Today, the NHS celebrates its 73rd birthday, while the coronavirus pandemic means that it has been through a year like no other. It has been an extremely challenging year for everybody but also a year of hope.
Hospitals have cared for around 400,000 seriously ill Covid patients, including more than 100,000 admitted in January alone, along with millions more besides.
At the same time, the NHS has rolled out the biggest vaccination programme in health service history, the fastest in Europe and most precise in the world.
The NHS could not have achieved all this without the skill and dedication of their people along with the support of thousands of returners, volunteers, other keyworkers and, of course, the public who played their part by following the social distancing and safety guidance.
A small number of NHS staff from the North West attended a memorial service at the London Blossom Garden on Saturday 3 July, in memory of the NHS workers who died while caring for patients during the pandemic, and in dedication to the way the health service – backed by key workers and the public throughout – has worked together to care for 400,000 Covid patients in England’s hospitals.
Bill McCarthy, Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the North West said, “It has been an extremely challenging year for our region and for NHS staff in particular and it is important we reflect on our achievements with pride, and recognise the dedication and commitment of our amazing people who have made huge sacrifices, especially those who sadly lost their lives.
“It has also been a year of hope with the success of our world-leading vaccination programme now in its final push, and our 73rd birthday is a chance to celebrate that and say a huge thank you to our staff, our army of volunteers, and our local communities for working so hard to deliver the extraordinary rollout.
“This is a moment not only for the country to record gratitude for the NHS, but I think for all of us in the NHS to say thank you to everybody who has helped us, help you.”