9 July 2018

    A special service was held at Winchester Cathedral on Thursday 5 July to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service (NHS).

    Representatives from five local NHS Trusts participated in the service, including a parade of 70 members of staff showcasing the diversity of roles within the NHS. The participating trusts included University Hospital Southampton, Hampshire Hospitals, South Central Ambulance Service, Southern Health and Solent, as well as two Clinical Commissioning Groups (West Hampshire and Southampton City).

    Hymns, prayers and readings celebrated the past, present and future of the NHS, highlighting the vital role that the service plays in our lives and recognising the extraordinary contribution of NHS staff. Photos and artefacts from over the years were also on display.

    The Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London and former chief nurse, was the preacher at the service, with music provided by Winchester Cathedral Choir and two NHS choirs.
    The service concluded with a speech of thanks for those who have devoted so much time to serving the population through the NHS.

    The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester, said: ‘The NHS was founded on the great vision of compassionate healthcare for all, regardless of income, age or background and there can be few whose lives have not been touched by the NHS in some way. We celebrate the humanity and dedication of NHS staff in delivering this vision, through great social and technological change, for 70 years. It was wonderful to welcome Bishop Sarah Mullally, to her first public event in Hampshire in her new role as Bishop of London.’

    David French, interim chief executive at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this celebratory service to recognise all of the amazing staff, both present and past, who have helped make the NHS what it is today. With 2018 also marking 70 years of Southampton General Hospital, it’s a special year for all of us at University Hospital Southampton and we would like to thank Winchester Cathedral for hosting this event.”

    Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester said: “We are thrilled to be part of this service thanking the diverse range of staff who make up the NHS, celebrating the last 70 years as well as looking ahead to the future. It is wonderful that the compassion and dedication of all NHS staff will be recognised at this special event and we would like to say a big thank you to Winchester Cathedral for this service.”