Happy 73rd birthday to the NHS

Hospitals say they have been overwhelmed with support from across the community. 

Hospitals say they have been overwhelmed with support from across the community. - Credit: Archant

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant the NHS has been through a year like no other in its history. 

Today (July 5) marks the 73rd anniversary of the NHS, and Caroline Walker, chief executive of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, says 'thank you' to staff.

She said: "The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the NHS’ 73rd year being like no other. The past year has been extremely challenging for our staff, patients and local communities.

"Amongst the challenges though, there has been a great deal of hope.

"Our staff have worked tirelessly and despite their own worries and experiences, they always put patient care first, and for that I am incredibly proud and thankful.

“We are using the 73rd birthday as an opportunity to say a big thank you to those who have supported us during the pandemic.

"Members of our staff have done precisely this, thanking colleagues, their families and the local community for supporting them during the most difficult of years.”

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Nationally, hospitals have cared for around 400,000 seriously ill COVID-19 patients, including more than 100,000 admitted in January alone this year, along with millions more. 

At the same time, the NHS has rolled out the biggest vaccination programme in health service history; the fastest in Europe.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, meanwhile thanked frontline workers and community volunteers who have "gone above and beyond" during the Covid-19 pandemic".

Cambridgeshire County Council has also said thank you in their own way, by posting messages from elected members and others on its social media platforms.

The posts said thank you to the wide range of people who have supported local communities and public services - particularly during the past 18 months. 

Cllr Lorna Dupré, chairwoman of the council's environment and green investment committee, said:" The last 18 months have been enormously difficult for individuals, families, communities, organisations, and businesses, in Cambridgeshire and across the country.

“As so often in a crisis, the pandemic has seen many people rise to the challenge.

"We have cause to be deeply grateful to those who have provided help and support, and kept key services going, whether as employees or as volunteers in their neighbourhoods.” 

Cllr Susan van de Ven, chairwoman of the council’s health and wellbeing board, added: "In these extraordinary difficult times we've seen such extraordinary kindness and dedication to others, in every layer of our communities."

Today (Monday), council staff also joined in a national two-minute silence to pay tribute to NHS, social care and frontline staff.