A group of four colleagues from Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s maternity services attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to mark the 75th birthday of the NHS.
On Wednesday, 5 July across the country organisations, charities, and communities joined forces to celebrate the big day. While Blackpool Teaching Hospitals hosted a series of events and initiatives close to home for colleagues and patients, four outstanding colleagues were nominated to attend a special service in London.
NHS England along with special guests held a multi-faith service for NHS staff, volunteers and partners at Westminster Abbey. From Blackpool Teaching hospitals four colleagues from the Trust’s maternity services were nominated to attend to represent the organisation.
Two of those attending, Laura Walsh, Swan Bereavement Midwife and Eileen Shaw, long-serving Midwife of 50 years, earlier this year were winners in the Trust’s staff awards as they were recognised for their services to the NHS.
Eileen, who received the Trust’s Lifetime Achievement award invited her colleague Julia Thompson, a Sister Midwife.
Laura, who received the Compassion in Action award was accompanied by Lucy Brockill, Swan Bereavement Support Worker.
The service was conducted by The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster and saw a series of speakers throughout the event which was also attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and Prime Minster Rishi Sunak who also gave a presentation.
Laura Walsh said: “I feel very honoured to have been chosen to represent the Trust at the NHS 75th anniversary service. The day was wonderful and emotional for us all.
“We stood proud in our uniforms, sharing stories of the wonderful work we witness everyday at Blackpool, the inspirational colleagues we are lucky to work alongside and the patients and families we are blessed to meet.
“It was clear the NHS means so much to everyone and there seemed to be a rekindled realisation that it must be protected and prioritised.”
Lucy and Julia echoed these comments adding how proud they were and what an amazing experience it was. Lucy, who has worked for the Trust for 16 years, added that this has been one of the highlights of her career so far.
The service, which lasted an hour-and-a-half, brought together hundreds of NHS workers and volunteers from across the country.
Eileen, who has seen the development of the NHS first-hand over her career, spoke with pride about Blackpool and used the service as an opportunity to reflect: “The day was perfect in every way, we met so many interesting people and spoke with our colleagues from across the country who share our passion.
“The service was beautiful, the music and choir brought tears to my eyes. Listening to each person’s testimony made me feel privileged to have worked in a small way for the NHS. I am truly grateful for this day.”