff, a porter, and a volunteer, to hear their thoughts on the NHS, and its future. Surrounded by high-tech scanning equipment, Nigel Beeton, imaging services manager, said he is “very affectionate to the dear old NHS” and that on its 70th birthday “we need to rejoice in the fact that kit like this across the NHS is available to everybody.”
Outside of the Trust, the local UNISON branch generously held an NHS70 staff party at Bury Cricket Club, with music from the Trust’s band ‘Clinical Waste’ to entertain.
A host of ex-NHS and social care staff also celebrated NHS70 at The Athenaeum Bury St Edmunds as part of the East Anglian regional NHS retirement fellowship celebrations.
Ward F7 with patient, Ian, enjoying his NHS70 cupcake.
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