Last week was a fantastic week as we celebrated the NHS’s 75th birthday.
Thank you to colleagues, volunteers, local communities, sponsors, and partners for making this such a great celebration. Everyone went above and beyond, and we held more than 10 events across our sites involving over 5,000 members of staff, 600 local schoolchildren, our friends, families, and local community leaders.
We held an education and careers fair, a debate on the future of the NHS, breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, an evening party and a family fun day for staff while a number of colleagues also visited Westminster Abbey for a special NHS 75 service, and it was great seeing our patients get involved in our best dressed ward competition. Hopefully you will have seen the photos and videos.
Many colleagues have spoken about how the events made them feel valued and appreciated; you can read more in our latest news story. It gives me a great sense of pride to see some of those colleagues who have worked at the Trust for many years share their stories – I encourage you to read them if you haven’t already.
As a Trust, our role is not just about providing care to our communities; we provide thousands of jobs for residents too. I was delighted to hear that our careers fairs inspired our local schoolchildren who attended. Teams across the Trust showcased their work brilliantly through interactive experiences, fun competitions and more.
One teacher said: “We wanted to thank everyone who has been part of arranging the careers fair as my students really enjoyed it and learned a lot from the experience. My students have come back aspiring to work in the NHS in certain fields. I hope there will be similar events next year - thank you."
We also got the chance to look into the future and what the NHS will look like when it turns 100. I’d like to thank our Chair Jacqui Smith who hosted our panel debate, where they discussed everything from the use of artificial intelligence to their biggest hopes and fears for the NHS going forward.
The panel included colleagues from NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, the Department of Health and Social Care, the HSJ, the Gardens of Peace and Havering Place Based Partnership. I hope you find it insightful, interesting and enjoyable.
The week was topped off with a jam-packed Friday and Saturday which was full of great food, good company and of course the music – my fellow Pfizer Chiefs and I certainly enjoyed our ‘2023 world tour’! Across our hospitals, colleagues enjoyed breakfast, which was followed by a lunch, afternoon tea and then an evening party to finish the day off in style.
For me, there was no better way to start the weekend and continue the celebrations than by running alongside many of you at the NHS 75 Parkrun on Saturday. It was also my 75th parkrun and I was really chuffed to see so many colleagues take part – especially those who were celebrating the night before! Later that day, there was plenty of rides, games and food stalls at our family fun day and I’m glad the weather didn’t dampen people’s spirits.
Watch our compilation video which gives you a real flavour of our celebrations.
I’d like to finish by extending a huge thank you to the events planning team, to our sponsors, and to all of you for your ongoing support.