By Dr Andrew Davies,
Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS
Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group
On 5 July, it will be 72 years since the NHS began. It was
launched by Aneurin Bevan less than 30 miles from Runcorn and Widnes at Park
Hospital, which is now known as Trafford General Hospital. Throughout its
history, it has faced many challenges, but never more than in the last year.
Our local NHS staff in our hospitals, GP practices and
other NHS settings are continuing to deal with the many challenges brought
about by the Covid-19 pandemic and they will do so for the foreseeable
future. I want to take this opportunity to thank every single one of them, both
on the frontline and behind the scenes, for their amazing efforts during this
pandemic. Everyone in our NHS family in Halton
has shown tremendous dedication and resilience in adapting to the difficult
circumstances they have faced. They truly are NHS heroes.
I also want to acknowledge the remarkable work of our
colleagues in the care sector who we have worked closely with. They have gone
above and beyond to care for our most vulnerable residents.
This year, as we remember those that we have lost, the
way the NHS marks its anniversary will have a different feel to years gone
On Saturday 4 July (the eve of the NHS Birthday), national
landmarks will be lit up in blue as part of our collective memorial across the
country. You can join in by placing a light in your window – an LED candle, a
lamp or a torch.
Every week of the pandemic, we have seen the communities we
are here to serve show their love and appreciation for the NHS
and carers. And so many have done their bit during the difficult weeks of
lockdown. So, we want to use our 72nd anniversary as an opportunity
to say thank you back.
At 5pm on Sunday 5
July, please join us in a one-off clap – the loudest ever – to say thank you to
everyone who has helped the NHS through the crisis so far. Afterwards, why not
raise a glass, mug or cuppa to your friends, families, colleagues, neighbours
and anyone who has helped you during the last few months.
Finally, on behalf of NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning
Group, I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has supported the NHS
during this difficult time. We want to thank our local charities, community
groups, volunteers and key workers - the kindness and generosity you have shown
to Halton residents has helped us through very difficult times.