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How we marked NHS70

Yesterday marked the 70th birthday of the NHS. The milestone has been very prominent in national media, with a wide range of events running across the country to mark the special occasion.

Within the Trust, celebrations for NHS70 started back in December, when a hugely popular advent calendar recognised some of our longest serving members of staff and volunteers, taking a look back to where they started and where they are now.

NHS70 Open Day

The centrepiece of our NHS70 celebrations was our Open Day in June. The event saw over 700 visitors come along and learn about the changing history of services in the NHS, as well as get involved with some hands-on activities such as delivering a mock baby!


The Open Day was immediately followed by the NHS70 Pride of Plymouth NHS Awards Ceremony, a combined event with Livewell Southwest to celebrate some of the incredible people who go above and beyond in providing NHS services to patients in and around Plymouth.

Sian Dennison Award Win

The birthday was met with the news that Sian Dennison, our Head of Nursing for Cancer and End of Life, had won the ‘Excellence in Cancer Care Award’ at the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards. The national awards were created to recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS and Sian was nominated by all three Plymouth MPs.

Image of Wolf Ward

Meanwhile, staff across our sites brought out the bunting and got baking for the NHS Big7Tea. This included special NHS70 ‘Tea with Matron’ events on each ward, which allowed patients and staff to share in the celebrations together. A small selection of photos from the many areas who took part can be found on the Trust’s Facebook Page.

Image of Bakeoff

Staff from around the Trust took part in the Great NHS70 Bake. After much deliberation, the judges decided the winner was Student Nurse Tirion, who won with an NHS70-themed two-tier lemon and elderflower cake.

The day was particularly poignant for judge, Vera Mitchell MBE, as it marked 20 years since she underwent life-saving surgery at Derriford Hospital. This was the start of a long association with the Trust as a volunteer, which resulted in royal honours earlier this year.

The birthday was met by well-wishes from around the city:

  • Plymouth Argyle’s Ryan Edwards recorded a special message for staff at Derriford Hospital, after receiving treatment for testicular cancer earlier this year.

  • Plymouth Herald featured “Plymouth’s everyday heroes” explaining why they love working in the NHS.

For all our #nhsheroes who save lives, fix us when we’re broken, care for us when we need it most and deliver our babies, this one’s for you #nhs70 #HappyBirthdayNHS #plymouth @Derriford_Hosp

— Plymouth Live (@Plymouth_Live) July 5, 2018
  • Smeaton’s Tower was even lit up blue in honour of NHS70.

We are on Plymouth Hoe tonight, taking in the incredible view whilst we wait to see the iconic @SmeatonsTower #LightUpBlue tonight for #NHS70 - thanks to @plymouthcc for supporting the celebrations

— NHS England SW (@NHSEnglandSW) 5 July 2018

Archive Image

Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives and the South West Film and Television Archive shared some old content from archives which documents the NHS of yesteryear, as part of our NHS70 Plymouth Facebook Group. You can still join up and tell your stories from years gone by.

Our Chairman and Chief Executive would like to extend a big thank you to our staff and volunteers. Ann James said: “As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, I would like to recognise and thank the many people here in Plymouth who make the NHS what it is. Not just now but all those who have done over the years.”


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