NHS birthday celebrations kick off in style

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 05 July 2018

Oldham's NHS 70th birthday celebrations have got under way with a shout, a cheer and the odd cry at the Shaw Children’s Centre.

The Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs one of 16 centres in Oldham, have been celebrating with a morning tea party for local children at the Shaw town centre facility.

Bridgewater is a leading provider of NHS community health services in the north-west of England and delivers Oldham’s 0-19 service on behalf of the Council.

The aim of Bridgewater is to allow patients to get the treatment they need as close to their homes as possible.

As well as welcoming lots of local parents and young children for the morning (above), the Children’s Centre anniversary event featured stands from Lifelong Learning, Oral Health, Homestart, Learn Together, Play Together, while Volunteer Co-Ordinator Alison Pywell was also on hand, hoping to secure some new recruits.

Rightstart 0-19 Team Leader Heidi Sutton, who was joined by Bridgewater’s Deputy Chief Executive Mike Barker at the event today, said: “The NHS is absolutely fantastic.

“I’ve worked for the NHS for 37 years and I think it’s the greatest institution there is.

“Free healthcare needs to continue for everybody.

“The NHS is the pride of the UK, and the world.

“There’s not many other countries – if any – that offer free healthcare.

“The funding issues have put a great strain on staff, but these staff have rallied round, as they always do.

“They all give 150-per-cent, they work overtime without pay, but they just keep coming in for their patients and clients.

“These individuals are the backbone of the NHS, and they are the people that keep it going so successfully.”

Right Start Volunteer Co-Ordinator Alison Pywell organised the NHS 70th birthday celebration event at the Shaw Children's Centre

Seventy years ago today the NHS was born, marking the dawn of a new era for British society.

For the first time ever, people were able to access healthcare from cradle to grave, free at the point of use.

And its symbolic birthplace was created very close to our doorstep - at what is now known as Trafford General.

When the then health minister, Aneurin Bevan, opened Park Hospital in Trafford on July 5, 1948, the future of healthcare in the UK changed forever.

Prior to that historic moment, people had to pay for treatment or rely on charity.

The new national service meant everybody could get their hands on treatment, whether they were rich or poor.

It was the first system of its kind in the world.

Seven decades on, the principles at the heart of the NHS remain the same, and the British service is in many ways still the envy of the world.

Yet there is no denying the health landscape has radically changed, and that the service is under unprecedented pressure due to increased demand and ongoing financial pressures.

Currently on a local level, the NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is made up of every GP in Oldham and is led by a Governing Body that includes GPs, other health professionals and lay people.

The CCG's triple aim is to improve the health of the people in Oldham, to improve the care they receive and their experience of it and to deliver the best value for money by using our resources effectively.

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