The 5 July 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service (NHS).
Since the NHS was founded on 5 July 1948, it has always innovated and adapted to meet to needs of each generation. The founding principles remain as relevant, and valued, today as they were 75 years ago. The public still support having a national health service, and it is what makes our people most proud to be British. As we mark 75 years of the NHS, we’re looking back on the history and achievements of our organisation – and its staff and volunteers – and the opportunities that lie ahead to shape the next 75. The NHS has been a constant presence throughout all our lives, and we can all play a role in supporting the NHS this special birthday year.
To celebrate the amazing work our #1BigTeam do, we're sharing their stories and experiences of working within the NHS.
What's happening at UHP
NHS75 Bake Off at UHP
We hosted our very own NHS75 Bake Off at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust on Wednesday 5 July to celebrate the 75th birthday of the NHS.
Colleagues showcased their baking skills and the winner was crowned the #1BigTeam star baker!
NHS Big Tea Party at Goodness at Greens
On Wednesday 5 July from 10am to 2pm, Goodness at Greens, the resturant on level 7, hosted it's own NHS Big Tea Party. There was be a cake stall for customers to buy goodies which will be located in the seating areas.
All procees went to NHS charities in celebration of the 75th birthday of the NHS. There was also be free cups of tea for everyone, as well as lots of special offers.
NHS75 stand in the main entrance
There was an NHS75 stand celebrating the 75th birthday of the NHS in the main entrance of Derriford Hospital from 11am to 2pm on Wednesday 5 July giving away a range of freebies to staff, patients and visitors to celebrate the birthday. This included amazing NHS75 themed cakes, pens, bags and more.
The cake was cut, and distributed, by Ann James, Chief Executive, and Marion Roch, the longest serving member of staff at UHP who has an amazing 51 years of service.
UHP Neonatal Nurse Consultant recognised as having significant impact on the NHS
Róisín McKeon-Carter, a Neonatal Nurse Consultant and Safety Champion for Neonatal Services at UHP, was selected by Nursing Times as one of 75 nurses and midwives whose work has had an especially significant impact on the NHS. Read more on this here.
Jobe title: Engagement and Fundraising Manager
When did you start in the NHS?: 4 May 2021
Why did you choose to work in the NHS?: The NHS has saved my life, as well as the lives of numerous family members. When the opportunity arose to join and 'pay them back', I couldn't say no.
Describe what you do in 100 words: I work for the Hospital Charity. My job is to raise money so that the charity can buy additional equipment and services for the various teams at UHP. I put on events, recruit new supporters and steward donors. I help UHP staff to look after any Grateful Patients, who want to donate to say thank you for the wonderful care they have received. I also help any families that want to donate in memory of a patient that has died.
What do you enjoy most about your role?: I love that I am making a difference to patients and staff across the Trust by providing a piece of equipment or service that we otherwise wouldn't be able to have.
What woudl you say to someone thinking about a career in the NHS?: Do it! It will change your life. The NHS is unlike anywhere I've ever worked.
How would you describe the NHS in one word?: Inspirational
Job title: Patient Pathway Co-ordinator for Neurofibromatosis Team
When did you start in the NHS?: January 2006 at the Dental Access Centre and moved over to the NF Team in October 2012 which is where I still am.
Why did you choose to work in the NHS?: I liked the idea that I could help people and now it's more meaningful that I can pay it back after having a daughter in 2014 who is disabled, we spend a lot of time on the Children's ward so in some small way I feel that my work can help support those who support and watch over us.
Describe what you do in 100 words: I support the NF Advisor and Consultant Neurologist in the team to manage their NF1 patients, I book the patients appointments, manage the PTL's, answer emails, send statistics to the Tumour foundation that fund our clinic, type up clinic letters, scan reports and file notes, send off MRI scan reports and seek further medical notes from around the country to build our patient's complex notes, organise meetings and take mins and support the NF2 side of the team as and when needed.
What do you enjoy most about your role?: I love knowing that I am helping others, our patients can have complex needs which need to be managed very carefully and sensitively, I can empathise with the parents as I know how hard it can be managing a child's health when they have complex needs. Work is a place I can pay it forward and which gives me a good work/life balance. It helps that I work with an amazing team that supports each other and has each other's back.
What would you say to someone thinking about a career in the NHS?: Stop thinking about it and apply - it's a great place to work.
How would you describe the NHS in one word?: Essential
Volunteer role: Staff Member Cluster Coordinator and Therapy Dog Volunteer
When did you start volunteering?: 6 months ago
Why did you choose to volunteer?: I wanted to train my dog Milo so that he could benefit both our patients and staff. I wanted to bring them some light relief and put some smiles on faces.
Describe what you do in 100 words: There was one occasion recently Milo and I were visiting patients on Birch ward and he stopped in his tracks outside one patients side room and would not move! He as determined to go in. I checked with a nurse to make sure he was allowed and she said he was. As soon as Milo got in he wanted to sit on the bed with him so I asked the patient if he was happy with that and he started to cry and said yes please. He then told me he had just had to rehome his dog of 10 years just that week due to being too poorly to look after him anymore. He was so sad and I'm sure Milo picked up on it and is why he wouldn't move on until he'd said hello. The patient was so grateful and said its really lovely that dogs can see patients as they bring so much joy.
What do you enjoy most about your role?: They way Milo brings just as much love and smiles to staff as he does patients. He is like one of the team everyone just loves him.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about volunteering in health and care?: It is a very rewarding job to know you are making a difference by supporting all of the patients and staff who do such an amazing job.
How would you describe the NHS in one word?: Resilient
NHS 75 long service podcast
This special edition podcast episode features six of our longest serving #1BigTeam members who have collectively given 270 years of service to the NHS.
This podcast will bring you moving stories from across the last 50+ years, looking into the real live stories of our NHS heroes as they reflect on their long careers.
Become part of our #1BigTeam
The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, and with 1.3 million staff, it is the biggest employer in Europe.
The NHS offers a huge range of exciting and challenging opportunities for people who are passionate about making a difference. With more than 350 different careers on offer, there is a job for you.
The NHS employs clinical and non-clinical staff. Clinical staff include doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives and pharmacists. Examples of non-clinical include electricians, administration, porters, accountants and caterers.
Why join our #1BigTeam?
University Hospitals Plymouth (UHP) NHS Trust is the largest teaching hospital trust in the South West. We employ almost 10,000 staff that work in 350 different roles, plus hundreds of volunteers.
We’re not perfect but we really do live by our values and caring for our colleagues helps ensure, in turn, that they are able to deliver the best possible care to our patients.
We offer great opportunities for career development in a highly progressive working environment and we offer all of this in a vibrant, modern city with a historic reputation for adventure.
Watch our videos below to get a flavour of Plymouth and working at UHP:
Support the NHS
Every day thousands of people’s lives are saved or improved thanks to the generosity of blood donors. But sadly, there are still lots of patients we can’t treat because we don’t have enough supplies. You can support the NHS in its 75th year by giving blood – there’s an urgent need for regular donors, so please help if you can.
Giving blood saves lives. The blood you give is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments.
We need over 5,000 blood donations every day to treat patients in need across England, which is why there’s always a need for people to give blood.
Each year we need 135,000 new donors, as some donors can no longer give blood. Most people aged between 17 and 65 can donate.
We specifically need 40,000 more Black donors to meet the growing demand for better-matched blood and treat conditions such as sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is more prevalent in people of Black heritage and ethnically matched blood provides the best treatment.
For Salome, who has to have red cell exchanges every 6 weeks, Ro subtype blood donors like Zamzam have helped to save her life.
For more information about giving blood, visit the blood donation website.
Organ donation is when you decide to give an organ to save or transform the life of someone else.
You could help save or improve up to nine lives in future by being an organ donor, and many more by donating tissue.
If you want to be an organ donor after you die, you can register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. It’s also really important that you talk to your loved ones and make sure they understand and support your organ donation decision.
To find out more, please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Get involved with research
Research has built the NHS we have today. Getting involved in healthcare research could help shape the NHS for the future, discovering life-saving treatments, uncovering the secrets behind diseases, and developing the answers to the problems causing ill health today.
As the NHS turns 75, you can help develop it for the future by getting involved in research. Every year, more than half a million people take part in health research. Patients and members of the public also help design research studies and advise what our priorities for future research should be.
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is the research arm of the NHS, and works with patients, healthcare professionals and researchers to support healthcare research. As part of the NHS 75th birthday celebrations, we’re asking people to take part and shape research.
Take part in a clinical trial or study
Do you want to take part in a research study, either as a patient or a healthy volunteer? Ask your doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare professional about whether there is a trial or study that you could take part in. Visit www.bepartofresearch.nihr.ac.uk and sign up to hear more about research in your area.
You can help shape what research gets funded in England through NIHR’s patient and public involvement activities.
You can make a difference to health and care research by:
Telling us the questions you want health research to find the answers for
Reviewing research applications to make sure that researchers ask the right questions and in a way that the public understand
Helping to decide what research gets funded by NIHR’s decision making boards and panels.
Find out more about how you can get involved in research on the Be Part of Research website.
Find out more about the Research and Development team at UHP here.
Support NHS charities
Over the last 75 years the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world. And helping behind the scenes are more than 230 dedicated NHS charities from across the UK.
Whether supporting research and development, brightening up hospital environments, providing state-of-the-art technologies and equipment or supporting staff, they help the NHS to go above and beyond.
You can support NHS charities in many ways – for example by making a donation or volunteering.
To find out more, visit nhscharitiestogether.co.uk.
NHS 75 for 75 with Plymouth Hospitals Charity
On 5 July 2023 the NHS celebrates its 75th Birthday. Plymouth Hospitals Charity are looking for 1,000 people to each raise £75 over the course of a year for your local NHS. It doesn’t matter what you do – walk 75 miles, swim 75 lengths, take part in one of our amazing events – or just write us a cheque. Just join in!
Your donations won’t be spent on NHS core services; instead, our #1BigTeam will suggest ideas to make your local NHS hospital better. You’ll know what we spend it on, because we’ll tell you. Help us to help the NHS you love. Raise a pound for every year of the NHS.
How it works: NHS 75 for 75 will run from now until 4 July 2024. You’ll have until then to raise £75 for your local NHS charity and you can take part in NHS 75 for 75 individually or as part of a team.
You can raise the money however you like, but do let the charity team know your plans – some fundraising events (e.g. raffles) have a legal requirement and we can offer guidance to help with that.
Find out more about how to get involved on the Plymouth Hospitals Charity website.
Volunteer at UHP
Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds make a huge contribution to the health and wellbeing of the nation, sharing their time, compassion and expertise to support the NHS, charities, faith groups and communities. Why not join them as we mark 75 years of the NHS?
Volunteers have been integral to the NHS from day one and we’re looking forward to some exciting volunteering developments during this 75th year.
NHS volunteer responders
Our NHS Volunteer Responders will be offering new volunteering roles, managed by the volunteers through a smartphone app. This method of accepting tasks makes volunteering easier for people to fit around work or other commitments. The new roles will be advertised on the NHS volunteer responder website as soon as they are available.
Welcoming you back into hospitals and health settings
There are more than 300 different types of volunteer role which help the NHS, ranging from offering companionship for patients on a ward to being a first responder with an ambulance service, fundraising for an NHS charity or supporting people with long term conditions through a health charity. You could also be a hospital radio DJ, contribute to advisory groups or help with activities in your local community.
Fulfilling your ambitions
Volunteering can be a valuable first step into a career within the NHS, giving you first-hand experience of health settings, additional references, and the chance to hear directly from our staff.
You can find details of how to apply to your local NHS trust by region or town on the new NHS Volunteering website. Many GP practices or charity partners also offer volunteering opportunities.
Volunteerting at UHP
We are looking for volunteers to help us across the hospital in new volunteering roles. Our opportunities are wide ranging and support clinical staff and patients in a variety of ways.
If you have ever visited or stayed at Derriford Hospital the chances are you will have come into contact with one of our volunteers. You may have been helped by a vaccination hub volunteer, chatted to a discharge lounge volunteer, been shown the way by a meet and greet volunteer, bought something in one of our Leagues of Friends’ shops, or simply listened to Hospital Radio.
As a Trust volunteer you’ll gain a unique insight into hospital life, receive relevant training (both of which will be great for your CV or life experience), as well as being a valuable part of our #1BigTeam.
In return we ask you to be reliable and committed, attending regularly for at least six months. Our minimum age for roles is 16 unless specified, but we have no upper age limit.
Find out more about volunteering at UHP here or watch the videos below:
More ways to get involved
There are many different ways to show your support to the NHS on it's 75th birthday.
From photography competitons, to local parkruns you can find more ideas and information on the NHS 75 website.