STAFF, patients and the community came together at Whiston Hospital today to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS.

Today, July 5, 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service.

Treating more than a million people a day in England, the NHS touches all of our lives.

When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery.


St Helens Star:

Today, nine in 10 people agree that healthcare should be free of charge, more than four in five agree that care should be available to everyone, and that the NHS makes them most proud to be British.

To celebrate the big day, people came together to cut a ‘birthday’ cake for the NHS in Whiston Hospital, which also had information out on the hospital’s history, different services they offer - from recruitment and education to research and development - and fundraising as well as patient care and advocacy.

St Helens Star: Picture taken outside the old hospital, part of the hospital's archive which was on display Picture taken outside the old hospital, part of the hospital's archive which was on display (Image: newsquest)

Ann Marr, chief executive of the Mersey and West Lancashire NHS Trust, which runs Whiston and St Helens Hospitals, said: “There’s a fabulous buzz [today] celebrating the organisation and having fun celebrating with each other, what we’ve achieved and celebrating what the NHS means to the people of our community.

“It’s a great honour and privilege to serve our community the way we do and I’m very grateful for everything our staff and volunteers do everyday to help people to live the best lives they can.”

Whilst at the celebration, the Star spoke to some of the longest-serving NHS staff at the trust.

One of these is Shaun Grady from Windle who has served in the trust for 37 years. He helps people who have experienced hair loss due to treatment, illness or conditions.

Diane Stafford, from Haydock, who is assistant director of operations for the medical care group at Whiston Hospital, started in the NHS 31 years ago.

Specialist community public health nurse in occupational health, Kirsty Ince from Windle has worked at the trust since 2009 and says she would "never work anywhere else". 

Finally, is Anita Gillen, who is the Voluntary Service Manager at the trust in charge of 306 volunteers who help people throughout the hospital on a daily basis.

Anita, who has been in service for 11 years, said: